Speakers

Dr. Deirdre Blackie

CEO, Courage Child Protection (South Africa)

Dr. Deirdre Blackie is a child protection researcher and community worker in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Following a 15-years career in business consulting and change management, she started working with communities concerned with child protection, child abandonment and adoption in 2010. She facilitated the creation of a National Adoption Coalition for South Africa in 2011, and since then her primary focus has been on creating awareness and engaging with communities around child protection challenges.  

Her Master’s Degree research explored the lived experience of child abandonment and adoption in South Africa, and her PhD research has taken her into the field of disability, with a specific focus on atypical children and critical autism studies. 

Dr. Blackie launched Courage in 2015, a community engagement programme aimed at assisting child protection officers and communities to address the challenges they are experiencing every day. Over the past five years she has used this programme and toolkit to empower meaningful change in the care and protection of our children.