Career Week Presenters

Pedro Arrais ‘73
Born with oil in his veins, Pedro Arrais has been in, on and around cars and trucks for over 30 years. His high-octane articles on anything that runs on four wheels appears in Friday's Drive section. Before he joined the Times Colonist full-time in 2006, his freelance articles appeared in a number of newspapers and magazines.

Rob Bateman ’97
Rob has a background in geography, architectural drafting and land use planning, all of which give him a broad perspective on development projects. He has experience working on design and policy from individual buildings to neighbourhoods and towns. His passion is assisting clients in creating sustainable and livable communities. Rob is LEED certified.

Diane Bjola, RN, ENC
Diane became a Registered Nurse after graduating from Camosun College in 1984. After some time as a general duty nurse in Maternity and Medical/Surgical, she started training in Emergency Nursing, and has been employed as a staff nurse in Victoria General Emergency Dept. for the past 26 years. During that time, Diane obtained her Canadian Certification in Emergency Nursing, worked also as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, has been Past-President of the Emergency Nurses Group of BC, and has taught Emergency Nursing on a contract basis for BCIT.

Colin Brown '90
“Ever since about Grade 10, I was convinced that I would be a lawyer... it was the only thing that I wanted to do for a career. After I graduated from SMUS, I completed my BA in History/PoliSci and then completed my LLB (all at UVic). After graduating from law school, I articled with a law firm in Victoria. It was during this time that I developed an interest in a police career. In September 1998, I was called to the Bar, and the following week, I left for the Police Academy. For the last 11 years, I have been a police officer with the Victoria Police Department and also a practicing lawyer. On the police side, I am in our Street Crime Unit and one of four police snipers on our SWAT Team. On the lawyer side, I practice approximately 10-15 hours per week, mostly in the area of real estate conveyance.”

Dr. Valerie Cunningham
“I finished high school in Ontario and became inspired by medicine during my biology class. I went to UBC to do my undergrad and chose honours pharmacology as my 'pre-med', but was involved in the research area which also spiked my interest, so applied for both medicine and the Ph.D. program. After acceptance into both, I chose medicine. After my MD at UBC I went to Memorial University in Newfoundland for my rotating internship and was inspired to work in remote communities. I started general practice in the Whitehorse and was lucky that in that environment we did a great deal of acute emergency medicine. I became involved heavily in ER so that led to my path in ER medicine where I pursued specialist certification in emergency. I moved to the Cowichan Valley 13 years ago and have been practicing ER medicine since.”

Gilly Easdon
“I run Every Step Counts, a walking/running program for people experiencing challenges with mental health, addiction, poverty, social isolation and other barriers. I was hired to take a basic idea on paper, and create the program, recruit and train volunteers, recruit participants, execute the program and develop it. Every Step Counts was the idea of the Victoria Foundation, who is also our core funder. The program is housed at the Victoria Cool Aid Society. This is a non-profit, low budget career that is hugely rewarding because it is simple, powerful and very human. We are now in our fourth year with over 300 participants having come out.”

Jets Overhead: Adam Kittredge (Vocals/Guitar), Antonia Freybe-Smith (Vocals/Keys)
“In the past two years, we have been invited to play all over the place – at seminal festivals including Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Neil & Pegi Young's Bridge School Benefit, and the World Expo in Shanghai. Weʼve heard our songs charting nationally at rock radio in Canada and being played on influential American stations including KCRW and WXPNʼs World Cafe. Meanwhile, other songs have journeyed bravely into TV land, appearing in major network shows like House, Bones, and Pretty Little Liars.”

Nic Hume ‘00
Nic Hume has studied Criminology, Political Science, Physical Anthropology (UVic, 2010), Archaeology (UCL, 2010), and Paramedicine (JIBC, 2012). His emergency medical career began at SMUS in 1998 with Wilderness First Aid courses as part of the Outdoor Leadership program, and has been quite varied since, including work as a Dive Medic in Thailand and job-site first aid on worksites in BC. He has recently begun working as a Primary Care Paramedic for the BC Ambulance Service. His other professional activities include careers as a photojournalist and stagehand.

Dennis Kim
“After high school, I had to decide between police college and university. I attended York University and studied Kinesiology and Philosophy. I went to McMaster U for medical school and completed my residency training at the University of Ottawa in general surgery. I completed a fellowship in critical care medicine and I am currently at the University of California San Diego where I completed a fellowship in trauma surgery and surgical critical care."

Dominic Seiterle
Dominic is a Olympian gold medal rower. Born in Montreal, Seiterle attended Dartmouth College, where he majored in psychology and environmental sciences and competed on the varsity rowing team. After he graduated, Seiterle competed with the Canadian team in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. In 2002, he took a year off from rowing to pursue his MBA program at the University of Rochester. In 2007, Seiterle and his heavyweight eight crew won the World Championships and rowed to gold at the Olympics. Today, Dominic works with the Citizen Engagement Team of the Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government, is in early stages of launching a startup and speaks to audiences about his experiences.

Ellie Shortt '05
Born and raised in Victoria BC, Ellie Shortt graduated from St. Michaels University School in 2005 as a "lifer," and then completed a BA in Cultural Studies and Communication Studies at McGill University before enrolling in the Broadcast Journalism program at The British Columbia Institute of Technology. After graduating from BCIT, Ellie traveled to Europe where she studied French cooking and Art de Vivre (the French art of dining and entertaining) at La Cuisine de Marie-Blanche in Paris, France. She now exercises her journalistic skills as a writer for EAT Magazine, as well as host for various video projects and television programming.

Judith Swan '85
Judith Swan attended SMUS from 1982-85 and then went on to study at Queen’s University. She started her career working in Community and Public Relations and worked for a time as an Events Coordinator. She stumbled into the film industry when she got a phone call from a friend to help on a commercial. After working in the Props, Set Decoration and Locations Departments, she moved into the Production Office where she has worked as a Production Coordinator for the past 10 years in both television and film. She is currently the Production Coordinator on the TV series Supernatural.

Steve Young
Steve Young is the Climate Action Analyst with the City of Victoria. In that role, Steve heads the development of a climate change adaption plan for Victoria. His undergraduate degree is in Ecology, from the University of Edinburgh, and his master's degree is in Environmental Studies from the University of Western Scotland. He immigrated to Canada 13 years ago and, before joining the City of Victoria, worked for the Sierra Club of British Columbia, an environmental consultancy and in his own business. He has a wife and two young children and spends what little spare time he has building a cob/strawbale home on the outskirts of Victoria.