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Surviving COVID-19 with Teens at Home

The current pandemic is unprecedented for us all and although the physical risk is less extreme for teenagers, their mental wellbeing may well be affected. Teenagers tend to value peer group interaction highly and teen years are a key stage in emotional and social development. Interactions with friends have been curtailed and they find themselves back in the family home, just as they were stretching their wings. Furthermore, parents have found their homes occupied by teenagers that would normally be at school, playing sport and or seeing friends. This can be an unsettling shift in the normal family dynamic which may cause challenges. Below is some advice on how we can help our teens cope with this shift in circumstances:-

1. Be positive role models
Teenagers will be watching their parents to gauge how to react to the current health crisis. This is a challenging time and they will be looking to their role models for cues. It is difficult to strike the right balance – if parents are lax and blasé, they will fail to grasp the seriousness of this situation.
Similarly, if parents are over-anxious, it will heighten their anxiety. Talk to your teenagers to see how they are coping and answer their questions honestly. Explain to them we do not know how things will evolve but measures are being taken to keep us all safe. No- one knows what the future holds and we cannot control macro events – however we can control our reaction to these events and our own environment. It is best to focus on what we can control.

2. Educate them on fact vs fiction in news
Use this opportunity to discuss the difference between fake and real news. Guide them towards evidence based trusted resources (for example; Ministry of Health (MOH), UNICEF, World Health Organisation (WHO) websites). Explain to them not everything they see on social media is true and the best way to keep informed is by looking at credited resources as a counter balance to unreliable content.
Discuss the use of memes and gif’s. As adults we know that humour can help us manage our emotions in times of uncertainty and stress. However, to teenagers they can be confusing by sending mixed messages. We can all enjoy the fun content (and may need it at times) but its role is as a counter balance to the seriousness of the situation.

3. Social distancing
With more stringent measures teenagers will already be limiting the amount of time spend with friends. This is especially trying for adolescents who actively crave peer group interactions. There are many apps which enable virtual communications (Houseparty, Facetime, Skype etc.) and these tend to work better than texting as they require face to face verbal communication. These will address feelings of isolation and anxiety.

If they do meet with friends ensure they stay safe through:

– Maintaining adequate distance (at least 1-2 meters apart)
– Wash hands before and after meeting up
– Do not share foods, beverages or cutlery
– Consider outdoor walks and activities rather than close proximity coffee/café meet-ups
Naturally if they have and fever/respiratory symptoms they should stay at home and should check they are not meeting friends who are on Stay at Home Notice (SHN) or have recently been issued a Medical Certificate (MC).

4. An opportunity for family time
Although this situation has been imposed on us all, try to shift your perception to view this as an opportunity to reconnect, talk and develop deeper connections with your teen. This may be challenging – adolescents do not always want to open up – but the situation gives parents more chances to find that moment when connection is possible. It is entirely normal that your teen may thwart parental attempts to connect (they are a teenager after all) but most importantly they will take note that their parents care. This expression of care and love provides the key message of ‘safety’ at this unsettling time. We may never have this much time to spend with our loved ones, and as life goes back to normal, our busy lives will no doubt once again take over. Grab this opportunity.

5. Physical Exercise
Taking daily exercise is very important for our ongoing mental health. Physical exercise helps feelings of anxiety, decreases stress, increases self-esteem, releases endorphins (which create feelings of happiness) and enables better sleep. All of these benefits are important at the best of times, but certainly in the midst of the current situation.
It can be hard to galvanize teenagers to take exercise if they are not inclined. Explaining how it can help their physical and mental well being will help. In addition, find what format of exercise appeals to your child (maybe ‘going for a walk’ will always be met negatively but ‘lets go shoot some hoops’ or ‘lets do online family workout’ will be more positively received). Lastly, some practical suggestions on how to navigate this time:
– Ensure your teen goes outside at least once a day
– Ensure your teen takes at least 30 min exercise a day (walk, swim, bike ride, skateboard
– Suggest your teen video calls his / her friends (not just texting) and ask about how each
other are feeling
– Talk to your teen about the health crisis and role model helpful behaviours
– If they do meet friends, ensure they practice safe social distancing
– Look out for signs of anxiety and seek medical assistance if you are concerned

Some resources that may help:
UNICEF: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/how-teenagers-can-protect-their-mental-health-during-coronavirus-covid-19
Centre Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
For art lovers: https://www.voicesofyouth.org/campaign/covid-19-and-youth-mental-health
Raising Children, an Australian website on teenagers and anxiety: https://raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/mental-health-physical-health/stress-anxiety-depression/anxiety

Dr Gina Dahel is a paediatric doctor based at IMC Children’s. Call 6887 4440 to make an

Let’s Keep Our Players Active!

