March 2nd, 2010

AWARE appoints an Executive Director

Notice to Members

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Corinna Lim as the Executive Director (ED) of AWARE.

Corinna, who assumes office today, will be a familiar figure to many of you. She has been a member of AWARE for 18 years and has served on two Executive Committees, and as chair of several subcommittees, including fund-raising. She has also led in research projects for AWARE. Her contribution to the women’s cause have included being principal drafter of the Domestic Violence Bill tabled by former AWARE President Dr Kanwaljit Soin when she was a Nominated Member of Parliament. In the past months, Corinna has, as Chair of the AWARE Training Institute, initiated and seen to the development of new projects including the Workplace Sexual Harassment workshop for Human Resource personnels.

Corinna brings to AWARE substantial managerial, strategic-planning  and entrepreneurial skills over and above her legal training. Last year she was a key player in the effort to reclaim control of AWARE at the May 2 EGM.  A summary of her career and NGO experience is attached.

We are very fortunate to have Corinna’s professional contribution, passion and commitment.

Corinna’s appointment comes after several months of search and deliberation by the Exco. It is a decisive step forward in the process that was begun several years ago to professionalise AWARE’s operations and ensure continuity of our programmes.

This November marks the 25th anniversary of AWARE. Much has been achieved in these 25 years, and we look forward to achieving much more in the next 25 years. But if we are to do so effectively we need to ensure a greater continuity and consistency of our efforts. We need to have in place a strong professional team that can harness the energy, expertise and passion of volunteers – and one of Corinna’s many immediate tasks will be to develop and implement a Volunteer Management System to do precisely this.

Another step we have taken on the path towards professionalisation is the amendment of the AWARE Constitution to provide for governance by a 7-member Board instead of a 12-member Executive Committee.  With an ED in place to manage AWARE’s day-to-day operations, the Board will focus on broad policy-making and governance. A more robust Board selection process will be in place for the next AGM.

Meanwhile, our activities are picking up the pace again after the Chinese New Year festivities. This Friday, March 5, we have a story-telling session led by Hon Treasurer and former AWARE president Tan Joo Hymn and veteran stage actor and voice coach Verena Tay. To mark International Women’s Day on March 8 they will relate a range of stories about inspiring women through the ages. Why not drop in at the AWARE Centre at 8pm and listen to these stories?

Have a Happy International Women’s Day.

Dana Lam

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