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SU theatre complex to be named after Adam Smallhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5898SU theatre complex to be named after Adam SmallCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie (Martin Viljoen)<p>​The refurbished theatre complex of Stellenbosch University (SU) will be named after the award-winning poet and playwright, Adam Small.<br></p><p>The Drama Department proposed and motivated the naming after a considered and inclusive process. </p><p>The Executive Committee of the SU Council, which approves the names of buildings in accordance with the applicable SU policy, recently accepted the name at the recommendation of the Rectorate and the SU Committee for the Naming of Buildings, Venues and other Facilities/Premises.</p><p>Small's widow, Dr Rosalie Small, has already given her approval for the naming of the complex after her late husband.</p><p>“Stellenbosch University is grateful and proud to be associated with the rich legacy of Adam Small. We would like to see the vision of human dignity and healing justice to which he as an academic and playwright was committed, realised," says Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor.</p><p>Prof Nico Koopman, Vice-Rector: Transformation, Social Impact and Personnel said that Adam Small used his academic pursuit, and specifically his many works in Afrikaans as instruments of transformation. “During apartheid, he helped us to move away from apartheid towards a democratic society, and now his legacy helps us to put his democratic vision of human dignity into practice." </p><p>“With this name change, SU wants to pay tribute to an icon. Without denying the past, we are saying that in future, we will include, and not the other way round," says Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation. “The name change is part of a process of visual redress and representation to make even more people feel at home on our campuses."</p><p>The Hertzog Prize for Drama of the <em>Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns</em> was awarded to Small in 2012 for his entire oeuvre, and specifically for <em>Kanna, hy k</em><em>ô </em><em>huistoe </em>(1965).</p><p>“The name was tabled in initial discussions about a name change at the end of 2017 already. In 2015 SU awarded Small, who is regarded as a role model, an honorary doctorate. His commitment to Afrikaans and his contribution to specifically<em> Kaaps Afrikaans (</em>Cape Afrikaans) as poet and playwright served as further motivation for the proposal," adds Dr Mareli Pretorius, incoming Chairperson of the Drama Department at SU.</p><p><strong>Refurbishment</strong></p><p>The large auditorium in the theatre complex is currently known as the HB Thom Theatre and although this name will no longer be used, it will be contextualised in the building. Before the refurbishment, the theatre consisted exclusively of a single auditorium, but the creative space now includes a seminar room and a smaller laboratory theatre. The Adam Small Theatre complex thus refers to the multifunctional facility as a whole.</p><p>The newly-expanded large auditorium boasts a mechanised system to lift even heavy décor pieces during shows, modern lighting that is fully LED functional and sound system that all comply with international standards. In the auditorium with its 324 seats, the lay-out is ideally suited to provide the audience with a superb visual experience.  </p><p>This theatre, as well as a second, smaller laboratory theatre and a brand new seminar room can be used commercially for both the performing arts and other functions such as conferences, lecture series and other events. </p><p>The adjacent Drama Department, which will now for the first time functionally join the theatre complex, has two new sound studios, a television recording studio and editor's suite; a computer user area; as well as refurbished and spacious rehearsal rooms and redesigned workplaces, including the theatre workshop, two props rooms and a costume studio and store.</p><p><strong>Inclusive process</strong></p><p>“An extensive and inclusive process was followed to determine the name for the theatre complex. Amongst others, meetings with the various year groups of the Drama Department delivered an overwhelmingly positive response," comments Pretorius. </p><p>She added that the Student Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was also consulted, while a notice of the proposed name was circulated amongst specific community structures within the broader Stellenbosch area – together with a request for feedback. These include the Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch 360, e'Bosch and the Stellenbosch Council of Churches. A similar notice about the process, context and motivation for the name change was also sent to festival directors of the various national arts festivals while personal conversations were held with a selected group of alumni.</p><ul><li>Contact Dr Mareli Pretorius at tel 021 808 3089 or by e-mail at <a href="mailto:mareli@sun.ac.za">mareli@sun.ac.za</a> for more information.</li></ul><p> </p><p>END</p><p><em>* The University conferred an honorary doctorate on Small in December 2015 for “shifting the boundaries of </em><em>South African literature, for enriching the Afrikaans language, and for becoming a voice for the voiceless by articulating once forbidden subjects </em><em> </em><em>sensitively though strongly."</em><em>  </em></p><p><em>In awarding the honorary degree, the University described Small as a beloved and highly acclaimed poet and playwright who has </em><em>'written himself into' the very being of the South African nation as our compass and moral conscience poignantly commenting on the destructive apartheid system.</em></p><p><br></p>
Mental illnesses among youth often ignored, says SU experthttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5995Mental illnesses among youth often ignored, says SU expertCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>​Young people with mental health problems, especially those in low- and middle-income countries, are often being left in the lurch when they need help. They don't always get the necessary treatment despite the fact that mental illnesses among young people are on the increase globally. <br></p><p>“Mental health problems among young people are serious. If left untreated, they can adversely impact young people's social, personal and academic development. Young people with mental illnesses also face problems with social stigma, isolation and discrimination," says Dr Jason Bantjes a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University (SU). Bantjes does research on the suicide prevention and the promotion of mental health. His work is supported by a grant from the South African Medical Research Council.<br></p><p>Bantjes says it would be naive to think that young people do not develop serious mental health problems like anxiety disorders and depression. Young people are also prone to stress- and trauma-related disorders, and behavioural disorders, including problems with attention and impulse control. <br></p><p>“The fact that the theme for this year's World Mental Health Day (10 October) is 'Young people and mental health in a changing world,' shows that this is much more serious than we may think."</p><p>Bantjes also points to studies that highlight the gravity of the situation.<br></p><p>“The World Health Organisation reports that worldwide between 10 and 20% of children and adolescents have mental health problems. Approximately half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14 and three-quarters start by the time an individual is in his/her mid-20s, although these often go undiagnosed and untreated."<img class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="SU Student Mental Health Infographic-english.jpg" src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/SU%20Student%20Mental%20Health%20Infographic-english.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:476px;height:333px;" /><br></p><p>“A large international study found that one-fifth (20.3%) of university students experienced a mental disorder in the previous 12 months; 83.1% of these cases had pre-matriculation onsets."<br></p><p>“Ongoing research as part of the Caring Universities Project, undertaken by a consortium of researchers from UCT and SU, suggest that only about only about one fifth of first-year students with a mental health problem receive treatment."