“Vineyard of Talent”, Golden Key’s 5th National Conference in South Africa, took place in Stellenbosch this month (15 – 17 September 2006). About 90 delegates, representing 11 universities, gathered in Stellenbosch to celebrate excellence and to learn from each other.
The conference kicked off with an address by Alex Perwich, Golden Key’s CEO. He challenged the delegates to find their own definition for “success” by sharing some of his personal experiences. The cold and wet weather did not keep the delegates from participating in a Drum Café session and Stellenbosch-style “Spitbraai” (not to mention the “Sokkie”!).
Saturday was packed with workshops ranging from “Action-Centred Leadership” to “Entrepreneurship” and “Creative Writing”. Chapters had the opportunity to showcase their education-focused service projects at the Literacy Lunch, where Travis Gale (Associate: AppleTree/Step One) shared some inspirational insights that he gained from his “around-the-world” bicycle tour.
The conference concluded with an African Feast at Moyo (Spier Wine Estate), sponsored by Standard Bank. At this event, Richard Gush (Director: Investment Banking, Standard Bank), encouraged delegates to keep a healthy work-life balance.
Delegates returned home with a new sense of purpose: “Overall it was an enriching experience, urging us to think more, work harder and reach for the stars” - Marghreette Klink, UWC.
Some highlights of the conference:
New SA Member of the Council of Student Members (SA CoSM)
At the conference, Charmaine Malcher of the University of Johannesburg was elected as the new CoSM for Golden Key in South Africa. Charmaine will serve in this position until September 2007.
ARTICLE XIV – COUNCIL OF STUDENT MEMBERS
The Council of Student Members (CoSM) shall serve in accordance with the Society’s bylaws, Policies and Board of Directors mandate as an advisory body to the International Staff and International leadership Council regarding student member matters.
The primary purpose of the CoSM is to serve as a resource on a variety of Society issues, ideas and initiatives. The CoSM serves the Society at the international level.
Other purposes may include:
1. serving on ad hoc work groups and task forces to address issues of significant importance to the Society; i.e.: student member benefits and services development, international conference planning, partner or alumni development, strategic planning input, etc;
2. assisting the Golden Key International Staff in the implementation of conferences, specific programs, activities and initiatives; and,
3. serving as an additional communication channel for chapter leaders and student members, as required.
Best Education Focused Service Project: University of the Free State
Best Country-Specific Initiative: University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
Best Communication Programme: University of the Free State
Best Membership Drive: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award: R72 000
Congratulations to Tinus Stander of the University of Stellenbosch, who is the first SA student to win a Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award (US$10 000)!
Read more about Tinus at www.goldenkey.org.za .
Student Leader of the Year Award: R5 000
Congratulations to Laura Maureen Pereira of the University of the Witwatersrand! Laura joined Golden Key in 2004 and has been actively involved ever since. She holds a BSc degree in Zoology and Biology (Cum Laude) and is currently completing her BSc Honours degree. Laura is a master in the art of multi-tasking and managed to maintain her excellent academic results while serving on the Wits SRC, Golden Key Executive Committee and many other facets of student life.
Advisor of the Year Award: R5 000
Congratulations to Dr Derek Swemmer of the University of the Witwatersrand! Dr Swemmer, the Registrar of Wits, has been a Golden Key Advisor since 2002. Over the past couple of years, he has made significant contributions to furthering Golden Key’s mission at his university, in South Africa and internationally. His approach to “Advising” is to lay a good foundation and then to give students the creative freedom to implement, while maintaining an open-door policy. He has also recently been elected to serve on the Golden Key International Board of Directors.
Community Service Initiative
Golden Key’s strategic community service focus is LITERACY.
As part of the Community Service Initiative for the SA Conference 2006, we asked each Chapter to donate books and stationary to support the new library that the Stellenbosch Chapter started at PC Pietersen Primary School in Kylemore. The response was overwhelming and the library literally DOUBLED in size! We would like to thank our Chapters for their generous contributions.
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