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Bring on the drama at Centre Stage

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When it comes to the arts in Singapore, it doesn’t get much better than Pete Hodgson, Ali Tompkins and Roo Pigott. Pete and Ali first met at the UK’s prestigious Guildford School of Acting and today run Centre Stage School of the Arts (CSSA), providing opportunities for young people to develop through drama, musical theatre, acting and dance. Also from the UK, music producer and songwriter Roo Pigott uses his experience of working with the likes of Ed Sheeran and John Mayer to lead a team of internationally successful songwriters, producers and music industry professionals at Songwork International.

Expanding Artistry

Today, the two prolific companies have come together to highlight their exciting collaboration. By joining together, students from both organisations now have access to huge possibilities: Centre Stage students to Songwork’s recording and publishing facilities, and Songwork students to Centre Stage’s performance training, particularly in musical theatre and dance.

“We met Roo about five years ago and immediately hit it off,” says Pete from CSSA. “He told us about how he encourages children and teens to develop their skills as singer-songwriters, with the mission to expand their artistry and to develop as confident, creative human beings. This was completely in line with the very same principles Ali and I have spent nurturing for the past 30 years.”

Shared ethos

Indeed, what Centre Stage and Songwork discovered was that they both shared the same ethos: that young people benefit hugely from playing within an artistic framework. “All the performing arts are rooted in creative experimentation and exploration. We abandon and rebuild, collaborate and share,” Pete continues. “Roo develops the imagination of songwriters and musicians and gives them the tools to develop and work at those skills. Meanwhile, at Centre Stage we use the performing arts to allow children to gain a healthy sense of self.”

Collaboration was a natural step and easy progression, beginning with the staging of The Attic Sessions, a live show that saw Centre Stage and Songwork’s students performing in unison. By far, the most thrilling proposition that has come from their collaboration is the building of a Songwork recording studio at Centre Stage earlier this year. “This space allows everyone to access the music production, content development and artistic know-how of Songwork, Roo and his team,” says Pete.

“We have musical-theatre students recording and building a profile on Spotify and are delighted to now host The Attic Sessions as a monthly event.” Songwriting workshops and music production courses are a new addition and a Technical Theatre course is in the pipeline. Says Pete, “Combining the collective technical knowledge of both companies gives us the chance to support a child’s development across music, songwriting and the performing arts. Together we can guide them towards future careers and a wealth of options in a way that no other creative organisation can.”




Lonely this Christmas? How to look after you

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The holidays are supposed to be a happy time – peace and goodwill to all! Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out like that. Christmas has long been known as a time when some people struggle with their mental health – remember all those ads for the Salvation Army on TV in December?

There are many reasons for this. Some people feel under increased stress at work towards the year end, and sometimes financial difficulties can be exacerbated during the festivities. A higher alcohol intake or pressure to socialise can trigger anxiety for many. TV and social media often portray a fixed idea of the ‘Perfect Christmas’ and people feel disappointed when their own plans don’t match up to expectations. It’s also easy to feel lonely when everyone around you appears to be having fun.

This is also when families come together. Feuds are common during the celebrations, which is understandable when many of us will not have been together for a while. So, as a GP who deals with the international community, here’s my advice for managing your mental health during the months to come:

  1. Don’t over-book. Make space in your schedule for relaxation alone. Relentless socialising is exhausting and will wear you down.
  2. Look after your physical health. Don’t drink to excess or over-eat. Fit in some regular exercise, ideally outside in the fresh air.
  3. If you’re feeling lonely, reach out to someone. Big events with lots of people won’t help your mental state. Focus on spending time with people who really matter.
  4. Don’t neglect ongoing care. If you’re seeing a therapist or taking medication for your mental health, make sure this continues over the holiday period.
  5. Make a budget and stick to it. Everyone likes giving and receiving presents, but when costs get out of control you will be left feeling worried and depressed. Remain realistic.
  6. Lean on friends. If you’re anxious about going to a party or event, arrange to arrive and leave with a friend to take the pressure off.
  7. Avoid harmful comparisons with others. Manage your expectations – don’t expect everything to be perfect all of the time.
  8. Take the focus off yourself. Try volunteering, donating, or doing something for those less fortunate.

