2009 Volunteer Awards
Awarded to alumni who render voluntary service to the community
Click on the names to read the full bio s
Prof. Daynia Ballot (MBBCh 1982, PhD Med 1989) is a principal neonatal/ paediatric specialist at Johannesburg?s Charlotte Maxeke Academic hospital. She is being recognised for her contribution over seven years towards fundraising for the hospital, culminating in 2005 in the establishment of the Wits Paediatric Fund which she now chairs. The Fund now supports all three Wits teaching hospitals, bridging the gap between government subsidies and the actual cost of meeting the essential needs of patients.
Mike Beresford (BSc Eng Aeronautical 1988, MBA 1996) is being recognised for his dedicated support of the Wits Underwater Club (WUC) and the diving community in general. He has voluntarily trained Wits scuba divers for more than 20 years as well as having trained the WUC scuba instructors over the last decade.
ADAM TADDY BLECHER
Dr Adam Taddy Blecher (BSc 1989, BSc Hons 1994) is CEO of the Mahrishi Institute and the Community and Individual Development Association and Executive Chair of the Invincible Education Group. He is being recognised for his contribution to higher education, having co-founded SA?s first virtually free tertiary institution. He was one of 100 young leaders worldwide acknowledged for contributing exceptionally towards making the world a better place and received an Alumni Honour Award in 2003.
Paula Boshoff (BA 1985) is being recognised for establishing the Parkview Police?s Victim Support Unit (VSU) and for providing voluntary trauma counseling services. Since 2002, Paula has counseled traumatized victims of crime and fundraised in order to improve the police?s visibility and morale through community outreach programmes.
JAMES PETER BYRNE
Dr James Peter Byrne (MBBCh 1952) was a doctor in private practice prior to retiring in 1995. He is being recognised for 53 years? unbroken voluntary service to the South African Red Cross Voluntary Aid Corps. Byrne began his work with the Red Cross as a medical student, serving during WWII as a novice First-Aider. He received his first award in 1943 for completing 18 hours? voluntary service. By 1982 the ?novice? had assumed the role of Chief Commissioner Voluntary Aid Corps for South Africa and Namibia, from which he stepped down on retirement.
Brenda Dry (BPrimEd 1987, BEd 1989) is being recognised for her voluntary work at the Princess Alice Adoption Home, Guild Cottage and the Tshepang project. Dry?s work at these three organisations has included caring for babies, arranging fundraising events and mentoring the older children. In addition, since 2004, Brenda has undertaken to arrange a charity bowls day for charities including the Johannesburg Association for the Aged, the Gauteng Kidney Association and the Stroke Society.
Jennifer Green (BA Sp&H Therapy, 1977) specialises in assessing and managing children with cerebral palsy. She is being recognised for volunteering her skills and expertise to therapists in the field. Green has advised, mentored and supported her colleagues for more than 30 years. She has been active in the Brittle Bone Association and United Cerebral Palsy Association and has participated in adult literacy programmes and HIV/Aids counselling.
Chris Harrison (BA 2009) is an economics postgraduate student at Wits. He is being recognised for establishing the Igqangi Project in Pondoland, through which Mdatya High School?s Grade 11 learners participate in mathematics and science education clinics. Harrison developed the project last year after hearing that Mdatya High had received the lowest matric results countrywide in 2007. The project endures despite being reliant on funding from private donors, most of whom are parents of the tutors.
Hawabibi Laher (BA Hons 2006, MA 2008) is being recognised for extensive community-based work in Lenasia, southern Johannesburg. Hawabibi has supported winter-warm and clean-up projects, the Central Islamic Trust?s feeding schemes and helped the Johannesburg Council for the Disabled create art and goods to sell. With a background in psychology, Hawabibi developed an intervention for drug and alcohol dependents after counselling on the Islamic Helpline revealed the extent of the problem. The intervention combines counselling with sport therapy to effect positive behaviour.