<br></p><p>“Closer to home, a study of school-aged children in Cape Town found that 22.2% of children met diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder."<br></p><p>While genetic factors and temperament play a role in predisposing young people to mental illness, Bantjes says there's evidence that early childhood adversity makes individuals vulnerable to mental and physical health problems.  He adds that the psychological wellbeing of children also suffers when their parents have untreated mental health problems.<br></p><p>Bantjes says it remains a concern that in many parts of the developing world, young people with mental illness struggle to access effective evidence-based mental health care and face the possibility of exclusion from educational institutions. <br></p><p>“Left untreated childhood mental disorders persist into adulthood and cause impairments in both physical and mental health. Longstanding mental health problems impede a person's ability to lead a fulfilling live, form mutually satisfying relationships, and be an active engaged member of their communities."<br></p><p>According to Bantjes, there are many reasons why so many young people with mental health problems do not receive the help they need.  <br></p><p>“Common barriers to accessing care in low- and middle-income countries include ignorance about the signs and symptoms of childhood disorders, a lack of understanding about children's emotional and attachment needs, a lack of suitably qualified mental health professionals, and inadequate child and adolescent mental health services."<br></p><p>He says it is not always easy to recognise a young person with a mental illness. <br></p><p>“Sometimes we dismiss the signs and symptoms and think that the person is being demanding or is just going through a 'difficult phase'."  <br></p><p>“When it comes to children who need psychological care, it is not uncommon for them to be labelled as naughty or uncooperative by those who don't understand the emotional needs of children and don't recognise that children sometimes use challenging behaviour to communicate psychological distress." <br></p><p>Bantjes calls for accessible, affordable and effective psychiatric and mental health care services for young people and their families, as early intervention and the provision of evidence-based treatments is one of the cornerstones of promoting mental health.<br></p><p>“Schools, universities and families have an important role to play in facilitating young people's social and psychological development and building their resilience. We need schools and universities which are safe, free of bullying, and where young people can find a sense of belonging and connectedness."<br></p><p>Bantjes says we must help young people learn interpersonal skills, so that they foster mutually satisfying relationships, since interpersonal connections act as buffers against the vicissitudes of life.<br></p><ul><li>​Photo courtesy of Pixabay.<br></li><li>Infographic by Nicolas Dorfling (Corporate Communication Division).<br></li></ul><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Dr Jason Bantjes</p><p>Department of Psychology</p><p>Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences<br></p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 2665<br></p><p>E-mail: <a href="mailto:jbantjes@sun.ac.za">jbantjes@sun.ac.za</a>    </p><p><strong> </strong><strong>       ISSUED BY</strong></p><p>Martin Viljoen<br></p><p>Manager: Media</p><p>Corporate Communication</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p>E-mail: <a href="mailto:viljoenm@sun.ac.za">viljoenm@sun.ac.za</a>  </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p><br> </p>
'Be a good accident waiting to happen'http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6049'Be a good accident waiting to happen'Development & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p style="text-align:justify;">She may have failed Private Law 1 twice while trying to finish a BA Law degree at Stellenbosch University (SU), but what she does know, said Matie alumnus and Trade Mark Attorney Jenny Pienaar, is that you can turn a dream into reality by just being a “good accident waiting to happen". <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“You are going to have to have a plan, because life is going to chuck you in different directions all the time and that is when you are going to have to believe in yourself and what you want, to move forward," said Jenny.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Jenny, who is also a Partner and Co-Chair of the Trade Marks Department and acting as the Chair for the Trade Mark Litigation Department at the well-established law firm, Adams & Adams, was the guest speaker at the fourth Careers Café for 2018. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Adams & Adams is a local firm that practices globally due to its client base. It represents 240 of the 500 Fortune 500 companies in the United States as well as other countries, with a wide variety of clients from the FMCG (Fast-moving Consumer Goods) to the banking sector, local and foreign wine and tobacco, and pharmaceutical industries.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Careers Café series was launched in 2016 by the Alumni Relations Office to provide a platform for alumni to engage with the university in a different manner by offering their time and skills to help current students prepare for the careers they want. Through this interaction, current students are able to learn from the real-life experiences of Matie graduates in the corporate world and benefit from advice and tips from them as well. Other career development opportunities on campus are also promoted through this event, encouraging students to further improve their work preparedness.   </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Jenny's areas of specialisation include trade mark litigation, domain name registration, securing domains from unlawful proprietors, litigation related to copyright, passing-off, unlawful competition, and company name objections. She also has experience in advertising law and regulatory compliance. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, in 1986 she had to temporarily abandon her plan to practice law and change to a BA degree in Classical Culture and Political Philosophy at SU instead.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Straight thereafter, she enrolled for an LLB at the University of Cape Town.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking to the students, Jenny told them that that experience had taught her “planning anything in life to the finest detail is the biggest mistake you can make". <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Life happens and you need to be ready to make changes when it does."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">After graduating from UCT in 1991, she struggled to find a law firm where she could do her articles, mainly because she was focused on remaining in Cape Town. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“My dad looked at me one day and said: 'Jenny they are not looking for a social success, they are looking for someone who is going to work hard for them'," and that, said Jenny, made her realise she had to be willing to spread her wings. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">A few months later, she was working at a small law firm in Rosebank in Johannesburg, where she did her articles for just under two years. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I had the most dreadful principal that anyone could ask for, but he did teach me a lot. He taught me how not to be a leader and manage people. Today, I focus on treating my team as professionals and with respect." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 1993 Jenny got married and a year later she ceded her articles to a firm in Pretoria, where she worked until April 1995. Two months later, her husband, Johann, was transferred to France and Jenny gave up practicing for more than two years while living abroad. Unable to work on a visitor's visa, Jenny learned to speak French, “beefed up her cooking skills" and tried “to just soak up the experience". <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She did manage to learn a new skill, she said – she signed up for a course on short story writing at the London School of Journalism.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">When they returned to South Africa in 1997, Jenny fell pregnant. Her son, Alex, was born in January 1998. Once her maternity leave was over, she joined another law firm, working with them until the end of 2000.