I believe in on-going personal education whether undertaken in formal institutions or informally. Following my Commerce and Accounting degrees I completed a Masters in Philosophy through the Commerce and Education Faculties investigating the reasons for the shortage of Black Accountants in South Africa. After my qualification as a Chartered Accountant I went on to do an MBA at IMD, ranked one of the top business schools in the world. International travel put a hiatus to my formal career, however I continued studying and learning, including learning the language of each country I lived in. I have lived and worked or studied in: South Africa, Netherlands, Brazil, Switzerland, Italy, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Spain and Singapore. As a result I can speak, read and write the following languages with varying levels of fluency: English, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Afrikaans, German, French, Italian and Mandarin. I was an early adopter of computer technology and I’m comfortable with a wide range of applications from accounting packages to the Microsoft Office Suite; the array of Apple products (iPhoto, iMovie, iBook etc.), all types of Social media including Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Goodreads, Diigo, Zotero; Library software such as LibGuides, Follett Destiny and Delicious Monster. I’ve also created a website using Dreamweaver. Learning applications comes easily to me. I attended Follett Destiny Training and Professional Development Workshops twice in the last two years as well as presenting at Librarian workshops in Hong Kong and Thailand.
I am currently enrolled in a Masters Education at Charles Sturt University and anticipate graduating in June 2016. I will commence the Common Sense media certification for “Digital Citizenship Certified Educator” in June 2015.
2006: Mandarin course – Executive Mandarin
2001: Chinese Medicine course – YWCA Hong Kong
1992: Chartered Accountant (SA)
Involvement in local community service has always been important to me. This has taken the form of class parent and library parent volunteer coordinator (Independent School Foundation, Hong Kong; UWCSEA-East, Singapore); Dutch community contact person, UWCSEA-East, Singapore; being a member of the Parent association (Sotogrande International School, Spain; Independent School Foundation, Hong Kong); president of the IMD Alumni Association, Hong Kong (2007-2010). In addition I have volunteered at the Mother’s Choice Orphanage, Hong Kong (2000-2001) and at SCWO, Singapore (2011-current).
I have played cello in amateur orchestras (HK Medical Association Orchestra and Luxembourg Philharmonia) who gave concerts in aid of various local charities and also performed in prisons, old age homes and orphanages. Most recently I joined the UWCSEA-East Colors of Cambodia trip where we built two village houses, taught English and partook in other community building exercises with the Global Concerns supported by UWCSEA. From October to December we hosted a UWCSEA RoundSquare student from Colombia.
Besides my interest in Classical Music, I am an avid reader of all genres. I enjoy writing, and while in Hong Kong I kept a very popular blog on bilingual education and I currently blog on information studies. I have done a lot of running, including 2 marathons and many half marathons and other events. More recently I have started doing Crossfit, which has taken me out of my fitness comfort zone.
I have a passion for hiking and the outdoors, and while in Hong Kong in 2000 I completed the Oxfam trailwalker 100km race, King of the Hills series and others.
Personal and Social Education
While in Hong Kong I participated in a MBSR (Mindful Based Stress Reduction) course, followed by a CEB (Cultivating Emotional Balance) based on meditation and Buddhist concepts, in 2011, I became a Certified Friends Facilitator through the Pathways organisation of Dr Paula Barrett who created this research based resilience program for children from Kindergarten through to adolescence. In 2012 I went on a silent meditation retreat at Wat Suan Mokkh, Thailand.
Embodying the concept of a multi-career life, my working life has had a number of different phases. In the first instance there is my professional qualification as a Chartered Accountant and my employment as an Auditor, Controller, Financial Manager and Finance Director. This phase taught me the discipline and rigour of financial and strategic analysis and planning, as well as management of resources and people across countries and business sectors. I presented information at a high level of sophistication to board members and audit committees. My career in finance culminated with being involved with the spectacular boom and bust of the Internet bubble of 2000.
The education and learning phase commenced while I was chosen, as one of two students at UCT, to complete a Master’s degree in the Commerce Faculty. During that time I was a lecturer and course co-ordinator for the first year Introduction to Management Accounting course, lecturing to 300+ students, managing the course curriculum, setting and marking the exams in the course. I later returned to teaching, this time English in Hong Kong, and later when I purchased a Children’s Gym in Spain and expanded it to include a small Kindergarten to meet the needs of the international community there. As a parent I am constantly working on my skills to impart information and knowledge to my children both literally and as a role model to them.
The current phase of my career is one that in essence the rest of my learning and experience has been preparing me for – that of curating and managing information resources and passing that knowledge on to students. Seeing a gap for quality English books in Spain, I commenced selling them, then in Hong Kong I moved on to the publishing business and then to the sale of audiobooks. Currently I work on a part-time casual basis at UWCSEA-East in the secondary library where I am building up teaching and librarianship skills while I complete my studies.
2013-current Reference librarian (P/T) UWCSEA-East (Singapore)
2007-2008: Head of Children’s Books PPP Company Ltd (HK)
Owner Ruff ‘n’ Tumble Children’s Gym and Kindergarten
2001-2003: Financial Manager Permanento Ltd (HK / Luxembourg / Spain)
2000-2001: Freelance English Teacher (HK)
Business Unit Controller – Fruit & Vegetables Division (Europe)
Board member of Pension Fund TDV
Director of Impress Metal Packaging Belgium
1989: Assistant Lecturer and Course Co-ordinator – UCT (South Africa)