Marie du Toit Award


Marié du Toit Award

The Marié du Toit Award for the best undergraduate research project in occupational therapy is an annual award presented by the Vona and Marié du Toit Foundation.

The Foundation and the award were established in memory of Marié, a young, enthusiastic OT, whose untimely death in 1972 left a large gap in the South African OT world. Her parents, Vona and Stephen du Toit and a handful of OT colleagues established the Foundation with its main aim, the Marié du Toit award.

The award was intended to encourage newly qualified OTs to contribute to the body of knowledge of the profession by studying the effect and outcomes of their OT interventions.

During the 1970’s, the status of formal research in OT in South Africa was in its infancy. Furthermore, the undergraduate OT curricula did not include the teaching of formal research methods. Therefore, the award focused on newly qualified OTs who could show tenacity of purpose, to plan, execute and write up a research project developed from practice. Not many applications for the award were received in those days because young OTs struggled to focus on doing research while working in full time jobs; and many felt unqualified to undertake research. 

Research was also not regarded as a significant part of professional practice. However, three newly qualified OTs, while being assisted by senior members of the profession, persevered and dedicated themselves to such an important part of being a professional. We pay tribute to Rita Cawood, Erika Jooste and Marie Grobler, who received the awards in 1976, 1978 and 1981, respectively.

As no suitable applications for the award were received by The Foundation, for the 15 years between 1981 and 1995, the Foundation, invited the eight OT training centers in SA to submit their best undergraduate research project to compete for the Marié du Toit award, every year. We congratulate the winners in every year, as seen on the record below.

Winners of the Marie du Toit Award for the best undergraduate research project in a year

Date University Students Title
2014 UKZN Domonique De Klerk,
Rochelle Romer,
Nthabiseng Masekela,
Romaana Abdul-Hamid
Exploring how the physical and social environment of a well resourced crèche in Ethekwini influences play in children between the ages of 3 and 4 years
2013 Not awarded
2012 Not awarded
2011 UKZN Jaqui Boyd,
Aadila Hassim,
Tammy Jordaan,
Nazmeera Mahomed,
Daniela Straeuli-Paul
Helping or Harming. 
A Service or a Sentence: A Case study of Life within a Chronic Care Facility
2010  UCT Tiffany Seligmann,
Kate Sheel,
Jessica Suart,
Shanley Theron
Empowered to Play
Delving into the impact of early powered mobility on a child’s play and social participation
2009 WITS Daphna Blieden
Michal Tauby
Nicola Grabman
Lori Efune
The Management and Leadership Skills of Occupational Therapists in Gauteng Provincial Hospitals
2008 WITS Daphna Blieden
Lori Efune
Nicola Grabman
Michal Tauby 
Pilot study to understand the management & Leadership skills of OTs in Provincial Government Hospitals in Gauteng
2007 WITS Cathy Rice
Victoria Beckett 
A pilot study to establish the outcomes of Flexor Tendon injuries in Specialised and Non-Specialised units in treating hand injuries
2006  UCT Tessa Edelman, Vanessa Gouws, Catherine Howe, Tarrynn Kulber, Jesse Kumm, Lara Schoenfeld A description of the livelihood strategies of a group of isisXhosa women with psychiatric disability living in the context of chronic poverty in Khayalitsha, Cape Town.
2005 WITS Carike van Heerden,
Nicolette de Kock, 
Kim Larsen,
Marijke Knopjes
The Relationship between Institutionalisation and Visual Motor Integration.
2004 UCT Keryn Brauteseth,
Lauren Bluck,
Karen Prakke,
Jenna Schou
An investigation into the experience of fieldwork supervision: Perspectives of senior student supervisors and junior student supervisees
2003 UCT Carmelita Barron,
Wendy Bates,
Megan Harrison,
Jean Mockford,
Lindel Weibesiek
The experience of engaging in the occupation of horse riding for adults with physical disabilities
2002 Durban Westville L. Chetty
P. Gobind
S. Ramnarain
An Authorship survey of the South African Journal of Occupational Therapy. Phase three of the journal evaluation.
2001 UCT Helen Bross
Claire Lewis
Claire Taylor
Exploring the circumstances in which playfulness is triggered for a group of disabled pre scholars living in an informal settlement.
1999 UCT Margaux Furneaux
Sacha Percy
Chene Roberts
Lee Seider
The influence on the experience of work of employees with mental illness in the open labour market: A Collective Case Study.
1998 Western Cape R. Abrahams
K. Creighton
N. Naidoo
A. Parker
S. Pillay
A life skills programme with adolescents in an underprivileged area in the Western Cape.
1997 Durban westville Seema Bhagwandas
Keshika Naidoo
Haseena Paruk
A critical evaluation of the splinting course offered by the Occupational Therapy Department at University of Durban Westville.
1996 WITS Andrea Quadling An investigation into a link between sensory modulation disorder and substance abuse.
1995 WITS Robyn Binkin The value of Community Rehabilitation workers in the Rural Community.