As we practice social distancing in line with government guidelines, we want to help everyone keep their kids active and fit, both for their current health and for future game-readiness. For some of our players who are now distance learning, these soccer-related workouts may also help fulfill daily gym/PE requirements.

Below are some resources to help your players stay fit, practice ball skills, and continue having fun through soccer. Searching online will yield many other options to fit your children’s needs and circumstances. We do caution that parents keep an eye on their children’s searches, as of course tech companies’ algorithms can lead to kids viewing endless videos rather than getting up and exercising!

Some of the following workouts may require parental supervision. Some can be done at home, while others require a wall, grassy area, pool, or space to run. Of course, many require a ball! We remind everyone NOT to go to The Cage, Turf City for workouts, as the entire venue is closed to use. However, public parks, park connectors, and other open spaces are all available. Parents serve as kids’ primary role models, so we encourage the entire family to get active!

Encourage your kids to set themselves some goals for improving their skills. Possible goals might be:

  • complete a certain number of one-touch passes with a partner
  • improve your left-foot skills (or right-foot, for our lefties)
  • juggle to a certain number, or with feet or thighs only, or with only one foot/leg
  • run farther, or faster, or both
  • learn or improve your throw-ins
  • learn basic goalie skills to be a more versatile player
  • shoot at and hit a target multiple times in a row

While ANZA Soccer teams should not physically practice together at this time, we encourage teams, via team chats, to share players’ goals, create team challenges, or just connect with each other socially. 

With best wishes for continued health and fitness,

ANZA Soccer Committee


Links to stay active and improve soccer skills

Ball Skills


Goalie skills

Cardio fitness for soccer players

Muscle fitness for soccer players

Sustainable Vanilla

Hand pollination of vanilla
New Zealander Jennifer Boggiss is the CEO and Co-Founder of Heilala Vanilla

What’s the story behind Heilala Vanilla?
My father John Ross, a retired New Zealand dairy farmer sailed to Vava’u, in the Kingdom of Tonga on a boat he’d built himself. He fell in love with the place and the people and when Cyclone Waka caused extensive damage to the Vava’u island group, he travelled back with friends from his Rotary Club to help with the clean-up. To thank John for his efforts, a local family gifted him a plot of land in exchange for him using it to provide employment to those in the village. On a previous trip to Tonga, John discovered vanilla orchids running wild and after some research and visits to established vanilla farms in Réunion Island, Tahiti and Madagascar, he got to work on his own plot and subsequently partnered with other growers throughout Tonga to establish Heilala’s vanilla plantations.

John Ross established Heilala Vanilla in Tonga

Where and how is vanilla grown?
Vanilla thrives in the conditions afforded in a narrow 20-degree band either side of the equator, and is perfectly suited to the hot, humid growing conditions in Tonga. Vanilla is the only fruit-bearing member of the orchid family. The large orchid plants bear a small creamy, yellow flower and on the day of opening the flower must be hand pollinated. Once pollination is completed, nine months later, a fully-grown green bean is ready to be picked. This green bean then undergoes a complex curing process where the flavour develops, and the bean turns dark brown/black. It’s one of the most labour-intensive agricultural crops in the world, taking three years to develop and nurture the vines through the on-going art of careful training, weeding and looping, all whilst ensuring sustainable farming is practiced.

How does it support local villages in Tonga?
As our farms grow along with the demand for real vanilla, there is increased employment across the villages, particularly of local women in Tonga. Being an integral part of Heilala Vanilla gives our team the confidence, knowledge and business skills to step up to more strategic roles. As a result, there is an instilled sense of purpose and pride, which has a powerful effect on their independence, families, economic growth and the well-being of their communities.

Heilala has a goal for 200 women to be emplyed in the vanilla industry in Tonga by 2022

How is sustainability part of the brand?
Consumers today are demanding to know more about the ingredients they’re consuming, they want to know exactly what’s in their food, and how it was sourced and produced. Heilala’s transparent supply chain, clean label ingredients and positive social impact to local grower communities are embedded in our DNA. Along with selling vanilla beans, we have created a range of added value vanilla products to ensure the entire crop is utilised resulting in zero waste.

What makes Heilala Vanilla so delicious?
Typically, vanilla is traded as a commodity like cocoa and coffee. Heilala is unique as the world’s only vanilla producer that grows, manufactures and markets the spice itself. Having control of the entire process – from plantation to pantry – ensures a consistent product every time. This is one of the reasons chefs love it.

