Singapore Women's Hall of Fame

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The Singapore Women's Hall of Fame is a virtual hall of fame that honors and documents the lives of historically significant Singaporefounding mothers. The hall is the creation of the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO), and grew out of an earlier nine-member wall of fame that the organization created in 2005.[1][2]

Categories of achievement[edit]

The Hall recognizes women in thirteen categories of achievement:[3]

  • adventurers & explorers
  • advocacy & activism
  • arts/culture/entertainment
  • business & enterprise
  • community/social work
  • education
  • environment/conservation
  • health
  • government
  • law
  • science/technology
  • sports
  • uniformed professions

History[edit]

The hall of fame was launched on 14 March 2014, with 108 initial inductees. A five-person selection committee headed by Ambassador Tommy Koh selected the initial inductees from over 200 nominees; the committee took over a year to make its selections.[2] President of Singapore Tony Tan and his wife Mary Tan – a patron of the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations – were the guests of honor at the launch, and presented some of the awards to the recipients at the launch gala.[1][2][4][5] Eleven additional women were inducted in 2015, in a ceremony on International Women's Day. The Speaker of Parliament, Halimah Yacob, presented the awards to the honorees.[6] That month The Fullerton Hotel Singapore held a photo exhibition in partnership with the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame that highlighted 108 of the inductees.[7]

The Singapore Women's Hall of Fame accepts nominations from the public for future inductees,[1] and people can be inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame posthumously.[8]

Inductees[edit]

