From media personality to social service crusader, journalist gives voice to country’s most vulnerable

08/03/2023. By Carmelle Wilkinson.

Hazlina Abdul Halim.

Affectionately known as Chief fairy godmother, Make-A-Wish CEO and Curtin Master of Film and Television graduate Hazlina Abdul Halim is certainly no stranger to taking the plunge.

From scuba diving in some of the world’s most isolated and exotic destinations on her honeymoon, to leaving the world of journalism to change the lives of children with critical illness – Hazlina does it all with endless enthusiasm and passion.

“I find diving to be liberating and incredibly fulfilling. It really puts things in perspective and gives you a great appreciation for life,’’ she said.

“I’m a firm believer that everything that has happened in my life is for a reason and it has  prepared me for my role at Make-A-Wish.

“To be able to give the gift of strength, joy and hope to children is a true honour and privilege.”

For most of these beautiful children, holidays to Disneyland and loads of toys are not the only items on the wish list. The why of the wish goes much deeper.

“I had one child request a trundle bed so he could share a room with his siblings, and another asked for an indoor playground in their home so they could enjoy playtime with their brothers and sisters because they were unable to play outdoors due to his illness. He felt guilty that his brothers and sisters were also missing out on going to the playground, so he wanted to bring it to them.”

The former Channel News Asia Editor and Presenter said putting a smile on children’s faces and watching them find the strength and motivation because their wish came true, has become her world.

Hazlina is bringing the gift of hope and joy to Make a Wish children.

“Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with critical illness – not terminal, so the concept of hope always applies. And that is the greatest gift we can give these children and their families,’’ she said.

“We want them to believe in a better tomorrow and know there is so much to look forward to.

“We also recognise that while this is a wish for the child, the effect of their wish can be very empowering and uplifting for their family too.”

Prior to moving into the not-for profit space, Hazlina was a familiar face on Singapore TV.

Starting her career with an internship at Ria 89.7FM in Singapore at just 19, she soon landed the role of a part-time announcer while still in school.

A year later she was presenting for Berita, Mediacorp Suria’s prime-time news bulletin.

An avid reader from a young age, Hazlina recalls her fascination with broadcasting began at just six years old.

“I remember taking family road trips to Malaysia when I was young, and I would read aloud the slogans on every billboard as we drove past,’’ she said.

“I’d also mimic what was said on the radio, and I remember my Mum saying maybe you can do this when you are older? And I thought to myself, is that possible?

While Hazlina may have discovered her passion for storytelling at a young age, she says there’s no reason why people can’t find their passion or talent later in life.

“I had a wonderful 18 years in the media and public affairs, but I found a calling to change gears and move into social service,’’ she said.

“My background in journalism and public affairs gave me so many great opportunities and provided a solid foundation for what I do now.

“It also taught me to be sincere and brave.”

Prior to moving into the not-for-profit sector, Hazlina had an illustrious media career.

Hazlina said it was while studying Film and Television at Curtin University in Perth that the seeds of activism were first planted.

“While studying at Curtin I continued to work at MediaCorp and would return to Singapore on my Semester breaks and summer holidays to present and report the news,’’ she said.

“Giving people a voice and sharing their story is my passion, so while I was studying in Perth I volunteered at a local radio station and it gave me a burning desire to tell the stories of the local communities in WA.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my life and in many ways, I’ve had the lion’s share of it, so it would be remiss of me if I don’t help others by giving back.”

Following graduation, Hazlina returned to Singapore to lecture Communications and Media Management at Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Business – a role she found incredibly enriching.

However, her love for storytelling again drew Hazlina back to the newsroom – this time becoming Channel News Asia’s news editor at just 29 years of age.

Alongside her current role as CEO for Make-A-Wish Singapore, Hazlina is also the President of Singapore’s Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS) – a role she’s helmed for three years since 2020.

“It took the pandemic to highlight just how essential social service is,’’ she said.

“PPIS supports Muslim women across the various phases of their lives through holistic community programs and initiatives.

“We work to build resilient families who can become part of an inclusive community that supports women’s aspirations.”

Before transitioning into the charity sector, Hazlina was U.S. Embassy Singapore’s public affairs advisor from 2019-2022, where she devised public engagement strategies and programs for the Embassy and its leadership team.

