Ms Denise Phua is the President of the VWO, Autism Resource Centre (Singapore). She is also a Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar Group Representation Constituency and Mayor of Central Singapore District.
Ms Phua is best known for her advocacy for those who are at risk of being left behind in Singapore, and frequently speaks up for the disabled and Singaporeans with low-skills and low-income backgrounds. She is one of the key architects behind three 5-year Enabling Masterplans for the disabled in Singapore. An active volunteer, Ms Phua supervises two charities – Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) and Autism Association (Singapore), as well as two special schools – the Pathlight School and Eden School. She is the co-founder of Pathlight School, and helped start The Purple Parade: an annual initiative to support inclusion and celebrate abilities; and The Purple Symphony: Singapore’s largest inclusive orchestra.
Prior to her current portfolio, Ms Phua acquired more than 20 years of local and overseas corporate management experiences in Hewlett-Packard, the Wuthelam Group, and founded the Centre for Effective Leadership (Asia). She is a winner of the 2005/6 “Great Women of Our Times (Education and Public Service Category)” awarded by Singapore Women’s Weekly. Ms Phua gave up her corporate career in 2005 to become a full-time special needs volunteer, before being approached to join politics in 2006. She currently chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Education and is a member of the GPC for Social and Family Development.