Key
2014 * Member of the original Wall of Fame[9]
Singapore Women's Hall of Fame
Name Birth–Death Year Category Area of achievement
Adelene Wee (1965-) 2014 Sports At age 19 she became the nation's first and the world's youngest World Bowling Champion, winning the title at the 1985 World Games.[10]
Aisha Akbar (1930-) 2017 Arts/Culture/Entertaiment/Media Music teacher, songwriter, author and broadcaster. Collected Malay folk songs.[11]
Aline Wong (1941-) 2014 Government A sociologist and Member of Parliament, as Minister of Education, she promoted early childhood, special needs, arts education programs, and introduced sex education to the national curriculum.[12]
Ann Elizabeth Wee (1926-) 2014 Community/social work Considered the "founding mother of social work in Singapore", she worked with the abused and abandoned before joining the staff of the then-University of Malaya and pushing for the development of a four-year degree program to train social workers.[13]
Agnes Fong Sock Har (1946-) 2014 Uniformed professions She became the female commanding officer in the Singapore Armed Forces when, as a Captain, she was given command of the 1st Air Supply Base.[14]
Agnes Joaquim (1854-1899) 2015 Environment/ conservation She was a horticulturalist who bred the first hybrid orchid, the Vanda 'Miss Joaquim', which is now the national flower of Singapore.[15]
Anamah Tan (1940-) 2014 Advocacy & activism She was a co-founder of the Singapore Association of Women Lawyers, advocate against gender discrimination and domestic abuse, and member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.[16]
Anita Sarawak (1952-) 2017 Arts/culture/entertainment/media Internationally renowned singer.[17]
Anne Lee Tzu Pheng (1946-) 2014 Arts/culture/entertainment A world-renowned poet and recipient of the Cultural Medallion for Literature, she composed the official song of Singapore's National Day in 1998.[18]
Anastasia Gan (1958-) 2014 Uniformed professions After two decades with the Republic of Singapore Air Force, she became the nation's first female commercial pilot when she joined SilkAir.[19]
Aziza Ali (1950-) 2016 Arts/culture/entertainment/media Restaurateur, Malay chef and writer.[20]
Bridget Tan (1948-) 2015 Advocacy & activism An advocate for migrant worker rights and against human trafficking, she founded the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ACMI) in 1998 and the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME) in 2004.[21]
Catherine Lim (1942-) 2014 Arts/culture/entertainment A bestselling author and self-described feminist, she is best known for her works of romantic historical fiction, which feature strong female characters.[22]
Checha Davies (1898-1979) 2014 Advocacy & activism A women's rights advocate, she served as a spokesperson for the Singapore Council of Women, was a two-time president of the area Young Women's Christian Association, and founded two social organizations, the Indian-Ceylonese Club and the Singapore Inner Wheel Club.[23]
Chua Jim Neo (1907-1980) 2015 Arts/culture/entertainment She wrote what is considered the most authoritative cookbook on Peranakan cuisine, Mrs Lee's Cookbook, and is the mother of Singapore's first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.[24]
Chan Choy Siong (1931-1981) 2014 * Advocacy & activism A member of the Legislative Assembly, the precursor to Singapore's Parliament, she organized efforts within the People's Action Party to push for women's rights.[25]
Chee Swee Lee (1955-) 2014 Sports A sprinter, she won medals at the SEAP games in 1969, 1971, and 1973, before becoming the first woman from Singapore to win a gold medal at the Asian Games in the 1974 games.[26]
Chua Sock Koong (1957-) 2014 Business & enterprise The Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), she is ranked among Forbes' Most Powerful Woman Leaders in Business list.[27]
Chan Heng Chee (1942-) 2014 Government One of the longest serving and most successful diplomats in Singaporean history, she was the nation's first permanent representative to the United Nations and served as the Ambassador of Singapore to the United States from 1996 to 2012.[28]
Cheong Koon Hean (1957-) 2014 Government As the head of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, she oversaw the planning of the iconic Marina Bay district, before going on to lead the Housing Development Board.[29]
Constance Goh (1906-1996) 2014 Advocacy & activism An international leader in family planning and reproductive rights, she was the first chairperson of the Singapore Family Planning Association and co-founded the International Planned Parenthood Federation.[30]
Charlotte Elizabeth Ferguson-Davie (1880-1943) 2014 Health She founded St. Andrew's Mission Hospital and oversaw some of Singapore's first programs to train female midwives and nurses.[31]
