Invited Speakers

Mr Henk Arangies

Henk Arangies has been a Primary School Principal for the past 26 years – 15 years at Paarl Boys’ Primary in Paarl and the last 11 years at Eversdal Primary in Cape Town where he retired at the end of 2022. He has a M. Ed in Curriculum Development with a thesis (1995) on how technology (computers) could enhance teaching and learning. During his M-studies the course included strains of the Educational Phycology course which enhanced his understanding of the limitations of curriculum delivery in our traditional school classrooms. This knowledge developed a deeper understanding of the struggle learners with learning barriers faced in our traditional “left brain designed” schools classrooms. He has travelled extensively abroad over the past 26 years to learn and experience from schools and conferences and applied the ideas in the schools he served.

Mrs Adela Baker

Adela Baker, PCAC, founded Mind Coach NOLA, LLC in 2016. Based in New Orleans, but with clients around the world, she is a full-time ADHD coach and mom. She coaches adults with executive function skill deficits and Turbo Thinker benefits, who tend to be innovative, perspicacious, spontaneous, and generally fascinating people. Adela graduated from Tufts University with dual bachelor’s degrees in French and Spanish and is fluent in five languages—English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Italian. Due to her years of working with Turbo Thinkers, she understands what’s needed to succeed professionally and academically, in addition to what they require for happiness and balance. When not coaching or caring for her children, Adela can be found playing volleyball, practicing yoga, hula hooping, salsa dancing, roller skating and volunteering in her community, especially for ADHD awareness and outdoor adventure programs. Adela enjoys facilitating ADHD group coaching as well as private individual sessions.

Dr Armand Bam

Armand Bam received a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Cape Town and is currently the Head of Social Impact and the Small Business Academy at Stellenbosch Business School and Senior Lecturer in Business in Society. Armand is responsible for leading the business school’s social impact (SI) philosophy and strategy and oversees the execution of SI processes, programmes and projects. He lectures on the role of Business in Society in the MBA and MPhil Futures Studies programmes and Disability Inclusion and Quality and Integrity in the PGDip in Leadership programme. His research interests include disability, diversity, equity and inclusion; non-profit management & leadership and social impact education. As the lead author his work on student reflections titled Transformative learning through social engagement: Reflections on responsible leadership development in management education received the Best Paper Award at the International Business Conference in 2019.

Dr Brendan Belsham

Dr Belsham has been in private practice as a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Johannesburg for the past 20 years. He has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has presented at local and international scientific meetings, educational groups, churches and schools. He has appeared on television, spoken on radio and written for magazines. His book What’s the fuss about ADHD? explores the controversies around ADHD. His special interests include attachment, the first 1000 days, the impact of screen time on the developing brain, and ADHD.

Prof Sven Bölte

Sven Bölte, Ph.D., is professor of child and adolescent psychiatric science at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet (KI), and senior clinical psychologist at the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Psychiatry Research, Region Stockholm, Sweden. He is director of the KI Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (“KIND”), editor in chief of the Scandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychiatry, board member of the European Network of Hyperkinetic Disorders just to mention a few of his trust appointments. He has received national and international awards for his work in ADHD and autism and community engagement. His broad research interest in neurodevelopmental conditions has generated more than 450 published articles through the years. For 15 years he has worked with the WHO and researcher and stakeholder across continents to adapt the ICF to autism and ADHD.

Dr James Burger

James Burger is a specialist psychiatrist based in Cape Town. He is currently a fellow in neuropsychiatry at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, where he is involved in research in the neuropsychiatric sequalae of traumatic brain injury and in health professional education. With a master’s in Sport and Exercise Medicine through Stellenbosch University and his practical experience of working in rugby and mass participation sporting events, James integrates expertise in using exercise as medicine into his approach to mental health. James is a member of the International Society for Sports Psychiatry and has a Diploma in Mental Health in Elite Athletes through the International Olympic Committee. He is dedicated to advancing the field in South Africa and is currently driving the development of a local special interest group in Sport and Exercise Psychiatry.

