Recognition awards 2015

Category: Community and contribution to society

Wendy Nathan 

Wendy is an honorary Old Girl who taught at St Mary’s from 1962 to 1997. With a degree in English and  Roman Law and a few years’ teaching experience under her belt, she was appointed to the staff by Sister Irene Benedict in 1962. St Mary’s sport was on the back foot at the time but after Wendy’s advent, things changed rapidly – her passion and competitiveness encouraged excellence. Wendy was to become one of two deputy heads. She is a remarkable person who retains the greatest interest in past pupils and the school, and she is revered by generations of girls who imbibed her witticisms and wisdom.

Category: Community and contribution to society

Anastasia Florias (Deftereos – 1943) 

Ana, who has a great-granddaughter at St Mary’s, has had a significant impact on the Greek community over many years. She founded the Hellenic Girl Guides, was a founding member of Saheti School and is an honorary life member of the Saheti Board. She is an active member and honorary life vice-president of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women, which is an international cultural organisation.

Category: Business

Gill Raine (1973) 

Gill was a pioneer, mentor and inspirational leader during her 22 years of dedicated service to the FirstRand Group. She worked with tireless energy and challenged all conventional thinking, which made her a sought-after expert who has won many accolades and great respect. She has been described wistfully as a businesswoman who lives up the values of which business schools speak.

Category: Community and contribution to society

Suzie Cato (1976) 

Avatar Sterilisation and Protection, a public benefit organisation, was formed by Suzie and her partner, Dr Desmond Stafford, a veterinarian, in 2012. Avatar is driven by the need to protect wildlife and extend primary veterinary health care to rural communities, and is built on the premise that problems experienced by wild and domestic animals will be effectively reduced by sterilisation and vaccination. Avatar has sterilised and treated over 5 000 animals all over Southern Africa, in townships and rural areas. The organisation relies solely on donations to fund drugs and necessary surgeries for the programme.

Category: Business

Caryn Formby (1979) 

Caryn was an awardee at the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) event held in Sweden last year. IWEC seeks to develop a global business network for successful female entrepreneurs, helping  them gain access to international markets by presenting a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience and connectivity. Caryn has a track record of successful business turnarounds and contribution to skills development, economic empowerment and entrepreneurship in the South African manufacturing sector – a sector typically dominated by men.

Category: The Sciences, Sport and Role Model

Lou-Anne Rivett (1981)

Lou-Anne was a Springbok triathlete and completed five IRONMANs and a number of Comrades Marathons. She has been the official physiotherapist of the men’s and women’s national hockey and Olympic swimming teams, and now trains top swimmers and triathletes. Last year Lou-Anne gained a PhD in scoliosis from Wits, and won the prestigious International Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Treatment Award in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Category: The Arts

Karen Mcgloughlin (Saulez – 1984) 

Karen passed away earlier this year after a long fight against cancer. Karen was an accomplished architect and best known for transforming heritage homes to fit a modern lifestyle. The Preservation Society of Johannesburg awarded her own home a heritage plaque to acknowledge her sensitive remodelling of it, and to honour her work in promoting their foundation. Karen loved Johannesburg and contributed greatly to its community.

Category: Role model and for embodying the spirit of what it means to be a St Mary’s Old Girl

Cheryl Allie (Uys – 1985) 

Cheryl has reported for various international news networks and, while based in Saudi Arabia and the Lebanon, covered developments across that region. Her documentary work focused on conflict resolution, and South African women in prisons in Brazil. She has written a book on the Arab response to September 11 and various feature articles. She is a fellow of the Public Values and Leadership Programme at Duke University (USA) and the University Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.

Category: Business

Belinda Williams (Nicholas – 1990) 

Belinda has had an enormously successful career as a chartered accountant, working first for UBS Securities as a technology, media and telecoms marketing analyst responsible for marketing equity analyst research in the TMT sector to South African and international EMEA investors. As an executive of Telkom, she project-managed the initial public offering of the Telkom Group on the JSE and New York Stock Exchange. She joined the Vodacom Group in 2008, and has recently been appointed the group financial director.

Category: Role model and for embodying the spirit of what it means to be a St Mary’s Old Girl

Clover-Ann Lee (1991) 

Clover-Ann has worked locally and internationally in the government and private sectors as a specialist anaesthetist. In 2015, she was offered a fellowship at the Great Ormonde Street Children’s Hospital in London, which she has just completed. She now specialises in paediatric anaesthesia and is passionate about Operation Smile, an international medical charity providing free surgery for children born with cleft lips and palates, and other facial deformities. She has volunteered in Madagascar, Rwanda, Mozambique, Malawi, Morocco and Honduras.

Category: The Sciences

Melanie Mclaren (2002) 

Melanie obtained a PhD in quantum physics from Stellenbosch University last year. She produced the first quantum entanglement experiment in Africa. Entanglement is one of the most perplexing phenomena in the quantum physics world, where subatomic particles behave in ways even Einstein called “spooky”. The experimental work was conducted at the CSIR’s National Laser Centre, under the guidance of Professor Andrew Forbes. Melanie is now a post-doctoral researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she has started a new optics laboratory with Professor Forbes.

Category: The Arts

Phumzile Sitole (2007) 

Phumzile is currently completing her Masters degree in Theatre at Columbia, New York. She was part of the cast that brought to Africa Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone, renamed Antigone in the World, performed by a young, international and ethnically diverse company, and performed in unconventional theatre spaces such as townships, refugee camps and prisons. Their mission is to bring classical texts that speak to modern ills to audiences in stressed communities around the world, and to encourage dialogue on the issues of the day. The play was performed at St Mary’s as part of its tour to Kenya and South Africa.

Category: Sport

Amica Hallendorff (2010) 

At school, Amica had colours for hockey, water polo, swimming and athletics, and was a Gauteng representative in all but athletics. She represented South Africa in U18 ladies’ water polo at the Junior World Championships and at the Tri-Nations. Amica was awarded a water polo scholarship by the University of Cape Town, where she graduated in Business Science Marketing while playing water polo for the university and captaining the side in 2014. Amica represented South Africa at the FINA World Cup in the senior ladies’ water polo team in 2014 and 2015. She works in the analytics department of Quirk digital marketing agency in Cape Town, while still playing for UCT.