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I reached a point where I just did not want to practice anymore," said Jenny. “I hated the work, I hated practicing in general litigation."<br></p><p>She took up a lecturing post at a paralegal training school and did that on a part-time basis for about four months. That's until she secured a position at Adams & Adams as an Associate. She's been with the firm for 17 years. <span style="text-align:justify;"><br></span></p><p><span style="text-align:justify;">“I love my work here. When I came here at the age of 33, I started at the bottom after leaving my previous firm as a partner. I was being trained by attorneys younger than me, some in their twenties, but you have to be willing to explore the curves along your career path. It was worth it in the end."</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Five years later I became a partner at Adams & Adams, and in 2016, 2017, I was promoted to Co-Chair of the Trade Mark Litigation Department – so much for you are never going to be a lawyer," she said and laughed.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“What attracted me to Adams & Adams all those years ago was the fact that I could practice in a completely different field. They gave me an opportunity to practice in a more specialised field and in something that really interested me. It is amazing and I just love what I do. Yes, I'm still involved in litigation, but the clients are very different. The law that we apply may be the same, but each client has a different dynamic and different area of trade. Plus, we get to practice globally which makes every day interesting and challenging."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Outside the office Jenny has also been hard at work, contributing towards a number of international publications such as the <em>World Trade Mark Review: Pharmaceutical Trademarks 2014/2015; </em>the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance's book, <em>Advertising Law: A Global Legal Perspective (2015); </em> the <em>Life Sciences Multi-Jurisdictional Guide (2014 and 2015, 2016 – 2018) </em>and<em> </em>the<em> Life Sciences Global Guide (2018 -2019), </em>as well as the<em> </em>Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance's book<em> Social Media in Advertising: A Global Perspective (2018)</em>.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">When asked about whether her student years at Maties had help prepare her for the world of work, she said: “I think one of the biggest challenges when you're a student is to try to understand the relevance of all the things you have to study. You struggle to understand how all these subjects apply in practice. Some subjects were also boring as hell, but you have to do them, and you have to make sure you are applying your mind equally in all your subjects."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">When she graduated, said Jenny, she knew she was academically prepared for the workplace, however, she was “unprepared for the real world". <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It's not because there is anything lacking in your education, but rather because you have a lot of knowledge, but you don't know a lot. Nor do you know how to apply it. Varsity teaches you where to find information and work teaches where and how to apply it. Learning to work in an office environment can be daunting as a lack of EQ and soft skills makes it hard to accept that when you are close to the bottom of the food chain, you have to pick up all the “dirty" work." <br></p><p>“It is very important to have soft skills. As a lawyer and as a professional, you are going to work in an environment where people will look up to you and look to you for guidance, so don't be a twit when you get to that point. Be respectful of the people in your team and know who they are. Learn to also be part of a team and to help your team members. Do not throw people under the bus, but rather be supportive where ever you can." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She also advised the students to remain lifelong learners. “I turned 50 this year and there is not a day that I look at something and I think: 'I did not know that'. You need to learn all the time and accept that sometimes you are going to fall flat on your face too." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Students were in particular interested in how Jenny has built a career in what is considered to still be a male-dominated sector. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The legal fraternity is male-dominated, however, that is changing very fast," she said, adding that women, and in particular younger attorneys, are bringing their own style of management and leadership to the sector. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“You also need a good support system in the office and at home if you want to succeed in your career. It is hard to do it alone." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, she added, that women still struggle to balance it all with many women attorneys, taking time out of the field or accepting part-time jobs that are more flexible to raise families. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“One of the biggest challenges I still face personally, is to find that work-life balance. I had a boss, who used to say to me – 'the older you get in law, the more you will work'. And yes, it is true, but I've learned that to find that balance you have to ensure that you have a solid team behind you that you have trained well enough to be able to support you so that you can find that work-life balance. My best support comes from my team of all-lady lawyers whom I know are much cleverer and savvier than me. I learn from them daily." <br></p><ul><li><em>​Photo: Matie alumnus and Trade Mark Attorney Ms Jenny Pienaar (second from the left) was the guest speaker at the fourth Careers Caf</em><em>é</em><em> for 2018. Here she is after the event with (from the left) Mr Marvin Koopman, Alumni Relations Coordinator in the Alumni Relations Office, and the students who won an opportunity to meet Jenny face-to-face over dinner on that Wednesday evening. The students are Ms Dina Tlali, Mr Fortune Ngwenyama, and Ms Jenna Wilson. (Henk Oets)</em><br></li></ul><p> </p><p><br></p>
'You have to play the cards you're dealt'http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6028'You have to play the cards you're dealt'Development & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p style="text-align:justify;">​​“You have to play the cards you're dealt." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This was just one of the tips that Matie Alumnus and Technical Team Manager at Amazon Web Services, Philip Parrock, shared with the 350 strong student crowd at the second Careers Café hosted by the Alumni Relations Office at Stellenbosch University (SU). <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Philip, who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (cancer that develops in one's lymphatic system) in February 2018, talked not only about how he had turned what would be devastating news to anyone into a learning opportunity, but shared other important advice with the students too.<br></p><p>“Be honest about your skills and abilities. Set and manage your deadlines and be clear about how much work you can do. Try to think of success in the long term, not in the short term. If you have to work ludicrous hours to get a project completed, you might end up sacrificing quality and that will reflect poorly on you. In most cases, a well-executed project, completed in a reasonable amount of time is worth a lot more than a rushed, low quality project," he said. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Careers Café series was launched in 2016 by the office to provide a platform for alumni to engage with the university by offering their time and skills to help current students prepare for their future careers. Through this interaction, current students are able to learn from the real-life experiences of Matie graduates in the corporate world and benefit from advice and tips from them as well. Other career development opportunities on campus are also promoted through this event, encouraging students to further improve their work preparedness.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Philip's journey at SU started in 2010 after he returned from England, where he had worked in the hospitality industry. