If you’re posted to Petawawa, Alyson may be one of the first people you meet when you stop in at the Family Centre. Ask her about the many resources and activities that Petawawa has to offer you and your family.
Introducing Alyson Diffin
Name: Alyson Diffin
Position: Front-line Administrator at the Family Centre
(Image Source: PMFRC)
Tell us more about your role at the PMFRC and the programs you are involved in.
I began as a casual employee in 2014 and accepted the position at The Family Centre in April of this year. Right now, I am gathering information on the resources available for medically-released veterans, locally and throughout Ontario. Eventually this information will be available on the Family Navigator website.
I have also started doing some research on local programs and services for families who have children with special needs. I am hoping to gather enough information to compile a reference booklet for these families.
My hours vary, but I am typically available Monday to Friday between 11:30 AM – 12 PM and 1:30-3 PM.
When I am not working on these projects, I assist with other duties at the Family Centre, such as clear-ins, clear-outs, DAGs, information sessions, etc.
How long have you worked for the PMFRC?
Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right and forget the ones that don't and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it'd be easy, they just promised that it would be worth it!
I have been with the PMFRC’s Information Services team for two years.
Tell me about your background (experience, education, etc.)?
I have worked in information services for over 15 years. I was a Concierge for the Hilton Hotel and Suites in Niagara Falls for ten years. During that time I was a member of Les Clefs d’Or, which is an international association of Concierges. Their aim is to improve and maintain the quality of services provided by concierge staff in their hotels.
I also have a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Waterloo.
What can people expect to see when they first meet you?
I hope that everyone who walks in the door feels welcome and comfortable, and that they leave with all the information they needed.
What is your favourite part about working for the PMFRC?
I love that I work for an organization that cares so deeply about the well-being of the families of our Canadian Forces Members and the people in our community.
What is your greatest accomplishment or proudest moment working for the PMFRC?
I would say that my greatest accomplishment would be overcoming my fear of public speaking and delivering several successful Unit briefings.
Where are you from and what brought you to Petawawa? How long have you lived here?
I am from Niagara Falls and lived there for most of my life (except the four years when I was at school in Waterloo). My husband joined the military and Petawawa is our first posting. We have been here for three years.
What advice do you have for families transitioning to Petawawa?
First, get outside and meet your neighbours. These people may be your first friends when you arrive. Second, get involved. Volunteer or take a class or a workshop. If you have children, get them involved in community activities. It’s a great way to meet people who may be in the same situation you are in.
What is your favourite thing about living in the area? What is your favourite thing to do in the winter? The summer?
I love how beautiful the summer and fall are in Petawawa. It makes me want to be outside all day long.
In the summer I like to bring my boys to the park, go to the beach and spend time outdoors with my family. In the winter I am just the opposite; indoor activities only! I do a lot of cooking and we watch a lot of movies.
Leave us with a few more words of wisdom – what is your favourite quote?
"Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right and forget the ones that don't and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it'd be easy, they just promised that it would be worth it!"
This is my favourite quote. I sent it to my husband when he left his job of ten years to pursue his ambition and join the military. It can be applied to many aspects of military life.