If all else fails and you’re struggling, reach out to your GP. We’re trained to manage mental health problems and will make sure you get the right help. I take this opportunity to reiterate that seeing a GP about mental health issues is completely normal, so don’t hesitate. We see many patients who never thought they would be seeking support and pride ourselves in offering care for everyone in a non-judgemental and open manner.

Dr Neil Forrest Dr Neil Forrest is a British trained GP doctor who cares for many international families in Singapore and is recognised as a calm and caring doctor for mental health concerns. Dr Neil is based at Osler Health Star Vista (off Holland Rd). T: 6339 2727. osler-health.com

How can a GP help?
Prevention will always be better than a cure, so seek medical help early. Any treatment should be a shared decision with you and your doctor. Please feel free to visit any of our experienced General Practitioners at Osler Health International.
Find Osler Health clinics at 328 North Bridge Road, #02-27 Raffles Hotel Arcade, 188719 and 1 Vista Exchange Green, #B1-27, The Star Vista,138617. Email us at raffles@osler-health.com or starvista@osler-health.com


Beat festive frazzle with these easy tips

It’s official: the festive season can be a veritable hotbed of anxiety. The fairy-light-shaped knot of worry in your tummy tends to start around mid-November when you realise THERE’S JUST A MONTH TO GO and you hardly have a plan. In between working out where to spend the celebrations (are you going to theirs, or are they coming to yours?), complaining about the exorbitant cost of flight tickets home ($3,000 + and counting!), and debating whether you want to go big or small with it all (see our tips for a simple Xmas on p32), yuletide madness is suddenly in full swing.

“It’s common to put pressure on ourselves during the festive period. Many of us are holding on until December when everything – work, school, a tough year – is over and we can breathe a huge sigh of relief and take a well-deserved break,” says Ho Shee Wai, Registered Psychologist and Director of The Counselling Place (thecounsellingplace.com).

Tune into triggers

The best way to cope, says Shee Wai, is to tune into your festive stress triggers. Are you worried about cooking the dinner? That people won’t have a good time?
The more you can be aware of what’s going on with you, the better able you are to talk yourself down from the stress and manage the situation. When you feel anxious, try to pinpoint which of your issues is being provoked. Is it your persistent feeling of not being good enough? Unresolved conflict with a family member? Imposter Syndrome kicking in?
“Identify your trigger and consider how to solve it,” Shee Wai says. “Perhaps you need to call your sister to reconcile a disagreement beforehand, or to make one amazing meal rather than hosting for days.” Imagine surviving the worst-case scenario and how you’ll cope. For example, if the turkey tastes drier than a desert, pizza is always an option, and the kids will love it …

“One in three women
and one in five men in Australia live with anxiety, and symptoms worsen over Christmas”

Energy & headspace

Anchoring to who you are now (as opposed to who you were during the holidays as an unruly teen) is also key to avoiding the tradition of repetitive festive family squabbles. “If there’s something to come out of 2022 that you are particularly proud of – a success story, a new job, a new baby, a hobby – introduce these into the conversation as a bid to switch up the dynamic,” recommends Shee Wai.

And vice versa, find out what your family members are proud of. If all else fails, a good old treasure hunt or session of ‘Pin The Tail On The Drunken Uncle’ can always work to diffuse tension and provide a new focus.
Above all, alone time is especially important for you to be centered throughout the celebrations. “‘Me time’ is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” confirms Shee Wai. “It helps you to recharge and maintain enough energy and headspace to continue on.”

Go for a walk, take a bath, get up 20-30 minutes earlier in the morning so you can enjoy some peace and quiet. And if you’re in Singapore and need space and a cuppa (or something stronger!), come over to the ANZA office which will be open until 21 December. We can beat the festive frazzle together!

Create a Christmas routine

Carving out a schedule during December is a great way to feel in control. Create a list of five things you can do in the four categories below, and commit to doing at least one per category every week on the same day.
Physical: Stretch, engage in healthy/clean eating, juicing, jogging, rope skipping
Mental: Mindfulness, Sudoku, baking, learn or teach a new skill
Emotional: Journal, listen or play music, repeat positive affirmations, perform a random act of kindness
Spiritual: Admire nature, join an organised religious event/spiritual session, enjoy quiet time alone

Set some house rules

If you’ve got people coming to yours, it’s imperative that both parties have space to themselves.