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">After travelling more than 13 000 kilometres from South Africa to England to see the world, discomfort with where he found himself pushed him to return to Cape Town six months later. Back in Cape Town, he took up a full-time job working as a care assistant for a local retirement home. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I spent a lot of time in Stellenbosch over weekends, because a few of my friends from Pretoria were studying there. That's when I first started thinking about studying at Stellenbosch University."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I actually applied very late, on 28 August, with only two days left before applications for degree programmes closed on 30 August," he adds and laughs. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Philip enrolled for a BA in International Studies in 2010 and upon completion of that degree, finished an Honours and Masters in Political Science at the university as well. As a student who lived off-campus in private accommodation, Philip joined the private student organisation (PSO), Pieke, in his first-year at varsity. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">PSO's are student house committee structures that are formed for private students. They are similar to the house committee's (well-known as HKs at Maties) of residences and usually grouped with residences and other PSOs to form clusters that work together to coordinate student social, cultural and academic activities, represent students in matters on campus and provide a united voice for those who fall outside of the more traditional university structures. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">As a student, he played both rugby and soccer in his second year. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I was not as focused on getting involved in student governing structures on campus," he says. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">But, by his second year, his interaction with male students from Pieke piqued his interest in these structures. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">At the end of his first year, he volunteered for Pieke's Second Years Committee and in 2012 became a member of Pieke's HK focused on social activities for students. A year later he was elected as Pieke's Primarius. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Working within university structures and being exposed to different people of different backgrounds, I had my first taste of bureaucracy, which would stand me in good stead as I went on to work in a massive multi-national company."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“By the end of 2014, I was working on the last draft of my Masters and getting ready to start looking for permanent work. I sent out 60 CVs to a number of companies in South Africa, but received no response from any of them. It's at that point that you realise you don't have the experience to compete with other applicants and that you need to gain that somehow."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">When he spotted a seasonal job advertised by Amazon Web Services, which is owned by Amazon, he submitted a CV, not sure where it would lead. AWS is the single largest cloud computing company in the world, with a 41% market share in public cloud computing and is larger than its next 10 competitors combined.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“After being told about seasonal jobs at Amazon Web Services, I applied and was called in for an interview. But during the interview they offered me a permanent job as a Technical Customer Service Associate in their global customer service department training new staff recruited to the company." <br></p><p>At the time Amazon Web Services was also expanding its customer service base in Cape Town. When Philip started at the company in 2015, there were around 50 people in the department. This would grow by 169 in 2016, and on to over 300 people today.<br></p><p>A year and a half later, he was appointed as a Team Lead for new Customer Service Associates where he oversaw a team of 15 people. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Suddenly there were additional responsibilities, beyond the overall performance management and administrative duties I was responsible for. Now I had HR matters to attend to, was expected to understand how to implement labour law practices, oversee staff welfare and various benefits."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Life was good. However, in February 2018, what had started as pain in his hip in late 2017 and had led to a full hip replacement, was diagnosed as cancer.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“An MRI scan showed that there where lesions on my femur moving right up into my back and that those lesions were coming from the inside of my body. The cancer had started eating away at my femur." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Two weeks later, Philip was sitting in the oncology ward at the Kuilsriver Netcare, getting his first round of chemotherapy.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I was out of commission for seven months and received chemo five days at a time." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">It's been less than a month since he was told that he is in remission, but already he is back at work. In September, he received a promotion and is now a Technical Team Manager. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“This demonstrates my third tip – prepare yourself for the job you want so that when the opportunity comes, you are ready for it. So, while it may not seem like the right thing to do, if there is a promotion you would like to work towards or a different position that you would like to fill, do not think of it as an opportunity to prove yourself, think of it as a reward for proving yourself. In the business world it is very difficult to be given a chance, rather go out and make your own luck, prove that you can do the job so that when it comes to the promotion or job interview, the interviewer is so convinced by your ability that the interview is just a formality."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“In the time that I've been with Amazon Web Services I've learnt that the base of knowledge and experience you accrue at university is useful, but to be truly successful, you have to go above and beyond what is expected of you to be successful in the long term."<br></p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li><em>​​Photo: Matie alumnus and Careers Café speaker, Philip Parrock (second from the right), with the students who won an opportunity to interact with him and learn about the soft skills one needs t0 develop a career. From the left are </em><em>Phathiswa Hohlo</em><em>, Marvin Koopman, Alumni Relations Coordinator at the Alumni Relations Office, Thandeka Mwakipesile, Olona Ndzuzo, Philip and his wife Lisa, who is also a Matie alumnus. (Lynne Rippenaar-Moses)</em><br></li></ul><p><br><br></p>
Social Work Department celebrates World Social Work Dayhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4356Social Work Department celebrates World Social Work DayLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Earlier this year, the Social Work Department celebrated World Social Work Day 2016 (WSWD) along with a number of institutions across the world who also focus on the social work profession. WSWD is celebrated annually on the second Tuesday of March. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">By participating in this event, social workers are able to express international solidarity and bring common messages to governments, regional bodies and to the communities they serve. The theme for this and last year's WSWD was selected from the <a href="http://ifsw.org/get-involved/agenda-for-social-work/">Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development</a>. The Agenda was formulated in 2010 by social worker practitioners, educators and development workers at a meeting in Hong Kong in 2010 and reaffirmed "the need [for persons working within this profession] to organise around  major and relevant social issues that connect within and across" their professions. The Agenda consists of four themes which are focused on promoting social and economic equalities; promoting the dignity and worth of peoples; working towards environmental sustainability; and strengthening recognition of the importance of human relationships. Each theme is focused on for two consecutive years, with 2016 marking the second year that WSWD has centered its activities on Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"As staff members of the Social Work Department we take great pride in being social workers ourselves and even more so being an integral part of training and shaping the minds of our students to become excellent social workers. At our university we are in the privileged position be able to allow our students to make a social work impact on real clients, with real needs in real communities, from the first year of their studies in a manner that promotes the dignity and worth of people," said Ms Tasneemah Cornelissen-Nordien, a lecturer in the Social Work Department. