Recipients of the SABISA Ubungcweti Award


Steve Gardner

Born in Port Alfred, East Cape, Steve attended Kingswood College and is a proud member of the OK 1976 year group. After spending a year in the army, he attended Durban University and then his BCompt, through Unisa. He obtained his Honours whilst serving articles with Arthur Young & Co.

After working in the UK for just short of a year, Steve and his family moved to Cape Town where he worked for Fry’s Metals as Financial Manager before moving to Swaziland to work for Usustu Pulp Co Ltd.

In 1991 the family returned to Port Alfred where they took over The Spinning Reel Beach Cottages from his parents. During that time Steve ran a small accounting practice and bought a 50% share in a franchised motor dealership. Steve built 2 chalets from solid logs using raw timber to expand the holiday business and ran a restaurant for 2 seasons!

In 2005 he was approached to join Kingswood College as the Business Manager. During this time Steve has proven to be an exceptional manager of both the financial resources of the school, as well as manage the complex portfolio which incorporates College infrastructural development and human resources. Steve strengths do not only lie in his abilities to manage people but equally in his strong leadership skills. He has, over time, developed a strong sense of ownership, within the College staff, for the financial well – being of the school. This is carried over into his relationship with the College Council. Steve has, over the years made an enormous contribution to the various capital development projects of Kingswood. He has led over nine major construction projects namely, the City Lords Project (construction of the Hockey Astroturf, Rugby field and Graeme Beck pavilion); the reconstruction of the Hugh Stocks swimming pool complex; the Cohen teaching block; the High Performance Centre; the Head’s residence in Frances Street; the Jagger Horseperson’s flat and, most recently, the construction of Hobson House.

Steve was also responsible for guiding the College through the difficult process of phasing out contract services to the school and rebuilding an in house team to provide the broad range of services needed by the College. Steve was at the cold face of human resource development in the school. In navigating this difficult territory, he ensured that there was a greater level of efficiency in the school as well as demanding a greater accountability of staff. These processes are not easily introduced and Steve managed this process equally, with sense of purpose, but also with an eye on the human touch.

There is much more that could be said of Steve’s contribution to the College. There can be little doubt that he has had a significant hand in the success of the College over the last decade. His relatively easy going, calm, almost diffident manner belies an extremely strong character. Steve’s dry sense of humour coupled with his frank and forthright manner have made him a key part of the College management team. In addition to all that he has done within the College, Steve has also played a significant role in SABISA at both a regional and national level while also having been responsible for the organization of three national SABISA conferences in the Eastern Cape.

Married to Kim, they have three children. Kelly who is a physiotherapist and lives in Doha, Qatar, Michael is a pilot living the dream in Indonesia and Ashley who is in IT with Standard Bank in Johannesburg. This year, Steve became a grandad to Taya.

Steve’s passions are golf and sailing. He rarely is stressed and manages the balance between work and play time admirably.


Bryony Williams
Bryony Williams

Bryony matriculated at age 16 from Girls High in Paarl in 1968 and proceeded to Rhodes University to study pharmacy, following which she relocated to PE where she worked as a pharmacist until 1974. In 1976 Bryony assumed a position as trainer with Mohawk Data Sciences, one of the first companies to introduce digital data capture machines following the redundancy of punch cards.

With the birth of her daughter Robyn in 1981, Bryony decided to consult to several companies whilst operating a few small businesses from home. Seven years later, her husband, Johnny, was transferred to Johannesburg at which point Bryony enrolled for a financial accounting course, achieving the highest mark (97%) ever achieved by the institution.

In 1989, now with two daughters, Bryony joined Norton Abrasives on a part-time basis, dealing with stores and inventory control, before moving to Basterfield Brothers as a buyer, a manufacturer of domestic and industrial stainless goods.

Bryony assumed the position of debtor/creditor clerk within Holy Rosary School in February 1994 and some 8 years later Bryony was appointed Bursar. As Bryony commented, “I faced a huge and tough learning curve, but it was with the mentorship and guidance of my SABISA colleagues within the sector that I was not only able to cope with the job but to take on more and more work. I owe all my SABISA colleagues a huge debt of thanks.”

The position was subsequently split into a Bursar and Business Manager role in 2012 with Bryony assuming the latter role. With failing health, Bryony retired at the age of 63 but retained the position of Business Consultant, dealing with policies and procedures, legal issues, Employment Equity etc., for a further two years.

