2016

JENNY TAY
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF DIRECT FUNERAL SERVICES

2016

SUDHA NAIR
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FAMILY VIOLENCE SPECIALIST CENTRE

2015

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD 55TH ANNIVERSARY & WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2015

PRISCILLA SHUNMUGAM
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FASHION DESIGNER, ONG SHUNMUGAM

2015

ZURAIDAH ABDULLAH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

2014

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2014

SIM CHI YIN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

2014

RACHEL ENG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
JOINT MANAGING PARTNER, WONG PARTNERSHIP

2013

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2013

DR YEO SZE LING
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
RESEARCH SCIENTIST, A*STAR INSTITUTE FOR INFOCOMM RESEARCH

2013

ASSOC PROFESSOR LIM SWEE HIA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR DIRECTOR, SINGHEALTH-ALICE LEE IAN

2011/12

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2011/12

JANICE WONG
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
CHEF & OWNER OF 2AM:DESSERTBAR

2011/12

PROFESSOR IVY NG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SINGHEALTH

2010

DR OON CHIEW SENG
HER WORLD SPECIAL AWARD
FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, APEX HARMONY LODGE

2010

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR, YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER & SPECIAL AWARD
SEE PHOTOS

2010

DR MARISSA TEO
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
RESEARCH FELLOW, NATIONAL CANCER CENTRE SINGAPORE

2010

DR CHEONG KOON HEAN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HOUSING & DEVELOPMENT BOARD

2009

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD 50TH ANNIVERSARY & WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2009

SINGAPORE WOMEN'S EVEREST TEAM
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
MOUNTAINEERS

2009

LIM HWEE HUA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CABINET MINISTER

2008

YIP PIN XIU
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NATIONAL PARALYMPIC SWIMMER

2008

LAURENTIA TAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
PARALYMPIC EQUESTRIAN ATHLETE

2008

GOH SOO KHIM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
CO-FOUNDER & FORMER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, SINGAPORE DANCE THEATRE

2007

MELISSA KWEE
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL VOLUNTEER & PHILANTHROPY CENTRE

2007

DR NOELEEN HEYZER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS & SOCIAL SCIENTIST

2006

ESTHER TAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NAVAL DIVER & ENDURANCE SPORTS SPECIALIST

2006

LIM SOO HOON
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF FINANCE

2005

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2005

THERESA GOH
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NATIONAL PARALYMPIC SWIMMER

2005

EULEEN GOH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STANDARD CHARTERED SINGAPORE

2004

LI JIAWEI
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FORMER NATIONAL TABLE TENNIS PLAYER

2004

ANNABEL PENNEFATHER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
LAWYER & VICE PRESIDENT, SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL

2003

DR WONG TING HWAY
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SURGEON & HUMANITARIAN WORKER

2003

HALIMAH YACOB
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT & TRADE UNIONIST

2002

ELIM CHEW
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
ENTREPRENEUR & FOUNDER, 77TH STREET

2002

OLIVIA LUM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FOUNDER & GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HYFLUX LTD

2001

STEFANIE SUN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SINGER-SONGWRITER

2001

CHNG SEOK TIN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
ARTIST, WRITER & COMMUNITY WORKER

2000

JING JUNHONG
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
HEAD COACH, NATIONAL WOMEN’S TABLE TENNIS TEAM

2000

DR JENNIFER LEE
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, KK WOMEN’S & CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

1999

TERESA HSU
HER WORLD SPECIAL AWARD
FOUNDER, HOME FOR THE AGED SICK & HEART TO HEART SERVICES

1999

KIT CHAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SINGER & ACTRESS

1999

JENNIE CHUA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, RAFFLES INTERNATIONAL

1998

CLAIRE CHIANG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, BANYAN TREE HOLDINGS

1997

ELIZABETH SAM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER DEPUTY PRESIDENT, OCBC BANK

1996

FANG AI LIAN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHAIRMAN & MANAGING PARTNER, ERNST & YOUNG

1995

YU-FOO YEE SHOON
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER MINISTER OF STATE & TRADE UNIONIST

1994

LEAENA TAMBYAH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FOUNDER, AWWA SPECIAL SCHOOL

1993

HEDWIG ANUAR
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL LIBRARY

1992

DR KANWALJIT SOIN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEON & FIRST WOMAN NOMINATED MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

1991

PROFESSOR CHAN HENG CHEE
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE & CHAIRMAN, NAC
2008
LAURENTIA TAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER

SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO: Disability didn’t stop this woman (and her horse) from doing our nation proud at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics

30-year-old Laurentia Tan won Singapore’s first medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, finishing with a bronze in individual dressage. She later won another bronze in the individual freestyle event. The wins marked her as the first Asian to win a Paralympic medal in the history of equestrian sport. Dressage requires the rider to execute required movements set to music.

Born with cerebral palsy and profoundly deaf, Laurentia is given a signal that the music has begun, and must command her horse to walk in circles or trot in a serpentine pattern. Pulling it off is down to her connection with Harvey, her horse. She is sensitive to his rhythms, and he responds to her control.

Given Laurentia’s unstable muscle movements, Dr Cormac O’Muircheartaigh, acting medical director at the Singapore Sports Council, is even more “amazed” by what she accomplished. “She tends to jerk a little because her muscles are tighter than normal. Her ability to control the horse with precision is impressive,” he says.

FIERCELY INDEPENDENT
When she was born, doctors told Laurentia’s parents she would never be able to walk. But 25 years later, she can walk and drive. She also holds an honours degree in hospitality management and tourism from Oxford Brookes University. From the age of six, Laurentia studied in regular schools, and strove “to do things that my able-bodied friends could do”. That mantra still holds true. She insists on talking to people directly instead of relying on her mother to translate for her. “I just using my body language-reading skills,” she says.

Fiercely independent, she spends hours driving herself to and from Kent (about 100km away from her home in Surrey, England) three times a week for training. For the Paralympics, she trained up to six times a week. “It takes six hours to drive to Kent, tack up the horse, train, untack the horse, and drive home. I ride through rain, sun, wind and hail—but it never feels like hard work.”

GOING THE EXTRA MILE
When Laurentia was three, her family relocated to England because of her entrepreneur father’s work commitments. They stayed because the UK had better facilities for those diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She took up riding when she was five as part of her physiotherapy to improve her core muscles, balance and stamina. In 2006, Laurentia’s coach encouraged her to compete in dressage, and she eventually quit her job as a health worker to ride full-time. “I love how dressage challenges my mind and physical agility,” says Laurentia.

She is currently looking for a new horse to replace Harvey, a 20-year-old chestnut gelding. “He has a really sweet temperament and is a gentleman with me. We clicked the moment we met.” Already retired from competition, trainer Peggy Pegrum pulled Harvey back in just for Laurentia’s Paralympics campaign. “I still ride Harvey once or twice a week, but this will decrease,” says Laurentia. She hopes her new horse will have the same chemistry she had with Harvey. “My next horse will have some very big shoes to fill!”

SEIZING THE DAY
Laurentia was ecstatic to represent Singapore at the Paralympics. “It was just beyond my dreams,” she says. “I was in a state of shock and thought I was dreaming when I won my second medal,” she recounts. She aims to do even better at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the next Paralympics in 2012. She also intends to pursue postgraduate studies in psychology in the US and continue to work in equine-assisted psychotherapy.

Still single, Laurentia is also undaunted in matters of the heart. She says she aims to “fall in love, get married and have a happy, healthy and loving family”. She hopes her triumphs will inspire Singaporeans, especially the disabled, to believe in their dreams. “Seize the day, follow your dreams and persevere. Life’s too short to do otherwise,” she says. HW