Hazlina said a career highlight was coordinating the media plan for Vice President Kamala Harris’ inaugural visit to Singapore in 2021.

US Vice President Kamala Harris arriving on Air Force Two in Singapore in 2021.

“When the opportunity arose to move into public affairs I jumped at it,’’ she said.

“I got the opportunity to also lead the local staff association as well as the diversity, equity and inclusion working group which was really inspiring and eye-opening.”

Hazlina said as her career progressed, she found herself attracting leadership roles.

“My good fortune is that my husband and parents are always incredibly supportive,’’ she said.

“My parents both come from STEM backgrounds. Dad is now retired, but Mum still works in mechanical engineering.

“When you have someone like Mum as a role model I don’t think you ever equate gender with any sort of limitation.

“And when you have a Dad who supports that – then you think of males as allies.”

“I’m so grateful to have a family who supports me in my many hats. There is no way I would be where I am now without them, especially my better half.

“His love, support and belief in me is what motivates me to do my best.”

Hazlina and her husband taking the plunge in the Ningaloo Reef.

So, what is Hazlina’s advice for fellow and future female leaders?

“As a leader, know that you are never alone in your leadership journey,’’ she said.

“You have a team, so be there for each other.

“Surround yourself with an ecosystem that is supportive and motivates and encourages you to be your best self so together, you can reach for the stars.”

___

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Growing up in Perth’s northern suburbs, Curtin Film and TV graduate Zak Hilditch felt like Hollywood was a million miles away from his home in Girrawheen, but he dared to dream. 🎥🎞️

Twenty years later, the writer and director is living his passion, bringing stories to life through film.

Zak recently announced his fourth feature film, ‘We Bury the Dead’, which will be filmed in WA’s Great Southern and will feature one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, Daisey Ridley.

Find out more about the film and Zak’s exciting journey to Hollywood in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆

📸: The Hollywood Reporter.

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinCommons #Film #Producer #Director #Filmmaker #Hollywood #WesternAustralia #Perth #AustralianFilm #AustralianCinema

Growing up in Perth’s northern suburbs, Curtin Film and TV graduate Zak Hilditch felt like Hollywood was a million miles away from his home in Girrawheen, but he dared to dream. 🎥🎞️

Twenty years later, the writer and director is living his passion, bringing stories to life through film.

Zak recently announced his fourth feature film, ‘We Bury the Dead’, which will be filmed in WA’s Great Southern and will feature one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, Daisey Ridley.

Find out more about the film and Zak’s exciting journey to Hollywood in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆

📸: The Hollywood Reporter.

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinCommons #Film #Producer #Director #Filmmaker #Hollywood #WesternAustralia #Perth #AustralianFilm #AustralianCinema
...

Congratulations to Curtin Physiotherapy graduate Nicole Pates on being awarded a Professional Achievement Award at the 2023 Curtin Alumni Awards. 🏆👏

Nicole is an award-winning physiotherapist and Managing Director of @westernkidshealth, an innovative multidisciplinary private clinic specialising in supporting infants and young people.

As a highly experienced paediatric physiotherapist, Nicole was recognised for her vocal advocacy, evidence-based care, and tireless work in supporting children and families living with complex and chronic conditions. 

“I’m driven to improve the lives of children in Australia and around the world by empowering their parents and making therapy fun.”

Thank you, Nicole, for everything you do to improve WA children's and their families' lives! 💛

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #WesternKidsHealth #Health #Paediatrics #Physiotherapy #Children #Family #Physiotherapist #Leader

Congratulations to Curtin Physiotherapy graduate Nicole Pates on being awarded a Professional Achievement Award at the 2023 Curtin Alumni Awards. 🏆👏

Nicole is an award-winning physiotherapist and Managing Director of @westernkidshealth, an innovative multidisciplinary private clinic specialising in supporting infants and young people.

As a highly experienced paediatric physiotherapist, Nicole was recognised for her vocal advocacy, evidence-based care, and tireless work in supporting children and families living with complex and chronic conditions.

“I’m driven to improve the lives of children in Australia and around the world by empowering their parents and making therapy fun.”