Dr Lesley Carew

Dr Lesley Carew completed her undergraduate studies at WITS and her post-graduate studies in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent psychiatry at UCT. She has been in private practice at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town since 2001. Dr Carew has a special interest in the management of children with chronic physical disorders and completed her Mphil Thesis (Child & Adolescent Psychiatry) on the Psychosocial aspects of the lived experience of adolescents with cystic fibrosis. Dr Carew has been involved in Adoption services, Consultation Liaison services and the training of registrars in child psychiatry (UCT) and interns in educational psychology (SU). Her primary focus in private practice is the assessment and case management of children under 13 years of age presenting with significant psychiatric disorders and she works within a multidisciplinary team setting.

Dr Helen Clark

Dr Helen Clark is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Head of the Child, Adolescent and Family Unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg. She is also a parttime lecturer at the Medical School of the University of the Witwatersrand. She has a special interest in Psychopathology in children under the age of 6 as well as in ADHD as across the lifespan. She also runs an inpatient facility for children and has experience working with children presenting with their first episode of a primary psychiatric disorder.

Prof David Coghill

Dave Coghill took up post as Chair of Developmental Mental Health at the University of Melbourne in February 2016. Before this he was professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Dundee, Scotland. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist by training. He is actively involved in research into child and adolescent mental health problems. His research focuses on developing a better understanding of the causes of ADHD, and related disorders, the development of effective treatments and their translation into practice. Recently he has developed a particular interest in the benefits of routine measurement of outcomes in clinical care and how best to optimise this in clinical practice. Throughout his research career Dave has maintained a strong clinical presence and has worked hard to develop clinical pathways that facilitate the rapid transfer of research evidence into routine clinical practice. In addition to his academic role at the University of Melbourne where he is Deputy Head of the Department of Paediatrics, he is part of the neurodevelopmental disorders team at The Royal Children’s Hospital and works at Orygen.

Mrs Ray Anne Cook

Ray Anne Cook has been an active occupational therapist in special schools and private practice for over 35 years. She was the director of Sensorykidzone, specializing with children and adults with sensory integration difficulties, Autism and ADHD. At present she is doing more mentoring and working with adults. Masters in sensory processing and ADHD was driven by person experience of my son and myself living with ADHD. My passion is the misunderstood child, empowering their parents in the upbringing of their child and developing the art of playfulness in all of us. She has been involved in the South African Institute for Sensory Integration for 30 yrs, as a board member and lecturer. She is the head for training Ayers Sensory Integration in South-Africa. She is on the EXCO of the South African Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She has recently moved to Plettenberg Bay to retire part time.

Prof Eric Decloedt

Eric Decloedt is an associate professor and a medical specialist in clinical pharmacology. He completed his clinical pharmacology registrar training at the University of Cape Town in 2011 and was the first South African clinical pharmacologist to obtain the Fellowship of the College of Clinical Pharmacologists from the College of Medicine of South Africa. He was appointed at Tygerberg Hospital/Stellenbosch University in 2013 and tasked with establishing the specialty as well as the registrar training program within the Department of Medicine. He was appointed as the head of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology in 2022. He is the current elected President of the College of Clinical Pharmacologists for the triennium 2020 – 2023. He is rated by the National Research Foundation as an established researcher (C2-rating). He is an experienced HIV clinical investigator focusing on HIV-associated comorbidities. He was the lead investigator of a randomised controlled trial studying the efficacy of lithium in patients with HIV associated neurocognitive impairment and is currently the principal investigator of an NIH funded study investigating metformin as an intervention to reduce cerebrovascular dysfunction in persons living with HIV and metabolic syndrome. Qualifications: MBChB, BSc(Hons) Pharmacology, FCCP(CMSA), MMed(Clinical Pharmacology), PhD(Clinical Pharmacology)

Prof Stephen Faraone

Stephen Faraone is a Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at SUNY Upstate Medical University in New York. He is also Senior Scientific Advisor to the Research Program in Pediatric Psychopharmacology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School. He is Program Director for the educational websites and He is President of the World Federation for ADHD. Prof. Faraone has been ranked as a highly cited researcher in the top 0.01% of scientists across all fields. He is a recipient of many awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics and the Paul Hoch Award from the American Psychopathological Association.

