About Rosemary Crouch
Rosemary started at Roedean in 1947 after arriving in South Africa from England where she was born. Her parents were told that Roedean was the best girls’ school in the country! She went on to write her matric in 1956. After receiving an excellent education, and after making life-long friends at Roedean, she was accepted for Occupational Therapy at the University of Witwatersrand. After 3 years of studying at Wits Rosemary achieved her diploma in Occupational Therapy, which she was not allowed to receive until she turned 21, a year later!
Rosemary then left University and went on to work for two years as a qualified Occupational Therapist, before she met her husband Michael, an Electrical Engineer and also a Wits graduate.
When her third daughter started nursery school Rosemary converted her Diploma into a BSC Occupational Therapy. She was the first person to graduate with a BSC Occupational Therapy at Wits. This was because the C for Crouch was the top of the list of graduates! (There were only 5 of them).
In 1972 Rosemary began lecturing Occupational Therapy at Wits. By this time her three daughters, now Cathy Shorten, Susan Hart and Liza Davis were at Roedean. Rosemary received her MSc Occupational Therapy with distinction whilst she was on the staff and was appointed as Senior Lecturer and sometimes acting Head of the Department.
In 1990 Rosemary Crouch decided to leave academia to fulfil a professional desire and opened Riverfileld Lodge Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre with two Social Workers and a Clinical Psychologist. Three years later, in 1993, Rosemary opened her own Private Practice in Adult Psychiatry in Johannesburg and ran a successful practice up until 2008. During this time, she also completed her PhD at the Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA). Her research was centred on the stress of poverty in the rural community in Gazankulu (Northern Province).
From there she was then appointed as a Senior Scholar and Mellon Research Mentor at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) where she still is today.
During all this time her three daughters completed their Matric at Roedean, all of which studied further and obtained their degrees in Social Anthropology, Geology and Music. They are now married and both of her granddaughters currently attended Roedean.
Rosemary was appointed South African Delegate to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and was active in developing occupational therapy training in Uganda, Tanzania and Mauritius.
Rosemary became Vice President of WFOT in 1998 until 2002 and then was appointed Occupational Therapy Ambassador to Africa.
She has been involved in publishing and has edited two books on Occupational Therapy. In 2005 the fourth edition of “Occupational Therapy in Psychiatry and Mental health” was published with the co-editor Vivyan Alers and in 2010 the two of them edited “Occupational Therapy: An African Persepective” with Vivyan as the principle editor. Vivyan’s daughter, Lucinda Alers, is also an Old Roedeanian.
Rosemary has been Chairperson of the Board for Occupational Therapy, Medical Orthotics and Arts Therapy of the Health Professions Council of South Africa for the last 7 years and was granted Honorary Life Member of the South African Federation of Mental Health in 1994.
The cherry on the top of her career was at The WFOT International Congress in Santiago, Chile this year (2010), where she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists in acknowledgement of her contribution to the profession of occupational therapy both locally and internationally.