Anthea Ong — A One-Page Bio
Former NMP. Social Entrepreneur. Mental Health Advocate. Author. Madhatter.
“I’m a full-time human being, and part-time everything else.”
A Nominated Member of Parliament of the 13th Parliament of Singapore (2018–2020) where she championed for multiple social issues most notably mental health, Anthea was appointed a member of the Tripartite Oversight Committee for Workplace Health by the Minister of Health in 2019 and a member of the Singapore Mental Health Conference 2021.
A former banker, Anthea was most recently a regional Managing Director with a UK-listed company where she also double-hatted as the Asian Lead of the Global Corporate Responsibility Board. Prior to that, she held key leadership roles with multinational organisations: Pearson Plc, New York Institute of Finance, Terrapinn Group and United Overseas Bank.
From 2002–2008, she was Founder/CEO of education consulting and technology company, Knowledge Director Group, and Inventor of its award-winning rapid authoring technology. In this, she was also Principal Consultant for strategic education transformation projects with the governments of Singapore (FutureSchools@Singapore), Taipei and Kaohsiung (School of the Future).
In Dec 2013, she took her final corporate paycheck to fulfill her aspirations, full time, in active volunteerism, impact entrepreneurship/investment and coaching. Formerly a board member of Unifem (now UN Women) and founding board member of Daughters of Tomorrow, Anthea is Immediate Past President of Society for WINGS. A member of the Social Services Innovation Advisory Council with National Council for Social Service, the Steering Committee for the ACE Capstone Leadership Programme at the Social Service Institute Singapore, the Futures of Giving Expert Panel and Company of Good initiative at National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and Cedar Girls’ Secondary School Advisory Committee, Anthea has also been an active mentor with Institute of Technical Education since 2013.
In the last 9 years, Anthea founded several groundup initiatives/impact businesses– most notable is Hush TeaBar, Singapore’s 1st silent teabar (a social movement) that empowers and employs only the Deaf and persons-in-recovery from mental health conditions to bring self care and social inclusion to every workplace and community. In May 2018, She came together with a group of 25 C-suite leaders across different industries to form the WorkWell Leaders Workgroup to champion workplace mental health and employee wellbeing as a leadership priority. In 2017, she co-created A Good Space, Singapore’s first co-operative of community changemakers, to encourage cross sector collaboration across a diverse range of social issues. In 2014, Playground of Joy was founded to deliver integrated values-based development programmes for children, especially those with special needs. She started Project Yoga-on-Wheels in 2010 as a community of certified yoga instructors who bring inclusive yoga to the beneficiaries of non-profits. Most recently in April 2020, she co-founded Welcome in My Backyard, a community initiative to bring locals and migrant workers closer together in the light of the Covid-19 outbreak in the worker dormitories.
A Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation to business leaders and high potential professionals from Russia, Portugal, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, France, UK, USA and Singapore, Anthea is an alumnus of National University of Singapore Business School, US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Programme (5 Cities, 2013), Global Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by President Barack Obama (Stanford, 2016), the Social Leadership Singapore Programme (2016), Leadership on the Edge Antarctica Expedition (2018) and Presencing Foundation Programme (MIT, 2018).
Having been published as part of an anthology by the National Library of Singapore in 2015, Anthea published her first book 50 Shades of Love — part memoir, part life coaching, in December 2018.
Anthea is also a Certified Yoga Instructor, a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, Certified Reiki 1&2 Practitioner, Certified Natural Therapy Practitioner and a Certified Microfinance Trainer (WorldBank/ADBI).
Anthea finds wisdom through her intrepid travels that have taken her to all seven continents and over 75 countries including Antarctica, Mt Everest Base Camp, The Amazon, Siberia (Trans-Siberia), Machu Picchu Mt Sinai, Iran, Tibet, Peru, Guatemala and Patagonia. She believes that the farther out she explores, the deeper in she travels.
Why start a business when you can start a movement, or two?