Contributors’ bios

Accountancy – Patric Wong
Patric is a chartered accountant and auditor with more than 10 years experience. He has worked in both professional accounting firms and industries, and can provide useful information on the different roles involved in the accounting industry. His background was originally in engineering and happy to share with those who are interested to know how to change career path and prepare interview for a role different from the profession they studied.

Banking & Finance – Ricardo Soto

Barclays Head of Operational Risk for Financial Risks (Treasury & Capital, Models, Credit and Market) – Risk function and Financial Reporting and Tax Risks – Finance function. Ricardo has a wealth of financial services global experience spent over 20 years covering risk, controls, product and strategy in Wealth, Corporate & Investment Banking and Retail Banking with Royal Bank of Canada, JP Morgan, GE Capital and The Credit Company.

Ricardo has a Bachelor in Banking and Finance and a Master in Business Administration.

Ricardo will be running a Finance Workshop at 11.30am – so please register for this session on arrival.

Careers Consultancy – Alistair Stirling (Stirling Careers Consultancy)

Alistair has previously managed a wide range of leisure and tourism facilities before moving into education where he managed a range of government educational funded projects. At the age of 50 Alistair returned to education and studied for an MA in Career Guidance at Canterbury Christ Church University. Having qualified as Careers Adviser he set up Stirling Careers Consultancy and now works in schools delivering careers advice to pupils from years 9 to year 13. He is an independent, impartial and registered careers professional working locally in schools supporting young people with their career planning and he works privately. He also works with pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and adults.

Chartered Surveyor – Jennifer Byrne

I am a partner in a small chartered surveying practice based in the City of London but operating all over the UK. I graduated with an estate management degree back in 1994 and went on to qualify as a Chartered Surveyor as a general practitioner. My work consists of all aspects of realising the monetary potential from commercial property. This ranges from the basic marketing of property to attract new tenants, arranging for the refurbishment of property to attract higher rents, undertaking part redevelopment to increase size, change of use to more profitable uses, wholescale development, buying and selling of investment property, formal valuation of property for a variety of uses including bank lending, pension funds and probate and the day to day running of property portfolios. It is a varied job that takes me out of the office almost on a daily basis and no two jobs are the same.

I am responsible for mentoring and supervising our graduates through to qualification and am a careers ambassador for the RICS.

Surveying is an incredibly wide profession and one that is rarely understood. There are several other disciplines including quantity surveying, marine surveying and building surveying. Anything to do with the built environment will involve surveyors at many points in the process.

Civil Engineering – Sofia Cotta

Sofia is a passionate Chartered Civil Engineer with just over 20 years experience in the construction industry, after graduating from UCL (BEng) & Imperial College (MSc DIC). She’s been involved in some fascinating major infrastructure projects (DLR Lewisham Extension; M2 Road Widening & National Grid LNG Expansion) but also spent part of her career in the Design office of Mott McDonald Structures team working on Wembley Stadium & Gateshead Music Auditorium in Newcastle.

She is really proud of her involvement in saving the Leaning Tower of Pisa, whilst studying at Imperial and very keen to encourage youngsters into the construction industry. As a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers (MICE), she has also been a STEM Ambassador and more recently an active supporter of STEAM.Co (an organisation that encourages kids to pursue their creative side and aims to put the ‘Arts’ back into the Engineering/Techie mix), especially after taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics & Art at A Level herself!

Economics – Nicholas O’Shea
Nick is a parishioner of St Saviour’s Catholic Church in Lewisham and Chair of Governors at his old-school St Augustine’s in Catford. He is Chief Economist at the Centre for Mental Health having spent 20 years in the civil service and NGO sector calculating the costs of poor mental and physical health. Nick founded and runs Ignition Brewery in Lewisham, which makes great beer brewed by people with learning disabilities. We are on sale in reputable establishments across South East London.

Nicholas will be running an Economics Workshop at 12.15am – so please register for this session on arrival.

Electrical Engineering – Stuart Toole

I have worked within different aspects of the electrical installation and building maintenance industries for close on 33 years. Starting as an Apprentice Electrician with the then Southern Electricity Board carrying our Domestic, Commercial and Industrial Electrical installations. Completing my apprenticeship, I attained Approved Electrician status followed by Electrical Technician status. Then moving companies and into building services maintenance in 2001, I learnt about other building services whilst carrying out planned preventative maintenance. In 2008 I moved to work for the Pinewood Group as a Facilities Manager at the Teddington TV Studios site, followed on by becoming their Group Electrical Projects Manager, carrying out a variety of large and small electrical installation and infrastructure upgrade projects across the groups UK sites. I currently work for a global Maintenance and Energy Supplier and have taken on the role of a Senior National Technical Manager, which involves ensuring our engineering staff are assessed as “competent” when they join the company and provide electrical technical help to our varied national contracts across the UK and Northern Ireland.

Engineering – Joyce Li
Joyce is a chartered Civil Engineer, who currently works as a Lead Project Engineer in Transport for London. She has more than 15 years experience in the construction industry, with most of her experience in Railway engineering environment. She has got extensive experience mentoring engineering graduates and apprentices, and regularly involved in the recruitment process.

