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The National Family Council was first formed on 1 May 2006 to champion and promote resilient families. On 7 February 2014, the National Family Council was renamed as "Families for Life" to reflect its evolving approach to connect with Singaporean families, and to better mirror the Council's community-driven identity.
Families for Life is a people-sector Council, comprising 15 volunteers from the people and private sectors. The Council is headed by Mr Ishak Ismail, Regional Director (Asia) of BAE Systems Hägglunds AB.
Families for Life Council’s vision is to build strong and resilient families because that makes for stronger communities and better individual well-being.
We Listen. We listen to the issues that Singaporean families are facing.
We Explore and Promote. We bring people and organisations together to create platforms for family bonding and to engage Singaporeans in conversations about families.
We Voice. We voice out concerns that people have on family issues and continue this conversation with our partners and the community.
In line with our hope to inspire and deepen conversations on families with families, we designed our logo to remind people of a speech bubble. A speech bubble instinctively stands for traits like curiosity and friendliness. The logo encapsulates us as open, genuine and positive to connect with families.
Mr Ishak Ismail is married with 2 children. He has been with the Families for Life Council since 1 Aug 2015 and was appointed Chairman from 1 Feb 2020. He also volunteers to reach out to families under ACCORD (Advisory Council for Community Relations in Defence).
At work, Ishak is currently Regional Director (Asia) for BAE Systems Hägglunds since February 2017. His previous experiences were with CWT Limited as CEO Defence Services and with ST Electronics (e-Services) Pte Ltd as Senior Vice-President/General Manager. Ishak retired from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in the rank of Brigadier-General in 2011 after serving more than 29 years.
Ishak also serves as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Maritime & Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore since Apr 2012 and the National University Health System (NUHS) from Apr 2020.
Ishak holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Sociology) from the National University of Singapore. He also attained a Graduate Diploma in Leadership and Organisational Development from the Civil Service College in conjunction with MIT.
In 2008, he received the Public Administration Medal Silver (Military) for his significant contributions to the armed forces.
Albert manages his own business since year 2000 under El-Shaddai Resources Pte Ltd, engaging in international trading of vegetable oils and soft commodities as a broker. He has over thirty years of extensive and varied experience in international trading in the industry. Prior to this, he held a corporate career and played a significant role within the senior management team as the Group General Manager, Trading, that spearheaded the regionalization of the corporate group into various countries.
He graduated with a Master of Social Sciences, Counselling, from the University of Southern Australia, Adelaide, Australia; and Bachelor of Arts/Social Sciences (majored in Economics and Political Sciences) from the National University of Singapore. He also has a post-graduate Diploma in Marketing.
A successful entrepreneur by day, Albert balances his business with the home requirements of being a loving husband to his wife, Alison, of 30 years, and involved father to his three emerging adult children (ages 22, 26 & 28).
He currently serves in 5 boards of VWOs. His passion lies in the social service sector where he seeks to be the voice and advocate for the less privileged. He has been an active volunteer for more than 3 decades, involved in many programmes for the betterment of fellow Singaporeans. He has also been instrumental in pioneering several initiatives such as opened a youth agency, started a senior focused agency, and formed a family focused network and the likes.
Last year, he mooted the idea of a collaborative network to cater to the upstream and mainstream needs of families. He is dedicated to the call to restore and strengthen families. He with his team of volunteers, called Family-Nation Network (FNN), strive to develop families to live, express and nurture love at home. In so doing, we will build a strong and vibrant nation.
Married with 3 children, Dr Ann Tan is an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at the Women's Fertility & Fetal Centre. She is a dedicated doctor and her mission is to help patients achieve their dream of having a healthy baby.
She is both a Fetal maternal specialist and a MOH certified IVF practitioner.
She was formerly the President of the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO) from 2008-2010 (Note: She was nominated by the Association of Women Doctors of Singapore). She also served on the 14th board 2006-2008 as the first Vice President and on the SCWO 16th board as the Immediate Past President. Dr Tan was also the Founding Chair of the SCWO Service Fund and listed on the SCWO 's Founder's Circle on SCWO website).