Thank you, Nicole, for everything you do to improve WA children`s and their families` lives! 💛

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #WesternKidsHealth #Health #Paediatrics #Physiotherapy #Children #Family #Physiotherapist #Leader
...

John Curtin Medallist and Not-for-Profit business leader Joanne Beedie’s world came crashing down when she lost one of her twin boys at 21 weeks gestation.

Six weeks later, Joanne and her husband’s surviving twin was born 13 weeks premature, weighing just 940g grams.

Despite the difficult road ahead, Joanne and her husband turned their grief to gratitude, launching a charity called Helping Little Hands, which supports and empowers families of sick and premature babies in WA.

In recognition for her commitment and compassion in supporting WA families, Joanne was named the prestigious John Curtin Medallist at the 2023 Curtin Alumni Awards. 💜

Joanne shares her moving story in #CurtinCommons via the link in bio. 👆

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinCommons #WorldPrematurityDay #PrematureAwareness #PrematureBabies #Resilience #Leader #NotForProfit #MakingADifference

John Curtin Medallist and Not-for-Profit business leader Joanne Beedie’s world came crashing down when she lost one of her twin boys at 21 weeks gestation.

Six weeks later, Joanne and her husband’s surviving twin was born 13 weeks premature, weighing just 940g grams.

Despite the difficult road ahead, Joanne and her husband turned their grief to gratitude, launching a charity called Helping Little Hands, which supports and empowers families of sick and premature babies in WA.

In recognition for her commitment and compassion in supporting WA families, Joanne was named the prestigious John Curtin Medallist at the 2023 Curtin Alumni Awards. 💜

Joanne shares her moving story in #CurtinCommons via the link in bio. 👆

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinCommons #WorldPrematurityDay #PrematureAwareness #PrematureBabies #Resilience #Leader #NotForProfit #MakingADifference
...

Immerse yourself in the minds of our talented Curtin Fashion graduates at the 2023 Curtin Graduate Fashion Exhibition: Outré. 🎓🎉
 
This year’s graduating cohort’s thought-provoking garments explore the violation of convention and propriety in fashion.
 
Running for one week only, don’t miss out on this chance to support your fellow Curtin graduates! 💛
 
The exhibition runs from 9am - 5pm at Building 418 (Gallery Space) until Friday 1st December 2023. 
 
#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #CurtinFashion #Fashion #Outre #Exhibition #PerthFashion #FashionDesign #FashionGraduate #PerthEvent #PerthIsOk

Immerse yourself in the minds of our talented Curtin Fashion graduates at the 2023 Curtin Graduate Fashion Exhibition: Outré. 🎓🎉
 
This year’s graduating cohort’s thought-provoking garments explore the violation of convention and propriety in fashion.
 
Running for one week only, don’t miss out on this chance to support your fellow Curtin graduates! 💛
 
The exhibition runs from 9am - 5pm at Building 418 (Gallery Space) until Friday 1st December 2023.
 
#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #CurtinFashion #Fashion #Outre #Exhibition #PerthFashion #FashionDesign #FashionGraduate #PerthEvent #PerthIsOk
...

Congratulations to Curtin Fine Arts graduate Siahne Rogers on receiving the 2023 Helen Lempriere Scholarship. 🎨👏

Siahne recently exhibited their work, ‘EVERYTHING MUST GO!’ at @sculpturebythesea in Cottesloe and Bondi this year.

The shimmering embellished billboard, combined with eye-catching bright-red acrylic text, contemplates the grieving process, acceptance of change and impermanence.

Siahne is deeply grateful to be awarded the scholarship.

“I took a huge leap of faith in making “Everything Must Go!” and to receive this award after all the very special connections I made in workshops while being exhibited in Sculptures by The Sea means so much.

“This is an invaluable opportunity to develop my career as an artist, and I aim to use it to create meaningful and impactful work and hope for connections with the greater arts community.”

The Helen Lempriere Scholarship is part of @sculpturebythesea, Bondi and is gifted as part of the Helen Lempriere Bequest, a charitable trust managed by Perpetual.