Fashion Sourcing & Production – Lolly Bell
Lolly stumbled into fashion production & sourcing by chance. She has worked her way up from a junior cutting fabric swatches and sweeping floors to running production and sourcing factories that make clothing and accessories, worldwide before making them ‘fit’ for high street brands like French Connection, Zara and Primark.

Finance – Actuary – Wayne DuPreeez
Wayne is a pensions professional currently working in the Finance Division at National Grid.
His role since 2013 is to report to the Energy Regulator (Ofgem) on aspects of National Grid’s two defined benefit pension schemes that have more than 100,000 members and combined assets of more than £23 billion. Wayne previously worked for several actuarial consultancies in London and Bristol, most recently recruiting and managing a nation-wide team of 14 actuarial students and mentoring them from new university graduates to qualified actuaries.

Wayne has a post graduate Diploma in Actuarial Techniques, and graduated with an honours degree in Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science from the University of Cape Town. He also has a foundation degree in Pastoral Ministry from St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He is married with three children, and is an ordained deacon in the Archdiocese of Southwark, England.

Human Resources (Finance & Banking)– Lisa Belloni

Experience of human resources in financial institutions including banking. Including generalist HR, recruitment and graduate recruitment.

Human Resources (NHS) – Madeleine Lehane

Madeleine is a freelance HR Consultant with 20 years of experience of HR in the NHS locally and in London. She has held the roles of Head of Employee Relations, HR Business Partner, HR Manager and HR Advisor. These roles have involved employee relations and recruitment at all levels, plus writing and delivering training.

Madeleine’s specialism is employee relations, working in award winning teams, carrying out a wide range of investigations and giving employment law advice on dismissals, disciplinary, suspension, grievance, workplace disputes, poor performance, attendance and long-term sickness. Madeleine has worked with ACAS and worked on employment tribunals, whistleblowing, change management, redundancy programmes, outsourcing, TUPE, written HR policies and procedures, managed a day nursery and dealt with tendering.

Prior to her work with the NHS, Madeleine worked in the private commercial sector in recruitment, marketing and banking. She carries out voluntary work helping schools with interview practice etc via the Bromley Business Partnership; she has been a school governor and run Guides and Cub Scouts.

IT, Technology & Software (VR Development) – Ben Longhurst

Ben is a Virtual Reality Developer who has worked with companies such as Bombora TV on projects to develop virtual tours for property investors.  Ben has expertise in several programming languages such as C++, JAVA, PYTHON, Web programming amongst others.  Ben is currently working with the NHS as a full-stack developer working on medical monitoring software.  Ben has a BSc & MSc in Advanced Computer Science from the University of East Anglia.

IT, Technology & Software (E-Commerce & Content Management Systems) – Lee Longhurst
Lee is a systems developer and IT consultant focused on the use of Internet technologies. Following a successful career at HSBC Bank, he has spent over 18 years working with a diverse range of small and large businesses to deliver innovative solutions to complex problems. His core skills include e-Commerce and Content Management Systems.

Metropolitan Police – Colin Bisset
Military background of 11.5 years and continue to be a serving member of the Reservists. Former British Airways employee (Customer Services) for 8 years, working for Air Canada and Royal Dutch Airlines. Worked in Immigration at Harmondsworth Detention centre. Joined the Met Police as a PCSO and have been in post coming up to 15 years.

Music – Ivor Bonnici

Ivor specialized in music composition at Worcester College, University of Oxford and obtained his Doctorate in Composition at The Royal Academy of Music in 2016. He composed over 40 works for orchestra, ensembles, for various instruments and voice (including church music) which were performed in England and abroad. He has 15 years experience of conducting choirs and orchestras starting as Choral and Orchestral Conductor at Worcester College (2004-2006), and is a piano accompanist and church organist. As Head of Music at a London public secondary school he also teaches the violin and conducts their orchestra, ensemble, and choirs besides conducting three other non-school choirs: the mixed-ages Southwark Diocesan choir which performs in secular functions, an adult liturgical choir at his local church, and the choir of the Skinners Company in the City of London (of which he is a Freeman).

Nursing – Gerry Fane
After training as a Student Nurse Gerry’s career has included a diversity of specialisms:

Staff Nurse, acute Med Unit, Midwifery, Operating Theatre course (St Mary’s – Paddington)Staff Nurse, orthopaedic & Trauma unit, Ward Sister, acute Geriatrics, Ward Sister, Intensive Care, Outpatients Sister, Specialist Course in ENT, Clinical teacher for ENT, Practice Nurse, Nurse Practitioner.

Performing Arts – Actor & Singer – Roger Fane
Interested in creating characters from a young age & on and off through senior school.