Prof Elisabeth Fernell

Elisabeth Fernell is a paediatrician with specialization in neuropaediatrics. She has for many years been working in the intersection between neuropaediatrics and child neuropsychiatry and became a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry in 2013 at Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre (GNC), the university of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her main clinical and research work concern different types of neurodevelopmental disorders; autism, speech and language disorders, ADHD and intellectual disability and is based at this centre (GNC) in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Dr Jean Veronica Fourie

Dr Fourie is an Educational Psychologist and senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, in the Department of Educational Psychology. She assists with training of Educational Psychologists at a master’s and doctorate level in coursework and clinical psychology supervision. She lectures on Inclusive Education to undergraduate B Ed students and to in-service teachers in the Advanced Diploma in Remedial Education. She has worked extensively in special needs education and presented papers at international and national conferences on supporting children with various neurodevelopmental learning needs. She has supervised 57 Masters students’ dissertations, 5 PhD students; published 13 journal articles and 4 book chapters, and is a reviewer for four journals.

Dr Mary Margaret Gleason

Dr. Gleason is trained as a pediatrician and child and adolescent psychiatrist and has special interests in early childhood mental health and the integration of mental health services into primary care.  She trained at Brown University in a triple board residency and completed an infant mental health fellowship at Tulane, where she worked for nearly 2 decades. She is currently academic division chief at Eastern Virginia Medical School in the US and Vice Chief of Mental Health at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. She is particularly interested in early identification of children at risk for mental health problems and integrating mental health into non-mental health settings. She led the development of practice guidelines for a task force in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the recently published American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. She is honored to sit on the boards of Zero to Three and the National Association of Child Psychiatry Access Programs.

Ms Tanya Huber

Tanya is a private practicing dietitian with her own outpatient practice as well as a clinical dietitian working in a private hospital in Sandton. She completed her studies at the University of CT where she initially got her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, biochemistry, and microbiology and then completed her postgraduate degree – Bachelor of Medical Science Honours in Dietetics and Nutrition in 2015. She completed her community service year in Gauteng at the Thelle Moegerane Regional Hospital and is currently completing her Master’s degree through Stellenbosch University in Therapeutic Nutrition. Tanya is also currently the chairwoman for the Gauteng South branch of the Association for Dietetics of South Africa (ADSA).

Due to her passion for psychology around food, she found herself seeing patients with disordered eating patterns quite frequently which led her to do additional training in this area. Having a diverse range of patients from outpatients to critically ill patients allows her to observe and treat patients with a different approach that suits them.

Dr Jane Indergaard

Dr. Jane Indergaard is an associate professor of nursing at Concordia College, in Moorhead, MN and a licensed registered nurse in ND and MN. Dr. Indergaard is a recognized speaker, budding author and long-standing provider of education, advocacy, and outreach for individuals living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She is the local co-founder of the award-winning Red River Valley CHADD, an affiliate of the national organization Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. She was recently appointed to the National Board of Directors for CHADD and also serves on the editorial advisory board for CHADD’s ATTENTION magazine. Her current research and clinical interests focus on the impact of hormonal fluctuations on women with ADHD, clinical practice guidelines for Adult ADHD, and the design and implementation of Psychoeducational (PE) programming into provider treatment for ADHD.

Ms Elize Janse van Rensburg

B. Occ. Ther. (UFS), M. Occ. Ther. (UFS)

Elize is an experienced occupational therapist with a keen interest in the fields of sensory integration, peadiatric occupational therapy and neurodevelopmental conditions. Elize holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy from the University of the Free State, both with distinction. She completed her sensory integration training through the South African Institute for Sensory Integration (SAISI), and has also received training in DIR Floortime and the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), both early intervention models for children on the autism spectrum. Elize believes strongly in the power of early intervention, and a holistic, child- and family centred, strengths-based approach. Elize owns a private occupational therapy practice in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She is a former lecturer in occupational therapy at the University of the Free State and serves on the executive board and lecturing team of SAISI. She regularly presents at conferences and has authored several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Ms Margaux Joffe

Margaux Joffe is a global neurodiversity advocate, speaker and consultant, dedicated to creating a more inclusive world for minds of all kinds. After a life-changing diagnosis of ADHD at age 29, she founded Kaleidoscope Society, a platform to dispel stigma and empower other women with ADHD. She went on to focus on advancing employment outcomes for neurodivergent adults by launching the technology industry’s first Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Yahoo. As an IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies, she has worked with organizations such as the United Nations, Nike, Dell Technologies, Yahoo, Verizon, GitHub and Intuit. Margaux is currently the co-founder of a professional development program for adults with ADHD and serves on the Board of Directors for the American Association of People with Disabilities.