  • Be clear about house rules. This can be done in a creative, fun way; put a welcome pack in their bedroom including some guidelines; or pop a few cheeky signs/reminders around the house
  • Let guests know clearly when they can spend time with you. “Announcing ‘I only have a couple of hours for lunch today’ is perfectly acceptable,” says Shee Wai
  • Book visitors into a sightseeing tour without you, surprise them with a daycation or spa treatment (we love Natureland, natureland.com.sg), and set a cut-off time each evening. There’s nothing wrong with saying you need to join a work call or put the kids to sleep. (Just make sure you have children!)

Minimise social media

Most people forget that social media tends to project the ‘best’ snapshot of other people’s lives. You’re supposed to be focusing on your family or your holiday. Practice being fully present and savour all the good bits of the season. You can catch up with what everyone else is doing in January.

Socialise like a pro

With the extra partying comes lots of pressure to be chatty and upbeat. The best way to manage social engagements while still preserving your energy (and sanity) is to focus on finding out one new thing about each person you speak to. Says Shee Wai, “Doing so will make you feel like you achieved something at the end of each event, rather than speaking to lots of people, but feeling you don’t actually know anyone better.”

Anxiety in Australia statistic source: thebanyans.com.au

ANZA Cycling: Meet the new leaders

Abraham Metta ANZA Cycling“Cycling helps to push your fitness, but you can also have a nice chat!”
Abraham Metta, Membership

Abraham Metta is one of the latest additions to the ANZA Cycling Committee looking after membership. An ANZA Cycling member for ten years, here we find out more about him.

Tell us about yourself…
I was born in the US, grew up in Mexico City, and my career took me to Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK. It was here that I met my wife and started riding my bike more seriously. We moved to Singapore in 2013, then had a 1.5 year stint in Sao Paolo, Brazil, but now we’re back with our two children, two dogs, and proud to call the little red dot home.

What got you into cycling?
I started cycling as I had my sights on a triathlon. I did a couple in the UK and enjoyed them, but found that cycling was the best part of the experience. It’s just a great activity, where you get to push your fitness, but you can also have a nice chat with a group of people at the same time – unless you’re in the really fast groups!

Why ANZA Cycling?
Before moving to Singapore, I searched online for the best groups for cycling and discovered a few different organisations. When I read about ANZA, I liked the sound of the spirit of the club. On my first weekend I joined the Mandai 28 and almost passed out!

What do you most enjoy about the group?
The main reason to ride with ANZA is the people. During the pandemic, ANZA Cycling was a real sanity saver. There was always someone to ride with, no matter what the rules of the moment were, and it gave us all the opportunity to get out safely and clear our minds.

What are your plans as you head up membership?
I’m looking forward to helping the team take our membership system to the next level. My hope is to make it easier for people to join and manage their membership, as well as understand what the benefits are.


Nicolette Tan, Treasurer “I want to be a part of the team that keeps this community alive”
Nicolette Tan, Treasurer

Nicolette Tan was born and grew up in Singapore, with a few years living in the UK and Italy. As Treasurer, she hopes to expand the social side of the club.

Tell us about yourself…
I came across ANZA Cycling when I signed up for Tour de Bintan 2019 for a lark – even though I didn’t know what I was doing at the time! The people at the event from ANZA were so encouraging and supportive, they invited me to check them out back in Singapore.

What got you into cycling?
To be honest, I don’t know how I found myself here! I was a kid with a greater love for kebabs than abs! I did a bit of sport when I was at uni, but I mostly picked up cycling just to get to the supermarket from my partner’s home when living in Italy.

Why did you decide to stand as Treasurer?
I absolutely love the community within ANZA Cycling. In the same way I was welcomed, I want to be a part of the team that keeps this community alive and to welcome others.

