Hi everyone! My name is Gabriel Kwek, and I am currently a Senior Professional Officer at the Singapore Institute of Technology where I work together with the academic team in grooming the future of our profession – our OT students!
Firstly, I will like to extend my appreciation to Jessica Hooi for her service as our President during the past term, during a very uncertain and challenging time with Covid-19. I have grown up professionally in council for more than a decade, and it is because of the opportunities, lessons, and reflections with our past leaders and Presidents such as Jessica Hooi, Ngooi Bi Xia, Lim Chun Yi, and Florence Cheong that have really gave me the confidence to run for Presidency. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for having served us unconditionally, and for showing us what a strong professional identity can look like.
I truly believe that OT is very much a way of life. Our various occupational roles and identities, as an OT, as a family member, as a parent, a partner, or as a friend, brings to us not just a sense of purpose, but also an appreciation for the diversity, richness, and vicissitudes of life. This is why, in my term as President, I hope to encourage an authentic leadership in our council members and workgroup volunteers – and to create an environment and culture where we can express and celebrate our varied interest, passions and beliefs through to the rest of our professional community.
Beyond culture setting within our SAOT volunteer team as role models for our profession, it is also imperative that our association looks towards evolving sociopolitical trends so that our profession continues to stay relevant to Singapore’s health and social care needs. SAOT will continue our various involvement and support towards larger initiatives such as OneRehab and HealthierSG, so do look out as we call for your involvement and input in these exciting areas of role development! SAOT will also continue to work hard to maintain free and lower cost events so that your professional development not only remains accessible, but also caters to your professional aspirations. The growing base of our profession also signals the need and potential for our profession to better formalize a targeted professional development route map that caters to our different career stages. This is a major endeavour that we hope to work together with our HODs, industry leaders, academia, and practitioners so as to better carve out a role for SAOT to focus and value-add through your membership.
Through these efforts, I hope that as a council, we can mobilize our members and professional community to embark on this journey together as we reflect on past successes, while supporting each other to overcome the challenges ahead as we define and exemplify our contributions in our core and emerging areas of practice. I hope that our collective vision and dreams for the association may align with how you foresee your potential involvement and contribution for our valued profession.
I look forward to connecting more with our OT members, student members, and interested partners on how our OT profession can flourish with the rest of the health and social care community to develop Singapore as a healthy and inclusive nation for all!