She currently serves as a board member at Halogen Foundation, a charity which focuses on youth leadership and entrepreneurship education.
Dr Elly has been practising family practice in private since 2001 starting with a family clinic in Woodlands, followed by another in Jurong West two years later.
Her interest in health education does not stop at her clinic itself as she involves herself actively in the community in both areas providing health talks and health screenings. On the national level, she appears frequently on Malay TV Programmes such as “Klinik Kita”, “Tanya Doktor”, “Jus”, “Berita on Suria” , “Sihat Oh Sihat “ and “Detik” as a health expert and ambassador.On the radio, she is a well-recognized voice on Warna 94.2FM when it comes to discussing health matters. She also contributes to Malay magazines like “Sutra”, “Manja” and the Malay Newspaper “Berita Harian” on health issues.
She is a member of the Muslim Healthcare Professionals Association’s Outreach Committee. She is also one of the founders of Geng Sihat SG, a community outreach group made up of health and allied health professionals who aim to promote and create awareness about healthy living.
Having a daughter who was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder with a passion for music also prompted her to set up a music school , Madison Academy of Music to help nurture her daughter and other children through music.
Joanna is the Co-founder of The Collective Effort, a social enterprise whose mission is to create meaningful impact in the society by empowering and uplifting vulnerable or financially challenged women, children and families. She is also an Educator for the past 30 years working with children from 4 years of age to the young at heart, seniors, a profession that she holds dear to her heart till today.
Joanna has more than 25 years of experience serving the community in various capacities, such as in the Women’s Health Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health, Family & Community Council of the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) of the Ministry of Defence, Panel of Assessors for the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, Business & Professional Women Association, amongst others. She is also serving in many grassroots organisations of the People’s Association. She was the Chairperson of the People’s Association Women’s Integration Network Council for 10 years, and now as its Patron and the Vice-Chairperson of PA Active Ageing Council. In addition, she is also a licensed solemniser appointed by the Registry of Marriages for the last 14 years and have presided over 2000 wedding solemnisations.
For her dedication to community service, Joanna was conferred the National Day Public Service Medal in 2011.
Joanna is happily married with a 13 year old son.
Dr Wong is married with 3 grown up children. He is a clinician, educator and researcher in Child & Adolescent and Family mental health. A senior consultant psychiatrist with the National University Hospital, Associate Professor and the Head of the Department of Psychological Medicine at NUS and NUH.
He is also the Center Director for NUS Mind Science Center, which develops and implements evidence based programs promoting emotional resilience and optimization of cognitive performance among the youth, adult and elderly in the community.
He is a strong advocate in establishing competent parenting practices among parents of disruptive children through the Incredible Years program, and also working towards establishing a stronger presence of informed parenting of Asian adolescents in Singapore.
Ms K Thanaletchimi is the Vice President of the NTUC Central Committee, President of the Healthcare Services Employees’ Union (HSEU), and the Chairman of the NTUC Women’s Committee. She was a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) of Singapore – the Labour Movement’s 11th union representative since 1992, from Mar 2016 to Sep 2018.
During her term of office as the NMP, she raised issues close to her heart passionately and sought more support for families especially for the working people. Her advocacy in the following areas continues beyond her NMP tenure.
1) Making every company a Pro-Family Friendly Company
2) Doing more good for the Women workforce especially to support pro-creation, employability and employment so that all three can co-exists harmoniously in an eco-system.
3) Better support for single mothers especially for the working group. Linking social network group access to every workplace.
Concurrently, Ms K Thanaletchimi sits in other committees of NTUC, governmental agencies, national institutions, and tripartite partners, notably in the MediShield Life Council, People’s Association Board, Industrial Arbitration Court Panel Member, Tripartite Mediation Panel and the Education and Domestic Services Industry transformation Committee, ITE Board as well as the Data Protection Advisory Committee. She had also served as the member of the Land Transport Masterplan Advisory Panel.