What ideas are you currently working on?
One of the best things about ANZA Cycling is the social aspect. It was through the breakfasts and drinks that I met a lot of people, many of whom were strong and seasoned racers who encouraged me to push myself during rides. Now the Covid-era is winding down, I would love to grow the social fabric of the group, whether through improving the traditional breakfasts and drinks, or exploring opportunities for club trips and activities.


lily low, Road Director“ANZA had a more visible and active number of female cyclists”
Lily Low, Road Director

Lily has been with ANZA Cycling for over two years. During that time, she has helped to grow the community, and continues to be a strong advocate for inclusivity of the community she serves.

Tell us about yourself…
I was born in the UK and spent most of my life growing up in Asia. It was my career that brought me to Singapore four years ago. Other than ANZA Cycling, I’m also a member of the German Dragons Singapore, a local expat dragon boat club.

What got you into cycling?
When the pandemic hit, my passions of playing rugby and going to the gym were no longer possible so I looked for alternative activities. A running injury led to my physio recommending cycling to me, and the rest is history.

Why us?
I initially reached out to ANZA Cycling on Facebook because they had a more visible and active number of female cyclists. Fast forward two years and I race in ANZA club colours regularly and have podiumed at some local events. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the occasional social café ride!

What do you most enjoy?
Solo rides are great if you’re on a training ride working towards a specific goal, but group rides are also just as satisfying if you’re looking for an extra bit of motivation to get out of bed early.

What are your plans as Road Director?
My biggest priority is supporting the committee to ensure that ANZA Cycling remains inclusive, and that we continue to cater for road riders of all skills and abilities. I was once that newbie who couldn’t ride with cleats. Now I intend to give back to the community that helped me to become a more confident rider. I’m looking forward to welcoming more people to riding, feeling confident in pelotons, and ensuring that there’s always a ride available for everyone.

Together Through Brekkie

Our monthly club breakfasts have been gaining in popularity as the year has progressed and pandemic restrictions have eased. In August and September, one hundred hungry ANZA Cyclists finished their Saturday rides at Tanamera Coffee Robertson Quay (August) and Blue Balls Bike Cafe in Pasir Panjang (September). We refuelled with buffet spreads and vats of coffee – essentials for any successful session we think!

To find out more about ANZA Cycling email membership@anzacycling.com

How to choose your cheese!

With the festive season ahead, the world of cheese is about to get a lot more exciting. Who can refuse a Christmas cheese and cracker to end an epic meal? Is there anything that tastes better with an obligatory glass of seasonal Port? What to snack on after an entire day of leftovers, takeaways and deliveries, but a gargantuan slab of cheese?

The Cheese Ark is also the only fromagerie in Singapore with an ageing cellar and they pride themselves in gathering rare cheeses on the brink of being phased out by time and evolution. “No conventional cheeses are found in our store and no effort is spared. We personally visit dairies in small, waylaid European villages each year in the hope of discovering precious cheeses and bringing them to Singapore before they disappear entirely,” explains Ai Ming, Syu Fromagere.

So, in the spirit of Christmas, Ai Ming she shares some of her favourite cheeses that work year-round, but taste especially good as we end the year.


Christmas season is truffle cheese season at The Cheese Ark. Available only this time of year and always eagerly awaited by fans, Truffle La Bouse has truffles mixed in it with a fresh cheese sandwiched between a brie. A delicious soft mess, as the name might suggest.
Pairs well with: Full bodied whites or reds


Each holiday season, we have a Truffle Fondue Kit put together by our cheesemakers in Berne, Switzerland. It features their own mix of cheeses and wine and a very generous amount of truffles. This fondue mix goes beautifully with scallops and ripe melon, as well as the usual accompaniments. Always a party favourite, the truffles and wine will leave you heady. Pairs well with: A bone dry white


This is a three year-old cheese from Lancashire, UK. Both the orginal and chili flavours come wrapped in a red and white wax, looking great for the festive occasion, on the table or as gifts. Cut it into half like an orange and scoop the cheese out with a spoon. Technically a hard cheese but it has the lovely creamy texture of moist brownie. A really fun party cheese. Pairs well with: Any sweet dessert wine, Port or fruitcake


