NUS Alumni Melbourne Chapter - Lunar New Year Dinner 2023

Following a few months of planning and organisation, members of the NUS Alumni Melbourne Chapter gathered for a long-awaited lunar new year dinner on 4 February 2023 at Yummy Duck in Melbourne, to welcome the year of Rabbit.

After two years of COVID-disrupted plans, 70 alumni celebrated the biggest event of the year with delicious food, camaraderie, entertainment and lucky draw prizes. It was incredibly heartening to know that the attendees represented so many faculties (Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, Science, Business, Arts, Law, etc.), with graduates from 1970 to 2017.

The event kickstarted with a joyous and long Yum-Seng session, led by Secretary Cecilia Xiao (Science ’10) that prompted other curious diners in the restaurant to join in. Spirits were high and guests enjoyed drinks with the starter Lo-Hei Yusheng and prosperity wishes from Raymond Wong (Architecture ’81). Chairperson Edna Yeo (Science ’93) introduced our special guest, Professor Teo Choo Soo (Dentistry ’73) – the former Director of NUS Office of Alumni Relations (OAR) 20 years ago, who set up the Melbourne and Sydney Chapters. He kindly brought NUS souvenirs to thank the committee members – 3rd generation Chairperson Edna Yeo, Vice Chair and Treasurer Audrey (Arts and Social Sciences, ’96), Secretary Cecilia Xiao and Senior Adviser Woo Sin Ang (Dentistry ’68) for their contributions to the chapter over the years.

Our dinner continued with Peking Duck rolls, lobster noodles and steamed barramundi, to name a few dishes. Excitement ensued with many lucky draw prizes, including limited edition NUS engraved golf balls for golfers and four hampers that went to lucky attendees – Li Yang (Architecture ’97), Michael Wong (Law ’62), Mr. John Matthew (Alumni Spouse), Alan Kian Ho (Dentistry ’68) and Peter Koh (Science ’87).

The Chapter would like to thank Raymond Wong and Arul Earnest (Arts and Social Sciences ’97) who took over the entertainment segment. Together, they sang familiar karaoke songs, including Peng You and Can’t Help Falling in Love With You, displaying their hidden talent and multilingualism. Special thanks to dear Raymond who loaned us his audio system and to Catherine who had to manage the speakers!

The Chapter is very appreciative for the OAR funding which allowed alumni to catch up with each other at this perennial event after two years of COVID lockdowns and restrictions. Without doubt, our members will be looking forward to more events in the future.

Thanks Edna, Audrey, Cecilia and organising community. Food was great but the company and laughter were simply awesome. Thanks Raymond, Catherine and Arul for the great music and songs. Huat Ah! And thanks to the wonderful NUS family!
- Philip Chan (Engineering ‘92)

Thanks, Edna, and the organising committee, for the lovely evening last night. And to Raymond and Arul, and co, for entertaining.
- Juliette Koh-Romary (Education ’73)

Yes, thanks to Edna, committee and volunteers for the effort in organising a great event šŸ‘šŸ˜
- Peter Koh (Science ’87)

Submitted by Dr Edna Yeo (Science '93)

Alumni Sing-Along Chinese New Year Celebration 2023

The 1st of February 2023 dawned a bright and beautiful day – rare, considering the wintry January Singapore has had since the first day of the Chinese New Year. Ahead of the celebration, the NUS ASA Committee and volunteer helpers met to set up the function room to prepare for the year’s first major social gathering.

The flurry of activities included setting the tables for the Lo Hei and buffet, decorating the venue with cheerful red paper cuttings of good luck couplets, red fire-crackers and adorable bunny wall hangings befitting the Year of the Rabbit. Meanwhile, the group’s entertainers and eager musicians tuned their instruments and made last-minute adjustments to the sound system.

The prompt arrival of alumni members and guests soon filled the room with lively chatter and happy laughter with a high note of anticipation for the activities to come. ASA Chairperson Joanna Loo’s (Science ’71) welcome to all participants was followed by a rousing rendition of ‘Gong Xi Gong Xi’, with the friends gathered, mingling and greeting each other.

Next, Lim Wee Bin (Arts and Social Sciences ’93) led the traditional well-wishes for good luck, good health, and prosperity. Ringing out loud and boisterous, the voices were accompanied by nimble chopsticks tossing the healthy salad topsy-turvy, higher and higher. As no celebration can be complete without great food, everyone then made a determined beeline for the sumptuous buffet. There was something delicious to pique and satisfy every distinctive taste bud. The mouth-watering array of dishes included Spicy Chicken Winglets, Prawn Fritters, Hong Kong Noodles, and more. After tucking into the hearty food, everyone was ready to entertain and be entertained.