How would you suggest using the vanilla?
Heilala Vanilla is the Bourbon variety and the flavour profile is creamy, sweet and rich. Use it in baking, or add a dash to smoothies, cocktails or tea and coffee for a delicious flavour hit. Our vanilla bean paste contains real vanilla seeds, which adds an authentic touch to light coloured desserts such as ice cream, classic vanilla swiss roll, rhubarb and vanilla baked custard and eclairs with vanilla cream.

Where can we buy the vanilla in Singapore?
You can purchase Heilala Vanilla in Singapore from Foster Foods fosterfoods.sg

Finish this sentence… “We can save the planet if we all…”
…be more conscious about what we buy, and where we buy it from. Using our voices and our purchasing power to make sure our money is going towards positive change.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Most people don’t realise that most of the world’s vanilla (or vanilla flavoured products) is synthetic or artificial. The global market for pure vanilla is small, an estimated two per cent of the global vanilla trade!


Check Out: Green Singapore

1. The Social Space
333 Kreta Ayer Road, #01-14
This socially conscious, multi-concept store focuses on sustainability and conscious living. Drop by and have a cuppa at their Tea Bar & Café, which serves wholesome food and drinks sourced from fair-trade and eco-friendly producers. Pick up some eco goodies in their retail area, or be pampered at the nail salon, which offers a vocational training programme for underprivileged women and uses only non-toxic and cruelty-free products. They also host a refill station for reusable bottles, a florist, and regular sustainable lifestyle workshops.

2. Scoop Wholefoods
Great World City
1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World, #01-148, 237994
Tanglin Mall
#02-17/18, 163 Tanglin Rd, 247933
Australian brand Scoop Wholefoods specialises in plastic free shopping, retailing organic and natural products in bulk. Customers buy only as much as they need, minimising food waste. The stores stock a range of Aussie produce and wholefoods from around the globe. Try organic cold-pressed oils and vinegars, roasted nuts and organic chocolates, and a fermenter section with kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut. Like to DIY? You can churn your own nut butters, mix the perfect tea blend, and make your own floor cleaners, soap bars and lip balms. Scoop also sell stainless steel tiffin tins, reusable bags and bamboo drinking straws.

3. Edible Garden City​
60 Jalan Penjara,149375
Edible Garden City offers a range of weekend workshops encouraging Singaporeans to grow their own. Test your green thumb at sessions like the basics of organic farming, how to grow microgreens, kombucha making, customise your own hand sanitiser, and more. They also run Junior Urban Farmer camps for kids on school holidays. Volunteer at the gardens and experience growing your own food. Want to take it even further? Consider joining the team as an urban farmer!
** Not open to the public except during tours, workshops and volunteer sessions.

4. UnPackt
6A Shenton Way Downtown Gallery #03-05, 068815
6 Jalan Kuras, 577724
Singapore’s first zero-waste grocery store sells a variety of bulk goods, from olive oil and cane sugar, to soap and baked apple chips. All items sold in the store are package-free, so come prepared with your own containers or tubs, measure out the amount you want and pay according to weight.

5. Bollywood Veggies
100 Neo Tiew Road, 719026
Bollywood Veggies is worth the hike. Set in the beautiful Kranji countryside, it’s a peaceful jungle farm, with seasonal crops of wild bananas, herbs, blue pea flowers, sweet potato, tapioca, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, long bean, lady’s finger, pumpkin, fig, and aloe vera. Try fresh and delicious farm-to-table dishes at Poison Ivy Bistro, take a farm tour, or get your hands dirty with a workshop. They offer a range of classes – from potting, to cooking, or learning about plant medicine.

6. The Green Collective
FUNAN, #02-18, 179105
More than 40 homegrown eco brands teamed up to launch this green concept store at Funan. Curated based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the collective offers a wide range of sustainable, eco and socially conscious products and regular workshops, ranging from soap making, DIY lip balm, composting, plant swap and upcycling.

7. Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve
301 Neo Tiew Cres, 718925
Discover a nature paradise at Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park. The Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve is rich in biodiversity, with 202ha of mangroves, mudflats, ponds and forests. Trek through trails and discover native inhabitants like mudskippers, crabs, shellfish, water snakes, birds, spiders, monitor lizards, and otters. Admire resident birds such as herons, kingfishers and sunbirds.

8. Afterglow
24 Keong Saik Road, 089131
This hip Keong Saik Road eatery offers an evolving menu of vegetarian, mostly raw, plant-based food. Try the Raw Pizza, made with an almond crust and fresh vegies, or the Cuban Burger ($20), a black bean patty with salsa and guacamole in a brown rice bun. There are also fabulous zingy salads, soups and delicious Avocado Kimchi Rolls ($15). Finish with feel good desserts like the Chocolate Caramel Salted Fudge ($12.5) made with avocado, cacao, tahini and dates.