Each year we age some blue cheese with Port specially for Christmas, as some are accustomed to this tradition. The cheese is a creamy blue originally from Piedmonte, Italy, from a remote village that has about 12 people for the majority of the year. Depending on what new port has caught our fancy, we will age this cheese with it, hence the “X”.
We like how the port will often turn this blue cheese looking a deep shade of purple, adding some colour onto festive cheese boards. Pairs well with: Full bodied red wine


Just in time for your annual raclette parties, speck is freshly smoked this time of year at our cheesemaker’s farm in Switzerland, and then Speck Raclette then becomes available. (Truffle Raclette is also available). Pairs well with: Red crunchy apples, the balance of sweet savoury is addictive


This is an unusual looking blue that is made using the ancient method of catching natural blue spores in the air than inoculating the cheese. Sometimes it’s a blue cheese that bears no blue mold like a white stilton, but it will taste distinctly so in the mouth. A lovely form and shape that begs for a try from any cheese lover. Pairs well with: Madeira or White Port

The Cheese Ark 
49 Stirling Road

Why this hot desking space is hot stuff!

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Spectrum Office

With the growing demand for flexible work arrangements, individuals and companies have an ardent desire to form genuine connections and build meaningful networks. Hot desking and shared workspaces provide a great solution to retaining the autonomy and flexibility that people now enjoy, while still fostering a sense of belonging and finding a sense of place.

SPECTRUM has introduced their Hot Desk Membership, complementing their existing packages including Flexi, Dedicated Desks, and Private Offices, which are all part of their diverse and curated community. For individuals working remotely or companies looking for a collaborative environment for their teams, SPECTRUM’s Hot Desk Membership offers unlimited access to their open shared workspace, including monthly credits for meeting rooms and printing. With natural lighting, warm hospitality and spacious seating layouts, their workspace has been carefully designed to provide an inviting habitat primed for productivity.

As the new concept commences, community remains at the heart of everything SPECTRUM do. The company looks forward to growing a membership base that will help to create variety and depth to their already strong network and ecosystem.

With their DNA of “work, play, and belong”, the workspace has not only built a welcome place for proficiency, but a thriving community. To create a personalised service, the team has dedicated personnel who attend to members’ needs. They are constantly on hand to provide operational and IT support, hotel bookings, international guest transfers and other important concierge services.

In line with their vision of helping members to grow their business, SPECTRUM regularly organises activities to link organisations within their ecosystem, thus enabling the right relationships with positive outcomes. Hot Desk members are invited to participate in all community happenings, events, and curated networking sessions to connect with businesses in the same industry or ones that complement their own.

DOOR XXV, a private bar located within SPECTRUM’s workspace, is also an intimate lounge where members can continue to do business or unwind after a long day.

To learn more about SPECTRUM’s Hot Desk Membership, visit https://spectrum.global/hot-desk




3 Fraser Street, DUO Tower, #05‑21, 189352


+65 6911 4588

Hacks for finding a new home in Oz

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Looking for a new home is no easy feat. From trawling through endless online listings to negotiating and bidding to finally moving in, there’s a lot to be done – a process made all the more stressful when you’re doing it from overseas. 

The only thing harder than finding a new home? Finding one as an expat living in an entirely different country. 

That’s where Milk Chocolate comes in. We work with Aussie expats across the globe, helping them to locate, buy, build and move into their dream Australian home, and making the process smooth and stress-free from start to finish. In fact, 75% of our clients are Australian expats, so we know exactly how to fulfil their unique needs.

Who is Milk Chocolate?

Milk Chocolate is an Australian company that works across all parts of the property lifecycle. We take care of researching, finding, purchasing, managing and building of properties around Oz, and we assist clients from across the country and around the world.

How can they help me find a new home?

Securing homes for Aussie expat families is a core part of our business. We know finding a family home isn’t just a straightforward property transaction; it’s your new place to live, work and nest. It’s a highly emotional purchase, so our team holds your hand every step of the way – from figuring out where to live to finally getting those new keys. 

You also receive the expertise of in-house licensed real estate agents who are masters of negotiation, location selection and asset selection, along with our in-house economists, valuers, designers, builders, property managers and project managers. Plus, our clients get access to a fixed fee structure and more than 20 million data points. That’s a super strong team batting on your behalf.