Dr Kwabena Kusi-Mensah

Kwabena is a psychiatrist with additional training in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) based in Kumasi, Ghana. He holds the fellowship of West Africa College of Physicians and holds an appointment as a Part-time Senior Lecturer at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. Being among the pioneers of CAMH in Ghana, Kwabena expanded one of the earliest multi-disciplinary CAMH clinics in Ghana in 2017, which sees referral cases from 11 out of 16 regions (provinces) of Ghana, with a multi-disciplinary team of psychiatrists, paediatric neurologists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, and art therapists. Currently, Kwabena is a Commonwealth Scholar and a 4th year PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, UK where he is extending his work with cognitive assessment instruments by working on developing culturally appropriate tools for assessing executive and adaptive functioning for children and adolescents in West Africa,. His PhD work has recently been featured on a local Cambridge Blog here. Kwabena has won several awards and grants, most recently in 2020, when he won the Global Challenges Research Fund awarded by Research England (Grant No.: RNAG/588) to the tune of $105,849.33 USD. Kwabena serves on several societies and groups including the African Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (AACAMH) where he serves as President, and the Psychiatric Association of Ghana where he serves as Vice President.

Dr Anita Marinescu-Constantin

She is an experienced clinical psychologist and psychotherapist who has worked with Clinica Albion Medical for 1 year. She has a Masters degree in Psychology, Hypnosis and therapeutic interventios of short duration (CBT).

Dr Gregory Mattingly

Associate Clinical Professor,
Washington University School of Medicine
President, Midwest Research Group
President Elect, APSARD-
American Professional Society for ADHD and Related Disorders

Gregory W Mattingly, MD is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and has been a Psychopharmacology Instructor for more than 20 years at The Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his medical degree and completed his residency at Washington University where he received a Fulbright Scholarship. In addition to his clinical and research practice, he has been a consultant and evaluator for both the NFL and MLB. Dr Mattingly is the President Elect for APSARD and serves on the Scientific Program Committee for the World Federation for ADHD. Dr. Mattingly has been a principal investigator in more than 400 clinical trials and his research has been published in numerous national and international journals.

Dr Fanie Meyer

Dr Fanie Meyer is a psychiatrist based at the Optima@Rustenvrede Hospital outside Stellenbosch. He trained as an undergraduate at University of Pretoria in the 80’s, worked as a GP in Polokwane in the 90’s, and finished his MMed in Psychiatry at the University of the Freestate in 2000’s. He has served on the national councils of SA Society of Psychiatrists, PAINSA, and presented numerous talks at local, national and international forums. He is also the Medical Director of the M-care Optima Psychiatric hospitals in Bloemfontein and Stellenbosch. His main academic passion has been, trying to understand the Mind – Body interface, and how it manifests in Anxiety, Pain, and other Brain disorders.

Ms Miché Moodley

Miché Moodley is a registered psychometrist. She obtained her BA Honours degree in psychology (Cum Laude) at the University of the Western Cape in 2017. She later went onto pursuing a Masters by Thesis Degree in Psychology. Miché is currently employed as a Mental Health Screener at Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation. She also assists with psychometric assessments. Miché is passionate about child and adolescent mental health and believes that efficient and effective interventions at a young age are key to ensure the holistic wellbeing of future generations.

Dr Kedi Motingoe

Dr Kedi Motingoe, a psychiatrist specializing in Child and Adolescent psychiatry and working in this field for more than 15 years. After training at the Medical University of SA, I worked as a general practitioner before persuing studied in general psychiatry. Extensive work in the public and private sector as a general psychiatrist emphasized the importance of prevention and early intervention for best outcomes in adulthood. Dr Kedi’s focus is on addressing the needs of children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders, behavioural and emotional difficulties through bio-psycho-social intervention in collaboration with allied mental healthcare practitioners. Greatest area of interest is currently prevention and amelioration of infant, child and adolescent mental health disorders by supporting parents and families.

