Please write and tell us where you are in the world and how your careers are progressing, or just write about anything that is close to your heart.


Email your letters to nelia.engelbrecht@nwu.ac.za, fax them to 086 614 3222 or mail them to Nelia Engelbrecht, Institutional Office, North-West University, Private Bag X1290,

Potchefstroom, 2520.



Messages from afar

Flip and Lindie Nell, with their son, Chris and daughter, Gussie. Lindie says they enjoy the lifestyle in Australia. “Our children play cricket in the street with friends, and fishing and bow and arrow making don't leave much time for homework in their short afternoons – the school hours are from 9:00-15:15.”

Dear fellow alumni,


We are an entire family of Potchefstroom Campus alumni here in Australia. Back in 2008 my husband, Flip Nell, and I (Lindie) packed our bags and took the big step with our one-year-old son.


I work part time as a children's therapist in a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre with mothers and their children. I studied social work at the former Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE) and was a resident of Karlien (1990-1993). In 2009 I obtained an NWU master's degree through distance education. Flip, who stayed in Patria while studying electronic engineering (1990-1993), works in Sydney as a geographic information systems consultant.


We live on the Central Coast, about an hour's drive from Sydney. It feels like paradise: we live in an area abounding in trees and surrounded by a variety of beaches. Our children are in a Christian school. In Chris's (9) class there are four children who are originally from South Africa, and in Gussie's (6) class, five. Their drama teacher, Wiesie Bester, is our neighbour and also an alumna.


Our children's grandmother, Ralda Nell, is also in Australia – she obtained a University Lower Education Diploma at the PU for CHE (1960-1962). The children are also lucky enough to have an uncle and an aunt over here. Hercu Coetzee, primarius of Caput (1981-1988) and his wife, Louiza (née Coetzee), a former member of Alabama and Residence Committee member of Heide (1985-1988), were the first two brave alumni in the family to leave South Africa.


They emigrated to New Zealand first, and moved to Australia from there. They now live in Grafton where they own a pharmacy. Their daughter, Ane Coetzee, studies in Sydney. Grandmother Ralda also lives in Grafton and sometimes helps out in the pharmacy and looks after our children during the holidays.


We miss our family in South Africa dearly. My dad, Chris Windell (at 75), and brother, Winton Windell, are still on the staff of the Potchefstroom Campus and two of my nieces are students there.


In case anybody was wondering: we still support the Springboks and Proteas and our son, a cricket fanatic, has no doubt that he will be playing cricket for South Africa one day.


Greetings from a hot and sunny Australia.


Lindie Nell



The NWU & U


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Winners of the NWU's Alumni Awards are from left Karen Meiring (Business Leadership Award), Dr Tanya Robinson (Research Award), Yvonne Mfolo (Community Involvement Award), Dr Theuns Eloff (Lifetime Achievement Award), Judge Frans Kgomo (Public Service Award) and Kobie van Rensburg (Arts and Culture Award). Due to urgent commitments elsewhere, the other two winners, Shanté Bukes (Sport Award) and Prof Llewellyn van Zyl (Young Alumnus Award) were not able to attend the event. Their representatives received the awards on their behalf.