Recognition awards 2013

Category 1: The Arts 

Phillipa Sandilands (Torr – 1979) has made a remarkable contribution to the teaching and love of Drama in South African schools. The St Mary’s community benefited from her expertise and passion for many years, and now St John’s College has that privilege. We congratulate Pippa on being the recipient of this recognition award and celebrate her contribution to the arts in so many areas: as a teacher, a role model, a motivator, a moderator and examiner of the IEB and as a judge of the Naledi Theatre Awards, as well as other drama competitions and so much more. Pippa has touched the lives of so many who have made Drama their passion. 

Category 2: Business 

Nozizwe Vundla (1993) obtained a BA LLB (Wits) before working as an international trade negotiator for the Department of Trade and Industry, followed by managing relationships between South Africa and the World Bank in the National Treasury. This led to a new venture. She co-founded Epiphanae Bespoke Clothing for Woman in 2011 and, although she explains that fashion is creative and glamorous, she views her business endeavor as an industry. The business has expanded into the corporate uniform market and, with her father, they have brought an international fashion retailer into the local market. Nozizwe is determined that, despite the challenges of the industry, their company will contribute meaningfully to the economy of the country. We celebrate Nozizwe’s contribution to the world of business. 

Category 3: Community 

Tara Turkington (1987) is a remarkable woman. She is a mother of four (daughters, Emma and Alice, are at St Mary’s), she sits on the St Mary’s Foundation Board and runs a thriving communications company, FLOW. Tara gives tirelessly of her time, energy and enthusiasm to the communities in which she works and lives. She has done incredible work in the promoting of South Africa as a tourist destination, in promoting awareness of the plight of the rhino, in her work at Maropeng and in her work in the St Mary’s community itself. Tara’s company produces the St Mary’s newsletters and annual magazine. FLOW also produced the magnificent school history, Celebrating 125 Years of St Mary’s

Category 4: Role Models 

Tracey Webster (1988) is a impressive woman. After obtaining her Honours in Drama at Wits, she performed plays in schools and communities, spreading important messages of social issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. Tracey then worked for various companies in England before she founded the Starfish Foundation, helping thousands of HIV/AIDS orphans. She was selected as a member of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellowship and now heads up the Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship and the Virgin Unite Africa, a non-profit arm of the Virgin Global business. Tracey has shared her story and her passion with our matric girls, she has spoken at Studium Apertum and she is an inspiration for our community. 

Category 5: Sport 

Sarah Bishop (2007) was and is a rower. She has achieved her full blues at UCT, rows for the first XIII, and was the women’s captain. Sarah is responsible for the UCT Rowing outreach initiative and was elected as the transformational officer on the South African Rowing Committee. Sarah has been actively involved in all facets of the sport, including administration. Sarah serves on the University Sport of SA (USSA) and is the only female representative. We celebrate her contribution to the sport and recognise her accomplishments. 

Category 6: Sciences 

Iona Stewart (Wise – 1955) has a interesting story. Her interest in community and agriculture intensified in the early 1970s when she and her husband, Greig, bought a dairy farm. She became a steward in the Friesland cattle ring at the annual Royal Agricultural Society show. Iona served on the committee for several years and in 2009 became the first woman to be elected president of the society. She was employed as a researcher at the Cedara Agricultural Collage for 19 years and obtained her MSc and PhD in animal science. She has left a significant mark in the field of animal sciences. Iona is now retired and runs a small farm, breeding Nguni cattle.