Well done Siahne, we can't wait to see what the future holds for you! 🎉

#CurtinAlumni #SculpturesbytheSea #Cottesloe #Bondi #PerthArtist #Sculpture #Artist #Scholarship #Perth #Art #Creative

Congratulations to Curtin Fine Arts graduate Siahne Rogers on receiving the 2023 Helen Lempriere Scholarship. 🎨👏

Siahne recently exhibited their work, ‘EVERYTHING MUST GO!’ at @sculpturebythesea in Cottesloe and Bondi this year.

The shimmering embellished billboard, combined with eye-catching bright-red acrylic text, contemplates the grieving process, acceptance of change and impermanence.

Siahne is deeply grateful to be awarded the scholarship.

“I took a huge leap of faith in making “Everything Must Go!” and to receive this award after all the very special connections I made in workshops while being exhibited in Sculptures by The Sea means so much.

“This is an invaluable opportunity to develop my career as an artist, and I aim to use it to create meaningful and impactful work and hope for connections with the greater arts community.”

The Helen Lempriere Scholarship is part of @sculpturebythesea, Bondi and is gifted as part of the Helen Lempriere Bequest, a charitable trust managed by Perpetual.

Well done Siahne, we can`t wait to see what the future holds for you! 🎉

#CurtinAlumni #SculpturesbytheSea #Cottesloe #Bondi #PerthArtist #Sculpture #Artist #Scholarship #Perth #Art #Creative
...

Congratulations to Curtin Master of Business Administration graduate Fiona Beermier on receiving the Professional Achievement Award at the 2023 Curtin Alumni Awards. 👏

Known for her values-based leadership, Fiona has built an impressive career in the community and health sectors over the past 30 years.

Most recently as CEO of Ngala, she was dedicated to creating the best outcomes for children through early intervention and family support. 

As the former CEO of Intelife Group and YouthCare, she introduced vital programs, including The School Breakfast program for disadvantaged children and the Empowered to Win mentoring program.

“I strongly believe in making a difference in people’s lives. It’s what gets me out of bed every day, and if I can use my value-based leadership to influence others, then that’s what I’ll continue to do.” 💛

Discover more about Fiona’s story via the link in bio. 👆

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #AlumniAwards #Health #Community #Leadership #FamilySupport #Children

Congratulations to Curtin Master of Business Administration graduate Fiona Beermier on receiving the Professional Achievement Award at the 2023 Curtin Alumni Awards. 👏

Known for her values-based leadership, Fiona has built an impressive career in the community and health sectors over the past 30 years.

Most recently as CEO of Ngala, she was dedicated to creating the best outcomes for children through early intervention and family support.

As the former CEO of Intelife Group and YouthCare, she introduced vital programs, including The School Breakfast program for disadvantaged children and the Empowered to Win mentoring program.

“I strongly believe in making a difference in people’s lives. It’s what gets me out of bed every day, and if I can use my value-based leadership to influence others, then that’s what I’ll continue to do.” 💛

Discover more about Fiona’s story via the link in bio. 👆

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #AlumniAwards #Health #Community #Leadership #FamilySupport #Children
...

Curtin Creative Writing graduate Georgia Tree was in her 20s when she discovered an uncomfortable secret about her father, Grant Tree.

The man who’d loved her and nurtured her interest in books read was a former heroin addict.

During COVID, Georgia decided to write about her father’s tumultuous past and unlikely friendship with notorious Perth drug dealer Brian Chambers in her book, ‘Old Boy’. 📗

Georgia shares her father’s fascinating story in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinCommons #CurtinAlumni #OldBoy #Author #Writer #Adulthood #Author #AustralianStory #WesternAustralia

Curtin Creative Writing graduate Georgia Tree was in her 20s when she discovered an uncomfortable secret about her father, Grant Tree.

The man who’d loved her and nurtured her interest in books read was a former heroin addict.

During COVID, Georgia decided to write about her father’s tumultuous past and unlikely friendship with notorious Perth drug dealer Brian Chambers in her book, ‘Old Boy’. 📗

Georgia shares her father’s fascinating story in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinCommons #CurtinAlumni #OldBoy #Author #Writer #Adulthood #Author #AustralianStory #WesternAustralia
...

Dive into a world of ideas at the 2023 Curtin Fine Arts Graduate Showcase exhibition. 🎨🎓✨
 
Explore different notions of place, identity and connection, as you wander through the intriguing contemporary artwork created by some of our talented Fine Arts graduates.
 