Ms Marguerette Osborne

Marguerette Osborne obtained her Bachelor of Arts (in Psychology and Linguistics) at Eduvos (formerly known as Pearson Institute). Thereafter, she obtained her Honours Degree in Psychology at the University of the Western Cape. She recently completed the B.Psych Equivalent in Psychometry at Stellenbosch University and completed her internship programme at Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation. Marguerette is currently employed at Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation and administers psychometric assessments and assists with various other functions at the Foundation. Marguerette is very passionate about helping underprivileged learners, creating awareness about mental illness and breaking the stigma attached to it. Marguerette firmly believes that South Africa is in dire need of early intervention services. By intervening early and providing young children with the services that they need, we can truly change the trajectory of their future.

Dr Suntheren Pillay

Dr Suntheren Pillay graduated as a Medical Doctor in 1992. He completed his Cognitive Behavioural Therapy training In 2000 at the Beck Institute. He is a winner of the Gold medal In Psychiatry and a Specialist Psychiatrist in Private Practise for the last 21 years. He is a firm believer in innovation for the improvement of patient care. He was the first psychiatrist to start Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and a pioneer Ketamine infusions for Treatment Resistant mood disorders in 2013 in South Africa. The research in Psychedelics and the practice of integrative psychiatry is another area of innovative practice. His fascination with genomics started in 1994 with the Variants in CYP 450 system 3A4 and later in 1996 2D6 variants and their influence on their response to psychotropics. He enjoys practising Precision medicine and where ever possible using Genomics and of recent Radiogenomics to achieve this goal. He is completing his PhD Microbiology and Genomics at Charles University in Prague. The Genomics enhancement of Clostridium for the optimal Biohydrogen Production. He is Chairman of the UPPS Group. A Green Biotechnology and Research Company. Their research, development and commercial interests include Nanotechnology for medication delivery and organ repair on which they have published. Bioprospecting for medication derived from fungi, algae and indigenous plants is an area of research . They have published Molecular docking study medication on new treatments for Covid variants. Development of new Rapid Aquamation devices.

Ms Karla Pretorius

MA: Psychology, Registered Counselor

Karla Pretorius is an accomplished professional in the field of neurodiversity, serving as one of the directors of AIMS Global ( With a career spanning nearly two decades, she has been at the forefront of advocating for awareness, acceptance, and understanding of neurodivergent individuals and their families on an international scale. Karla’s expertise lies in psychology research, focusing on autism, ADHD, and related conditions. She holds a double Honours degree in Psychology from both the United States and South Africa and has further enhanced her qualifications by completing a Master’s degree in Psychology through the University of Stellenbosch. Having received her own ADHD diagnosis in her thirties, Karla brings a unique perspective to her work, combining her personal experiences with her clinical background to better support families. Currently serving as the Chief Clinical Officer for Augmental Technologies, Karla and her team has developed Tracto (, a groundbreaking companion app designed to support parents of children with behavioral and emotional challenges. Through her innovative contributions, she continues to make a significant impact on the lives of individuals and families in need. Join Karla Pretorius at the upcoming conference as she shares her wealth of knowledge and insights, offering invaluable guidance to professionals, caregivers, and individuals seeking a deeper understanding of neurodiversity and effective support strategies.

Dr Nerica Ramsundhar

Dr Ramsundhar is a Neurodevelopmental Paediatrician practicing at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban. She has undergone training under the guidelines of neurodevelopmental paediatricians and paediatric neurologists at Red Cross War Memorial Hospital, Cape Town. She was the first clinically trained and HPCSA certified developmental paediatrician in Kwazulu-Natal. Developmental paediatrics is a sub-speciality that focuses on conditions that impact on a child’s developmental trajectory and behaviour. She is affiliated to the International Child Neurology Association (ICNA), Paediatric Neurology and Development Association of South Africa (PANDA), South African Medico Legal Association (SAMLA). She has a keen interest in ADHD and Autism. Her practice focusses on individualised care with a trans disciplinary approach ensuring comprehensive management. She also runs an ADOS clinic monthly assisted by a clinical psychologist.