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Department celebrated the day with a number of activities, amongst them a talk for first-year students which was presented by International Master's degree student, Sever Altunay, from Gothenburg University in Sweden and focused on the Impact of the Global Agenda for Social Work. Fourth-year students were also able to participate in an academic discussion with students in a postgraduate social work class from Coventry University in the United Kingdom through a video-conferencing session via Skype and shared their experiences of social work in the two countries. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr Gary Spolander, a guest lecturer from Conventry University, presented a lecture to all social work students and staff based at Stellenbosch University. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This lecture stimulated insightful self-reflection and debates with others and aimed to motivate the social workers to continue to achieve great things within society, to not only make a difference in the lives of the individuals to whom services are rendered, but to work towards making an impact on government policy, to having the voices of social workers heard in parliament, and to striving towards making a difference on the political front in our country. WSWD 2016 yet again reminded the social work profession of its ethical responsibility to make politicians and government aware of the apparent ethical unawareness by which our country is currently being governed. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">On the day, the top achievers for 2015 were also recognised and were presented with certificates for their academic achievement in Social Work. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This day allowed our department to unite for human dignity and reminded us of our courage, strength, passion and will to make a difference in the lives of others," said Mr Zibonele Zimba, a lecturer in the Social Work Department.</p>
The new 2019 SU Woordfees festival programme drops at an all-night launch partyhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6078The new 2019 SU Woordfees festival programme drops at an all-night launch partyDanie Marais - Woordfees<p>​​​​​​On the night of 16 November, a whole troupe of dancing cats will be let out of a brand new bag at the 2019 US Woordfees festival progamme launch in Stellenbosch.<br></p><p>The festival theme is “Young" because the Woordfees is turning 20 in 2019, and a 20-year old is a rambunctious youngster. That's why we are going to party all night long – just like we did in 1999, the year when it all started.</p><p>The big launch bash is  at the HB Thom Theatre (soon to be named the Adam Small Theatre) in Victoria Street with music, poetry, stand-up, theatre, dance and films. It starts at 22:00 and ends around 5:30 the next morning.</p><p>On the bill for this night of passion for the arts are, amongst others, the poets Bibi Slippers and Jolyn Phillips; stand-up with Shimmy Isaacs; party jams with Die Wasgoedlyn music collective; contemporary dance with Conway October, Yaseen Manuel en Ray Claasen, and an excerpt from the rip-roaring <em>Bal-oog en Brommel</em> with actors Richard September and De Klerk Oelofse. Andries Bezuidenhout, Danie Marais and Desmond Painter will also do <em>Ladies and Gentlemen, Leonard Cohen</em> – a tribute with acoustic versions of Cohen hits that sold out quickly at the 2018 Woordfees. Films will be shown continuously at the HB Thom Laboratoy. The festivities will end on a high and pure note the next morning with an organ recital by Zorada Temmingh at the Moederkerk.</p><p>Everybody is warmly invited to this variety concert of a launch party. Tickets are available through Computicket at R100 per person.</p><p>Come and be young and free together all through the hot summer night of 16 November.</p><p><em>For any further information, contact Danie Marais at </em><a href="mailto:danie_marais@sun.ac.za"><em>danie_marais@sun.ac.za</em></a><br></p><p><br></p>
Sign language-related courses help teachers of Deaf students with new curriculumhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4100Sign language-related courses help teachers of Deaf students with new curriculumLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Last year, the first South African Sign Language (SASL) curriculum was rolled out nationally in South Africa after it had first been piloted as a project at the De la Bat School for the Deaf in Worcester from 2011 to 2013. Now, thanks to three short courses of the Department of General Linguistics that focus on language teachers, including sign language teachers, those who have to implement this curriculum will also have the necessary skills to do so effectively. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Dr Frenette Southwood of the Department of General Linguistics of Stellenbosch University (SU), the department has been offering shorts courses in the Foundations of Linguistics, Sign Language Linguistics and Literature of SASL to teachers of Deaf learners since the beginning of 2015. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"South African Sign Language is now acknowledged as a first language by the Department of Education, just like Afrikaans and English, and is also taught in schools," says Southwood. SU is one of three academic institutions in South Africa that offers these types of courses.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The courses are intended for language teachers who do not have a sufficient background in linguistics or literature and helps these teachers to interact optimally with the curriculum they have to teach."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The three courses were created after the department presented the first intensive five-day Foundations of Linguistics course to 31 teachers of Deaf learners and staff of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) in June 2015. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Ms Minna Steyn of the WCED, who also was the project manager of the pilot project at De la Bat, teachers in the Western Cape were provided with basic training by the WCED to implement the new curriculum. A year later, training was done at the national level. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"During the training at national level we realised that there was not enough training that focused on literature and poetry, although these form part of the new curriculum. The idea therefore was to show teachers and teacher assistants how to teach poetry and literature in sign language. I thus was keen to offer our teachers who teach Deaf learners more in-depth training and then discussed the possibilities with the Department of General Linguistics. The ETDP-SETA was then approached to find funding for 30 students to undertake training at Stellenbosch University," says Steyn. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Steyn has been involved with the education of Deaf people for the past three decades and was head of the Thiboloha School for the Deaf and Blind in Qwaqwa in the Free State before being seconded to De la Bat for the launch of the SASL curriculum. She also completed her MA in the SU Department of General Linguistics in December 2015, focusing specifically on language and literacy acquisition by Deaf Foundation Phase learners in her thesis. In a report of the WCED in 2015, she said the following about the implementation of SASL as a first language: "Deaf children who are born into hearing families do not have the privilege of learning language in a natural manner from birth. It is only when they go to school that a Deaf child is exposed to Deaf adults and friends and that they learn sign language. South African Sign Language is the first language of Deaf people in South Africa and is equivalent to any spoken language. It has been proven scientifically that a child's mother tongue must be established firmly and be in place before an additional first language can be mastered."