A Message from the PsySSA President 2022

A Message from the PsySSA President 2022

As we bring 2022 to a close, we are mindful of the many ways in which a number of spaces have opened up over the past year. We faced countless losses over the past three years of the COVID-19 pandemic – and we continue to remember those we have lost and we see the visible effects of the aftermath of the pandemic in the countless forms of suffering in our society. We know that there is much work to do.

In these seeds of crisis however, we see opportunities for harnessing energies and capacities in ways not easily imagined before COVID-19. The pandemic and its aftermath have offered us opportunities for imagining new modes of functioning – navigating and managing our daily lives, being together virtually, new modes of work, of teaching and learning, finding ways to build community, networks and solidarities across these difficulties. Ways that were hitherto not immediately accessible to us nor thought possible. I am keen for us to strengthen and build on the agility and flexibility that we have developed over the past three years – recognizing the ways in which we all, as a PsySSA community, have responded to the practice, research, community engagement, policy and advocacy work we have all been called upon to do. The energy and dynamism of our members, the reach of the work we do as PsySSA members as well as the ways in which this work impacts our society makes me extremely proud to be leading PsySSA.

This past year has been an immensely successful one for the Society. One in which we were able to take advantage of our stability as an organization, as well as consolidate and build on our strengths. A major highlight has been the opportunity to gather together at our 26th Annual Congress between 12 to the 14th October 2022. We are in the midst of consolidating feedback from the Congress but by all accounts, it was a very successful event – we had over 560 delegates in attendance and a vibrant, intellectually stimulating programme. Key amongst the feedback received in-person at Congress and thus far online – was the gratitude and joy for being able to gather together as a community in the name of PsySSA and a recognition of the vibrant, diverse community that we all are.

I look forward to working with the 2022/2023 Executive Committee and the broader PsySSA membership to continue to build and strengthen our society through enacting PsySSA’s vision, mission and strategic goals. I look forward too, to tending to the seedlings that have sprouted out of the crisis and expanding our horizons to imagine new opportunities, alliances, and partnerships.

Thank you for your energies, your labour and your ongoing support as we look ahead to a new year of productive, innovative and exciting work for the Society.

Finally, I would like to wish you and your significant communities health, happiness, rejuvenation and nourishment this holiday season as we look forward to the work we will do in 2023.

In Memorium: Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige (PsySSA Past-President)

In Memorium: Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige (PsySSA Past-President)

Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige

Tributes page

As colleagues, mentees, friends and family of Dr Dunbar-Krige we would like to invite you to contribute to our wall of remembrance that will be dedicated to her legacy. Here are a few messages we have received to date and we will add to this list as more are received.

Write a tribute

Warm heart ,empathetic person. My sincere condolences to the Psychology fraternity, Universities, students and PsySSA community. To her family, you have lost a sweet, kind and a loving person RIP ?

I will forever remember you and what you have taught me. Humbled to have had the privilege of knowing you and learning from you!

Helen – you taught me everything about integrity, about being true to yourself, about empathy, compassion and why we as Educational Psychologists need to be passionate about our profession. Thank you for everything you taught me. – Iona

Helen had a warm and generous presence and was always a lovely person to talk to and engage with. I only knew her in the context of our PsySSA space, but she left an immediate impression on me because of her commitment to improving South African psychology. I extend my heartfelt condolences to her loved ones. Rest in peace dear Helen.

I am one of the lucky people who are grateful and to have crossed path with Dr Helen. It was an honour to have latched on to her wisdom, learning from each encounter with her. Her fight for social justice was palpable. She has planted a seed that will blossom even when she has crossed over. I am heartily thankful for her contribution to the person that I am. My hearty thanks goes to the family for sharing Dr Helen with us, a people’s person. To the family: I am humbled that you gave me an opportunity to see her in the last few days, to quench my wisdom thirst….for the last time. Peace be with you, Shalom. Momi Metsing

She was a unique person, who reminded some of us of her struggles with the past. What being n predikant’s vrou distilled in her. She never hesitated to ask the awkward questions, seeking ways to overcome history’s limitations. A true carer, loyal to PsySSA and its unfulfilled mission ??

May she rest in eternal peace. Condolences and much love to her family, friends and colleagues. She was such a gentle human being.

Very, very sad. Helen was a very sweet, supportive and accommodating person. She undertook to be PsySSA president when things were really tough in the profession and stood her ground. May her soul rest in peace. Deepest condolences to the family.

Helen, your unwaivering commitment to being an advocate for Educational Psychologists in SA will never be forgotten. I remember many conversations where we sat and talked about the future of psychology and training programmes in SA. You always had a measured approach when working through challenging situations and looked for opportunities to consult with peers, colleagues, and those affected by the decisions made. “Ja, but remember, Educational Psychologists are working at the forefront of many of these scenarious impacting practitioners in SA”.

Unwaivering, committed, and just the biggest heart. 

Very sad indeed. Helen was such a very caring person. A good listener and very committed to advancing psychology in South Africa. We will miss her.

