About

Our Leaders

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

Dr. Ronita
Mahilall

Chief Executive Officer

Commencing her service in September 2016, Dr Ronita Mahilall leads our organisation as CEO. Ronita holds a PhD in Psychology from Stellenbosch University and the title of her dissertation by publication is: “ SPIRITUAL CARE IN HOSPICE PALLIATIVE CARE SETTINGS IN SOUTH AFRICA: NATIONAL CURRICULUM NEEDS, DESCRIPTION OF PROVINCIAL SERVICES, AND A LOCAL CASE STUDY. She also holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from UNISA. Ronita has been selected to undertake a PhD exchange programme at Kings College, London, UK. She has worked in many NPO settings starting as a social worker 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’.

In 2018, Ronita was a finalist in the Regional Businesswoman of the Year. 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.

Michelle
Petersen-Damon

HOD: Palliative Care Services

Michelle leads Palliative Care Services for the organisation which includes Medical Care, Psychosocial Services, Spiritual Care, Bereavement support and Volunteer services for St Luke’s Combined Hospices. She has a keen interest in Palliative Care and has also completed in-house Palliative Care courses and through the University of Colorado. She is currently a PhD candidate with the University of Stellenbosch (Psychology Department) with her focus on Palliative care – the research title is “ Understanding“diversity” in palliative care services in a South African Hospice service”.

A qualified Social Worker, her experience of 29 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 teamwork. Mentoring and coaching in the workplace further augment the development and capacitating of staff. 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: Revenue Services

Heading the divisions of Revenue Services, Feerouza keeps her eye on the finances for the organisation, maximizing the various governance process and systems. In addition, Feerouza, looks after our Revenue Services 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 People Services, Payroll, IT Infrastructure (Desktop and Server Support), Operations/Logistics for St Luke’s Combined Hospices. Her career includes 34 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.