9. Tampines Eco Green
Tampines Avenue 9 and Tampines Avenue 12
Tampines Eco Green is an eco-friendly park that offers a sanctuary for flora and fauna and nature recreation. If peace and quiet is high on your agenda, you’ll find it here. No vehicles – not even bicycles – are allowed, and there are no lights after dark. The park is home to open grasslands, freshwater wetlands and a secondary rainforest – a great spot for visitors to enjoy hiking, bird watching, and wide open spaces.

Four Essential Skills to Prepare Your Child for Their Future

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1. Making Connections

These days learning is all about making connections – whether between theory and practice, or intention and action. One of the ways CIS brings lessons to life and allows students to connect their classroom learning to real world examples is through outdoor learning; a fundamental part of the school’s approach to a balanced education. Students experience the

Open Minds Programme – a unique hands-on learning experience which takes place in locations such as Fort Canning Park and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve – as well as field trips and excursions around Singapore.

2. Asking Questions

CIS teaches students HOW to ask questions, and to process the answers by connecting, analysing and surmising. Just like in real life, local and global issues are examined in relation to the curriculum, and lessons span across subject areas. An inquiry-based teaching style encourages students to ask questions, and develops their ability to problem solve, think critically and find creative solutions.

3. Creating and Implementing Ideas

Imagine if we could build a….’ Well, at CIS you actually can! CIS not only teaches students how to come up with innovative and fresh ideas, but also how to take those ideas and turn them into action. CIS’s unique STEAM programme (science, technology, entrepreneurship, arts and mathematics) is integrated from Kindergarten to Grade 12, and allows students access to stimulating maker spaces, where they can use traditional and cutting edge equipment to work together on projects.

4. Communicating Effectively

Communicating well has never been more important, regardless of age or industry. Whether it’s writing, speaking, or being bi-lingual, these are essential skills that cut across industries and allow students to effectively shape the world they will eventually lead. CIS students are required to study an additional language from Junior Kindergarten, and take daily classes in either Mandarin, French or Spanish. They also offer two bi-lingual programmes in Chinese-English or French-English.

CIS constantly strives to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to adapt and navigate the world as it changes – to find out more contact their admissions team on (+65) 6734 8088 or inquire here.

To see the Canadian International School Story watch here.

The safety of our community remains our highest priority and it’s imperative that we support the Singapore Government in their outstanding efforts to contain the transmission of COVID-19.

We advise all our members to continue to follow the measures outlined by MOH and MOM

Please follow the ANZA website and Facebook page for regular ANZA updates.

AGM: Meet the New Executive Committee

After 12 years at the helm of ANZA, PJ Roberts gave his final President’s address at ANZA’s Annual General Meeting. PJ reflected on a fantastic year for the organisation, and welcomed ANZA President Adam Martin to the role of President.

Retiring ANZA President PJ Roberts with new President Adam Martin

Adam is a familiar face in the ANZA community, having been on the ANZA Executive Committee since 2010, and serving as Vice President since 2014. Stepping up as Vice President is Megan Kinder, a passionate ANZA member for 16 years, ANZA Cycling President for six years, and a member of the Executive Committee for four years. ANZA thanks PJ for his amazing work and contribution to ANZA over the past 12 years, and wishes the best of luck to Adam and Megan as they step into their new roles and steer the organisation through a challenging year ahead.

2020 ANZA Executive Committee

ANZA Executive Committee, 2020

Adam Martin, President

Megan Kinder, Vice President

Mark Neo, Executive Secretary

Tristan Perry, Executive Treasurer

Philip Simmonds, Membership Secretary

Andrew Wratt, Community Services Coordinator

Marnie Watson, Joint Sports Coordinator

Sommer Dunham, Joint Sports Coordinator

Executive Committee Members:

Don Northey

Zenaida Bharucha

Sonia Heath

Maria Taylor

Megan Scott

Christo Fangupo

We thank our outgoing EC Members for their time and individual contributions to the committee; Louise Jones, Danny Tauroa, Lee Carsley.


Farewell PJ!

PJ at the Melbourne Cup 2011
With ANZA member Malakai at the AGM 2019

It’s hard to believe this is my final President’s Message. I’m very excited about the future of ANZA with the new Executive Committee and Adam Martin as President.  I look forward to remaining involved as a passionate member and supporter of all things ANZA.
When I started my personal journey with ANZA I could never have envisaged the joy and satisfaction I would obtain from being involved. I’m very proud of the growth of ANZA under my 12 years of leadership and the success we have achieved during this time, including a diverse and vibrant membership base, the plethora and quality of activities, and overall ongoing financial viability of our association.