Chng Seok Tin (1946-) 2014 Arts/culture/entertainment A visually impaired sculptor and artist, she became the first person from Singapore to exhibit her works at the Headquarters of the United Nations, and is a recipient of the Cultural Medallion.[32]
Constance Mary Turnbull (1927-2008) 2014 Education Then the head of the History department at the University of Hong Kong, she documented Singapore's history and independence movement in A History of Singapore, 1819-1975.[33]
Constance Singam (1936-) 2015 Advocacy & activism An activist for women's rights, migrant worker rights, and rape victims, she served as the president of Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) over three non-contiguous periods, and as president of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) for two years.[34]
Che Zahara binte Noor Mohamed (1907-1962) 2014 Advocacy & activism She founded the first Muslim women's organization in Singapore, the Malay Women's Welfare Association, and was instrumental in the passage of the Women’s Charter, a women's rights act.[35]
Christina Ong (1948-) 2014 Business & enterprise An international fashion and hotel entrepreneur, she is the owner of the Club 21 boutique chain, serves as director of Singapore Airlines, and is the chair of the National Parks Board.[36]
Cynthia Goh (1949-) 2014 Health She pioneered and advocated for hospice and palliative care in Singapore, and serves on the boards of several organizations and associations that advance palliative care.[37]
Daisy Vaithilingam (1925-2014) 2014 Community/social work A medical social worker, she created first foster care plan for children in her country, helped establish the Singapore Association of Social Workers, and helped create a medical social work program at National University Hospital.[38]
Eleanor Clunies-Ross (1934-) 2016 Sports Pioneering sprint champion.[39]
Elizabeth Choy (1910-2006) 2014 * Advocacy & activism In recognition of her work smuggling supplies to British prisoners of war during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire. She went on to serve as the only female member of the Legislative Council in the body's brief history.[40]
Ellice Handy (1902-1989) 2015 Arts/culture/entertainment She wrote the first Singaporean cookbook, My Favorite Recipes (1952), in order to raise funds for the Methodist Girls' School, of which she was a lifelong affiliate.[41]
Euleen Goh (1955-) 2014 Business & enterprise The head of Standard Chartered Bank's Singapore operations from 2001 to 2006, she has served on the boards of over a dozen corporations and foundations.[42]
Elizabeth Sam (1939-) 2014 Government As an administrator at the Ministry of Finance and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, she was one of the architects of Singapore's rise as a global financial center.[43]
Esther Tan Cheng Yin (1975-) 2014 Adventurers & explorers The first woman naval diver in the Singapore Navy, she is also an elite adventure racer and came within 100 meters of scaling Mount Everest.[44]
Fang Ai Lian (1949-) 2014 Business & enterprise Spending 34 years at Ernst & Young, she became the first woman to head the Singapore office of a multinational financial services firm, and from 2005 to 2008 she was the chair of the organization.[45]
Geh Min (1950-) 2014 Environment/conservation An eye surgeon by trade, she is best known for her work as a conservationist, and served as the head of the Nature Society from 2000 to 2008.[46]
Gloria Beck (1938-2015) 2016 Sports Pioneer athlete.[47]
Gloria Lim (1930-) 2014 Science/technology A mycology expert, she was the first woman Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Singapore and the first woman member of the Public Service Commission.[48]
Goh Soo Khim (1944-) 2014 Arts/culture/entertainment An instructor and the principal dancer at the Singapore Ballet Academy, she went on to serve as a co-director of the National Dance Company and founded the Singapore Dance Theatre.[49]
Georgette Chen (1906-1993) 2014 Arts/culture/entertainment An acclaimed oil painter, she was one of a group of artists who established the Nanyang Style of painting, which combines Western technique with Asian themes.[50]
Goh Lay Kuan (1939-) 2014 Arts/culture/entertainment A choreographer, ballet dancer, and dance educator, she co-founded the Singapore Performing Arts School and created Nu Wa – Mender of the Heavens, Singapore's first modern dance production.[51]
Fatimah binte Sulaiman (1754?–1852?) 2014 * Community/social work A merchant and philanthropist, she donated money and land for the establishment of the Masjid Hajjah Fatimah mosque, which bears her name.[52]
Han Sai Por (1943-) 2014 Arts/culture/entertainment Considered the top sculptor in Southeast Asia, her works are exhibited internationally, and she received the Cultural Medallion in 1995.[53]