O level in Music & Drama, West Kent College. (Late 1990’s) Directed/Performed variety evening/Old Tyme Music Hall. H I School Hall (1993) Rose Bruford college of Speach & Drama . 2 year Theatre Arts ( 2000/2002)
Bernard Shaw, Training in Voice Overs, Canterbury, Kent ( 2004 & 2006)
Extra/Supporting Artist Murphy’s Law , Bromley by Bowe (2005)
Professional singing lessons, again on & off since the (early 90’s) on going.
Ravensbourne Operatic Society Churchill Theatre, Bromley (1990/94)
Petts Wood Operatic Society Stag Theatre 1994/Present
Opera Options (Pro) every July/Aug Hever Summer Festival, Hever Castle, Kent (200/2013

As anyone in the entertainment Industry work can be unpredictable, I also have a Diploma in Leisure & Tourism.

Performing Arts – Kyle Stevens

Kyle is Head Boy at Italia Conti Theatre Arts School and has been training in the performing arts since a young age. I specialise in and have a real passion for dance, but I also have a background in singing and acting which makes me a triple threat.   My credits include: “Peter Pan” at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley where I played Michael, Matilda the Musical in the West End where I played Tommy, The Sun Superdays Commercial, featuring in a Netflix series The Alienist, as well as many other local plays.   I’m a professional in the industry and attend auditions / castings regularly so I have plenty of advice and knowledge in regards to working, training and what to expect at auditions.

Physiotherapy – Andrea Jayawardena

I am an advanced physiotherapy practitioner working for a private health company which sees NHS patients. I graduated from the University of Toronto in 2010 with an MSc in physiotherapy. I have worked in various NHS outpatient physiotherapy departments since 2011. I graduated from a further Advanced Neuromuskuloskeletal Physiotherapy degree at Kings College London in 2018. I have worked in Team Lead positions and currently work in an advanced assessment and triage clinic setting whilst clinically leading a team. I have a keen interest in the provision of high quality, evidenced-based care. I am a member of special interest groups such as MSK Reform and the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists

Project Management – Lisa Truong
I’m a Business Analyst, which essentially analyses your business: be that your processes, technology and organisation structures. The reason I analyse this is for change. I analyse how things are now and how they should be in the future then work that into a set of requirements for change. One of the most common type of change is to introduce new technology, so my bread and butter is to create requirements for a new system/website and then give these to a developer to develop.

I’m currently at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and was at the SIA (government regulator) for 9 years. Before that my career was in fashion (I went to fashion college!) and did Buying and Merchandising for Debenhams

Solicitor (Ewings & Co) – Tracey Cassidy

Tracey is a solicitor with over 11 years post qualification experience having practised in both Northern Ireland and England. Tracey has worked for large national firms and regional firms and specialises in Children and Family law. She has experience of mentoring junior solicitors within family law and also apprentices who are completing their training contracts to qualify as a solicitor.

Teaching & Leadership – Olwen Whiteside

After completing research in Social Psychology I taught Psychology and Access to Nursing to adults and sixth form students in Adult Education colleges for many years. I then moved to secondary school for seven years prior to my recent retirement, where I was Head of Psychology and the Extended Project Qualification, and also taught Philosophy to KS3 pupils. I have considerable experience in tutoring and supporting sixth form and adult students in exam and interview techniques, course selection, University applications and writing personal statements.

Teaching & Leadership – Kath Greenwood
I trained at St Mary’s Catholic Teacher Training College in Fenham Newcastle Upon Tyne. We were linked with Newcastle University.
I taught in a Secondary school in Gateshead for 10 years. I taught Girls PE and Mathematics.
During my time there I was promoted to Form tutor, then Head of Year and then Community Head which involved running a Youth Club 3 nights a week. I was also responsible for looking after the Youth Wing which was used as the sixth Form study block.
I left the school in Gateshead to go on Maternity leave in 1991.
During the next 5 years I was involved in Pre school establishments.
I worked as a Tutor for Pre School Alliance. Running courses for Pre School Practitioners.
I returned to Full time work in 2000, teaching within Primary schools.
I have been in my present post as a Reception Class teacher for 15years.

Teaching & Leadership – Karen Dwyer-Burchill

Karen has been teaching for over 25 years, having taught in Ireland and Spain before moving to England.  She has taught in a range of schools from two large mixed comprehensive schools, a boys school to an all-through school and a performing arts school.  Karen is Headteacher of a special needs school for young people aged 14-19.

Karen’s background is in music and the performing arts and she has also had various pastoral and academic managerial roles.

University of East Anglia – Ben Longhurst

Ben attended UEA for 4 years to complete his undergraduate and Masters degree in Advanced Computer Science.  In that time Ben worked as a Student Ambassador and for UEA OutReach as a full-stack developer.


Joseph is a Seminarian, i.e. a Priest in training, currently on placement at St. Edmund’s Parish in Beckenham.

Joseph felt called to the Priesthood in his late teens and early 20s. Unlike a job or profession, the Priesthood is a vocation, a lifestyle and life-commitment to which one is called, like marriage, and is particularly conformed to Christ and the service of others – leading, teaching and preaching in their community. Joseph is currently in his 4th year out of 6 and, as a Seminarian, he has been studying the Scriptures and Theology, whilst day-to-day practicing a life of prayer and service.


Download a list of Contributors here: CF Industry Summary (brief)