Sharon Marcus (BCom 1972) is being recognised for 18 years? voluntary service at the Hospice Association of the Witwatersrand. In this capacity she has supported patients who are terminally ill as well as bereaved family members. She diligently attends the fortnightly supervision workshops as required by Hospice of its volunteers.
Dr Ivan May (BSc 1968, BSc Hons 1969, MSc 1970, PhD 1974, MBA 1977) is being recognised for generously sharing his extensive skills, knowledge and expertise with charities including the Salvation Army, Idalo-Yethu (environmental awareness), the Ifa Lethu Foundation, the Leigh Matthews Memorial Trust and the Field Band Association of South Africa. Serving as a board member, patron, chair or trustee, May has since 1989 provided strategic guidance and insight that has supported the charities in achieving their missions. He received the University?s Alumni Honour Award in 2004.
Mthunzi Mdwaba (BA 1989, LLB 1992) is deputy CEO of the Kelly Group. He is being recognised for contributing time, expertise and opportunities within his role as director of the Life Cycling Academy, the leading cycling transformation programme for disadvantaged youth in South Africa. The Academy has been successful in using cycling to promote individual growth and improve the lives of many disadvantaged South Africans. An avid cyclist himself, Mdwaba?s association with the LCA helps provides opportunities for more than 500 of its members.
Maryanne Middleton (BA 1972, LLB 1974, LLM 1986) is a director at Routledge Modise Inc. She is being recognised for the legal and financial support she provides pro bono to the St Vincent Charitable Trust. The Trust supports the work of the St Vincent School for the Deaf.
Dr Kanti Naik (BSc 1964, BEd 1974, MEd 1980) is being recognised for his efforts to promote his mother tongue, Gujarati, in Az dville, Roodepoort, through writing and staging three plays. Furthermore, he has served as honorary secretary of the Shree Roodepoort and Az dville Hindu Seva Samajs for over 40 years. An ardent educationist, Naik is a member of the governing board of the Ahmed Timol Secondary School and has served on the advisory council of the Shree Bharat Sharda Mandir for 15 years.
Alan Schwarer (LLB 1974) is being recognised for his contribution as a board member to the St Vincent School for the Deaf, the San Salvador Home and St Mary?s Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal. He has been a member of the board of St Vincent?s for 10 years and has been a trustee of the school?s Charitable Trust for more than 20 years. Schwarer has devoted a significant portion of his working life to these organisations, which depend on volunteers to fill the posts on their various boards. He brings a wealth of experience in law and commerce to the boards.
BRONWEN JEAN STEWART
Bronwen Jean Stewart (BA 2007) is being recognised for her support of Cotland?s Baby Sanctuary and the St Mary?s Orphanage. For the past two years, Bronwen has given freely of her time to assist with abandoned, abused and HIV/AIDS-affected babies and children at Cotland?s and has assisted children at the orphanage with their homework
Professor Kgethi Setati (BEd 1993, MEd 1996, PhD 2002) is being recognised for contributions towards education and poverty alleviation in rural Limpopo. In 1996 Setati established the Tsoga O Itirele Matamanyane project in Matamanyane. As part of the Women and Rural Areas initiative - which stimulates job sustainability and income generating ventures in rural communities ? Setati enabled 40 illiterate women to own and run a village bakery, which won an award for the best rural initiative. In 2004 Setati established the Adopt-A-Learner project at her former school, Thuto-Thebe Middle School in Ga-Rankuwa. This project develops learner excellence in mathematics and science and funds outstanding but financially underprivileged high school learners.
Lindiwe Tshabalala (BEd Hons 2004, MEd 2006) is Principal and mathematics teacher at Thuthuzekani Primary School in Swaneville, an informal settlement in Krugersdorp. She is being recognised for voluntarily conducting workshops for mathematics teachers from Kagiso, Randfontein, Bekkersdal and Carletonville. Furthermore, she led the formation of the Kagiso branch of the Association for Mathematics Education in South Africa (AMESA). Despite holding a Masters degree and being the recipient of several awards, Lindiwe chooses to stay where she is most needed.