Profile of Gerhard Lück

Current position: Managing Director of the Institute;

Positions held:  community development and income generation specialist, social worker for mentally ill and mentally handicapped youth, street children and delinquents in South Africa, Guatemala, Turkey and Germany; social development programme practitioner; programme coordinator of the current integrated youth development programme and assisting young entrepreneurs to become successful business women/men, active member of Northern Areas People Development Initiative (NAPDI) from 2008 – 2016,

Areas of expertise: Project development and management, Project monitoring and evaluation, Financial Administration, Social research, Life-skills training, teambuilding and leadership training, organisation design and development, Facilitation and train-the-trainer skills, Social Compact Facilitation and Management, HIV and AIDS Management, Street law trainer, Conflict Management and Violence Prevention, SAFA Level 1 soccer coach for U 12 – U 18 teams, Alternative to Violence Project Facilitator, History and Heritage Researcher.

Qualifications: Diploma in Social Work completed in Germany, BA (Psychology Honours) completed at NMMU – South Africa, Certificate Insurance Salesperson completed in Germany, Management of HIV/AIDS Programmes by InWEnt, Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung GmbH (Capacity Development International) in co-operation with the NMMU.

Shenal Lamb-du Plessis

Profile of Shena Lamb-du Plessis 

Director and Previous Chairperson of the Institute

Current position: Research Associate, Social Development Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Positions held: Coordinator of the NMMU Writing Centres, established an English Language Skills Programme for NMMU’s International Office, coordinator of a community development project in Spain, editor for the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations in Rome;  co-author of book (The Parrot’s Egg, 1985)  on migrant labour conditions in pre-1994 South Africa;

Areas of expertise: conflict management, English language development; project coordination; non-violent communication; accredited facilitator for the Alternative to Violence Project

Qualifications: MA Conflict Management (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), BA English and Communications (University of South Africa).

pic of michael barry

Profile of Michael Barry
Director and Previous Chairperson of the Institute

Current Position

Head of Department: Arts Culture and Heritage at the Nelson Mandela University


Positions held

Deputy Chief Education Specialist at the Department of Arts & Culture – Provincial Government Eastern Cape, -INSET training for teachers from Grades 4-7 in arts and culture learning area,

Director of Arts & Teaching Initiatives -a section 21 Non Government, not for profit organisation.

Regional Co-ordinator for Create South Africa.-A special project of the Media, Advertising, Publishing, Printing & Packaging Sector, Education & Training Authority) – MAPPP SETA.

SEDA trainer Craft entrepreneurial project – entrepreneurial development for Craft Practitioners in Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Free State and the Northern Cape
Regional coordinator for Business and Arts South Africa ( BASA)

Areas of expertise

Artist and art educator/Arts Culture and Heritage/project management/Facilitation/Curriculum development / visual arts /heritage


BA Fine Art (with Honours) – University Of Cape Town,

Post Graduate studies-

Higher Diploma of Education HDE – University of Cape Town,

MA Art Education – Nelson Mandela University

Profile Dr Veonna Goliath:
Director of the Institute’s Board

Current position: Senior Lecturer and student supervisor at the Department of Social Development Professions at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU),

Positions held: Social Worker, Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer and student/intern supervisor/clinical psychologist, Clinical Psychologist to Medical students and staff.

Areas of expertise: Debriefing and Trauma support, conflict management and violence prevention, substance abuse counselling; positive youth development; youth leadership development

Qualifications: DPhil (Social Work) BA Social Work, Masters in Clinical Psychology from NMMU and Diploma Human Resource Management & Training.


Thabang Sipho Queench
Present Chairperson of the Institute’s Board

 Current position: Community Engagement and Research Officer, Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Development, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU)

Positions held: Right to Work Campaigns Coordinator (AIDC), Youth Worker (Youth for Christ Centre), Community Development Specialist, Juvenile Programme Coordinator (Correctional Services), Offender Rehabilitation Programme Facilitator (Correctional Services).

Areas of expertise: Social and Critical Theories, Advocacy and Participatory Research Approach, Project Development and Management, Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Life-skills Training, Group Facilitation.

Qualifications: BA (Sociology, Psychology and Education), BA Honours (Psychology) completed at NMMU – South Africa, Advanced Facilitator Certificate (Race, Diversity, Social Justice and Organisational Transformation) completed at Witwatersrand University.