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Our Work

In 2019, a group of Australian expats and Canadians living in Toronto came together. They had never met each other but had one important thing in common. They were appalled by the indefinite detention of refugees in Australia’s offshore processing centres and wanted to do something to help.

Out of that initial meeting grew Ads Up Canada Refugee Network, a volunteer-driven, federally incorporated Canadian charity that mobilizes Australian expats and Canadians to resettle these refugees through Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program.

In 2020 Ads Up Canada joined in partnership with MOSAIC (a Canadian Sponsorship Agreement Holder) in Operation #NotForgotten, a partnership between MOSAIC, Ads Up Canada and the Refugee Council of Australia. This unique partnership works to offer a durable solution for refugees who have been indefinitely detained on PNG or Nauru, building on the strength of an organization with over two decades of settlement experience (MOSAIC) and the grassroots strength and Australian knowledge of Ads Up Canada.

Ads Up Canada plays a vital role in Operation #NotForgotten. Applications are submitted to Canadian immigration through MOSAIC while Ads Up Canada recruits, trains and assists the settlement teams that welcome and support arriving refugees during their first year in Canada. We have recruited hundreds of volunteers across five Canadian provinces and over a dozen cities to form settlement teams and provide ongoing trauma-informed training and support to each team. In the process we have built vital partnerships with MOSAIC, the Refugee Council of Australia and UNHCR Australia.

Our Mission

The mission of Ads Up Canada Refugee Network is to inform, connect and empower Canadians and Australian expats to welcome refugees who were detained on Manus and Nauru to Canada through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program.

Our Vision

Our vision is to provide hope, an alternative pathway and durable solution for those detained through Australian offshore processing.

Our Values

Anti-Oppression: We recognize that certain people face oppressive experiences because of individual and systemic unequal power related to race, colour, culture, ethnicity, language and linguistic origin, ability, socio-economic class, age, ancestry, nationality, place of birth, religion, sex, gender (including gender identity and expression), sexuality/sexual orientation, family status, and residency/migratory status in Canada. We also recognize that unequal power is present in a systemic way in the private sponsorship system. Therefore, we commit that our work will centre the knowledge, skills and experience of refugees and that we acknowledge the existence of discrimination and make a conscious effort to challenge oppression.

Responsibility: We believe that both Canada and Canadians, as well as Australia and Australians, have responsibilities to welcome and resettle refugees, and that refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons have the right to a dignified and meaningful life and are due the rights and protections laid out in both Canadian and international agreements and conventions.

Collaboration and solidarity: We are committed to building alliances in order to achieve meaningful change and work collectively toward common aims.

Accountability: We are committed to maintaining effective and transparent governance, measurement and reporting practices.

Our Team

Ads Up Canada Executive Director

Dr. Juliet Donald profile

Juliet Donald

Dr. Juliet Donald is an Australian-Canadian, who immigrated to Canada in 2011. She is a Clinical Psychologist, having completed her training at the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney. Juliet was a university student during the Tampa crisis in 2001 and from that time on was interested in international humanitarian law, and the psychological impact of offshore, prolonged and indefinite detention.

Juliet left Sydney in 2010 to work internationally with Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), initially working in conflict and post-conflict contexts, addressing the mental health needs of refugees and internally displaced populations.

Juliet lives in Toronto with her family, where she continues to work clinically in private practice, and as a staff health psychologist for Médecins Sans Frontières and other humanitarian aid agencies. Juliet is currently involved in the sponsorship of a family of 4 from Nauru and a man from Manus Island.

General Director

Sheila Cranmer-Byng profile photo

Sheila Cranmer-Byng

Sheila brings to the role of General Director with Ads Up Canada over 20 years of experience working in the non-profit and international development sector in a range of frontline and management positions. She has spent the last 7+ years as a volunteer sponsoring and supporting Syrian refugee families through Canada’s Private Sponsorship Program.

