New Council kicks off with My Family Weekend, a new nationwide initiative that calls on corporations and community to support a family-friendly culture in Singapore
The Minister for Social and Family Development, Tan Chuan-Jin, has appointed five new members to the 13-member Families for Life (FFL) Council, which will continue to be chaired by Mr Ching Wei Hong, Chief Operating Officer of OCBC Bank. The new members are:
• Mr Kelvin Ang, Family Blogger, CheekieMonkies
• Mr Kua Soon Khe, Chief Executive, Singapore Buddhist Federation
• Dr Mathew Mathews, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
• Ms Sim Siew Moon, Partner and Head of Tax, Ernst & Young
• Mr Tong Yee, Co-founder and Director, The Thought Collective
2 The new Council will commence a two-year term effective 1 August 2017. It comprises members from the corporate industries, academics and social enterprise sectors and represent views from the employers and community-at-large (See Annex A).
3 Mr Ching Wei Hong, FFL Council Chairman, said, “I am honoured to serve as Council Chairman for Families for Life once again. The Council hopes to deepen our engagement with the wider community, such as employers and extended families, and gain more support in promoting family time. Singaporeans today are working longer and harder, and have to juggle a multitude of commitments. The wider community is crucial in enabling individuals to spend quality time with their families, have heart to heart conversations with each other and be their loved ones’ pillar of strength. This could be through introducing flexi-work arrangements, or helping out with care-giving duties. Such support will help to create a stronger Families for Life movement.”
Nationwide Initiative to Celebrate Families Together
4 A new initiative that underpins the Council’s commitment towards a family-friendly environment is “My Family Weekend”. This is a special weekend dedicated for families – immediate and extended – to spend quality time together, take time to talk to each other and bond. The inaugural My Family Weekend will take place between 31 August to 3 September 2017. Families can look forward to an exciting line-up of events, supported by various community partners including Heybaby, SAFRA Punggol, and other community-led initiatives by Voluntary Welfare Organisations, as well as family-friendly efforts at the workplace by various corporations. (See Annex B for a list of supporting partners).
5 Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development, said, “The Families for Life Council's 'I choose Family Time' message is loud and clear. Each of us can and must make the choice. I fully support their new initiative, ‘My Family Weekend’ because in addition to encouraging individuals to make and choose time for family, they are calling out to employers and the community to support Family Time as well."
6 Dr Mathew Mathews, FFL Council Member, one of the five newly appointed Council members, said, “My Family Weekend signals the importance of the family unit, both immediate and extended, in our society. We want to encourage employers to participate in My Family Weekend by engaging their employees through various family-friendly workplace initiatives, especially on 31 August, in view of the Teachers’ Day school holiday. There are many ways to do it – encouraging staff to telecommute, organising a Bring Your Family to Work Day or even holding your company’s Family Day. To date, there are more than 60 employers, government agencies, and corporate and community partners supporting this initiative. We hope to encourage more to come onboard. The strong support and efforts from the community will enable all of us, especially individuals who juggle multiple roles at work and at home, to set aside dedicated time for our families.”
7 In addition to My Family Weekend, the FFL Council has enhanced its FAMILY 365 initiative which will go digital to facilitate accessibility and expand its reach to new audiences. With its digital presence on the FFL website, employers and interested parties can register and organise complimentary one to two-hour Family Life Education programmes at workplaces and community touch points. The Council will also continue to extend its FAMILY 365+ offerings as well as organise its popular thematic family picnics and flagship initiatives such as Marriage Convention and the Singapore Parenting Congress.