Where did you grow up?

Ridgetown, Ontario

What was your first job?

My first job, at a young age, was picking peppers on a nearby farm. I lasted one day. I learned a very hard lesson - thoroughly wash your hands prior to going to the bathroom if you are picking spicy peppers! This was the start of my many agricultural jobs in corn detasseling, picking pickles and bailing tobacco.

What is your favourite Chatham-Kent pastime?

I have always loved winter, especially living out in the country. As a child I have fond memories skating on the Thames and Sydenham rivers, going on moon-lit cross country ski tours in the country and building ramps in the bush for snowboards jumps. Today I still enjoy winter hikes and the occasional hot chocolate by the fire. It is all unique activities that truly rural Canadian adventures.

Name an experience that has positively motivated you.

After university, I travelled to Louisiana to help rebuild homes in low-income areas after Hurricane Katrina hit. I had some previous carpentry experience and stayed in a small community outside of New Orleans for a few months to assist the community there. It was very humbling experience to see what very little the community had before and after Hurricane Katrina. It was rewarding to create new safe homes for families and be a part of reshaping their communities.   

What did you do after high school?

I lived for 4 years in London and graduated with honours  degree Bachelors of Medical Science through Western University. My experiences in high school, particularly a foreign exchange to Switzerland, kick started my desire to travel and see the world. Therefore, after university I did a lot of traveling on shoestring budget in Canada and South-East Asia.

What are you doing now?

I am a full-time ER Physician at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. I have also been filling in as a locum tenens physician for local family doctors when needed. Eventually, the plan is to transition into a family practice but I am grateful for the invaluable Emergency Department experience early in my career. 

What challenges did you face in moving baCK2CK?

My wife and our two children were not born on this continent and most recently we lived in some very remote and culturally unique places. It was a bit of a culture shock for all of us to get used to the Canadian lifestyle again, however as a whole I feel all these experiences have made our family stronger, and so coming back to Chatham-Kent was not all that difficult for us.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming baCK2CK?

No place has everything. People always seem amazed that we abandoned living beach-side in Australia to come and live in a place like Chatham Kent. Some places are just a better fit for yourself and your family. For us, Chatham-Kent has so many positives it was always going to be a forerunner of places that we could settle down and live our lives.