A series of stirring performances enthralled the audience, including a violin solo performed by Su Allin (Engineering ’73). There was, surprisingly, amidst the songs full of energy, a rather touching and poignant Ukulele duet performance by Joanna and Lim Thou Tin (Business ’81) titled ‘The Descendants of the Dragon’. A Musical Quiz hosted by Thomas (Medicine ’65) and Elaine Sim (Arts ’66) gave all present the opportunity to rack their brains, trying to remember elusive song and movie titles, singers, and composers, to win table and individual prizes.

Abracadabra! A Magic Show by guest Roger Lim kept guests on their toes, trying to solve the numerical puzzles and little tricks he staged. Led by Lim Chee Kiang (Engineering ’83), the Line Dancers’ agile, simple-to-follow routine inspired calls from the audience to organise follow-up dance sessions! A rousing performance of č“¢ē„žåˆ°by Johnny Chor (Engineering ’88) was followed by the final performance of the foot-tapping and catchy beat of ę¬¢ä¹ä»Šå®µ, where everyone got to their feet to dance their hearts out.

Let us, with a new spring in our step, ‘hop’ into the Rabbit Year with its symbolism of quiet and gentle thoughtfulness. Thanks to everyone present and prize donors for making the festive occasion a wonderful success.

Submitted by Helen Ng Bee Loon (Arts and Social Sciences ’81)

NOC Alumni CNY Reunion 2023

The NUS Overseas Colleges Alumni community recently held its annual Chinese New Year reunion gathering on 1 February 2023, the 11th day of the Chinese lunar calendar, at BLOCK71. As Singapore’s first and currently largest startup ecosystem, BLOCK71 holds a special place in the hearts of many of our alumni who took their first steps into entrepreneurship here.

About 146 alumni attended the Chinese New Year reunion gathering, representing different batches and colleges, including those from the NOC Silicon Valley, Stockholm, Beijing and Southeast Asia programme. The event also saw the attendance of the current Vice Provost (Technology-Enhanced and Experiential Learning) and Director of the NUS Overseas Colleges programme, Professor Chee Yeow Meng.

In kicking off the evening, Professor Chee shared his experiences on the past year and wished everyone a prosperous new year. Afterwards, everyone gathered to engage in the colourful and joyful tradition of Lohei, exchanging meaningful well-wishes to welcome greater abundance and prosperity in the coming year. At the end of the evening, our alumni had a simple dinner and networking session, where some were able to reconnect and catch up with each other, while others got to meet new peers.

Submitted by Ms Inez Yong (Arts and Social Sciences ’22)

Science Alumni-Student Mentorship Programme

The inaugural Science Alumni-Student Mentorship programme was launched in July 2022 to create a shared community for forging stronger bonds between students and alumni. Through this mutually beneficial programme, Science students acquire industry-relevant insights and career guidance, better enabling them to prepare for life and work after graduation. The alumni mentors in turn contribute meaningfully to student development by coaching them.

The programme successfully paired 25 mentors with 56 mentees in the inaugural run. The first round of the mentorship programme concluded with an appreciation ceremony-cum-networking dinner on 13 January 2023, where the mentors and mentees shared learning experiences. Here’s what they had to say about their experience:

Excellent program for both mentors and mentees to learn from one another as mentoring is definitely not a one-way channel only from a mentor to a mentee!
- Serene Ong, Mentor

I am just so thankful for Ms Serene’s Ong guidance over the past few months. Thank you to her for preparing for all the sessions and having a very clear agenda for each session, despite having such a hectic schedule! I really appreciate the time and effort she took to guide each of us. I have learnt so much about leadership, and I also got to know myself better šŸ™‚ I hope she continues to guide other students like myself, and empower other women leaders!
- Deborah Yow, Mentee

Submitted by Ms Lim Jia Jia (Science '14)

Class Reunion for the Division of Industrial Design

The Division of Industrial Design alumni (Class of 2017) gathered for their class reunion on 30 December 2022, and everyone was excited to see each other and catch up on old times. As they arrived, alumni were greeted with smiles and hugs from classmates they had not seen in a long time. It was truly heart-warming for alumni to be surrounded by so many familiar faces.

After a delicious dinner, the group spent the evening sharing stories from their school days, the different paths their lives have taken and the various achievements accomplished. They also spent some time reminiscing about their favourite memories from university days and reliving some of the fun they had back then. Overall, it was a wonderful evening and all guests left feeling grateful for the chance to reconnect with old friends. The group looks forward to the next reunion and the opportunity to come together again as friends.

