Old and new faces on new AWARE Board
Election of 7-member governing body marks new phase of growth
and service AWARE
AWARE has begun a new phase of growth and service.
At the 25th Annual General Meeting on 28 August, members elected a seven-member Board that will serve for two years instead of one and will provide leadership for the association in a governance rather than an operational role.
The new Board, comprising both veteran and relatively new members, is led by corporate lawyer Nicole Tan as President and family lawyer Halijah Mohamad as Vice President. [See full list of Board members.]
Nicole, who has been an AWARE member for 13 years, served on the last Executive Committee as the Assistant Secretary and Chair of the Legal Subcommittee. She was also a member of the Professionalisation Subcommittee and drafted the new bye-laws.
“AWARE”, said Nicole, “provides a forum for exploration, expression and education on gender equality issues. This forum is precious. It was precious to the giants before me; it is precious to me; and – unless AWARE succeeds beyond our wildest imagination – it will be precious for my daughter.
“This year AWARE celebrates its 25th anniversary. We are also embarking on a new, more professional phase. My professional training as a lawyer, in particular a corporate lawyer, equips me with skills that are relevant and important in this phase of evolution of the Association.
“Like many of our members, I juggle family and work. I truly empathise with the woman who wants it all, the woman who fears that something’s got to give. So it is not without trepidation that I put this new role on my already full plate; and I thank my family, in advance, for the sacrifices that they will have to make.
“That said, I am very glad that I have on the board a mixture of old and new members balancing continuity with the infusion of new blood. We have lawyers, an entrepreneur and educationist, media and marketing professionals, academics, and a financial adviser, each bringing to the table their different perspective of being a woman and their different professional skills.”
Nicole, who is bilingual, added: “During the next two years, AWARE will draw on her strengths in research and public education and reach out to the non-English speaking public. AWARE will also strengthen her competencies and engage in discussion and debate on issues that affect us all. I say to all who can contribute, please join us!”
Welcoming the “great mix of old and new faces’” on the new Board, former President Dana Lam said it had been a privilege to serve AWARE in what had been an exceptionally challenging year.
“I’m very proud of the team,” she said. “We pulled together and we have definitely come out of the year stronger. What I am most proud of is the team’s commitment to renewal and continuity. The threat to AWARE’s values and principles led many of us to realize that we must protect and advance what we believe in. This has served us very well in the past year and I am sure it will continue in the future.
“In the past year, we focussed on identifying our key needs and on the professionalization process. This commitment to professionalising our operations began when Constance Singam was leading AWARE in 2008. We are fortunate that Corinna Lim was able and willing to take on the task of being Executive Director. With her leading the operations of AWARE, we are now more ready than ever to move forward.”
Corinna Lim, who became Executive Director in March this year, described the members of the new Board as “strong individuals, dynamic and smart, each with a wealth of experience in their respective fields”.
She added: “I have worked closely with both Nicole Tan and Halijah Mohamed and have the highest regard for them as individuals and as professionals. I have no doubt that with their leadership, the Board will be an effective and high functioning team that will see AWARE reaching new heights.
“I would also like to say a Big Thank You to the outgoing Board, especially to Dana Lam and Chew Ijin, for their courageous dedication and leadership. This was a more onerous year than usual and they have sacrificed a great deal to see AWARE through the year and to turn what was a crisis into an opportunity to strengthen AWARE.”
The switch from a 12-member Executive Committee that served for one year to a seven-member Board serving for two years follows changes to AWARE’s Constitution approved by members at the 23rd AGM held in March 2008. Another change requires candidates for the Board to have been AWARE members for at least two years.
Members of the AWARE Board 2010-2012
|Chew I-Jin||Margaret Thomas|
|Teo You Yenn|