SuperBall 2019
With ANZA Action sponsored therapy horse Kodie

We have continued to be very focused in providing a structure and process that ensures ANZA remains relevant and sustainable in a world where change is constant and dynamic. Succession planning has been integral to our strategic framework and how we operate to allow for the legacy of our volunteers to continue well into the future.
I’ve experienced so many wonderful occasions in my time as President and feel blessed to have shared these with so many selfless people. ANZA is a brilliant association that flourishes because of the unrelenting passion and drive of our many volunteers, providing outstanding opportunities for our families, day after day, year after year. It fills me with such pride to look at our magazine and see the many smiling faces, people of all ages, engaging in and enjoying the vast array of activities on offer.
My most heartfelt thanks to our passionate army of volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and effort to provide us all with awesome opportunities to enhance our sense of belonging and add enormous value to our overall time in Singapore.
Every club, every sub-group, every event, every game, every little thing that we do can be traced back to the heroic efforts of our current volunteers and the innumerable volunteers who came in the decades before us. I get quite emotional when I think of the countless hours spent by thousands of volunteers over seven decades. Their efforts make us what we are now.

PJ, Jo and Ashleigh
PJ with mum Pat

I’ve spent over a quarter of my life as ANZA President.  I’m incredibly thankful for how much I have grown and how much my life has evolved for the better.  From landing in Singapore 18 years ago as professional footballer, and now being married to my gorgeous wife Jo with our adorable baby boy Ashleigh. My ANZA journey will continue to evolve as Jo and I look forward to Ashleigh growing up and being a part of our kids activities and experiencing ANZA as a family.
I’m also very thankful to Singapore as a country, both personally and for ANZA as an association. I love this country. Singapore has a remarkable vision and embraces us and our association to be a part of this journey and vision. We are all provided with rewarding opportunities for our careers and families here in Singapore and for that I am eternally grateful.

PJ, ANZA GM Kerry and Anna
VOYA 2011

A special thank you to everyone in our ANZA family for the love, support and care you have personally demonstrated to me during my time as President. Our sub-groups, Executive Committee, and office staff – you have been a tower of strength. A very special thanks to Kerry Low and Adam Martin for their friendship and support during my time as President. Also, to our Life Member’s, Annette and Clive Tilbrook, for showing me the way in the early days.
We are all part of something very special with ANZA and I look forward to continuing to contribute and celebrate how special we are.

Best wishes, PJ Roberts


Head to our Facebook page to enjoy a little vid of PJ’s time as ANZA President.

Aussie Expat Family Home Capital Gains Tax

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With so much confusion and misinformation on the changes to Capital Gains Tax for expats, we have recorded a seminar covering all the issues and how to plan for minimum impact to your circumstances.

Last year we were quite excited that the proposed laws affecting Capital Gains Tax on an expats former home were lapsed with the calling of the election, due largely to Austcham HK and our efforts. Sadly, despite promises from both major parties to review the laws and exclude expats, the amended legislation was represented in November and quickly passed through both houses into law in late 2019. There were concessions to provide exclusions on sales as a result of death, divorce or financial hardship but they have left the law as broad to capture expats and foreigners.

The first and most important thing to note is that these changes will not affect you unless you actually lived in the property before you left Australia and became a non-resident taxpayer.

Secondly, these rules will also not impact you if you sell your former residence either before 30 June 2020 or after you return to live in Australia once again.  Note, return means full and proper relocation, not just back for a holiday.

The danger zone is anyone who has lived in their property before and previously was entitled to capital gains tax free status, who may now sell their property during a period of living overseas.  If that happens, then the full capital gain will be subject to tax.

It will take a long time for people to understand this, especially if they are newly departed from Australia in the coming years. They may well be unaware of the rule changes and assume their family home is tax free. Now, more than ever, is the time to remember to seek advice before selling your property so you can fully understand any potential tax implications.

We have prepared a summary sheet for your reference, click here to download your copy. You could also watch our video presentation.

If you are considering selling your former family home in the near future, you should seriously consider a sale prior to the 30 June 2020, as the previous tax-free status will still apply. If not, then you may be advised to wait to sell until after you are living back in Australia. If you are unsure of how this may impact you, or if you want to consider selling your property before the change deadline, simply contact us for assistance.

Australasian Taxation Services

#17-01 Sim Lim Tower, 10 Jalan Besar 208787, Singapore

Phone: +65 6293 3858