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">During her time at De la Bat she noticed how Deaf learners in the pre-school classes started participating more in lessons because they now had sufficient Sign Language vocabulary to participate more easily thanks to the pilot project. Previously, sign-supported Afrikaans or sign-supported English (these are spoken languages that are converted into signs word for word, some of which were artificial, non-SASL signs) were used as language of teaching and learning in schools for the Deaf. This deprived learners of exposure to SASL in the classroom. With the rolling out of the SASL curriculum, SASL is also implemented as language of learning and teaching in schools for the Deaf – as early as in the preschool classes. Deaf learners' SASL skills therefore are being improved from early on and they have the opportunity to receive their school training in a natural language.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The courses of the Department of General Linguistics accommodate 30 people at a time, who complete the Foundation and Sign Language Linguistics courses over six weeks, with one week of lectures on campus and the rest being done by way of directed self-study and distance teaching. The course on the Literature of South African Sign Language runs over two days and comprises lectures that are presented on the SU campus. According to Southwood, the purpose of the training is to sharpen teachers' knowledge of language and sign language as a language so that they can be better language teachers. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This is not a sector that received much attention in the past and the quality of teaching therefore is not up to standard. There also are some teachers who cannot use sign language fluently but who have to teach in sign language. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"So besides for teachers' sign language skills needing to be improved, they also need to have knowledge of this first language of their learners so that a teacher can be better able, for example, to teach their sign language-using learners English or Afrikaans as language of literacy. Through these courses we help our teachers to do the latter by helping them to understand what language is, how it works and how it is learnt. Our courses cover concepts such as the nature, function and structure of human language, how human languages are used and understood, how they are processed and produced, and how these aspects are applicable to sign language."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Steyn believes that the courses will not only lead to better equipped SASL teachers, but also will raise the profile and visibility of sign language. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"South African Sign Language is a stigmatised language, with rules and principles such as any other language. It therefore helps the image of the language if academic institutions such as Stellenbosch University offer courses on it." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Steyn has herself completed three courses to gain a better idea of the type of training that teachers received by way of the courses. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"There is no other way to describe it other than to say that it is really wonderful for me to know that teachers are now empowered to implement this curriculum with the knowledge that they have received from SU."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Thus far, a total of 61 teachers completed the three courses in June to October 2015, with a further 36 who started training in April 2016. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Steyn is now encouraging other provinces to build up similar co-operation with local universities in their environment and to ensure that teachers are empowered in this manner. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">For Southwood and her colleagues, this co-operation with the WCED also offers many other exciting opportunities for the training of students at US. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Our department is very grateful to be part of this. Sign Language Linguistics is now a section of our second-year module in General Linguistics and we will also offer it as a third-year module from next year. We are also planning to offer Sign Language Acquisition to students as a subject in 2017. We therefore are not only busy strengthening the expertise of current teachers, but also preparing a new generation of students to qualify themselves as teachers of Deaf learners." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">For Steyn, the broader impact of the project, which they started in 2011, is the most important result of a longstanding aim of ensuring that SASL is recognised as a fully-fledged language. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The Deaf child now receives the type of education that prepares him/her academically. My dream is to have SASL as a subject in our mainstream schools and that hearing people are also given an opportunity to learn sign language."</p><p><em>Photo: Nine Deaf students (of whom seven are teachers of Deaf students) completed the courses in Foundations of Linguistics, Sign Language Linguistics and Literature of SASL in March and received a certificate from Stellenbosch University. Mr Christopher Dontsa (fourth from left) completed all three courses. In front, from left, are Prof Johan Oosthuizen, Ms Annette Humphrey-Heyns, Nodumo Same, Christopher Dontsa, Phumla Mosia, Ncumisa Loliwe, Andiswa Fayindlala, Lazya le Roux, and Dr Frenette Southwood. At the back are Christoffer Galada and Simon Ndaba.</em></p>
PhD student first in Africa to win European Early Career Research Awardhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6064PhD student first in Africa to win European Early Career Research AwardCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>​​Dr Anouk Albien, currently a research psychologist in the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University (SU), recently became the first doctoral student in Africa to receive the Early Career Researcher's Award from the European Society for Vocational Designing and Career Counselling (ESVDC).  For her doctorate, Albien did research on black adolescents' vocational identity status and career adaptability competencies in a South African township.<br></p><p>The ESVDC's Early Career Researcher's Award recognizes a researcher's excellent contribution to the field of Vocational Designing and Career Counselling. Recipients of the award are honoured with a 5 year membership to the ESVDC. The ESVDC aims to stimulate and promote European and international collaboration in research and development in the fields of life-designing, vocational guidance and career counselling. <br></p><p>“This has exceeded my wildest dreams. I still find it hard to believe that I won it," says Albien.<br></p><p>“The ESVDC award is an incredible honour for an emerging researcher and is used as a benchmark measure of innovation and excellence in the field of the Vocational Designing and Career Counselling research."</p><p>Albien says the award will allow her access to a network of Vocational Psychology and Career Guidance Counselling professionals and various opportunities to collaborate with these professionals to move the Vocational Psychology field in new innovative directions.<br></p><p>She adds that it also presents an opportunity to celebrate Africa's innovative thought leaders that are recognised by the Global North professional community and represents the direction of future research endeavours that can be traced back to the excellence associated with SU. <br></p><p>Albien says she dedicates the award to her belated mother who passed away during the completion of her PhD research.<br></p><p>She will soon take up a position at the University of Bern in Switzerland.<br></p><p> </p><p><br> </p>
