Live, Love and Leave a Legacy: SYMPOSIUM

Fri Sep 13, 16:00 - Fri Sep 13, 18:00
Cape Town International Convention Centre


Live, Love and Leave a Legacy - Symposium - presented by University of Cape Town (funded by the National Research Foundation), NICRO, and the Dept of Correctional Services.

Book for this, and see the show at 7pm!!

The University of Cape Town's Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies and Dept. of Social Development partner with NICRO and the WC Department of Correctional Services, to host a Symposium at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 13th September, 4pm. Book before 9th September!!

Keynote speakers will include Andy Watson (MBE), Artistic Director of the internationally renowned Geese Theatre Company ( His theatrical presentation is titled Behind the Mask.

Geese Theatre Company is made up of applied theatre practitioners and group workers, working primarily within the UK Criminal Justice System and social welfare arenas. The company presents interactive theatre performances and facilitates workshops, specialised training for professionals and consultations for a wide range of social welfare agencies.

Prof. Leon Holtzhausen (University of Cape Town, Dept of Social Development)) will discuss the transformation of the SA prisons system under apartheid to the current Correctional Services and the restorative justice approach. His presentation is entitled Hey Bandiet! Reflections of a Social Worker in Supermax prison post 94.

Ms Venessa Padayachee (NICRO) will speak about the more-than 100 year heritage of NICRO, and the importance of lived values in transforming the criminal justice system.

Funded by the National Research Foundation and National Lotteries Fund (NICRO), the symposium will be part of the Live, Love, and Leave a Legacy focus of this year’s Second Chance Theatre Project’s performances. The Symposium will discuss the heritage of prisons, corrections in South Africa, restorative justice, social reintegration, and the role of theatre in transforming lives.

The Symposium will be chaired by Veronica Baxter, principal investigator and artistic director of the Second Chance Theatre, and Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town's Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies.

Andy Watson, MBE - Artistic Director / CEO - Having trained in Paris at the Lecoq School of Mime and Physical Theatre, he joined Geese in 1997, and became Artistic Director in 2003. His work involves overseeing the artistic integrity of the company’s work, devising theatre performances for use in a wide variety of social welfare settings, and developing creative projects with people in prisons, secure hospitals and in the community. He regularly delivers staff training events for professionals working with vulnerable, marginalised and volatile populations. Andy has a particular interest in working with high-risk offenders, offenders with personality disorders and young people who engage in sexually harmful behaviour. Andy is currently the Vice Chair of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance, sits on the Women’s Prison Estate Advisory Board, and was appointed MBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to arts in the Criminal Justice System. 

Prof Leon Holtzhausen holds a Bachelor of Social Work, a Master’s of Social Work (with Specialisation in Community Development) and a PhD (with Specialization in Criminal Justice Social Work). After graduating, Holtzhausen practiced clinical social work in a Super Maximum Prison for more than six years. Here he specialized in offender profiling, assessment and mental health treatment of male adult and juvenile offenders and their families. Treatment and rehabilitation services included, amongst others, a broad range of psychosocial and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, mood and personality disorders, psychosis, suicide, interpersonal relationships, life crises, incarceration adjustment issues, substance addiction, victimization, trauma, and family conflicts. He is currently employed as an Associate Professor of Social Work, by the Department of Social Development; University of Cape Town, South Africa where he lectures at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Ms Venessa Padayachee holds a BA Honours in Social Work and MA in Criminology. She also has a diploma in Human Resources management. She has worked for NICRO and the prisons section for 24 years, and is passionate about promoting and protecting the rights, dignity, and value of people in prison and returning. She has travelled to many countries to examine criminal justice systems, prison programmes and alternative models for justice. She regularly presents at conferences across the world and writes journal articles about youth incarceration, restorative justice, offender reintegration and cognitive behavioural work with offenders.

Additional information

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