PA Symposium

The National Secretaries and PAs Symposium, organised by The Renaissance Network, Ms Peggy Pillay and Layla Cassim ERS Consultants CC, was successfully hosted on 26-27 September 2012 at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre in Braamfontein. The Seminar was charactertised by robust discussions on a number of critical issues and the sharing of personal stories of success. The programme is provided below. Please click on each speaker’s name to download his/ her presentation


Programme – day one

08h00 – 08h50 Registration and Refreshments
08h50 – 09h00 Welcome and introduction to the programme
09h00 – 09h45


Opening Address-Key survival skills and behavioural attributes needed for the Office Professional in the changing business landscape
Ms Vanessa Hattingh, Executive Personal Assistant to the Heads of Risk and Compliance – Rand Merchant Bank
09h45 – 10h30


A Joint Presentation: Understanding and embracing the changing role of the Personal Assistant to effectively address the complex dynamics of the workplace
Ms Cynthia Ngwenya, Personal Assistant to the Vice Principal-Research and Innovation at UNISA and
Ms Lilian Khumalo, Personal Assistant to the Head: Institution of Open Distance Learning at UNISA
10h30 – 11h00 Mid-morning refreshment break
11h00 – 11h45 The professional development of the Office Professional through a planned and structured approach to the career management odyssey

Dr Layla Cassim, Founder and Managing Director-Layla Cassim ERS Consultants CC

11h45 – 12h30 Unleashing the power of networking, collaboration and stakeholder management to advance YOUR cause as a high-performing Office Professional

Ms Lerato Makwela, Employee Relations Administrator-MTN-SA

12h30 – 13h00 A DVD screening and discussion on the challenges and opportunities presented by diversity in work teams
13h00 – 14h00 A networking luncheon
14h00 – 14h45 The Office Professional and Wellness: Getting more out of pharmaceutical services!

Dr Layla Cassim, Pharmacist and Pharmacologist: Layla Cassim ERS Consultants CC

14h45 – 15h30 Sharing best practices: Quality Management in Documentation and Record keeping - Getting on top of the age-old “filing dilemma”!

Ms Darlene Reddy, Education, Training & Development Practitioner/Quality Management Specialist

15h30 – 15h45 Wrap-up and closure of proceedings

Programme – day two

08h30 – 09h00 Early morning refreshments
09h00 – 09h45 Addressing Sexual Harassment: a critical step towards the elimination of unfair discrimination in the workplace

Adv Hassan Cassim, Labour Law Specialist-The Renaissance Network

09h45 – 10h30 Unleashing the Power of Communication for high impact!
Ms Nomonde Mxhalisa, Director MMD Strategic Consulting
10h30 – 11h00 Mid-morning refreshment break
11h00 – 11h45 Promoting the well-being of the Office Professional: Ergonomics and Stress Management

Ms Heather Talbot, Physiotherapist: Sklaar Laidler and Partners

11h45 – 12h30 Emotional Intelligence-growing it and making it work for you in the working environment!
Ms Mary van Ede – Marketing, Media and e-Technology Co-ordinator-Harcourts Pretor
12h30 – 13h00 A reflective discussion in plenary
13h00 – 14h00 A networking luncheon
14h00 – 14h45 A DVD Screening on the Role of Mentorship in accelerating your Career Development, followed by a discussion in plenary
14h45 – 15h45 A Facilitated Discussion: Identifying key challenges facing Office Professionals and exploring some strategies to effectively address these
15h45 – 16h00 Closure and vote of thanks