Mrs Gina Rencken

Gina Rencken is an Occupational Therapist with a special interest in sensory integration, neurodevelopmental therapy and early intervention. She currently works at UKZN where she is responsible for the paediatric content in the curriculum. She is currently finishing up a PhD, looking at the neurobehavioural functioning of infants born to mothers seropositive to HIV. Gina is a board member of the South African Institute for Sensory Integration (SAISI), as well as the council chair for the International Council of Educators in Ayres Sensory Integration (ICE-ASI). She has presented at multiple congresses nationally and internationally in the fields of Occupational Therapy related to Paediatrics, Ayres Sensory Integration, Paediatric Neurology, Infant and child mental health, maternal mental health, and Early Intervention

Prof Renata Schoeman

Prof Renata Schoeman ( has been in full-time private practice as a general psychiatrist (child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry) since 2008, currently based in Oude Westhof (Bellville). As a psychiatrist, she has special interests in cognition (i.e., disorders affecting attention, concentration, learning and memory – such as ADHD), eating disorders, mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Renata also holds appointments as associate professor in Leadership (USB), and as head of the Healthcare Leadership MBA specialization stream. She serves on the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Mental Health (South Africa),where she chairs the sub-committee on Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health. She serves on the advisory boards of various pharmaceutical companies, and as a director of the Psychiatric Management Group (PsychMG). She is the convenor of the South African Society of Psychiatrist (SASOP) special interest group for ADHD, and co-founder of the Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation ( She is passionate about corporate mental health awareness and uses her neuroscience background to assist leaders in equipping them to become balanced, healthy, and dynamic leaders that take their own and their team’s emotional, intellectual, social health and physical needs into account. Renata is academically active and enjoys research and collaborative work. She has co-authored “All of these things are important to me” and has published in many peer-reviewed journals and has presented at local and international congresses. She is regularly invited to present at conferences and to engage with the media. During her post-graduate studies, she trained at Harvard, Boston in neurocognition and neuroimaging. Her awards include, amongst others, the Young Minds in Psychiatry award from the American Psychiatric Association, the Discovery Foundation Fellowship award, a Thuthuka award from the NRF, and an MRC Fellowship. She also received the Top MBA student award and the Director’s award from USB for 2015. She was a finalist for the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s Businesswoman of the Year Award for 2016 and received the Excellence in Media Work award from SASOP during 2016. During 2018 the Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation received the SASOP Award for Community Service. In both 2018 and 2019 she has received the Media Excellence Award as Thought Leader, while in 2019 she has also received the Media Excellence Award as Newsmaker from the University of Stellenbosch. She was also honoured as a Mental Health Hero by the Discovery Foundation during 2019, as well as by Welum in 2021. In 2022, she was recognised by Prestige South Africa as Psychiatrist of the Year.

Dr Riekert Swart

Dr Riekert Swart is a paediatrician in private practice in Middelburg, MP. He completed his post graduate studies at UFS in Child health and Paediatrics and completed his research work for his Masters in Child Health (Neurodevelopment) at Wits. His special interests include paediatric neurodevelopmental conditions and neurology. His interest in neurodevelopmental paediatrics also includes child and adolescent mental health. In his practice he sees several children with ADHD, ASD and other developmental difficulties but also children with mental health difficulties. He is also a keen follower of the work of Prof Gillberg on ESSENCE and use these concepts often in his practice. Furthermore, he also covers the range of paediatrics including newborn care, neonatal care, and ambulatory paediatrics. He is married and have 2 sons still in primary school.

Dr Hugo Theron

MSc (Clin Psych) (US), MSc (Health Psych) (Leiden), PhD (Child Psych) (UFS)

Hugo has been a registered clinical psychologist since the late 90s. He studied clinical psychology at Stellenbosch University, and medical and health psychology at Leiden University. He obtained his Phd in Child Psychology from the University of the Free State. He has worked with both children, adolescents, and adults in South Africa, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

His fields of interest is varied, covering anxiety and mood disorders, as well as behavioural and neurodevelopmental problems across the developmental range from childhood, through adolescence, into adulthood. He did his PhD research on the use of information and communication technology (including social media) and the impact it has on children and adolescents; and enjoys discussing (and helping people to manage) the joys and pitfalls of technology.

Dr Adri van der Walt

Dr. Adri van der Walt completed her medical degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 1974. She thereafter did an Honours degree in Human Genetics and then went on to do General Paediatrics. In practice, her main interest was Genetics, Developmental problems, School and learning problems, Epilepsy and General Neurology. Registration as a Paediatric Neurologist was done in 2002. Her work in practice has especially been in the fields of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Behavioural issues, School and learning problems, Epilepsy and Autism. She is now at the age where she is slowly winding down practice.