Helen Yeo Cheng Hoong (1950-) 2014 Law She grew the firm she co-founded by expanding into the then emerging markets of Vietnam and China, before orchestrating a merger that made her the managing partner of one of the country's largest law firms.[54]
Halimah Yacob (1954-) 2014 Government She is both the first woman to serve as the Speaker of Parliament and the first woman of Malay descent to serve in Parliament.[55]
Hedwig Anuar (1928-) 2014 Government The Director of the National Library of Singapore for 28 years, she was also a founder and one-time president of the women's rights group Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE).[56]
Ho Ching (1953-) 2014 Business & enterprise After rising through the ranks of the Ministry of Defense, she went on to lead the Singapore Technologies group and later became Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings.[57]
Ho Yuen Hoe (1908-2006) 2014 Community/social work A Buddhist nun and abbess, she founded Lin Chee Cheng Sia Temple and opened the nation's first Buddhist nursing home.[58]
Indranee Elizabeth Nadisen (1940-) 2014 Community/social work The nation's longest serving foster mother, she served as a foster mother for 35 years, caring for 45 children over that time.[59]
Ivy Singh-Lim (1949-) 2014 Environment/conservation An advocate for farming in Singapore, she owns a chemical-free farm that is open to the public. She also served as the president of Netball Singapore for fourteen years, and worked to popularize the sport.[60]
Jackie Yi-Ru Ying (1966-) 2014 Science/technology A leading researcher in nanotechnology, she left a professorship at MIT to found the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology to advance biomedical research in Singapore.[61]
Jayalekshmi Mohideen (1945-) 2016 Government First woman career ambassador in Singapore.[62]
Jennifer Lee Gek Choo (1952-) 2014 Health Serving with the Ministry of Health, Singapore General Hospital, and then with KK Women's and Children’s Hospital, she became an advocate for family-friendly work practices.[63]
Joscelin Yeo Wei Ling (1979-) 2014 Sports A swimmer, she is the only athlete to win 40 gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games, doing so over a 17-year career.[64]
Janet Jesudason (1936-) 2016 Sports Pioneer athlete who represented Singapore in the 1956 Olympics.[65]
Janet Lim Chiu Mei (1923-2014) 2014 Health At St Andrews Mission Hospital, she became the first Asian hospital matron. Her autobiography, Sold for Silver, was the first English-language book by a Singaporean author.[66]
Jenny Lau Buong Bee (1932-2013) 2014 Law She was the first woman to be appointed a district judge in Singapore.[67]
Julie Tan Eng Poh (1930-) 2014 * Advocacy & activism The founder of the first credit union for women in Singapore, the D.E.W. Credit Cooperative, she was also a founding member of the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations through her role as President of the YWCA.[68]
Janet Yee (1934-) 2015 Community/ social work Recognized as a pioneering social worker, she campaigned to ensure that abandoned babies would be considered citizens, and thus able to receive social services.[69]
Jing Junhong (1968-) 2014 Sports A Chinese-born naturalized Singaporean, she represented Singapore in Table tennis in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics, before becoming the national team coach.[70]
Junie Sng Poh Leng (1964-) 2014 * Sports The first woman from Singapore to win a gold medal for swimming at the Asian Games, at the time she was also the youngest person to win a medal at the competition.[71]
Jennie Chua (1945-) 2014 Business & enterprise A leading executive in the hospitality industry, she grew Singapore's profile as a destination for conventions, and became the first woman to chair the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce.[72]
Joanna Wong Quee Heng (1939-) 2014 Arts/ culture/ entertainment Considered the "doyenne of Cantonese opera in Singapore", she started the Chinese Theatre Circle to preserve the [73]
Kanwaljit Soin (1942-) 2014 Advocacy & activism The nation's first woman Nominated Member of Parliament, the women's rights laws she pushed for were eventually included in the Women’s Charter. She is also one of the founders of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE).[74]
Khatijun Nissa Siraj (1925-) 2014 Advocacy & activism In response to an epidemic of women in the Singaporean Muslim community being abandoned through inexpensive and easy divorces, she pressed for the formation of a Syariah Court, and served as its first caseworker.[75]
Koh Kheng Lian (1937-) 2014 Environment/ conservation An internationally recognized expert in Environmental law, she led

Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law at the National University of Singapore to become a leading institution for the study of environmental law.[76]

Karen Tan Puay Kiow (1962-) 2014 Uniformed professions In 2005, she became the first female colonel in the Singapore Armed Forces.[77]
Khoo Teh Lynn (1981-) 2014 Uniformed professions She was the first female fighter pilot in Singapore.[78]
Kwa Geok Choo (1920-2010) 2014 Law The wife of Singapore's founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, the pair (along with Lee's brother) co-founded Lee & Lee, which became of one of the largest law firms in Singapore. She was also a founding figure in the People’s Action Party, and helped draft its constitution.[79]
Kartina Dahari (1941-2014) 2015 Arts/ culture/ entertainment A singer known as the "Queen of Keroncong", referring to a genre of Malay folk music, she performed internationally and for dignities visiting Singapore, and was signed by the record label EMI.[80]
Koh Chai Hong (1959-) 2015 Uniformed professions The first woman to qualify as a pilot in the Republic of Singapore Air Force, she is also one of the first two women (promoted at the same time) to reach the rank of Lieutenant colonel.[81]
Lai Siu Chiu (1948-) 2016 Law The first woman to serve on the Singapore Supreme Court.[82]
Lam Lay Yong (1936-) 2014 Science/ technology An authority on the history of Chinese Mathematics, she was the first person from Asia to win the Kenneth O. May Prize.[83]
Lee Suet Fern (1958-) 2014 Law The founder of the Stamford Law Corporation, a significant player in the mergers and acquisitions business, she also served as the President of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association and the corporate boards of several Fortune 100 companies.[84]
Lim Soo Hoon (1959-) 2014 Government The first woman Permanent Secretary in Singapore, she served in leadership positions across Singapore's civil service, especially in the areas of transport and community development.[85]
Laurentia Tan (1979-) 2014 Sports The most decorated paralympian from Singapore, she won two medals in each of the 2008 and 2012 Paralympics, all in dressage.[86]
Li Lienfung (1923-2011) 2014 Arts/ culture/ entertainment A newspaper columnist, novelist, and playwright, her work received awards from the National Book Development Council and the Culture Ministry.[87]
Lucy Wan (1933-) 2014 Science/ technology She was the first woman to earn a doctorate in pharmacy from the National University of Singapore, she would go on to teach at the program for 40 years, leading it for six.[88]
Leaena Tambyah (1937-) 2014 Advocacy & activism A social worker and advocate for youth with special needs, she created the Handicapped Children’s Playgroup, which was awarded the United Nations Community Excellence Award.[89]
Lim Hwee Hua (1959-) 2014 * Government She was the first female Deputy Speaker of Parliament and the first female Cabinet Minister in Singapore.[90]
Lynnette Seah (1957-) 2015 Arts/ culture/ entertainment A Cultural Medallion-winning violinist, she was a founding member of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, which she co-leads.[91]
Lee Choo Neo (1895-1947) 2014 Health She was the first practicing woman doctor in what would become Singapore. Together with two other women, she created the Chinese Marriage Committee, which produced a report that would come to be influential in the passage of the Women's Charter.[92]
Lim Sok Bee (1963-) 2014 Uniformed professions The first woman commander of an artillery battalion, she eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant colonel and served as the Wing Commander at the Officer Cadet School.[93]
Maggie Lim (1913-1995) 2014 Health A doctor and family planning and reproductive rights advocate, she was the first girl in Singapore to win the Queen's Scholarship.[94]
Margaret Leng Tan (1945- 2014 arts Toy piano virtuoso.[95]
Maria Dyer (1803-1845) 2014 * Education A British missionary, in 1842 she founded St. Margaret’s School, the first school for girls in East Asia. The institution took in and educated poor girls, preventing them from becoming Mui Tsai.[96]
Marjorie Doggett (1921-2010) 2017 Advocacy & Activism Animal rights advocate.[97]
Mary Beatrice Klass (1935-) 2016 Sports Pioneering athlete and one of two women at the 1956 Olympics.[98]
Mary Quintal (1930-) 2014 Uniformed professions The first woman Assistant Superintendent of Police in Singapore, she was also the force's first female Inspector.[99]
May Wong (1899-1989) 2016 Community/social work Lifelong social worker and fund-raiser.[100]
Nalla Tan (1923-2012) 2015 Education Writer and advocate for sex and public health education.[101]
Neila Sathyalingam (1938-2017) 2014 Arts/culture/entertainment/media Leading teacher of Indian classical dance in Singapore.[102]
Noeleen Heyzer (1948-) 2014 Advocacy & activism As the leader of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), she has worked on regional poverty alleviation, societal, and environmental programs. She has also led the United Nations Development Fund for Women and other UN initiatives.[103]
Phan Wait Hong (1912-) 2014 Arts/ culture/ entertainment Called "grande dame of Beijing opera in Singapore", she moved to Singapore at age 14 as part of an opera troupe. She performed regularly until the age of 82, and gave a limited number of performances for a decade afterwards.[104]
Phyllis Eu Cheng Li (1914-2004) 2014 Advocacy & activism Elected to the Municipal Commission (now the City Council) in 1949, she was the first woman in Singapore to be elected to a government office.[105]
Rahimah Rahim (1955- 2017 Arts/Culture/Entertainment/Media Singer who is known as "Singapore's first Lady of Song."[106]
Sarah Winstedt (1886–1972) 2014 Health Physician and surgeon who served with the Colonial Medical Service in British Malaya.[107]
Singapore Women's Everest Team 2014 Adventurers & explorers Jane Lee, Sim Yihui, Joanne Soo, Lee Peh Gee, Lee Li Hui, and Esther Tan – nation's first all-women mountain climbing team – attempted to scale Mount Everest, with all but Sim reaching the summit.[108]
Seow Peck Leng (1911-2007) 2014 Advocacy & activism An educator and politician, she founded the Siglap Girls' Club for the benefit of underprivileged girls, and pushed for gender equality as a member of the Legislative Assembly.[109]
Sophia Pang (1972-) 2014 Adventurers & explorers Traveling as part of the 2009 Kaspersky Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition, she became the first Singaporean woman to reach the South Pole.[110]
Shirin Fozdar (1905-1992) 2014 * Advocacy & activism A women's rights activist, she played a major role in the establishment of the Singapore Council of Women and the creation of the Syariah Court.[111]
Stella Kon (1944-) 2014 Arts/culture/entertainment/media Award winning writer, best known for Emily of Emerald Hill.[112]
Tan Cheng Hiong (1904-1999) 2016 Advocacy & activism Women's rights activist, and first president of the Singapore Council of Women.[113]
Teo Soon Kim (1904-1978) 2014 Law First woman to be admitted to the Singapore bar.[114]
Teresa Hsu Chih (1898-2014) 2014 Community/social work One of the most beloved social workers in Singapore.[115]
Violet Oon (1949-) 2016 Arts/culture/entertainment/media Advocate and champion for Singaporean cuisine.[116]
Wong-Lee Siok Tin (1938-1993) 2017 Arts/culture/entertainment/media English-language journalist and broadcaster.[117]
Yu-Foo Yee Shoon (1950-) 2014 * Government She was both one of the first women in the Parliament of Singapore and the nation's first female mayor.[118]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]