Sheila has extensive experience working as a funder of non-profit organizations, designed and developed employment training programs for low-income communities, including newcomers and refugees, and participated in several community work groups related to newcomers and refugees and people living in poverty. She has also worked as a Manager and Policy Analyst within social housing, where she facilitated the implementation of a common assessment tool within the community mental health sector, provided capacity-building support to a grassroots freedom of expression network in Southeast Asia, and led an international education exchange for students from Canada and Indonesia.

Sheila has a Master’s in Education from the University of Ottawa, a Ph.D. (ABD) in Social Work from McMaster University, and experience teaching graduate-level courses in Social Work Ethics and Program Evaluation. Sheila is committed to working with others to create a future centred on values of care, relationality, dignity and respect. As an avid nature-lover, Sheila enjoys spending time with her family at their remote off-the-grid cabin in northern Ontario and hanging out with her canine & feline family members.

Board of Directors

Bill Croson

Bill Croson and his partner, Don McCulloch, have been involved with private sponsorship of refugees to Canada for over two years.

“We were introduced to sponsorship through two close friends who themselves were brought to Canada as part of the federal government’s efforts to create a new and safe home for people who had fled the conflict in Syria. Since then, Don and I have found great fulfillment in helping others find their way to Canada. Our first formal involvement as sponsors was for two men who were held on Manus in Papua New Guinea as a result of government policies to bar migrants from landing on Australian soil.

As a couple that identifies as LGBTQIA+, our focus is mainly on those from our community, recognizing that queer people face more complicated challenges as refugees. We also understand the urgency for those who do not identify as LGBTQIA+ and help those who do not identify as LGBTQIA+ where we can. Our home is home to several newcomers now, and we anticipate that it will be home to others yet to come as well. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience for us and one that we will continue to support.”

Claudia Blume portrait

Claudia Blume

Claudia Blume is a German-born, Canada-based communications professional with more than 14 years of experience in the humanitarian sector. She also worked for many years as a broadcast journalist in Europe and Asia. She feels passionate about migration and refugee issues and is the co-founder of a private sponsorship group in Canada, the Ripple Refugee Project. Claudia has an M.A. in Social Anthropology and Chinese studies, as well as an M.A. in Communication for Development.

Alfred Pek profile

Alfred Pek

Alfred Pek is a Toronto-based Australian-Indonesian Filmmaker and video journalist. Having diverse life experiences in Indonesia and Australia before eventually settling in Canada in 2022 has given him the direction to pursue storytelling that matters to broader social contexts and to inspire actions exploring human rights, pluralism and intersections of identities. Alfred holds a Bachelor of Media and is a multi-award-winning filmmaker for his latest documentary, Freedom Street, inspired by his Refugee rights activism for almost a decade in Australia. With his history in exploring Australia’s refugee policy and its international and regional impact in its full context, Alfred is motivated to be involved in Ads Up Canada and work to continue helping those affected by the Australian policy in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Indonesia. Alfred is currently involved in resettlement support to several newly arrived refugee newcomers from Manus and Nauru in the Greater Toronto Area.

Strategic Advisor

Amir Sahragard

Amir Sahragard is an Iranian Canadian now living in Toronto. After fleeing persecution in his home country of Iran, Amir made it to Australia where he was unlawfully detained on Manus Island.

After almost six years stranded by Australia’s asylum policies, he was given a chance to rebuild his life in Canada by a team of volunteer sponsors working under Canada’s unique private resettlement model. He’s now training to become an electrician, rebuilding his life, and telling his story to raise support for hundreds of fellow refugees who remain stranded by Australia’s refugee policies.


We are grateful to these groups who have joined us either to raise significant funds to sponsor refugees from Manus and Nauru or to make significant in-kind gifts to support newcomer resettlement.

The Western Suburbs Do Gooders of Perth

Perth, Australia

IKEA Vaughan

Concord, Canada

If your group would like to help raise funds, please get in touch.