Submitted by Mr Tan Sei Yee (Design and Environment ’17)

Undergrad Gathering of the NUS Alumni Manila Chapter

The undergraduate subgroup of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Alumni Manila Chapter had a Christmas Gathering on 23 December 2022 at the Umu Restaurant – known for its authentic Japanese dining experience – located at Dusit Thani Manila, Makati City, Metro Manila. A group of 11 alumni and six invited guests attended this year’s gathering. The alumni in attendance represented undergraduates who graduated from NUS from 2002 to 2007, comprising seven faculties and schools, including Arts and Social Sciences, Business, Computing, Design & Environment, Engineering, Public Policy, and Science. Several alumni in attendance were recipients of generous scholarships, including the Singapore Scholarship of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Keppel Scholarship. The gathering started around 7:00 pm and the Chapter Chairman, Mr. Richard Tan (Public Policy ’12) encouraged the alumni membership in attendance to participate more proactively in the activities of the chapter moving forward, including that of NUS Cares.

Submitted by Mr Nestor Precioso (Science '06)

Temasek Hall Blackbox II: Intentions

BlackBox is a dance production by Temasek Hall (TH) Dance Club that aims to provide dancers with an opportunity to explore genres in and out of their comfort zone, within a safe space. This production aims to become a platform for dancers to push for growth together as a club.

This year, BlackBox II: Intentions showcases items put up by a total of 56 dancers and choreographers from TH Dance Club, with 11 of them being alumni performers. Some of these alumni have graduated from NUS, while some are still studying at NUS but have graduated from Temasek Hall. All the dancers, be it past or present members of THDC have poured their hearts and souls, and dedicated their hours to this excellent production.

The alumni were mainly involved in two items, “Nothing I Can Do”, choreographed by Megan Sophie Lau, and “Samsara”, choreographed by Antriksh Verma, THDC’s Head in 21/22. The alumni had contributed greatly to this production by bringing their performance skills to the stage and allowing the juniors to watch, learn, and subsequently grow.

A key highlight of this event involving the alumni would be the final debrief after the end of the production. They were asked to share some words about what they had thought of the production, and many mentioned that they were glad to come back and happy to see the unity and achievement of the current dance club. It was significantly meaningful as the founding members of Blackbox came back as alumni and were able to witness the progress of the club they helped to found.

Submitted by Ashley Gue, TH Dance Club Head 22/23

Alumni Sing-Along Christmas Celebration 2022

After two years of virtual Christmas celebrations over Zoom, 80 Alumni Sing-Along (ASA) members and guests were delighted to meet in person to feast on traditional Christmas roast, turkey and log cakes; and sing, dance and perform live at Coriander, Shaw Foundation Alumni House (SFAH) on 12 December 2022.

Almost all active ASA members enthusiastically stepped forward to bring festive cheer to fellow members and guests with their renditions of familiar Christmas songs. Besides singing carols, ASA members dressed in the traditional Christmas red, green and white with matching scarfs, and performed a lively line dance to the tune of White Christmas. Choreographed and ably led by ASA member Lim Chee Kiang (Engineering ‘83), the ASA dancers confidently pirouetted in front of the many distinguished guests.

ASA Christmas Celebrations are usually magical – the Christmas songs of peace and goodwill, congenial fellowship and a subsidised, generous Christmas buffet spread. Yet the real magical touch that afternoon was in the hands of ASA member Roger Lim (Arts and Social Sciences ’75) who thrilled the audience by turning ketchup (not water) into wine!

Joanna Loo (Science ’71), chairperson ASA, kicked off the celebrations with her very encouraging and warm welcoming address, which revealed some enticing glimpses of the performances. But most of all, she was delighted to welcome two special guests, Johnny Tan (Science ’82), Co-Chairperson of the Alumni Advisory Board, and Bernard Toh (Architecture ’84), NUS Director of the Office of Alumni Relations. 

Bernard Toh, in his opening address, announced that the various Alumni groups were now welcome to use the SFAH rooms and facilities gratis 12 times a year starting 2023. In addition, ASA members would be able to sing and play music to their hearts’ content in Sage, a soundproof room on the ground level. He shared that NUS and by extension, OAR, should not only be a house but a home for the NUS community. The remark was enthusiastically received by ASA members with cheers.

Following his speech, Joanna, Wee Bin (Arts and Social Science ’85) and Su Allin (Engineering ’73) on keyboard, filled Coriander with the joyful spirit of Christmas with the opening Christmas song, “Joy to The World”.

There were altogether a whopping 22 items put up by ASA members and guest musicians from Music Theatre Limited (MTL), led by Dezz Moey (Engineering ’84) who sang his recent jazz composition, “Let Me Say Goodbye”.

Guitarists Clarence (Arts and Social Sciences ’78), Robin (Science ’91) and Thim wrapped up the ASA Christmas Celebrations with the rousing “Feliz Navidad” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. The two final Christmas songs had everyone on the floor dancing and exchanging good wishes for Christmas and the new year.

Submitted by Clarence Lim Soo Hwee (Arts and Social Sciences ’78)

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