Ms K Thanaletchimi graduated from the University of Sydney in Australia with a Master’s Degree in Health Science Management, and the University of Bradford in United Kingdom with a Bachelor Degree of Science (Honours). She holds a Graduate Diploma in Quality Assurance and Management, an Advanced Diploma in Strategic Marketing and a Diploma in Chemical Process Technology from the Singapore Polytechnic. She also holds a Diploma in Industrial Relations from the Ong Teng Cheong Institute of Labour Studies
Blogging since 2005, Mr Kelvin Ang is one of Singapore’s top parent bloggers and author of ‘Got Kids Go Where?’, a book featuring 550 things to do with kids in Singapore. He has guest written for Yahoo! Singapore’s Parenting website and was invited as a speaker at Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2015.
He was also a panelist for various public forums, including Singapore Children’s Society’s Forum 2015, KKH’s Parenthood Public Forum 2015 and Social Media Week Singapore 2013.
Mr Ang has been featured in The Sunday Times, and shared his parenting thoughts on Radio 938 Live, Channel 8, Channel U and several family websites. His articles are regularly found in parenting magazines, while his blog cheekiemonkie.net was named one of the 10 Most Popular Lifestyle Blogs by The New Paper in 2013.
A Financial Services Consultant with AIA and father of 3 adorable kids, Mr Ang is also the co-founder of Daddy Matters, an online community of dads who want to be active and promote active fatherhood for everyone. In addition, he has been serving as a member of the Family & Community committee in Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) since 2016.
Mr Kua Soon Khe was the Deputy Secretary-General of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry for 13 years. Thereafter, he served as the Secretary-General of the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan for 9 years.
Besides his official duties, he has contributed to numerous community works which include, among others, Tan Kah Kee Foundation, Chinese Development Assistance Council, the Association of Nanyang University Graduates, REACH Supervisory Panel, MOE’s External Assessor for 10 successive years and The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board. Currently, he serves as member of the Singapore Armed Forces Detention Barracks’ Board of Visitors (since July 2008) and member of the National Council on Problem Gambling of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (since August 2013).
In recent years, he has designed and conducted a series of board governance training courses in both English and Mandarin which aim to raise the governance level of charities and registered societies. Together with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, he has helped to launch a 15-month Pilot Project on Governance Training and Consultancy Service for Buddhist Charities as well as the Professional Training for Executive Secretaries and Administrators of Charities and IPCs. Besides these, he has also conducted training courses for clan associations and officials from PRC’s Civic Affairs Bureau and Su Zhou Industrial Park.
To assist the Charity Council to refine the Code of Governance for Charities and IPCs, Mr Kua has served in its Work Group for Refinement of Code of Governance in 2010 and 2015.
Mr Lim is happily married with three daughters. He was appointed Chief Executive Director, People’s Association (PA) on 15 June 2020, after spending four years as Deputy Chief Executive or the organisation.
Since joining the PA on 1 April 2016, Mr Lim has made significant contributions in strategic planning, operational capabilities development, as well as training and education of staff and grassroots leaders. He strengthened the operational effectiveness of PA HQ and its ground units by institutionalising stronger links and work processes between government, grassroots organisations and the people. He was also responsible for transforming the learning and instructional systems at the National Community Leadership Institute (NACLI), PA’s training arm. In addition, Mr Lim led a project team on stakeholder consultation to lay the foundational works for Community 2025 action plans.
Mr Lim retired as a Brigadier General from the SAF before joining PA as its Deputy Chief Executive. In his distinguished military career, Mr Lim has held various key appointments, including Commander 9th Singapore Division/Chief Infantry Officer, Commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command, and Chief of Staff (General Staff). He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) – Military for overcoming SARS in 2003 and the Public Administration Medal (Silver) – Military in 2009.
Dr Mathew Mathews is married with 3 sons. He is Head of IPS Social Lab and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. While Dr Mathew spends substantial time researching on social cohesion concerns in Singapore, he has always been interested in studying the family. To date he has been involved in over a dozen family-related research projects including studies on three generation households, marriage and parenthood aspirations, marriage resilience and the challenges and needs of low income and single parent families.
Dr Mathew is well involved in the community. He was previously President of Alive Community Network and part of Marriage Central’s advisory board. He currently continues to serve on several panels or boards including One People.sg, Hua Mei Centre for Successful Ageing and NCSS Voluntary Capability Fund Panel.