How can young scientists in Africa become research leaders? http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6076How can young scientists in Africa become research leaders? Marina Joubert<p>A new book, <em><strong>The Next Generation of Scientists in Africa</strong></em>, was launched at Stellenbosch University (SU) on Tuesday, 6 November 2018, during an international conference on science communication. It reveals the career aspirations and research performance of scientists younger than 40 years across the African continent. The book highlights the barriers that are limiting their career progression and make recommendations to nurture research talent and deliver future science leaders.<br></p><p>The editors were Catherine Beaudry (École Polytechnique de Montréal), Johann Mouton and Heidi Prozesky (SU), and published by African Minds. The book is the result of a study by the SU Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST). Between April 2015 and October 2018, a team of researchers at CREST performed a comprehensive three-pronged study which consisted of: (1) a comprehensive bibliometric analyses of research records from more than 50 African countries, (2) a large-scale online survey with 5 700 respondents, and (3) 259 qualitative interviews. Funding came from the International Development Research Centre of Canada, and the Robert Bosch Foundation of Germany. </p><p>“We recognise that young scientists are at the heart of innovation and knowledge creation and therefore a powerful resource for change and development in Africa", explains CREST director Professor Johann Mouton. </p><p>“Understanding and solving the career challenges that they face will enhance the future success of science systems across the continent." </p><p>He adds, however, that we have to view the careers of these young scientists against the background of the state of science in Africa. Therefore the book also reflects on the research systems and infrastructure on the continent, including the legacy of colonialism and the impact of political instability, while considering new narratives about the rising of Africa.</p><p>Some of the hurdles that young academics in Africa experience in terms of career progression relate to their relative inexperience when it comes funding applications, uncertainties about getting their research published and work demands that keep them away from their own research. The book details several recommendations, such as a pro-active focus on positive career mentoring, more training in academic writing and networking, new funding models and more opportunities for international mobility than is currently the case.</p><p>“It is important to keep in mind that many of Africa's young scientists are first-generation academics," Professor Heidi Prozesky, co-editor and a member of the research team, points out. “For them, many of the expectations and roles associated with their positions are not clear." </p><p>That could explain why we have identified a widespread demand for training and supportive mentoring amongst the early-career scientists who participated in the study, she adds. In particular, young scientists in Africa need more of the so-called soft skills, such as effective writing and networking, she adds.</p><p>“Time management is a huge issue for these scientists. Frequently overburdened with teaching, supervision and administration, it is extremely difficult for them to find time to focus on their own research." Professor Prozesky feels that senior academics and research managers must be more approachable, less domineering, and more trusting of their younger colleagues' research aspirations than is currently the case. More efficient administration systems in universities will help to lessen the load on early-career academics.</p><p>In a research arena where competition for funding is increasingly fierce, young scientists battle to succeed when it comes to applying for research funding. “They often do not meet funders' formal requirements and lack the tacit skills needed to succeed at grant writing", Professor Prozesky explains. “As a result, they spend considerable chunks of time on writing proposals that turn out to be unsuccessful, which is very discouraging and further eats away at time they could have spent on research." The book recommends new funding models and calls for more training in proposals writing, as well as more constructive feedback on unsuccessful proposals than exist now. “If we can get this right, funding applications that are unsuccessful at first, will become a learning opportunity, instead of an outright rejection."</p><p>Another uphill and stressful battle for young scientists in Africa is the pressure to get their research published in quality journals. Several problems may result from this situation, including low quality articles, the temptation to publish in “predatory" journals and scientists who don't see any benefit in undertaking research that is creative or focused on local societal impact. </p><p>“Young researchers need help to identify appropriate journals and they need constructive feedback that can help them improve their research papers, instead of outright rejections," Professor Prozesky said.</p><p>When young scientists become internationally mobile, it helps them to overcome many of the challenges we have identified, Professor Prozesky adds. </p><p>Working abroad for a period of time helps them to access future funding, develop new research skills and develop professionally. “However, due to family obligations it is more difficult for some women to take advantage of international work opportunities."</p><p>The editors think that <strong><em>The Next Generation of Scientists in Africa</em></strong> will be useful for researchers who are interested in African research systems, African policy-makers who work with science funding and organisations interested in African science and its funding. </p><ul><li><strong><em>The Next Generation of Scientists in Africa</em></strong> costs R299 or can be downloaded for free at <a href="http://www.africanminds.co.za/dd-product/the-next-generation-of-scientists/"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>http://www.africanminds.co.za/dd-product/the-next-generation-of-scientists</strong></span>/</a>. For more information contact François van Schalkwyk, e-mail: editor@africanminds.co.za.<br></li></ul><p><strong>Photo</strong>: Co-editors of <strong><em>The Next Generation of Scientists in Africa</em></strong>, Catherine Beaudry and Johann Mouton, at the book launch in Stellenbosch.<br></p>
Institute’s new offices honours first owners of house in Joubert Streethttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5997Institute’s new offices honours first owners of house in Joubert StreetLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p>​​As a way of remembering the 3 700 residents who were uprooted from central Stellenbosch because of the Group Areas Act, Stellenbosch University's (SU) Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation (AOI) on Tuesday officially named its offices after the first residents who lived at 7 Joubert Street in Stellenbosch. This particular street later became known as the eastern border of an area that was known as <em>Die Vlakte</em>.<br></p><p>The AOI falls under the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at SU and is an interdisciplinary music research institute founded in 2016. The Institute developed from the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS), to which it remains connected through its funding of the DOMUS archive, its intellectual and creative programmes, curating activities, archival collection initiatives and core vision of creating in DOMUS the largest open-access archive for music on the African continent. The intellectual and creative programmes of AOI focus on music, research and innovation, which includes music research, research innovation and innovative approaches to music-making.</p><p>The property at 7 Joubert Street, which belonged to the Okkers family – many of whom live in Idas Valley today – will now be known as the Pieter Okkers House at the request of the family. The house is named after the first resident, Mr Pieter J.A. Okkers (1875-1952).</p><p><span style="text-align:justify;">Speaking at the event, Prof Wim de Villiers, the SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor said: “</span><span style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University is this year commemorating its centenary. And in our Centenary year, we have been celebrating the University's many achievements the past 100 years – with appreciation to all who have helped build the institution into what it has become today. But, at the same time, we have been apologising unreservedly to those who were excluded from the privileges that Stellenbosch University enjoyed in the past."