Bryony was the recipient of the Ubungcweti award in 2016.


Bea Croudace
Bea Croudace

Bea Croudace graduated from the University of Natal in 1972 with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics, Business Administration and Labour Economics, following which she specialised in Business Management.

After spending a few years overseas, Bea joined Unicorn Shipping as the management accountant. In 1980 Bea left to start a family. During those early formative years, she started her own management and financial consultancy practice with a focus on systems analysis, business strategy and computerising accounting functions.

In August 1999 Bea joined Kearsney College as the Bursar/Commercial Director and was involved in strategic planning, business management, HR and policy formulation within the College. She served as Chair of the KZN Bursars’ Association between 2005 and 2006 and was involved with the development of a further education programme for bursars. She also co-authored the Facilities Module for the Bursars Toolkit.

Bea served as an Independent Trustee on the Board of the ISASA Pension Fund, also serving on the Investment and Communications and Marketing Sub-Committees.

Bea retired from Kearsney in April 2016.

She is the proud mother of three grown-up sons and enjoys watching and playing sport, hiking, exploring the world and collecting South African Art.

Bea was the recipient of the Ubungcweti award in 2015.


David Ginsberg
David Ginsberg

David Ginsberg lives in Cape Town. He is married to Wendy and has two children, Natalie and Saul. He has a background in retail management, accounting and school business management.

David has held the position of Director Finance and Administration of United Herzlia Schools for the past 27 years wherein his remit is supporting teaching and learning for the 10 schools which provides education to children from preschool to High school.

David’s responsibilities include Finance, Administration, Information technology, Development, Human Resourses, Facilities and Fundraising. In addition to obtaining a B.Compt degree from UNISA, David attended Harvard University’s “Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management” course and holds National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) from the National College for School Leadership in the UK.

David has written numerous articles and presented at conferences on school business management and has a passion for the further professionalization of school business management.

In 2006, David’s voluntary work in international school business management in the Western Cape was recognized by Cameron Dugmore, MEC of the Western Cape, leading to David being awarded honorary membership of the Institute of Administrative Management.

David has held various leadership and governance positions, including National Chairman SABISA and Executive Member of ISASA.

David was the joint recipient of the Ubungcweti award in 2014.


Mike Acutt

Mike Acutt is a homegrown Pietermaritzburg man, having pursued his schooling and varsity careers in the same town. Mike is married to Kathy, with 2 daughters, Meghan and Hannah.

Mike started his working career as an accountancy teacher but left after 3 years to pursue a career in the commercial world. However, the lure to return to the education sector was too great and he subsequently assumed the position of Financial Manager at Highbury Preparatory School in Hillcrest.

After 11 years with Highbury, Mike assumed an equivalent position at St Anne’s College, where he is currently employed.

Mike has served as Regional Chair of SABISA (2 years) and as National Chair for 3 years. In his time representing SABISA, Mike has attended conferences in New York, Chicago and the UK.

Mike, in pursuit of furthering his professional development, studied through the University of Leicester and was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Management.

Mike has been the SABISA representative on the ISASA Pension Funds for the past 4 years and currently serves on the administration and audit sub-committee of this Board.

Mike was the joint recipient of the Ubungcweti award in 2014.


Phil Fraser
Philip Fraser

Phil Fraser originally hails from Bangor, Northern Ireland having immigrated to South Africa in 1983. He is married to Linda and has a son and daughter.

Phil has qualifications in Psychology and Accounting (Stirling University, Scotland), Ergonomics (Loughborough University of Technology) and Purchasing and Materials Management (Damelin) and pursued studies in Certified Financial Planning and Finance.

Following a career in local government and banking, Phil was appointed bursar at Redhill School in 1997, an office he served for 19 years before his recent appointment within ISASA as the SABISA Coordinator.

Phil has served as the Central Regional Chair (2 years) and National Chair of SABISA, during which period he had the opportunity to attend conferences in the U.S.A. and Australia, graciously sponsored by ISASA.

Phil has been the SABISA representative on the ISASA Staff Development Fund (SDF) for innumerable years and served as a director of “Independent Education” until incorporated within ISASA structures.

Having introduced the Bursar’s Toolkit in 2005, Phil has a passion for further professionalization of school business management and establishing SABISA as a recognized global partner with like-minded institutions.

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