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Announcing the recipients of the Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Awards



Peterborough ON – (February 9, 2018) – Fleming College is pleased to recognize two individuals for their outstanding commitment to volunteerism with the Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Awards.

Peter Pula, founder and CEO of Axiom News and co-director of The Resonance Centre of Social Evolution, will receive the external award while Meredith Pilley, a faculty member at Sutherland Campus, will receive the internal award. The awards will be presented at a special event this month.

peterpulaPeter Pula led the discovery, founding, and practice of generative journalism as a healing and community art. He has since been invited to host workshops around the world on the practice of generative journalism, an open communications approach for emergent and constructive change in organizations, networks, and communities.

To bring dialogic and narrative arts together, Peter and Axiom News initiated the Peterborough Dialogues in 2015. Since then, more than 150 dialogues and summits have been held in Peterborough to cultivate citizen-led community building. These include a Peterborough Pollinator Summit, an Indie-Local Economy Summit, and a Community Conversation on Harper Park.

Through these series of community-based pilot projects, Peter has worked with others to create a thoughtful, proven framework for introducing a possibility-oriented perspective and approach into any setting. It’s described as a powerful model of real and deep democracy.

As stated in his nomination, Peter’s belief is that wholeness follows as we learn to relate in ways that allow us to feel connected and safe enough to step into our authenticity. Many people, through their encounter with the work of Peter and those around him, have stepped up to do new things in their community, to realize their dreams, to work with one another in a way that both inspires them and opens up new possibilities for their community.

meredithMeredith Pilley has volunteered for a number of local organizations over the years including Big Sisters, the Family Enrichment Centre, her local school council, and the Kawartha Trent Synchronized Swimming Club. For many years Meredith was involved with local choirs and musicals. Musically, she was part of the opening of the Showplace Theatre and for years sang the National Anthem at Peterborough Petes games as well as the Toronto Blue Jays in 1989. An active member of the local counselling community, Meredith regularly gives back to her community through the offer of pro bono services for those who are unable to pay. Often this occurs through organizations who don’t have funding for LGBTQ or victim services.

Meredith was a key organizer of the recent Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School 50th Anniversary Reunion, raising money for a forwarding scholarship over the next five years and fundraising for the school.  People came from all over the world to celebrate the anniversary – from Australia, Czech Republic, Yukon, California, Texas, and England. According to Meredith’s nomination, it was a wonderful and moving experience and helped people reconnect when some hadn’t seen each other in decades.

Extending her passion for community service to her students, Meredith is always looking for volunteer opportunities for Fleming students in our community, which helps both students and the community.

About the Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Awards
The Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Awards were created to recognize citizens who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to, and concern for, their community, country or beyond. Within volunteer work and through their career these candidates have exceeded expectations, putting their ideas and skills to practical use for the benefit of others. One award is given to an employee of the college while another is awarded externally, to a citizen of the communities the college serves.

About Fleming College
Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 6,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 74,000 alumni.


Members of the media, for more information please contact:
Laura Copeland
Communications Officer
705.749.5530 x 1370