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Singapore Government

National Family Council Renamed 'Families for Life'

National Family Council Renamed 'Families for Life'

Published On
07 Feb 2014

The National Family Council (NFC) announced that it will be renamed ‘Families for Life’. This reflects its evolving approach to connect with Singaporean families and build momentum for a nationwide family movement to build strong and resilient families. The Council unveiled a new logo to represent the name change and its renewed focus on connecting with Singaporean families.

Mr Ching Wei Hong, Council Chairman of ‘Families for Life’, said, “Families today are facing increasing complexities that add pressures to their family life, such as balancing work-life demands and caring for young children while looking after elderly parents at the same time. Nonetheless, I am heartened to know the family continues to be a priority amongst Singaporeans[1]. With 2014 marking the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF), it is an opportunity for the Council to evolve its approach as it seeks to deepen conversations on family with families. We believe that this continuous engagement is key to our goal of building strong and resilient families in society.  This builds on the solid foundation laid by previous council members, and we are grateful for that.”

‘Families for Life’ aims to promote strong and resilient families in a genuine and positive way, by bringing Singaporeans together and strengthening the conversation on family. Mr Ching said, “I hope that Singaporeans will embrace the notion of ‘families for life’. Everyone is part of a family, and your family members are for life. Apart from large-scale family-centred events, we want to boost touch points to enhance family life through a ‘365-day approach’ – to encourage families to spend time more regularly beyond festive or special occasions.”

The Council is working with partners to organise a series of major events namely, Marriage Convention from 21 to 23 March 2014, National Family Celebrations and the Singapore Parenting Congress. The upcoming Marriage Convention themed ‘Building Marriage Foundations’, will kick off with a series of radio capsules on marriages launched across 10 radio stations[2] from 7 February.

Besides events to engage the community, the Council is stepping up efforts to inspire two-way conversations on family. Through popular platforms like the radio, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, the Council hopes to see more Singaporeans share their experiences, ideas and advice on family matters. As a start, ‘Families for Life’ released a video on “family reunion” over Chinese New Year. Told through a female taxi driver, the video depicts family reunion dinners experienced by Singaporeans from different walks of life. The Council subsequently ran a Facebook contest to ask Singaporeans to contribute reflections of their own reunion dinners. Other upcoming social media plans include ‘live’ online chats and an Instagram photo contest for National Family Celebrations.

Council member Mr Brian Liu looks forward to the intensified efforts to engage Singaporeans in the online sphere. “I hope to interact and collaborate with Singaporeans on our social media platforms, especially young Singaporeans, to exchange views and ideas on how to create positive experiences to build stronger families. It is my personal conviction that we must encourage Singaporeans to talk about family issues especially when this isn’t so easy in our cultural context. It is only through such dialogue that we can identify issues that families face and then we can work on solutions together. I sincerely hope that all our initiatives will continually encourage and inspire Singaporeans to reflect on and renew their commitment to their families.”

About Families for Life

‘Families for Life’ aims to promote strong and resilient families in a genuine and positive way. Through engaging Singaporeans about families and providing platforms for family bonding, we aim to inspire Singaporeans to renew their commitment to their families. The Families for Life Council is headed by Mr Ching Wei Hong, Chief Operating Officer, OCBC Bank. For more information, please visit

About Families for Life Logo Design

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, openness and friendliness.

These are traits ‘Families for Life’ wants to embody in the way it connects with families all around.

[1] The National Family Values Survey by the National Family Council in 2010 showed 91% of the respondents felt family is the most important aspect of their lives and 94% reported that they have a close-knit family.

[2] The radio capsules will be on 10 radio stations in 4 languages (Gold 90.5FM, 938LIVE, Class 95FM, 987FM, Y.E.S 93.3FM, Capital 95.8FM, Love 97.2FM, Ria 89.7FM, Warna 94.2FM and Oli 96.8FM)


Annex A

‘Families for Life’ Council Members

Name Details Thoughts on Families for Life

Mr Ching Wei Hong

  • Served on the Businesses for Families Council from June 2011 to July 2013
  • Married with 2 children
  • Chief Operating Officer, OCBC Bank

I am excited to be part of this dynamic movement to champion strong and stable families in Singapore. Families are facing new and complex challenges in today's rapidly changing world. It is therefore important for families to build a strong foundation from the start. Also, as we are aging rapidly as a society, it is crucial for families to strengthen intergenerational bonds. As part of the Families for Life movement, I hope to connect with families, and help as many as possible to have warm, loving and strong families.