How do the fees work?

We believe in total transparency, so we charge a fixed fee for our services, rather than relying on a commission-based structure. This allows us to remove the unknowns for you and provides certainty of purchasing costs before we’ve even picked up
the tools.

What if I want to build a home from scratch?

We know construction like the back of our hand and do everything from straightforward cosmetic renovations to complete home builds and even subdivisions. First, we work with you to find the perfect parcel of land in the best location. Then, our design team collaborates closely with you to figure out exactly what kind of home you want. Next, it’s build time and your dream home comes to life.

What if I’m not ready to move, but want to invest in Oz property?

While we’re pros at purchasing family homes, we’re just as experienced when it comes to investment properties. A number of clients choose to buy a property back home, with the intention of returning to Australia after a few years. In this instance, we look for properties that boast investment potential, especially when it comes to delivering a solid rental yield for the period you’re away. 

Our construction team can also enhance the property to increase its liveability and value, plus we provide property management services. And if you want to expand your property portfolio further, we’ll find you the ideal investment property to suit your budget and financial goals, be they around capital growth or ongoing rental yield. 

What does the process look like?

It depends on your needs. You may have a clear idea of exactly where you want to live and only need help finding a property, or you might be starting entirely from scratch, with the entirety of Australia as your oyster. Generally, though, you can expect the process to look like this:

  • Onboarding to figure out your precise needs
  • Suburb due diligence to provide locations and other recommendations
  • Live tracking so you can stay across our property reviews in real time
  • Property selection, including identifying the right home and completing multiple pre-purchase inspections
  • Property recommendations, be they maintenance or design-related
  • Negotiation and purchase
  • Exchange to settlement
  • Pre-settlement inspection
  • Making the home move-in ready, including utility connection, top-to-toe cleaning and important garden maintenance
  • Handover, including our Home Handover pack 

Something we get asked about a lot is how our overseas clients can properly vet each property when they’re far away. Well, that’s where we shine. While you’re welcome to physically attend home inspections here in Australia, it’s not essential.Interestingly, only 3% of our purchases have actually been viewed by our clients. The rest? We help them to see options via video call, or we put together a comprehensive virtual inspection pack that provides a thorough look around prospective homes. 

Ready to get started? Reach out to the Milk Chocolate team today at enquiry@milkchoc.com.au 

Men’s Health: Prevention is better than the cure

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November is Men’s Health Awareness Month. However, implementing and taking charge of healthy lifestyle decisions is a year-round commitment. Lifestyle changes and interventions have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Higher incidences of chronic disease and conditions like obesity and diabetes are increasing, emphasising the importance of preventative health and identifying risk factors early.

We’ve highlighted some of the essentials men should check regularly based on evidence-based practice.

Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

In early adulthood, from your 20s to your late 30s, pay attention to your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Neither of these things can be felt but can silently affect your heart, brain and other organs. A family history of high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes can put you at higher risk and therefore be checked more frequently.


There is also a worrying upward trend of diabetes, so consider getting your blood sugar tested. A better test called glycated haemoglobin (also known as HbA1c) is recommended.


Testosterone levels drop off as men get older. For most, this won’t require any treatment, but very low levels can cause problems with libido, energy levels and erectile dysfunction. Again a simple morning blood test can show if there is a problem.

Cardiac Screening

All men should consider more detailed cardiac screening over 50. This can be in the form of a treadmill stress test or other more accurate tests such as a CT calcium score test, a stress echocardiogram or a CT coronary angiogram. Which test is best can be decided in consultation with the doctor. Even younger men who perform strenuous exercise could benefit from such cardiac testing.

Cancer Screening

Do consider cancer screening too. For younger patients, the main concern is skin cancer, so do come in for a skin check, especially if you have noticed any changes in your moles. As men get older, prostate cancer and colon cancer become concerns too. Generally, screening for these should start at 50 (younger if there is a family history). Prostate cancer screening can be done through a combination of a clinical examination and a simple blood test. Colon cancer screening takes the form of a stool test or a colonoscopy referral. Thyroid and testicular cancers can often be picked up on clinical examination.

