Department of Psychiatry Awards 2021

(L to R: S. Maharaj, K. Rowe, C. Schumann, C. Lochner, M. Bowers, L.L van den Heuvel, P. Steyn, A. Lachman)


As 2021 comes to an end, and as is customary in the Department of Psychiatry, we have honoured members of the department and broader SU who have made outstanding contributions to our department in 2021. Congratulations to all who were nominated this year.


Community Engagement Service Award: MARYKE HEWETT

To recognise and reward a staff member who has made a significant contribution in the areas of clinical patient care or student teaching.  This prize is proposed as a counterpoint to primarily academic or research-based achievement.  It focuses on those often unsung individuals who have instituted programmes or reforms which have positively impacted the learning or treatment experiences of clients or students in a sustainable way.  As a service award it is interested in socially-orientated, relevant, pragmatic and inclusive initiatives.


“Maryke has been pivotal in providing psychological support to Covid-19 patients and their families ​and staff during the ​1st, 2nd, and 3rd wave​s of infection. She assist​s High Care and ICU patients in having contact with family members​ using Quinton and later Khanya the robot for video calls, often​ allowing families to say their last farewells or ​to have contact in the critical time prior to intubation. ​Maryke trains and coordinates the volunteers providing the family video calling service. She also partook in ​individual and group support services for Tygerberg Hospital staff as part of the ​TBH/SU Resiliency ​Clinic. She facilitate​s ​the introduction to Behavioural Medicine groups with ​middle rotation medical students to enhance their coping skills in navigating the stresses of the pandemic. 
She also assisted Prof Seedat with the departmental anti-bullying campaign and the TBH ​Self-care in Healthcare campaign.”


Excellence in Teaching Award: DR ZANELE MENZE

This award honours an individual who has demonstrated a truly outstanding commitment to teaching, mentorship and leadership in psychiatric education at an undergraduate and/or postgraduate level. It recognises nominees for their commitment, supportiveness, dedication, patience, availability, innovativeness, and/or significant influence of the training of medical//allied health science students and/or registrars.


“Dr Zanele Menze has embraced her role as a clinical educator in her DoHET position at Stellenbosch University with enthusiasm. Dr Menze is passionate about teaching and brings her energy and commitment to undergraduate, intern and multidisciplinary team member education. Dr Menze has adapted, piloted and implemented an Intern Life skills programme that has been very successful in 2021 receiving positive feedback from the interns. Dr Menze’s role in middle rotation teaching has expanded the capacity for onsite clinical education addressing the gaps created in undergraduate training by COVID-19 restrictions. Dr Menze demonstrates patience and availability in her work with the middle rotation medical students. Dr Menze has also been active in many StellMed training projects bringing her passion for psychiatric training to the broader community. Dr Menze was part of the Tygerberg Hospital World Mental Health Day organising committee, the event saw more than 500 members of the public and staff access the information stands.”


Administrative Excellence Award: TALIA RAMEDIES

An administrator who strives to comply and adhere to university and departmental policy and procedures. Is helpful and co-operative within the guidelines of the policies in place. Is a team player. Takes on new projects with a positive attitude. Competency in the position in which employed. Is professional in dealing with all aspects of the post.             


“Talia Ramedies is a new member of our department, but she is already a really valuable team member. Talia performs all her administrative tasks with efficiency and excellence, and she is willing to take on new, challenging projects. She is professional and a team player going the extra mile in performing her duties and embracing innovation in her role.”


The Positive Change Award: DR LIZE WEICH

This award aims to acknowledge a remarkable individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Psychiatry by challenging the status quo that has resulted in lasting and positive change for the field (for example, through advocacy, clinical/research innovation, creative models of improving care, mental health leadership etc.).


Dr Lize Weich has made an immense contribution to the addictions field. Her achievements are numerous and significant. Dr Weich has been impactful and innovative in many areas. The establishment of the OST clinic at Stikland, developing the Ward 12 heroin detox programme and the ward 13 alcohol rehabilitation unit, as well as the PG Dip programme are all evidence of her vision, determination, and drive to assist psychiatric patients and substance users.  


Dr Weich is a tireless advocate for substance users and dually diagnosed individuals. In terms of lasting change one of the most valuable efforts has been her ability to affect real change at grass roots level in terms of attitude and approach to substance users through her excellent training and outreach. Through her training of counsellors and professionals in the field of addictions she has been able to affect a change in attitudes towards harm reduction and OST. She has been instrumental in fomenting change and fostering an understanding of and positive approach to OST. This is just one example of the way that her empathic and informed approach to training has had a real and positive impact for patients and the community. 


This is also replicated in the training of the nursing staff that have worked on her wards, she has worked tirelessly to up-skill and educate wherever she can, and her truly empathic and non-paternalistic approach to her patients models an excellent example for her colleagues and trainees alike.”


Award for Research Excellence: PROF CHRISTINE LOCHNER

This award recognises and encourages overall research excellence, important research achievements, and/or research that has a significant impact on the field psychiatry and/or psychiatric care. An individual who has produced high quality psychiatric research and shows evidence of innovative thinking.


Christine is an internationally recognised clinical researcher and co-director of the SU/UCT MRC Unit on Risk and Resilience in Mental Disorders. Besides being the local PI for a large international multi-site study on OCD, Christine also heads numerous other research projects on OCD and related disorders, including a state-of-the-art study on Problematic Internet Use – a very contemporary concern. In the past three years she has received no less than three prestigious awards, including the TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher award. Christine was a recipient of the NRF BRICS award in 2020. She has also recently been promoted to the rank of full professor in psychiatry. In addition to all of this, she is also a very approachable line manager and her passion, diligence, and tenacity for and in research inspires all those around her. She also has an incredible compassion for her patients and colleagues and ensures that all successes are celebrated as a team.”



Departmental Award for Best Registrar 2021: DR PETRUS STEYN

This award is presented to the registrar as elected by our consultants through a voting process.  The award recognises an outstanding registrar, specifically a well-rounded registrar with excellent clinical skills, personal traits of compassion and devotion to patients, and significant academic and research potential. 



Department of Psychiatry MMED Part 1 Award: DR KIRSTEN ROWE

First year registrar who achieves cum laude in at least two MMed Part 1 subjects.





Department of Psychiatry MMED Part 2 Award: DR PETRUS STEYN

Final year registrar who achieves highest marks in finals (minimum mark 70% overall, research not included).


Chief Registrar 2022: DR MICHELLE BOWERS