Leadership Group


Rachel Bedingfield, Co-Chair

Rachel Bedingfield riding a bicycle in Switzerland with her infant daughterCurrently the Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Kentville, Rachel was raised in a family of strong women; women who told stories of their own struggles and advocacy work for gender equity in sport and recreation.

For Rachel, to be a part of a movement that is thread together by such strong voices is an honour.




Linda Atkinson, Co-Chair

Linda AtkinsonLinda is currently serving as Co-Chair of WomenActive-NS, one of several volunteer activities to which she is committed. She is retired from 36 years as a civil servant with provincial and municipal governments. The focus of her work was – generally – on recreation and community and youth development.

Like many Nova Scotians, Linda is a beach bum who spends as much time as she can at her cottage. She is also learning tenor banjo, as well as finding great pleasure in Joyful Noise, a musical group to which she belongs. Other interests include family, outdoors, reading, skiing, learning retreats, and a whole lot more.


Michelle Aucoin

Michelle AucoinMichelle Aucoin is an Active Living Consultant with the Government of Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness in a consulting role to 18 Provincial Sport Organizations. In addition, Michelle has a focus on Long Term Athlete Development, Gender Equity, Canada Games and Event Hosting.  Michelle obtained a BSc and MBA from Dalhousie University, where she was consistently an Academic All Canadian and led the Tigers to two AUS Volleyball Championships.

For the past 15 years, Michelle has turned her focus to coaching, where she has coached volleyball at all levels from the community club, provincial, and national level. Michelle spent five years as the full time head coach of the women’s volleyball team at StFX University, where she led the team to a first place finish in the AUS League standings, the best finish in the program’s history and was named the AUS Coach of the year. Michelle spent multiple summers with Team Canada and represented Canada as an assistant coach during their world championship qualifier.

Away from work, Michelle is passionate about positively influencing females and is an active coach at the community level, delivers coaching education and is very involved as a mentor to female coaches from a variety of sports. 


Rhonda Lemire

Rhonda LemireRhonda Lemire has been the Executive Director of Recreation Nova Scotia for 6 years. She is excited that the new Provincial Shared Strategy for Recreation in Nova Scotia identifies within the Inclusion and Access goal that there be equitable participation by all women and girls.

The areas of focus identified are:  develop and implement participation opportunities designed and led by women and girls • increase the number of females in leadership roles • build organizational capacity to increase opportunities for women and girls. RNS knows that WomenActive-NS will be key in ensuring this all happens collaboratively!


Amy Walsh

Amy WalshAmy is the Director of Sport Development for Sport Nova Scotia. She has a rich sport background as an athlete, coach, and administrator. A former semi-professional hockey player in Switzerland, Amy was an Academic All Canadian while completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology (with Honours) at Acadia. She has coached at a variety of levels from minor hockey to University varsity programs and worked at Dalhousie University as a physical activity researcher while completing masters’ course work. At Sport Nova Scotia, Amy leads the sport development team, working with provincial sport organizations and many stakeholder groups in the area of program creation and implementation. Amy also manages Sport Nova Scotia programs in a number of areas including funding support, provincial sport organizations administrative support, parasport programming and Sport Nova Scotia’s Community Sport Development Coordinator program.


Gabrielle Riley-Gallagher, Project Manager, WomenActive-NS

Gabrielle has spent the past 9 years as the Active Living Coordinator for the Halifax Regional Municipality where she lead the development, implementation, and management of Halifax Regional Municipality’s regional physical activity strategy.

Prior to that Gabrielle was the coordinator of Active Halifax Communities, including Girls Soar, an initiative that focusses on getting more girls physically active in Halifax.