Recognition awards 2017

SMOGs recognition awards 


Category: The Arts

Ndoni Khanyile (2000) is an actress, presenter and storyteller. She graduated with Honours in Theatre and Performance from UCT, and continued with a Master’s degree at Columbia University on a Fulbright Scholarship. She has six years of classical singing training and has performed in some of South Africa’s biggest local attractions:  When We Were Black; Strike Back; Beaver Falls and Long Walk to Freedom.

Ndoni hosts the technology magazine show on the eNCA, Tech Report, and is a founding member of the performance poetry collection Rite to Speak. She was featured in the Mail & Guardian, Two Hundred Young South Africans where she stated that when she “studied protest theatre in [her] drama class at high school, [she] was inspired by the notion that [her] love of story could meet [her] social convictions”.  

Aliki Saragas (2008) is a South African documentarian who captures the human condition through a camera lens. She graduated in Dramatic Arts cum laude from Wits and while pursuing an MA in Documentary Arts at UCT produced the powerful and hard-hitting documentary, Strike A Rock, which takes an intimate, poignant look into the lives of the women behind the fallen miners of the Marikana Massacre in 2012. Aliki has great dedication to her craft.


Category: Business

Jackie Glassock (1995) has a B Com in Business Finance and Economics and an Honours degree in tax law, and Sam Estill (Glassock 1997) an LLB. They are top businesswomen. They and their brother run their business, Glassock, started 30 years ago by their father, a licensed pension fund administrator and authorised financial-services provider. After Jackie joined in 1989 and Sam in 1996, the company grew into an industry leader and is consistently placed in the top five percent of fund administrators in the country. In March it became a member of the Bidvest Group. The Glassock approach is, and always will be, people-focused.

Jackie and Sam are avid supporters of the school. Sam has two daughters currently at St Mary’s.

Robyn Nordgaard (Curnow 1991) first studied at Wits and then obtained a Masters in International Relations from Cambridge University. She is based in Atlanta and is a news anchor for CNN International and hosts The International Desk with Robyn Curnow on weekdays. She has put herself in the front line, anchoring stories around Boko Haram, the rise of ISIS, the war in Syria, the Trump election and administration and other landmark events that are shifting the course of history such as Brexit.


Category: Community and Contribution to Society

Maria Stacey (1984) has a B.A Psychology, a Diploma in Community, Psychiatric, General Nursing and Midwifery and a Masters in Clinical Psychology. She was involved in the anti-apartheid struggle in the 1980s and 90s, and has worked extensively to provide psychotherapy to victims of torture, former political prisoners and political refugees, working closely with the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. She has set up and managed an outpatient programme on the Cape Flats for people abusing substances, worked with the Perinatal Mental Health Project to help addresses the problem of depression amongst pregnant women and mothers in low socio-economic communities, and worked to address the health and human rights of sex workers, setting up a national HIV prevention programme for sex workers that now extends to 72 sites around South Africa and employs over 600 sex workers to provide peer education. Maria also conducts research, writes guidelines, and provides advice and guidance to organisations among which are the World Health Organisation and the United Nations. We were privileged to hear her inspirational story when she addressed the current matrics at the Old Girls’ cocktail party.

Justine Fargher (2006) embarked on her MBBCh studies at Wits and fulfilled her internship and community service obligations with the Department of Health in the Western Cape, after which she completed a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene through the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK and a Masters in Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health (the only degree of its kind globally) at University College London.

Justine was awarded a prestigious Chevening Scholarship, which identifies global leaders in their chosen field, on the proviso that after furthering their studies, the recipients return to their country of residence and continue to effect positive change and impact within their specified field. Justine has just taken up a post as a medical officer in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, with Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international Non-Governmental Organisation. We applaud her for her contribution to the public health care sector and her commitment to addressing the challenges that healthcare faces in South Africa and sub- Saharan Africa.


Category: Embodying the spirit of St Mary’s

Heather Hart (1967) was the daughter of a passionate member of the Black Sash, a non-violent women’s group that protested against the evils of apartheid and was famously described by Nelson Mandela as “the conscience of white South Africa.” Their values, which include the desire to provide all South Africans with a decent education, better living conditions and more opportunities, were instilled in Heather and as a young adult, she worked for many charities, notably the Orlando and Johannesburg Children’s Homes. Heather worked in the marketing and advertising arena before joining The South African Institute of International Affairs in 1991 as the Director of Corporate Liaison.


Category: Sport

Shannon Murray (2006) started rowing when she was 12 and her senior school choice was St Mary’s because of its rowing. Eight years ago, while she was a law student at Wits, she ended up fighting for her life in a hospital in Ireland, where she was visiting family. She had contracted meningococcal septicemia, which left her in a coma for two weeks and hospitalised for three months. She lost the tops of her toes and the bottom of her feet to gangrene.

To turn this awful event into something positive, Shannon started to train for the Rio Paralympics and placed 5th in the world in the four. Through this, Shannon showed us the true meaning of resilience. The rowing club was privileged to have Shannon share her story at their cocktail party last month. She was humble and inspirational.