Kathy Ong Prize


Launched in 2019 to commemorate the spirit of our late student, Kathy Ong, the Kathy Ong Prize recognises proactive students or groups at Tembusu College who have contributed to or helped in promoting the cause of biodiversity in Singapore or elsewhere in the region. These efforts can include educational, activist, or practical projects dealing directly with conservation issues or projects that indirectly engage environmental causes serving non-human species.

The Kathy Ong Prize is awarded based on student nominations.

Academic Year 2020/21

The winner for AY2020/2021 is: Dennis Tan Wei Jie.

Well done Dennis!

Dennis has a deep passion for conservation and believes in engaging his peers personably to change not just their minds, but their hearts on this important issue. Besides inviting guest speakers to share on the theme of conservation, he also organized nature walks and created opportunities for Tembusians to participate in conservation work, such as through the habitat enhancement project in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. For his sustained commitment towards the conservation cause, and impact on those around him, we want to recognize Dennis for his sincere efforts.

Dennis partnered with NParks to bring Tembusians to assist with habitat enhancement projects in
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. (Photo taken in accordance with Covid-19 regulations as permitted by NParks.)


Academic Year 2019/20

The joint winners for AY2019/2020 are: Tan Kian Long and Willis Lau Weisong.

Well done Kian Long and Willis!

Both Kian Long and Willis have done Tembusu College proud through their conservation work both within and outside of the college, and in using social media effectively to connect diverse groups and get the conservation message out. Specifically, we commend Kian Long for his leadership in making conservation an accessible, educational and engaging activity for all at Tembusu College. Refining the Tembusu Takes a Walk series, he engaged experts to share their in-depth knowledge not only on the flora and fauna in Singapore, but also on how our everyday choices can impact conservation efforts, particularly in Southeast Asia. As for Willis, we applaud him for his many on-the-ground conservation and environmental efforts. In particular, for his ability to create interesting activities for Tembusians through his external contacts and, conversely, to tap on internal events, such as the Tembusu Vertical Marathon, to raise funds for the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES). 

Kian Long (back row, first on the right) at Pasir Ris Park during a night walk he organised, guided by Sean Yap
from the Entomological Network of Singapore (ENSING) and Sankar Ananthanarayanan, a herpetologist and
Dean's Fellow at Yale-NUS.


Willis (second row, third from right) at the Bukit Brown Butterfly Trail he organised, in collaboration with Nature
Society Singapore.


Academic Year 2018/19

The winner for AY2018/2019 is: Lee Hui.

Congratulations Lee Hui!

As the Chairperson of tWild, Lee Hui spread the love of biodiversity and nature in Tembusu College by introducing initiatives such as the Tembusu Takes a Walk (TTW) series and organising TembuZoo alongside her co-heads. Under her leadership, tWild converted Conservation Week and Rector’s Shield into a large, cohesive programme of Conservation Month that provided multiple perspectives on conserving our biosphere, not only through animal conservation, but also through recycling, upcycling and sustainability efforts. As the Enrichment Director of the tWild Japan Expedition, Lee Hui created a holistic learning journey on biodiversity and environmental issues in Japan for both participants on the trip and the college at large post-trip. She spearheaded an interactive exhibition about their learning journey, with sections dedicated to how some of the experiences of Japan could be applied and transferred into the context of Singapore. For her passionate love of the environment and biodiversity, her dedicated and effective leadership, Lee Hui is most deserving of this award. 

Lee Hui (front row, second from right) during the tWild Japan Expedition


Lee Hui receiving her award from Prof Koh and a bouquet of flowers from Mr and Mrs Ong during the 2019
Formal Dinner


The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.