Bill Mcfarland Award 2024 Recipients

April 26, 2024

Burnaby, BC—Parent Support Services Society of BC (PSS) announces Suzette Narbonne, BA (Hons), LLB, Managing Child and Youth Lawyer, and the Child and Youth Legal Centre as the joint recipients of the Bill MacFarland Award for the Advancement of Excellence in Child Welfare 2024.

The Bill McFarland Award recognizes a group or individual for their outstanding devotion to the prevention of child abuse over a long period of time, and or; efforts related to a project which is making a lasting mark on the welfare of children in BC.

About the Winners

Suzette Narbonne, BA (Hons), LLB

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Suzette Narbonne was called to the Manitoba bar in 1989 and began her career in The Pas with Legal Aid Manitoba. As counsel she travelled to isolated Indigenous communities, conducting free legal advice clinics and litigating for her clients in criminal and family law cases– often in makeshift courts convened in band offices, recreation centres and hydro halls.

Since 1995, Suzette has practiced law in BC. She joined the Child and Youth Legal Centre at its inception in 2017. Since its establishment, Suzette has contributed significantly to the center’s direction and impact as the managing lawyer.

Ms. Narbonne has appeared in all levels of courts in both British Columbia and Manitoba and has been acknowledged by her peers as an exceptionally gifted lawyer notably through her appointment as counsel for Aboriginal interests at the British Columbia Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.

Ms. Narbonne has also made a significant contribution to BC’s legal profession through her leadership roles on the Law Foundation’s Board of Governors, the Legal Services Society’s Board of Directors where she served as Chair, as a Bencher for the Law Society of BC, and as an elected member of the Canadian Bar Association’s BC Provincial Council. In 2008 she was honoured by the CBABC for her community service.

Suzette Narbonne will be a special guest at PSS’ 50th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser, taking place on June 6th, 2024 at the Hilton Metrotown, where she will accept the award on behalf of herself and the Child and Youth Legal Centre.

The Child and Youth Legal Centre

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Since its establishment in October 2017, the Child and Youth Legal Centre has significantly helped shape the landscape of child representation in BC. The Centre, which operates under The Society for Children and Youth of BC, provides legal support for young people who are experiencing problems relating to family law, child protection, breach of human rights and many other legal issues.

Its work has helped shift the mindset of judges and lawyers to the importance of children being seen, heard and valued in legal proceedings. For more information about the Child and Youth Legal Centre, visit

About the Award

The Bill McFarland Award was established by BC Parents in Crisis Society (now Parent Support Services Society of BC) in 1997. Over his 50-year career, Bill McFarland was instrumental in the development of progressive programs, policies and services for children and their families. His achievements include: Being the founder of the Alberta Foster Parents Association, the National Federation of Youth in Care Networks, and Parent Support Services Society of BC.

Bill was appreciated by all who worked with him for his integrity, compassion and tireless efforts toward the care and welfare of all children. This award honors his memory and his tireless efforts.

For more information about the Bill McFarland Awards, visit