Recognition awards 2011

Category 1: The Arts

Jill Richards (1971) is a special recipient this year as she forms one of the girls who matriculated 40 years ago. Jill’s passion for contemporary music started when she was at the University of Cape Town. Jill has long been associated with workshops and festivals, both locally and internationally, and is one of South Africa’s foremost performers of new piano music.

Category 2: Business

June Schwikkard (1977) is an artist who started a business called Painted in Africa. She has developed a unique African design that has been painted using a special technique onto fabrics such as tablecloths and cushions. Because of her outstanding work, she has been recognised by the Department of Textile Industries, and has showcased her work all over the world.

Kay Nash (1981) is the CEO of Yellowwood, a recruiting agency in Cape Town. Kay has worked hard and, although school was not a place she relished, she has become a great supporter of institutions and has employed and championed many St Mary’s girls who have entered her realm. 

Category 3: Community

Anne Louise Cruickshand (Cilliers – 1972) completed a general nursing and midwifery diploma. She specialised in haemophilia and works closely with the Johannesburg Hospital and Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. She has played a pivotal role in developing Reach Out Centres for Kids (ROCK), which strives to help patients understand their condition, and improve their skills to manage and treat injuries.

Michelle Paxton (Lawrence – 1978) left a successful career at Thomson Reuters, where she was head of client training for sub-Saharan Africa, to set up Axium Education. The focus is on developing and guiding students to generate opportunities to pursue post-secondary study. 

Category 4: Role Models

Karolina Andropoulos (1983) studied Fine Arts and became a jewellery designer. In 2001, her younger daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, which led to several years of in- and out-patient treatment at Sydney Children's Hospital. This led Karolina to have first-hand experience of paediatric hospital facilities abroad, and left her with a passionate interest in and commitment to the improvement of paediatric facilities in South Africa. In 2009 Karolina became patron of the Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust, where she has raised large sums of money to improve paediatric units across the country. 

Category 5: Sports

Jane Swarbreck (2004) went to the University of Witwatersrand and studied Bio-Medical Engineering. She is currently working as an electrical engineer in Johannesburg. In her free time she trains hard, and is one of our top adventure athletes in this country. 

Category 6:  Science

Claire Lee (Gray – 2000) received her Masters in Nuclear Physics from the University of Witwatersrand and then moved to the University of Johannesburg to complete her PhD in particle physics.