“Founder’s Day not only celebrates the day on which HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh unveiled the foundation stone of the Southern African Wildlife College in 1996, but highlights the fact that every staff member has jointly played a role in the organisation’s success.”
This was the message from Southern African Wildlife College CEO Theresa Sowry at the College’s annual Founder’s Day celebration on Friday 27 November 2017. She also emphasised the need for integrity, commitment, teamwork and mutual support especially given the increasing challenges faced by training institutions and by conservation professionals working in parks, reserves and protected areas.
Taking place at the college’s campus near the Kruger National Park’s Orpen Gate, this event also honours the long-standing contributions that have helped establish the college as a leader in the field of conservation education, training and skills development. “In imparting the knowledge and skills needed to conserve and protect the biodiversity, not only of the African continent but the future of our collective natural heritage, we as a team share in the mission and vision of this institution,” said Theresa.
She thanked staff members who were being recognised for their long service, as well as the rest of the staff compliment who have enabled the college to flourish; emphasising the importance of each role played in helping build the institution since its establishment in 1996.
The Long Service Awards recognise staff who have been with the college from 5 years and upwards. In addition, the Golden Bateleur pin is awarded to Board Members, Executive Managers and donors who give over R1 million, as well as to those staff who have served the College for 15 years or more. This year there were 3 staff who were the recipients of this special award
Long Service Awards Recipients 2017 – Golden Bateleurs:
Hazel Timm – Hospitality Services Manager
Lineth Monyela – Cook, Hospitality Services
Theresa Sowry – CEO
10 year Long Service Awards:
Candy Morale – Logistics Coordinator
Nokthula Theodore Ngobeni – Stock Controller/Supervisor – Hospitality Services
5 year Long Service Awards:
Thomas Sibuyi – Maintenance Handyman
Ruth Mzimba – Housekeeping Services Supervisor
Professor Mtungwa – Phase II Storeman/Supervisor
Emmanuel Mnisi – Driver in Maintenance
To harness the positive energy that abounds on this day of celebration, the staff also participate in all kinds of fun and games with a strong team building component. This year’s organiser of the games was Marianne de Kock, who oversaw a series of physical activities that had everyone in fits of laughter and high spirits, despite the rain.
“When participating in this event, there is no doubt that success is achieved through support for one another, whether it’s in running a centre of specialization in conservation education, training and skills development or in tackling any obstacle or challenge presented,” Theresa added.
About the Southern African Wildlife College
Founded in 1996 the Southern African Wildlife College has been empowering people working in conservation to manage and preserve some of the world’s most biologically diverse areas. It has trained over 15,000 people within the conservation and environmental sectors. This includes natural resource managers, wildlife law enforcement officers and monitors, field rangers, field guides, youth wanting to bridge into the conservation and environmental education sector, youth involved in environmental services and members of local communities, amongst others.