Regular checks give you the best chance to pick up cancer early when it is easier to reverse and treat. Almost all the tests are simple and non-invasive. We can discuss your health concerns and work with you to stay healthy for longer.

Vitamin D

Screening for Vitamin D can also be considered, as most of us spend most of our time indoors. Low Vitamin D levels can cause fatigue, weak bones and even heart disease. A simple blood test can reveal if you are at risk of this.

At IMC, we offer personalised health screenings based on evidence-based practice for your age and risk factors and listen to your concerns.

Dr Dex Khor

IMC Katong

86-88 E Coast Rd, #02-07, Singapore 423371

PH: 6342 4440


Facebook: @IMCSG

Instagram: international_medical_clinic

Dr. Dex Khor graduated from University College London in 1999 and later obtained Membership of the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.  Dr Dex worked in UK Paediatric wards before returning to Singapore. Dr Dex has also worked in KK children’s hospital. Dr Dex is a member of the Society for Men’s Health, Singapore and is fluent in Mandarin he is based at IMC Katong.



ANZA Scouts go camping!

The wet weather did little to dampen the spirits of our ANZA Scouts during the last weekend of August. For the first time since 2019, thirty one Joeys, Cubs and Scouts aged 4 -16 years old ascended upon Sarimbun Scout Camp, one of the biggest and oldest scout camps in the northwest of Singapore, for two days of bonding activities and outdoor fun. 

The Summer Camp had been a long time coming thanks to Covid restrictions, but when group sizes were finally increased along with five people being allowed to sleep per tent, plans kicked into place.

Saturday began with the kids setting up camp, locating the (retro) loos, and pitching the tents with the help of ANZA parent volunteers who were all set to supervise proceedings and wrangle with a hammer. Once everyone found their sleeping spot it was time to highlight safety instructions for what was to come. “It’s imperative that the adults and children all sit down together to discuss certain protocols and behaviours before we get cracking with activities,” says Toph Brown, who’s been volunteering with ANZA Scouts for ten years. “We also ask the children to come up with their own suggestions for camp rules to make them feel involved, too,” he adds. 

First up was the task of constructing a giant wooden pyramid with poles and ropes. After a few years of activities taking place on a much smaller scale, the kids loved rising to the challenge and the opportunity to make new friends, work with others, and develop independence. “As we have no base at the moment, we can’t do anything that involves building things including large scale equipment, so being able to achieve this at camp has been a turning point,”  Toph explains. Meanwhile, trusty volunteers not tasked with overseeing activities rolled up their sleeves in the kitchen to whip up a filling tomato pasta alongside cups of Milo – proper energy food!

Everyone involved was clearly thrilled to be outside amongst tropical nature and with an enormous sense of freedom. Many volunteers commented on how happy they were to see children playing and interacting with one another in the wilderness with no technology in sight! Indeed, tech was nowhere on the agenda as the kids constructed swings, navigated complicated rope ties, and slip-slided their way around campus when the rain came. Pure innocent joy and happiness took hold.  

Of course, the most exciting thing about Summer Camp is the camp fire which took place after the washing up had been completed, and everyone was clear on safety precautions. A light drizzle didn’t stop the gang from bursting into chants of “Fire! Fire! Fire!” as they willed the flame to catch. Thankfully, everyone got a chance to nibble on toasted marshmallows before the weather got too wet – not that the children noticed!

By 10pm, the little ones were securely snuggled in their tents. As for the parent volunteers, they were just starting the nightshift. “Despite the strict bedtime curfew, it’s likely we’ll be chasing kids back to bed all night long!” laughed Toph, who added that “as everyone wakes with the light, we plan for an early start.”

Sunday’s agenda? Breakfast, more construction, and that essential part of the camping experience – packing up! 

Why Summer Camp Rocks

  •   It brings kids together as a team 
  •   The chance for children to sleep outdoors to the sounds of nature
  •   It teaches new challenges which can only arise in the wild

We ask: What’s your fave thing about ANZA Scouts?

“Putting up the tent today. I hope that when we pack up, we can remove the pegs and it will just fall down.” 