</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“A very painful part of our history occurred here a half a century ago when residents of Die Vlakte were removed from this community supposedly because they had the wrong 'skin colour' according to the hated Group Areas Act of that time. This was the handiwork of the government, but the university did not object and later benefitted when some of the expropriated land and properties were transferred to the university.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“What happened then was wrong. It is why I am thankful that SU, already in 2000, said that “the University acknowledges its contribution to the injustices of the past" and that the institution in the same breath committed itself to redress and development," said De Villiers.​</p><p>In 1964 Die Vlakte, as it was referred to by those who lived there, was declared an area for so-called white persons, leading to the relocation of many families who lived there between the years 1964 and 1971. Die Vlakte stretched from Muller Street in the north of Merriman Avenue in the south, eastwards to Joubert Street and then to the west in Bird Street. The relocation affected six schools in the community as well as a mosque, a cinema and 10 businesses.</p><p>In 2017, when the institute moved into the university-owned property, it did so with the intention of celebrating their “new premises with an inauguration and a naming of the house".</p><p>“However, this was not possible," says Dr Marietjie Pauw, Postdoctoral Researcher at the AOI, “without first engaging in research about the history of the plot, the built structure, the area, and possible connections to people who had lived there".​<br></p><span style="text-align:justify;">“We were lucky," says Pauw. “Early on in my search, a friend who is also a heritage consultant, Lize Malan, sent me a document that indicated that 'P. Okkers' purchased two sites adjacent to one another in Joubert Street in 1903, when the erven were first opened up. When I asked Hilton Biscombe whether he knew of a P. Okkers, he immediately referred me to the Okkers descendants, Pieter and Sarah Okkers, now living in Erasmus Smit Street.<br><br></span><p style="text-align:justify;">“Pieter is a great-grandchild of Piet Okkers. However, there was more: Hilton's wife, Colleen (born Gordon), had a story to add: her mother, Rosina (Sinnie) Gordon, had been born in Joubert Street. She had always asked the children to take her to Joubert Street to see in which house she had been born. Sadly, Ma Sinnie passed on only a few months before the research on the property was begun."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">A year after the Joubert Street property was bought, Piet Okkers passed away. The properties were then transferred to his son, Pieter James Andrew Okkers, who proceeded to build a house at 5 Joubert Street (in 1926) and 7 Joubert Street (in 1927). The Okkers family lived in these premises until the houses were sold to the Conradie family (5 Joubert Street) and the Du Toit family (7 Joubert Street). The exact year of their relocation to Erasmus Smit Street is not known, but it may have been as early as 1946, when their grandchildren twins were born.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Colleen Biscombe, the great granddaughter of Pieter James Okkers and wife of Hilton Biscombe – author of the book, <em>In Ons Bloed</em>, depicting the history of Die Vlakte – her mother Rosina, had often in her old age asked to be driven past the homes in Joubert Street. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“My only real knowledge of the properties in Joubert Street was the times my mother would ask us to remember to drive her down Joubert Street one day as there were two houses in that road that looked exactly the same, and she was born in one of those homes, she just couldn't remember which one. Thanks to Marietjie we now know Ma Sinnie was born in Joubert Street 5," said Biscombe at the event.</p><p>The naming/re-naming of buildings at SU is guided by the Naming Policy and the application to name the house went through the necessary institutional processes – with full consultation and final approval by the SU Council. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Linked to the naming processes, the Visual Redress Committee worked closely with AOI in order to visually represent and contextualise the name. </p><p>“Visual Redress at SU has as aim to visually represent our stories, histories and experiences in a number of ways. As such it goes hand in hand with the naming processes. The Pieter Okkers house will be the first of many houses in <em>Die Vlakte</em> that will be contextualised as part of restoring the stories of the houses and the broader historic neighbourhood. SU will thus enter into conversation with many other families to visually represent their stories in relation to many others over generations. This is one attempt (of many others) to restore the historical relations between the SU community and the broader <em>Vlakt</em>e community," says Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Pauw says the naming of the house was important to the AOI, because the Institute wanted to honour the first person who built the house and who lived there. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Pieter Okkers is today considered to be a man who brought about much good in this town. He was a founding member of the politically radical Volkskerk, he was a founding member of the Spes Bona Soccer Club, and he was a Chairman (for the period 1927-1930) of the Free Gardeners organisation when they first opened an Order in Stellenbosch (the fourth order in South Africa)," says Prof Stephanus Muller, Director of AOI. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“He is also honoured for the provision he made for his family and descendants. To this day the Okkers family is proud to be associated with him and his wife, Rosina. Heidi Okkers, great-grandchild of Pieter Okkers, plans to begin an online blog on which family and friends can post photographs of members of the Okkers family and the wider web of relations, documents, and stories." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Over the years, a number of initiatives honouring those who were displaced from <em>Die Vlakte</em> have been carried out by SU, which owns many of the old homes that formed part of this community, and new buildings that later replaced the demolished properties. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences hosts a permanent installation that includes panels with photographs of the area depicting the everyday lives of the people who lived there, as well as testimonies from former residents, their children and grandchildren and a write-up of the historical context of the time. In 2016, SU also established <em>Die Vlakte</em> Bursary Fund by allocating bursary funding to children of the families who were removed from the area. It was thanks to Mr John Abels, a former resident of <em>Die Vlakte </em>and an ex-learner of the old Lückhoff School, that the idea to set up such a bursary was first suggested. </p><p>The office will now also form part of a walking tour of <em>Die Vlakte</em> that is currently being planned. </p><p>“The Africa Open Institute office will in future form part of the walking tour of <em>Die Vlakte</em> that is being planned by the SU Transformation Office and the Committee for Visual Redress. Uniform wall plaques with information and photos of former residents are planned for buildings in <em>Die Vlakte</em>, curated by Dr Van Rooi and Prof Elmarie Costandius of the Visual Arts Department," adds Pauw.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photos: The </em><em>Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation (AOI) on Tuesday officially named its offices after the first residents who lived at 7 Joubert Street in Stellenbosch. The house will </em><em>henceforth be known as the Pieter Okkers House. It was first owned by Mr Pieter JA Okkers, who build the two similar looking houses at 5 and 7 Joubert Street. Here is Okkers (far right) in ceremonial dress (with chairman's collar) of the Free Gardeners in approximately 1930. His wife, Rosina C. Okkers (middle), is pictured with two of her granddaughters: Roslyn Brandt on the reader's left, and Elizabeth Olkers on the right. (Photos provided</em><em> by Leonard Meyer and Elizabeth Meyer, born Okkers) </em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Pieter Okkers (far left), the </em><em>great-grandchild of Piet Okkers</em><em>, attended and spoke at the </em><em> </em><em>unveiling of the AOI office's name. (Lynne Rippenaar-Moses)</em></p>