You’ve gotta love 38-year-old Audrey Tay. The freelance creative consultant not only heads some of the coolest, most luxe parties in town (last year’s Avalon Go! as well as selected dos at Ku Dé Ta), this single mother of three is also a champion of the environment, who devotes a chunk of her time to doing charity work for Green School (www.greenschool.org) in Bali and the social entrepreneurial effort Qi Global (www.qi-global.com). Although she’s more hip than hippie, her commitments to a variety of charitable causes are nevertheless impressive.
How did your interest in charity work come about?
It all began within the family. My dad Dr. Henry Tay is the chairman for Community Chest, while mom Dato Dr. Jannie Chan (of The Hour Glass fame) also does various charity work. I also came from a childhood where we lived in and out of hospitals and dealing with various disabilities (my younger sister Michelle died of cerebral palsy when she was 12, while my other sister Sabrina was born partially deaf and has a hole in her heart). Plus, I have three kids that I’m bringing up all on my own, so it’s part of who I am and wanting a better world to live in, especially for my children.
Do your bit for Mother Nature
What are your personal principles and commitments to the cause?
Human rights, PPP (People, Profit, Planet), environmental sustainability, climate change, conflict resolution, minimizing carbon footprints and of course, world peace! (laughs) It’s all about instinct and survival. We as humans are on the top of the food chain and if we continue messing around with nature and eliminating everything, we’re just creating more imbalance and guess what, we’re just screwing ourselves up! I’m also personally committed to promoting global citizenship and cultural inter-dialogue.
What have you been involved in recently?
On a conservation leadership level, I believe that the process of relearning and unlearning through education is very important. Which is why I continually work on having conversations with the public and private sectors on processing, challenging, innovating and ultimately, making money for them. Collaboration is key with everyone across the board. I will also be heavily involved with promoting bio-diversity this year, working with the Nature Society of Singapore and the Birdlife Organization on a conservation project called Harapan Rainforest. I’ve also gotten Singapore Airlines to commit US$3 million to saving the Sumatran rainforest, and will be raising another US$200,000 for Green School. As for Qi, I will be creating more platforms to create more cutting-edge social enterprises, experts, scientists and social entrepreuners.
Who are your role models?
The late architect and philosopher Buckminster Fuller, environmental activist David Suzuki, conservationist and forester Willie Smits, jeweler John Hardy, and last, but not least, my mum and dad.
Famous last words?
“Hope” and “Humanity.”
NEXT: The First Man
Do Your Bit for Mother Nature
• Take part in Earth Hour 2011
Enjoy a free Live Concert and Carnival at The Promontory @ Marina Bay on Mar 26, 5:30-10pm. Make and personalize your own kite with your wish for the planet and take part in the first ever Earth Hour Night Walk. Registration costs $15 and can be done through www.wwf.sg. Alternatively, simply switch off your lights wherever you are at 8:30pm on Mar 26.
• Learn how to preserve our natural habitats
Parks Division manager Eileen Chia, who is working with the National Parks Board, will speak about doing our part in enhancing the remaining mangrove habitats in Singapore on May 7, 3pm at the Ang Mo Kio Public Library. Email [email protected] to register.
• Get your Qi in balance
Attend the upcoming Qi 2011 conference on Oct 13-14 to be held at School Of The Arts, featuring 30 speakers and innovators who are involved in socially-responsible enterprises. Register now by emailing [email protected] or call Marina at 9695-0918.
• Start recycling
The best way to begin your personal Project Gaia is to recycle as much as possible—newspapers, magazines, glass bottle, aluminium cans, whatever. If your office doesn’t have recycling facilities, start one or visit the SLA OneMap website at http://www.onemap.sg/index.htm.