About

Our Leaders

The leadership team consists of a cohesive group of recognised specialists in their respective fields.

Ronita
Mahilall

Chief Executive Officer

Commencing her service in September 2016, Ronita Mahilall leads our organisation as CEO. Ronita holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from UNISA. She has worked in many NPO settings starting at Pinetown Child Welfare. She went on to be the Head of Social Services of KZN Blind and Deaf Society, and later served as the Director of Community Outreach Centre, St Mary’s Hospital. Ronita also served as a Supervisor employed at UNISA to manage the practical placements of 4th year student Social Workers. Her goals are to provide the best palliative care possible and to impact the lives of as many patients and families as possible in line with her motto of ‘while there may be a limit to cure, there is no limit to care’. She would like to successfully complete her PhD studies so that spiritual care receives the prominence it deserves as part of the palliative care experience. In 2018, Ronita was a finalist in the Regional Businesswoman of the Year awards. She is also a very active Rotarian. Ronita describes her passions outside of work as any activity that involves heights! She is working towards stepping out of a plane soon …. For fun! And she is totally in LOVE with food; from cooking, baking, experimenting, plating and eating.

Dr Mary
Hlalele

HOD: Health Services
(In Patient Unit Kenilworth)
and Centre for Palliative
Learning

Dr. Mary Hlalele heads up Health Services/Centre for Palliative Learning. Dr. Mary Hlalele provides leadership for the development and implementation of SLCH strategic objectives, designed to offer quality palliative care services to patients/families, while ensuring effectiveness of related education programs. A medical graduate of Lagos University, with post-graduate qualifications in PHC (education), Dr. Mary Hlalele is an accomplished PHC clinician and educator; studied Social Entrepreneurship at GIBS. An ardent life long learner, Dr. Mary Hlalele has recently acquired a qualification in Palliative Care Specialisation from the University of Colorado. Dr. Mary Hlalele was awarded a Kellogg Leadership Fellowship, designed and implemented integrated community-based health care programs, received several awards for her contribution in health and leadership; is Founder Member of the Tropical Institute of Community Health in Development – Kenya, and has served on the UN Secretary General’s Millennium Development Goals project. She delivers with passion for promoting social equity as a means of improving the well-being of marginalised communities.

Sr Veliswa
Madikizela

HOD: Community Development

Sr Veliswa heads up the Department for Community Development managing Home Based Care and Lizo Nobanda MDR (Multi-Drug Resistant) TB hospice in Khayelitsha for St Lukes Combined Hospices. In her 21 years’ experience in nursing she worked for different organisations in Khayelitsha, nursing, coordinating and managing HIV& AIDS projects, youth clinics as well as general clinics. Sr. Vee, as she is called by colleagues and patients, is driven by the love and compassion of the community and their wellbeing. She is goal orientated and open to learn more. These values are well suited for the organisation that is palliative driven. Sr Vee loves music, poetry and outdoors and she he is a mother of one handsome hunk.

Michelle
Petersen-Damon

HOD: Outreach Services

Michelle leads Outreach Services for the organisation which includes Psychosocial Services, Spiritual Care, Bereavement support and Volunteer services for St Luke’s Combined Hospices. A qualified Social Worker, her experience of 27 years includes the NGO, Grant Making, Disability, Substance abuse, Education sectors and Private Practice. She is task driven with a focus on building and sustaining internal and external partners; Quality Assurance; Monitoring and Evaluation; innovating internal systems, and promotes a community of practice through team work. Mentoring and coaching in the workplace further augments the development of both vocational identity and occupational commitment. She has a strong belief in the sharing of best practices with a focus on professional and personal development. Her tertiary education includes post graduate qualifications in the fields of social work and education. She is a qualified Assessor with the ETDP Seta and Educator with SACE who enjoys facilitation and training as she is a people’s person. In her free time she loves to be active with a passion for the fitness industry and sports. Michelle is a ‘go-getter’ who loves challenges and new experiences. She is married and encourages her 2 daughters to be strong and independent women.

Feerouza
Kruger

HOD: Finance and Retail

Heading the divisions of Finance and Retail, Feerouza keeps her eye on the finances for the organisation, maximizing the various governance process and systems. In addition, Feerouza, looks after our Retail division which includes overseeing our charity shops and our Distribution Centre. Feerouza completed a Comm Accounting Degree at NMMU. She passed the SAIPA Professional Exam and is registered as a Professional Accountant(SA) and a Professional Tax Practitioner(SA). Over the past 23 years, she has gained applicable versatile experience and expertise in the Accounting, Audit, Retail, Automotive and Facilities Management sectors. Her purpose in life is to give back and make a difference in communities. This is done both within the workplace and in her personal life. Feerouza expands her experiences whilst giving back to the communities. But mere one example is that she was a Mrs. Universe SA Finalist in 2019 standing for abuse against women and children. Apart from spending quality time with my family, she volunteers her services as Events Coordinator for the Summer Greens Neighborhood Watch and as Vice Chairperson of the Woodbridge Primary School Governing Body.

Michelle
Lehmann-Shantall

HOD: People and
Support Services

As Head of People and Support Services, Michelle holds the keys to Human Resources, Payroll, Marketing and Events, IT and Operations/Logistics for St Luke’s Combined Hospices. Her career includes 32 years of extensive experience across all Human Resources functionalities with specialist job profiling-, recruitment-, assessment- and employee relations and performance management. This is supported by strong project management ability achieving agreed goals; innovative approach to creating new systems/processes in addition to enhancing current practices; ability to contribute effectively both strategically as well as operationally to agreed goals; sound understanding of the value drivers within an organization; and grounded leadership skills demonstrated within tertiary-, under graduate-, postgraduate- and formal employment levels. In her free time, Michelle is an adventure junky, craves travelling and loves spending time with animals of all sizes in their natural environment. Michelle is married and has one doggie child – Murphy.