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ASEF's Inclusion Advisor, James CHAN - Awardee of the Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards 2020

Published on 08 Dec 2020

We are happy to announce that our Inclusion Advisor, Mr James CHAN was amongst 16 individuals awarded by Emeritus Senior Minister Mr GOH Chok Tong and Her Excellency the President Halimah YACOB at the Singapore Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards ceremony on 3 December 2020.


Nominated for the award by ASEF and Mr Edward LIM, James Chan’s work in the areas of Irish Traditional Music Performance, his life experience as an individual and the combination of both to spread the message for inclusion and diversity and acceptance of peoples with disabilities and disabled people in Singapore were recognised through the conferral of the award under the UBS Promise Award category.


According to the MediaCorp Enable Fund (MEF), the Goh Chok Tong Enable Award was first envisioned by Minister Goh, who is also Patron of the MEF. The UBS Promise Award, one out of two award categories, “aims to recognise the achievements of persons with disabilities, and to motivate those with promise and potential to go the distance with their endeavours”.


As stated in the awardee description: “James, 29 years old, is an exceptional Irish traditional musician with autism. As a flutist, he has been using his talent to give back to society and spread the message of inclusion by performing at events such as the True Colours Festival.”


James has experience volunteering and partnering with members of the Irish community in Singapore, and especially the Singapore Ireland Fund, first performing at their Fundraising Gala in 2011. He subsequently received generous funding from the Ireland Fund to attend the 40th Willie Clancy Summer School in Ireland. He also received a grant from the Singapore organisation SGEnable through the MediaCorp Enabling Fund to attend the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil 2018 in Ireland, becoming the first Singaporean representative at the annual national music championships.


Since he was diagnosed with Autism in 2017, he has been using his talents in music and past and present life experiences to collaborate for a more inclusive and diverse world, volunteering as an Inclusion Ambassador with the Disabled Peoples’ Association, and participating at the 21st ASEF Summer University on 'Youth and Disabilities: Shaping Inclusive ASEM Societies'. In his role as ASEF's Inclusion Advisor, he supports us in developing inclusive organisational practices. James is also a student at Singapore University of Social Sciences.


According to James, “(I would like) to give thanks and pay tribute to Disabled People's Association Singapore, The Ireland Funds Singapore, Autism Resource Centre Singapore / Pathlight School […] for supporting my musical, inclusive and academic ambitions. I couldn’t have achieved all I’ve had since 2017 without you!”


For more information on the award:


Photo c MediaCorp v2


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