On 12 December 2011, the Chairperson of the HOKISA Board, Di Oliver, was awarded the Chancellor’s medal by the University of Cape Town for her work in advancing peace and justice in South Africa. The award was instituted in 2007 to honour “those who have made a significant contribution to the common good.” Di is the first recipient of this medal, presented by the chancellor of UCT, Mrs Graça Machel.
Di Oliver is principally associated with the Black Sash, though she is also involved with a number of other NGO’s and plays an important role in the caring ministries of St George’s Cathedral, and in their Justice and Reconciliation group. Di has been a member of the Black Sash from 1978 and still serves as a trustee of that organisation.
We are proud that Di is a founding Board member of HOKISA and has guided our organization from its very beginning.
In an interview with UCT’s Monday paper she states: “I consider it an honour and a great recognition of the importance of civil society activism in our country. The work I have done has formed me. (…) This award comes at a time when there is a great deal of questioning about the activism needed in civil society, after what appears to be a new wave of oppression arising.”
Di says that this award was a complete surprise to her, and that she just wants to make the world a more just and caring and less harsh place.
We are not surprised at all, and are very grateful and immensely privileged to have you with us, Di!
(photographer: David Burton)