June Callwood has often been called the conscience of Canada, said John Fraser, Chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation. She's much more than that. She is also emblematic of its heart and soul. Her causes, her integrity, her anger, her aspirations have all become part of the definition of what it is to be a responsible, caring Canadian. Somewhere in this equation, she also raised the standards of journalism for everyone. In a lifetime of achievement, she is incomparable.
Callwood's distinguished writing career has spanned more than 50 years. Early on she was a reporter for the Globe and Mail. Her freelance career produced a multitude of magazine pieces, including some 100 for Maclean's; her first appearing in the June 15, 1947 issue and her latest in the Sept. 15, 1997 issue. Author of more than 30 books, she has hosted the CBC program, In Touch, and acted as interviewer on VisionTV's National Treasures.
She has founded and co-founded many social action organizations, including Digger House, a youth hostel; Nellie's hostel for women; Jessie's, a centre for teenage parents; Casey House Hospice for those with AIDS; PEN Canada; the Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation and Feminists Against Censorship. Her accomplishments have won her many honours, among them Companion of the Order of Canada.