Professor of Sociology (Practice) and Dean of Students, Singapore Management University.
Prof Straughan’s research interests center around sociology of family and medical sociology. Her current research investigates environmental risk factors in childhood obesity. She is also the Principal Investigator of recently concluded project on Successful Ageing in Singapore, Seoul and Shanghai which involved multiple institutions and a multidisciplinary team. Professor Straughan serves as Consultant on numerous projects commissioned by various government agencies. Amongst others, she is Principal Consultant for the Marriage and Parenthood Survey 2016 & 2012, which were commissioned by the National Population and Talent Division. She has published in both sociology and medical journals, like Social Science and Medicine, Cancer, and Cancer Causes and Control. Her books include Marriage Dissolution in Singapore: Revisiting Family Values and Ideology in Marriage, and Ultra-Low Fertility in Pacific Asia: Trends, Causes and Policy Issue (with Gavin Jones and Angelique Chan).
Professor Straughan was a Nominated Member of Parliament from 2009 to 2011, during which she argued for work-life balance and the nurture of a more pro-family social environment. Her community involvement includes serving on the Child and Youth Health Task Force, and the Infectious Disease Research Advisory Group (both at the Ministry of Health).
She is happily married to an Applied Mathematician, and they have 2 sons.
Sher-li Torrey is the founder & director of Mums@Work (Singapore), which was started in 2010. Trained in various personality profiling tools, she has more than 20 years of corporate experience. Formerly heading the postgraduate team at the Office of Career Services at the Singapore Management University (SMU), she has held various roles in different industries.
In 2010, following the birth of her daughter, Sher-li started Mums@Work (Singapore) – a social enterprise that supports women. A point of information source for flexi-time work or Mumpreneur business-owners, Mums@Work has more than 40,000 members (mid 2019). In 2016, she started a subsidiary of M@W, Career Navigators – with a focus on bringing women back into the workforce in full-time roles. Through this subsidiary, partnerships with more than 150 MNCs have been established.
As founder of Singapore’s first flexible work career portal, Sher-li is a big advocate of Diversity & Inclusion topics, as well as Women-related issues in Singapore. She is a frequent speaker and article contributor to press and TV on women-related topics. A mother of 2 school-going children, Sher-li strongly advocates a work environment that thrives in allowing employees to have better work-family integration.
Ms Sim Siew Moon is happily married to Mr Solomon Chung. They have five children, 3 boys and 2 girls. She is a Tax Partner at Ernst & Young Solutions LLP. She is also EY Asia-Pacific Tax Policy and Controversy Leader. She serves on the College Advisory Committee at Tampines-Meridien Junior College.
Ms Sim graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Accountancy (First Class Honors) degree. She is a Fellow Chartered Accountant of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, a Fellow of CPA Australia and an Accredited Tax Advisor, Income Tax and GST, of the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals.
Mr Tong co-founded the School of Thought (SOT) to promote innovation in education and civic learning in both private and public sectors. This work has since evolved to become The Thought Collective (TTC) — a group of social enterprises reputed for building social and emotional capital that are at the forefront of social innovation in Singapore. Other companies under TTC span across editorial and publishing, experience design, restaurants, training and HR development, and social innovation consultancy. Each company is a platform to further extend social impact through a new demographic.
Mr Tong also spearheaded civic initiatives such as the Stand Up for Singapore Movement, as well as leads several ground-up initiatives with youth across Singapore. Some of his current endeavours include prototyping a sustainable volunteer programme, designing thought provoking educational experiences through trail innovation, and initiating compelling social movements in the hope of creating a more gracious society. A champion of social emotional learning and ontological coaching, Mr Tong is a highly sought-after motivational speaker and trainer. Mr Tong also sits on a number of national committees.
Spanning areas such as building trust for national defence, innovating youth engagement and development, building new spaces for community renewal, reviving the values in healthcare professionals, and redesigning the way Singapore teaches national education, his experience will allow him to seamlessly transition between individual experience and national significance.