“Making a sofa from comfy tyres. Sometimes my sister helps me but mostly it’s pretty easy.”


“How much fun you can have and how you can do silly things. Sometimes we go to museums with ANZA Scouts, but hanging out at camp is much better!”


“Eating marshmallows by the campfire. I’ve been with ANZA Scouts for one month. I’m the youngest in the cubs and I’m still waiting for my special activities suit.”


“This trip! It’s nice to get away and have fun.I joined Scouts because I haven’t done anything like this before. I wanted to make new friends, too.”


“I like making new friends and doing things together.”


“I love building things and doing fun stuff like that!”


“During Covid we did lots of activities online like building planes, but now we can do hikes and biking which is cool. I also like constructing things like pyramid structures.”


“This camp! Usually we have to do structured activities at Scouts, but here we can just goof around!”


Find out more at anza.org.sg/groups/scouts

How Tanglin Trust School provides a path to the future

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In the Singapore expat community most people have heard of Tanglin Trust School, which is not surprising given its reputation and heritage as the oldest British International School in Southeast Asia. But did you know that it’s an increasingly popular choice for families from Australia and New Zealand? Over 50 nationalities are represented at Tanglin with Australians and New Zealanders accounting for more than 10% of the student population. Australians alone are the third highest in nationality.

Indeed, Tanglin’s Head Boy from the Class of 2022, Matthew Wong, is from New Zealand. When asked why Tanglin was his parents’ school of choice for him and his brothers, Matthew said: “When my parents moved to Singapore 20 years ago, they were intent on finding a good school with a strong British curriculum. My parents liked the fact that Tanglin offers both the option of A Level and International Baccalaureate. I chose A Levels, with the subject combination of Physics, Maths, Economics and Biology. I opted for this combination because I enjoy them and want to have the pathway open for Medicine if I decide to pursue it.”

Matthew has now joined his brother, also a Tanglin Alumnus, to pursue his undergraduate studies at Brown University in the United States.


Is it difficult to transition back to universities down under after studying a British curriculum? Not for Tanglin students. Universities in Australia and New Zealand recognise both A  Level and the International Baccalaureate (IB). Tanglin is unique amongst international schools in Singapore as it offers both A Level and the IB Diploma in sixth form, both of which yield consistently outstanding academic results. This year’s IB cohort achieved the school’s highest ever average Diploma score of 41.4 points, more than 9.4 points above the world average and 3.9 points higher than the Singapore average. Tanglin’s 2022 A Level leavers also achieved outstanding results; 100% pass rate, with an exceptional 40% of all grades being an A* and 69% of all grades being an A* or A. 

Tanglin’s Head of Admissions, Kellie Hammond said: “We have noticed a rise in new students from Australia and New Zealand, and an increase in the number of Tanglin students who are applying to universities in Australia and New Zealand.” 

“One of the key reasons as to why parents from Australia and New Zealand choose Tanglin is because of the school’s versatility. Students sit for public exams in Year 11 and Year 13, and they get a leaving certificate at different exit points; (I)GCSEs, A Level and IBDP. Lots of families have commented that they like the dual pathways option for their children. Many expat parents move around to work and live in different parts of the world, and Tanglin offers their children the option to go to universities all over the world,” Kellie added.


Tanglin’s students often go on to study at the best universities globally.  This is not by chance but due to a well-thought out process helmed by Tanglin’s University Guidance Team. Based at the heart of the school’s Sixth Form centre, the team provides all the information, support and counsel students need to make the right decision about their future academic journey. Sixth Form students (age 16 to 18) are invited to university visits where bespoke advice includes one-on-one time with a counsellor to help them decide which higher education establishment and course best fits them. This includes understanding different countries’ application systems such as UCAS, Common App, OUAC and many more. The team also provides guidance on preparing personal statements, college essays and mock interviews. Typically, 97% of Tanglin students secure their first or second choice of university. It is no wonder that graduating students often report back to the school that it has prepared them well for the ever-changing world ahead and a fulfilling journey beyond the school gates. 

Tanglin Trust School
95 Portsdown Road, Singapore 139299
+65 6778 0771