AAS Patron, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, became the first recipient of the Distinguished Australian Alumnus Award.
The Award was given by Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS).
Dr Tony Tan, Chairman of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, received the award at the AAS 55th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the Sheraton Towers Singapore on 6 November 2010. Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence, who was the Guest-of-Honour, presented the award to Dr Tan.
The hotel’s Grand Ballroom was packed to full capacity as 420 alumni members and guests mingled and cherished the evening’s programme.
In reading out the citation, HE Mr Doug Chester, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, said, “This very special award 1recognizes the accomplishments of the Australian Alumnus in Singapore who has achieved a distinguished career, who has contributed significantly to society both locally and internationally, and who has also contributed to the Australian alumni community”.
Mr Chester who is the other AAS Patron, continued: “Dr Tan had his early education at St Patrick’s School and St Joseph’s Institution before pursuing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Singapore, a Master of Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, and a PhD at The University of Adelaide in Australia. Dr Tan has accomplished a distinguished career holding various important positions in both the public and the private sectors. Dr Tan’s commitments to society and alumni, in conjunction with his distinguished professional achievements, confirm that he is indeed a worthy recipient of the Distinguished Australian Alumnus Award”.
Before stepping down from the Cabinet, Dr Tan had served as Minister for Education, Minister for Trade and Industry, Minister for Finance, and Deputy Prime Minister.
In his speech, Dr Ng said Dr Tan’s achievements “are too numerous to cite…if I confine myself to just an educational perspective, he was schooled and graduated in the Singapore education system, after which he obtained his Masters degree in the United States and then his PhD in Australia. His own exposure to different systems from around the world must have helped lay the foundations for a distinguished career in both the public and private sectors. In fact he has been instrumental in putting in place many of the sound educational policies we have in our schools today”.
Excerpts of the Award Presentation
News of Dr Tony Tan’s Award was warmly received by all AAS members, particularly the Adelaide University Alumni Association Singapore and The University of Adelaide Australia which jointly published a Congratulatory Message in the Singapore Sunday Times on 7 November 2010. HE Robert Hill, Chancellor of The University of Adelaide flew in to celebrate the happy occasion with us.
Report by: Peggy Tan