Civil Society Honoured In Singapore Advocacy Awards 2015

Nominations have opened for the second edition of the civil society Singapore Advocacy Awards (SAA).

In a press release issued Wednesday by organisers The Working Committee 3 (TWC3), the awards aim to “recognise, affirm and celebrate civil society organisations and individuals for their outstanding initiative and positive impact on integration, diversity, solidarity, tolerance and awareness in Singapore.”

Three awards will be given out this year. Besides an award each for the year’s civil society advocate and organisation respectively, another award will be given out to the most promising new civil society advocate of the year.

Nominees should be candidates that have addressed societal needs, become agents of change and given due resources to such causes, and in turn “inspired others to contribute to their community”.

Organisations that can be nominated include informal working groups and initiatives as well as those who are registered with the Registry of Societies or with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

The trophy for winners is the SAA logo, which is an inverted “A”. The logo signifies a ‘tipping point’, defined as ‘a point in time when a group, or a large number of group members, rapidly and dramatically changes its behaviour by widely adopting a previously rare practice’.

The eight-member judging panel consists of activists and luminaries in civil society such as Cultural Medallion winner T. Sasitharan, former nominated member of Parliament Faizah Jamal and former diplomat Geoffrey Yu.

Chairing the organising team is longtime activist Constance Singam. Completing the 12-member TWC3 team is gay rights activist Leow Yangfa as well as writer Catherine Lim.

In the release, organisers addressed the importance of such an award:

“There must be space for varying visions of the future, for vigorous debate of these different approaches and for continued discussion after a decision has been made and public policies put in place. This participation by citizens is a crucial element of democracy.”

Anyone is allowed to nominate. The process closes 22 June 2015. Nomination forms can be obtained on the SAA website.

In last August’s inaugural awards, ten organisations and individuals were honoured for their work, including second chances advocate Damien Chng, human rights lawyer M Ravi as well as freedom to love movement Pink Dot. Winners each received a certificate and $1,000 towards their efforts.

In a recent blogpost, Constance said this year’s SAA is slated to be held at end-July.


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