Inaugural lecture by Professor Parker and other updates

07 June 2023

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) will host an inaugural lecture by Professor Romy Parker on Thursday, 8 June 2023. Read about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. Inaugural lecture by Professor Romy Parker

Professor Romy Parker will present the next lecture in the UCT Inaugural Lecture series on Thursday, 8 June 2023, at 17:00 in the Neuroscience Institute Lecture Theatre, Groote Schuur Hospital.

The lecture is titled “Pain management to reduce suffering in South Africa: integrating interdisciplinary research into the healthcare professions”. The primary driver for people to seek help from a healthcare professional is pain. Yet, limited time is spent in undergraduate curricula teaching on pain, its complex physiology and its evidence-based management.

Professor Parker will take the audience on a reflective journey – exploring the phenomenon of pain, asking how it affects us, and what we have learnt about pain in South Africa. She will also address how to ensure that every South African has access to a healthcare professional who understands pain.

Parker leads a dynamic and diverse team in the Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine. She is a teacher, a researcher and a clinician working as part of the interdisciplinary team of the Groote Schuur Hospital’s Chronic Pain Management Clinic. Parker is an active researcher who has supervised numerous postgraduate students. She is a passionate teacher, who was awarded the 2019 UCT Distinguished Teacher Award. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare professionals and is the course convener of the Postgraduate Diploma in Interdisciplinary Pain Management, the first programme of its kind in Africa. Her research focuses on developing and testing mechanism-based pain treatments relevant to a South African context.

2. Opportunity to become an accredited mediator for UCT

The Office for Inclusivity and Change (OIC) is offering 40 permanent staff members an opportunity to become accredited mediators for UCT. As a mediator, participants will be capacitated in dispute resolution techniques that will contribute towards creating a UCT workplace environment that is conducive to resolving differences in a manner that promotes collegiality and addresses matters of discrimination, workplace grievances and harassment.

The mediation course which will be facilitated by UCT Law@Work is internationally accredited (at a cost of R20 000 per delegate, funded by the OIC). This qualification will provide staff with many opportunities to expand their career development within and beyond UCT as a mediator. In addition to the training, participants will receive coaching, assessments, and mentorship.

The training will take place from 21 to 28 July 2023.

All mediators trained by the OIC in 2018 are encouraged to take up this opportunity to get accreditation.

The OIC is specifically seeking four staff members from each of the specific faculties and departments.  

To apply, please send an email to and include a 300-500 word motivation that details your interest in this opportunity and how you will use this accredited training to contribute towards equity, transformation and inclusion at UCT in your work environment, and spheres of influence. The closing date for applications is Thursday, 15 June 2023.

3. Update on performance management system review

UCT employs a variety of performance management and reward and recognition systems for different levels and categories of staff. Over the years, regular internal reviews have taken place and numerous improvements made. However, feedback suggests that the current systems are still not achieving the desired results.

As a result, in 2019 the University Human Resources Committee agreed to conduct an independent, consolidated and comprehensive review across all current performance management and reward and recognition systems, processes and policies, acknowledging the need for a unified, comprehensive and integrated solution.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was appointed to conduct this review, which was carried out in two phases.

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