Symposium Committee Members and Volenteers

Our Symposium Organizing Committee has dedicated significant time, talent and expertise to make this Canadian national event possible. We would like to introduce you to the 24 Committee members.

France Tellier, President of the Nanaimo Addiction Foundation and Director of Programs for the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society. The lead organizer who had the vision to make this event possible.



2013-05-29 09.50.31

Rosemary Cole, Born in London England I came to Canada in 1971. I started my career as a Certified Nursery Nurse in England and received by Canadian Childcare Certification in 1972 after working in child care for 9 years I changed direction and received my Social Service Diploma at Malaspina College. Over the years I have trained in many of the social sciences. After 20 years with the Nanaimo Region John Howard I left to pursue my own practice, I completed business training and as a Certified Facilitator and Certified Reiki Master taught women’s anger groups and performed natural healing treatments for five years. I returned to the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society as the Administrative Officer 7 years ago .I am a member of the organizing committee for the Therapeutic Community Symposiums and joined the Nanaimo Addiction Foundation in July 2012.



Don Moody, retired Warden of the Nanaimo Correctional Centre. He has over 40 years cumulative experience in the Criminal Justice field including police service, probation service and correctional service.



Scott Vallance – As a Deputy Warden at Nanaimo Correctional Centre and the Guthrie Therapeutic Community, Scott has 26 years experience working in adult, youth and community correctional programs. Scott has managed the Guthrie Therapeutic Community for the past four years, during this time he has expanded the program to 70 beds while working closely with community partners to provide more effective transition plans for clients returning to their communities.

Dr. Young’s introduction to therapeutic communities started with employment at a TC near Vancouver BC in 1995. Since then he has published scholarly articles on TC development, carried out evaluation research and delivered training based on the “Therapeutic Community Curriculum”. His combined research and community service activities include the relationships between homelessness, addictions, mental health and criminal behaviour. He is involved in the development of Woodwynn Farms Therapeutic Community, near Victoria, BC through the development of the therapeutic model and the provision of training to staff and volunteers in the community.

Dr. Young is also leading a research team examining transitional housing for homeless persons with mental health andaddictions problems in Arctic Canada.
Dr. Young is an Associate Professor in Justice Studies at Royal Roads University. His teaching interests include social policy, the justice system, criminology, research methods and comparative legal traditions.


Dan Hopkins is currently employed as the Restorative Justice Program Coordinator at the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society.  Dan’s experience in the Criminal Justice System comes from 18 years of service with the Metropolitan Police in London, England.  He now lives in Nanaimo with his wife and 4 young children.


Jason Foley, promotional materials and website designer. First year Social work student at VIU.John Howard Society employee (VITC Residential worker) Guthrie Alumni




Dennis Ano co-managed a senior care facility for several years before coming to Tillicum Lelum, where he has been working as a community health nurse since March 2006. His responsibilities include counselling, conducting workshops, providing immunization, screening, treatment, and referral of STDs, as well as harm reduction and community outreach. Tillicum Lelum also provides education opportunities for nursing students completing their community health practicum placements, and Dennis acts as a field instructor to these students for many years. In November 2009, Dennis travelled to South Africa with a team of twelve people partnering with Edu-Aids Consulting, to do community building and HIV prevention work through education. In 2010, Dennis co-organized the Harm Reduction Symposium in Nanaimo.


2013-05-29 09.50.53

Gerry Muckle is a VITC alumni and first year Social Work student at VIU.


Michele Devost -I spent my childhood years growing up in the southern US and have lived on Vancouver Island for the past 20 years.  I became interested in pursuing a nursing degree afterproviding palliative care to my mother 4 years ago.  My interest in the JHS and therapeutic comnmunity model has been influenced by witnessing the devastating effects of addiction on people close to me. I desire to learn more about TC, a more holistic approach to recovery.


Cerena Richardson is a third year nursing student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Vancouver Island University. The Therapeutic Communities Model of treatment has been highly influential to her studies as a student and continues to be an influence, which will be carried forward into her nursing practice. After graduation of nursing school she plans to work in the field of mental health and addictions.


Chelsea Cairns  is student from Vancouver Island University and is enrolled in the nursing program. She is currently involved with the JHS as part of her community placement practice. Part of her role is to raise awareness and to raise funds to promote the JHS symposium. She hopes her experiences from this placement will influence her future practice as a nurse and continue to raise awareness of the benefits of therapeutic communities.


Jeremiah Isaksen is a 3rd year BSN student with a focus on critical care.  Initially I wanted to be apart of the John Howard Society group because I have no familiarity with what their organization does or their relationship with the Nanaimo Correctional Center.  Which brings me to the therapeutic communities and how beneficial it’s proven to be in regards to recidivism.  My goal now is to raise public awareness of the efficiency of therapeutic communities and bring light to what was previously left in the dark.


2013-05-29 09.51.18
Kena Swift: I grew up in the downtown core of Nanaimo B.C. I lived in a household that was involved in addiction and recovery, thankfully my family are now long term members of the sober community. I have enjoyed raising my family, with my husband, in Nanaimo. I have a great passion for community support, as I have witnessed the changes great support can make happen within a family. I have greatly enjoyed being a part of awareness and fundraising for Breast Cancer Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the parents committee at my children’s school and various other community building directives. I have always enjoyed a great relationship with the John Howard Society, who have often supported other community initiatives I have been involved in. I have strong ties to the City of Nanaimo and enjoy working towards an inclusive community for all of its citizens.