POAO has been dedicated to offering professional development opportunities and providing its members and the public with education and learning related to our profession and wellness. Here are some of the projects we have worked on.

POAO Guests, Symposiums, Workshops, Education bursaries


Context: Who We Are

Established in 1952, the Probation Officers Association of Ontario (POAO) is a voluntary non-profit organization representing the professional interests of the Probation Officers and Probation and Parole Officers across the Province of Ontario.

Mission:What We Do

POAO endeavors to speak with credibility on issues in criminal justice, facilitate increased understanding of the specialized role of the Probation Officer, provide representative perspectives on legislative issues to policymakers

Vision: What We Aspire To Be

POAO aspires to increased professional development opportunities for members, an augmented profile in the greater community, and specifically with criminal justice stakeholders, stronger ties with our justice partners.


The Board is a dedicated and passionate group of Probation Officers who are responsible for all functions of the Association, including policy administration, public and professional relations, financial management, educational program planning and support of colleagues across the province.

Chris Podolinsky


Gareth Williams


Maeghan Gapp



Provincial Executive Board:

President – Chris Podolinsky
Vice President – Gareth Williams
Secretary – Maeghan Gapp


Adult Policy Director – Kathy Obszanski
Youth Policy Director – Karen Tinning
Membership Director – Sarah Bellhouse
Training and Events Director – Shonna Smith
Media Director – Mary Ayoub
Membership Outreach Director – Amy Zambuto
Special Project Director – Patricia Giroux



Black History Month 2021 – Who Was Lew Taylor?

By Chris Podolinsky and Hassan Adan The Probation Officers Association of Ontario (POAO) has been in existence for nearly seven decades; almost as long as the profession has been active…




Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Fill out this field