Ms Anita Fam

  • Chaired the Marriage Central Advisory Board from its inception in July 2007 till July 2013
  • Married with 2 children aged 13 and 15 years
  • Deputy Chairman, Assisi Hospice

The longer that I volunteer in the arena of family and marriage, the more that I am convinced that family IS the cornerstone of stability and resilience. Going through tough times is made so much easier when we have family there to give us the emotional and moral support. That way, we draw added strength and resolve and we don't feel alone when times are challenging. Personally, I see my role as part of the Families for Life Council as a 'persuader' - to convince more of us to consciously make family and time with family a priority. I am humbled to be able to serve a fourth term on the Families for Life Council (former National Family Council). It's been a very meaningful journey!

Mr Brian Liu

  • Active volunteer, who focuses on youth, leadership and social issues
  • Single and resides in Singapore. Father and brother are based overseas
  • Manager, Ernst & Young

Coming from a family with the loss of one parent early on, I am acutely aware of how precious family ties are and how they should never be taken for granted. I hope I may provide the youth and singles perspective on family issues, and share personal insights on today's "global" family as my father and brother work and live overseas.

Mr Chinnu Palanivelu

  • Awarded the Lifelong Learner Award in 2008. Active Grassroots Leader at the Bishan-Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio grassroots organisation
  • Married with 2 childre, aged 3 and 6 years
  • Senior Audit Manager, BDO LLP

I am very happy and excited to be member of Families for Life Council. It is because, successful and happy family is a stepping stone for nation building. Nation does not exist without family. Hence, I would like to contribute in relation pro-family initiatives which will enable Singaporeans to build happy and successful family units.

Mrs Claire Nazar

  • Served on the Marriage Central Advisory Board from August 2012 to July 2013. Active volunteer, with Cornerstone Community Services on family life education talks and events
  • Married with 2 children, aged 16 and 10 years
  • Lawyer and Director, Kalco Law LLC

I became a firm believer in marriage education after witnessing first-hand, how a couple resolved their long-standing issues simply by applying marriage communication skills over a few months. This resulted in them dropping their divorce suit. Since then, I have always wondered: how many more marriages could be saved - if only couples were better equipped with knowledge and skills?

This question resolved me to do whatever I can to save marriages. Marriage Central gave me that privilege and I am happy to serve in the Families for Life Council for the cause of marriage and family.

Mr Effendy Ibrahim

  • Board member of Yayasan Mendaki
  • Married with 4 children
  • Director, Commercial Segment & Channel Marketing, APJ, Symantec

My wife and 4 kids are the reasons I wake up every morning to make the best of my day, at work and at home – you could say they are my big bosses! Raising a family in today's context certainly poses a different challenge to working professionals and the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" has never rung more true. Many working parents often face a dilemma in trying to strike a fair balance between work and spending more time with the family, especially during the growing years of their children that just seem to zoom past. Through my contribution in the Families for Life Council, I hope to be a voice for these parents and push for family-first policies and programs that promote quality bonding time with the family without necessarily compromising on their careers.

Mr Ling Kin Huat

  • Vice-Chairman of the Taoist Federation (Singapore) and member of the Inter-Religious Organisation. Conferred the Pingat Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Medal) in 2012 for his achievements in the field of Welfare Service
  • Married with 1 child
  • President, Society of Sheng Hong Welfare Services.

Healthy family is the cornerstone in developing every child, who is the future of Singapore. I believe in the importance of building strong family relationships. Through Families for Life Council, I hope to advocate the value in investing our resources, time and efforts in building strong family relationship. I also hope to create realistic opportunities for Singaporeans from all walks of life to realise such aspirations, regardless of race, language, religion or socio-economic status.

Mrs Sarojini Padmanathan

  • Member of an Expert Panel to enhance standards of Family Life Education and member of the Indian Programmes Advisory Committee, Ministry ofCommunications and Information
  • Married with 3 grown-up children
  • Chief Operating Officer, Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA)

We want to create strong foundations for families, so it will be good if we can help parents and their children develop close and deep bonds from the early years.

Dr Tan Ern Ser

  • Research consultant to several surveys on senior citizens and on national orientations of Singaporeans. Member on several advisory panels and chaired REACH’s policy study workgroup on integration. Appointed Justice of the Peace in 2013.
  • Married with 2 children
  • Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Head Social Lab, Institute of Policy Studies

Children are innocent. They do not choose to be brought into this world. If they are born, they deserve a quality childhood and future. They are not part of somebody's retirement planning. We must educate families to have the right attitude towards child bearing and raising decisions, so as to ensure that we have great future generations, well loved, brought up, and equipped to thrive.

Dr Thang Leng Leng

  • President of Singapore Fei Yue Family Service Centre. Has publications relating to the areas of ageing, intergenerational programming and relationships, gender and family
  • Married with 2 children, aged 13 and 19 years
  • Associate Professor, Department of Japanese Studies, National University of Singapore (NUS)

Family is about relationship building across the life course. It is about inter-, intra- and alternate generational bonding through love and caring. As a member of the Families for Life Council, I hope to contribute to the raising of awareness and support for intergenerational cohesion to build strong families - including relationship building between grandparents and grandchildren.


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