My deepest condolences to Helen’s family, friends, colleagues, students and community. I will remember Helen for her gentle smile, quiet courage, mischievous glint, and enormous grace. Here is to Helen’s legacy and the many beautiful ways in which she is remembered and honoured. I hope that Helen’s family will find comfort in the bouquet of tributes that have followed her passing.
We remember Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige with fondness, especially for her humility, devotion to her profession and dedication to the wellbeing of South Africans. Her concern for the education of children in our country came through in her work. We will miss you, Helen.
Helen’s embodiment of Arundhati Roy’s words will live on forever: “To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”

Greetings from the PsySSA Presidency: 26th Annual South African Psychology Congress

Greetings from the PsySSA Presidency: 26th Annual South African Psychology Congress

The Society once again welcomes its new and returning members to another year of inspired service, generative partnership, and engaged action. We thank you for your support towards building PsySSA into the mature and vibrant organisation that it is today.

The remarkable agility, skill and wisdom with which the PsySSA leadership navigated the 2020-2021 pandemic years – and the many significant milestones that it recorded during this particularly perilous time – attests to the evolutionary growth of the Society and points as much to the potentialities of PsySSA in 2022 and beyond. Notwithstanding the pandemic uncertainties and myriad other challenges that continue to plague our country and continent, it may very well be that we are currently on the threshold of yet another transition. As the transitions of the year begin to unfold, the current leadership is alert to the lessons and insights gleaned in the last twenty-four months, and equally to the feedback provided by our members. In particular, we are excited about what we envision as emerging portals of possibility and opportunity for the Society as we look to the future. To this end, the PsySSA Executive Committee has been hard at work – deliberating, planning and organising!

Recently, we asked you about Congress2022. An overwhelming majority of our members said YES! We are thus pleased to announce that the 26th Annual South African Psychology Congress will be held from the 26th to 28th October 2022SAVE THE CONGRESS DATE and stay connected with us for further updates on the conference, as well as other 2022 member offerings.

Finally, we remember and honour our recently deceased Past President Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige. Helen embodied the values of growth, relationality and service, and implanted these with loyalty and generosity into her leadership role within PsySSA. Her passing is a significant loss for the Society, and the many people and communities in whose lives she made an indelible imprint. We extend our deepest condolences and much love to her family, friends, colleagues and students. May Helen rest in peace and power.

In Solidarity,

The PsySSA Presidency

In Memoriam: Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige – Wall of Remembrance

In Memoriam: Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige – Wall of Remembrance

Dear Colleague

We hope you are well.

As we communicated on Tuesday, 22/02/2022, Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige, Past President (2018 – 2019), sadly left us.

As colleagues, mentees, friends and family of Dr Dunbar-Krige we would like to invite you to contribute to our wall of remembrance that will be dedicated to her legacy.

Kindly complete the below form and we will either share your message publicly and/or with the family members of Dr Dunbar-Krige

In Memoriam: Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige

In Memoriam: Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige

It is with deep sadness that the PsySSA Family informs you of the passing of its Past President, Dr Helen Dunbar-Krige (2018 – 2019).
PsySSA remembers Dr Dunbar-Krige as a kind and gentle human being, a true carer, loyal to PsySSA and its unfulfilled mission.
The PsySSA Family sends our deepest condolences and much love to her family, friends and colleagues.
A message from the PsySSA President 2021

A message from the PsySSA President 2021

We bring to a close another pandemic year, facing the fourth wave of infections with fatigue and an altogether stark view of the synergistic and persisting social, economic, health, gender and political inequalities that continue to both drive and deepen the COVID-19 crisis. The viral pandemic has caused untold human suffering. Yet too, it has illuminated the fortitude, sense of community, collective support and action, and humanising care so critical to mitigating the pandemic’s impact.

I take this opportunity to recognise the frontline workers who have been selfless in their service to our nation during this precarious year. I am particularly heartened by the dynamic, responsive and ethico-social ways in which PsySSA members have responded to the practice, knowledge, research, community engagement, policy and advocacy priorities that beckon our commitment and best efforts as we strive to address the grave psychosocial sequelae and associated implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this, I am exceptionally proud of the leading vision and approach that PsySSA continues to chart in response to the exigencies of our time and context, the needs and interests of its members, and of course the responsibilities that we hold towards those whom we serve.

Together with 2021-2022 Executive Committee, I look forward to building on the major milestones and successes of the Society through both continuities and new departures. I hope to do so in engagement with our membership, as well as affiliates and key stakeholders within and beyond our disciplinary and geographical borders. I am committed to enacting PsySSA’s vision, mission and strategic plans, and broadening its horizons against the backdrop of the dynamic and complex social environments, actors, processes and practices that must necessarily inform the labours and contributions of the Society, and of course the psychology community more broadly. 

thank you for your ongoing support, and await your active participation as we look ahead to what is clearly going to be another productive, innovating and exciting year for PsySSA.

Finally, I wish you and your communities of significance safety, healing, joy, and a nourishing holiday season. I hope that 2022 will be gentler and more just.

In Gratitude and Solidarity,
Prof Shahnaaz Suffla
PsySSA President