Dr. Michèle van Niekerk

For many years Dr van Niekerk served as the only private Paediatrician in the Overberg, during which she developed a keen interest in neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD, the Autisms, Specific Learning Difficulties and related scholastic and behavioural challenges. In 2018, she completed training and ccreditation in the use of the DISCO (Diagnostic Interview for Social & Communication Disorders), a validated assessment tool for the diagnosis of autism and related conditions. She continues to attend workshops and do presentations to promote knowledge about neurodevelopmental conditions. Dr van Niekerk is passionate about promoting early diagnosis and early intervention, to preserve the mental health of children and adolescents.

Dr Melane van Zyl

Dr. Melane van Zyl is a psychiatrist interested in Treatment-Resistant Depression, Complex trauma, and Borderline Personality Disorder. She enjoys offering mindfulness-based groups (DBT and MBCT) and planning treatment pathways that include ECT, TMS, and Ketamine. Melane is a candidate Jungian analyst and a certified mindfulness and yoga teacher.

Prof André Venter

Retired Professor and Academic Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at Universitas Hospital and the University of the Free State Prof Andrè Venter was the Academic Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of the Free State for more than 20 years. He has recently retired but remains an emeritus professor at the UFS and is still in private practice. He is a Neurodevelopmental Paediatrician with a passion for children with developmental delays and other handicaps. Prof Venter is fascinated by the way the brain works and the factors that influence how we learn, think and concentrate. He was very fortunate to be awarded the Katherine Swallow Fellowship, which enabled him to do a PhD in Child Development at the University of Alberta in Canada in the early 90’s. Prof Venter enjoys teaching, making complex neurological concepts easy for undergraduate and postgraduate students. He also has an entrepreneurial spirit, which has led him to be the project leader of many successful projects, like the Beds of Hope campaign, the Children Wing campaign and currently the MACAH foundation and the establishment of a Mother and Child Academic Hospital in the Free State. He is the founder, chairman and immediate past president of the Paediatric Association for Neurology and Development in South Africa (PANDA SA). He was also the founder president of the African Neurology and Developmental Association (ACNA). He was awarded for his work by being elected Bloemfonteiner of the year in 2008 and a National Management Award from the Kovsie Alumni Trust in 2008. He received a lifetime award for teaching Paediatric Neurology in 2012 and a Panda SA lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Neurosciences in South Africa.

Dr Chris Verster

Dr Chris Verster obtained the degrees MB ChB and M Med (Psychiatry) at the Free State University, FC Psych (SA) and M Phil in Applied Ethics at the University of Stellenbosch where he served on the Health Research Ethics Committee for a number of years. He has served on the Western Cape Provincial Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and previously chaired the Mental Health Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee of the province. Currently Head of Clinical Unit (Psychiatry) at Worcester Regional Hospital, where he is also Medical Intern Curator and involved in developing services for the hearing impaired. His current interests further include public mental health, sleep disorders in psychiatry as well as biomedical ethics.

Dr Karen Vukovic

(MBBCh (Wits) FFPsych (SA) M.Med Psych (Wits))

Dr Vukovic has been in full time private practise as a general Psychiatrist at Sandton Mediclinic, Johannesburg since 1994. She has specific interests in: Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Eating Disorders, ADHD, Mood Disorders and Psychiatry in the workplace. Dr Vukovic attends regular training in a number of psychotherapeutic modalities. She has a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to a management of Psychiatric illness. She is registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa as well as the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Medical Council of Ireland.

Mrs Emma Wijnberg

Emma is an Occupational Therapist, wife and mother to two busy barefoot boys. She is passionate about discovering and developing an understanding for individual abilities, making little lives easier, and empowering parents to raise hero’s. Emma is Sensory Integration and DIR Floortime trained and runs a busy paediatric practice in the KZN Midlands. Emma also regularly presents workshops for parents and professionals on various topics pertaining to early intervention, neurodiversity, play and sensory processing. Emma will be discussing ADHD in infancy and toddlerhood – navigating early intervention, developmental strength’s and challenges through sensory integraton and family intervention.