Don’t miss out, go check out the amazing work on display before the exhibition closes this Wednesday.
 
All the details are below. 👇
 
🗓️: Monday 19th – Wednesday 22nd November, 10am – 4pm.
 
📍: Buildings 202, 203 and 212 at the Curtin Bentley campus.
 
#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #CurtinGradShow23 #FineArts #Graduates #Exhibition #PerthArt #PerthArtists #FineArtGallery #ArtExhibition

Dive into a world of ideas at the 2023 Curtin Fine Arts Graduate Showcase exhibition. 🎨🎓✨
 
Explore different notions of place, identity and connection, as you wander through the intriguing contemporary artwork created by some of our talented Fine Arts graduates.
 
Don’t miss out, go check out the amazing work on display before the exhibition closes this Wednesday.
 
All the details are below. 👇
 
🗓️: Monday 19th – Wednesday 22nd November, 10am – 4pm.
 
📍: Buildings 202, 203 and 212 at the Curtin Bentley campus.
 
#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #CurtinGradShow23 #FineArts #Graduates #Exhibition #PerthArt #PerthArtists #FineArtGallery #ArtExhibition
...

Congratulations to WA School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering graduate Raleigh Finlayson on being awarded the Professional Achievement Award (Science & Engineering) at the 2023 Curtin Alumni Awards. 👏🎓💫

Raleigh is an award-winning engineer with more than 20 years of technical and operational experience in the specialist area of underground and open pit mining operations.

Now Managing Director of Genesis Minerals Limited, Raleigh built an impressive career at Saracen Mineral Holdings where he was responsible for the feasibility study and development of the company’s first operating goldmine, the Carosue Dam Operations.

“It’s an honour and privilege to be the 2023 winner.

“I’d tell my younger self to be open-minded, surround yourself with a good team. You don’t need to know everything and be open to wherever your career may take you.”

Read about Raleigh’s impressive work via the link in bio. 👆

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #AlumniAwards #MiningEngineer #Mining #Engineering #Leadership #Career #MiningCareer

Congratulations to WA School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering graduate Raleigh Finlayson on being awarded the Professional Achievement Award (Science & Engineering) at the 2023 Curtin Alumni Awards. 👏🎓💫

Raleigh is an award-winning engineer with more than 20 years of technical and operational experience in the specialist area of underground and open pit mining operations.

Now Managing Director of Genesis Minerals Limited, Raleigh built an impressive career at Saracen Mineral Holdings where he was responsible for the feasibility study and development of the company’s first operating goldmine, the Carosue Dam Operations.

“It’s an honour and privilege to be the 2023 winner.

“I’d tell my younger self to be open-minded, surround yourself with a good team. You don’t need to know everything and be open to wherever your career may take you.”

Read about Raleigh’s impressive work via the link in bio. 👆

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #AlumniAwards #MiningEngineer #Mining #Engineering #Leadership #Career #MiningCareer
...

Curtin Nutrition graduate Savina Rego felt compelled to help improve the lives of the more than one million Australians living with diabetes. 🎓

After witnessing the pervasive impact of diabetes on people’s health and wellbeing early on in her career, Savina knew she had to
help mitigate the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system.

Now working as a senior dietitian and diabetes educator, Savina plays a pivotal role in fostering positive lifestyle changes, promoting nutritional awareness, and enhancing the quality of life for those navigating the challenges of life with diabetes.

 
This #WorldDiabetesDay, Savina shares the most surprising things she has learnt in her career. 👇
 
𝐐: 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐯𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐝?
A: One of the most surprising aspects of diabetes that many people may not know is the intricate interplay between mental health and diabetes management. Working in the field has highlighted the profound impact that stress, anxiety, and depression can have on blood sugar levels and overall well-being for individuals with diabetes. Recognising and addressing the psychological aspects of diabetes is an integral part of comprehensive care.

𝐐: 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐣𝐨𝐛?
A: Witnessing the positive changes in someone's health and well-being, knowing that I played a role in empowering them to manage their diabetes effectively is incredibly rewarding.
 
Get inspired, and dive into more graduate stories in #CurtinCommons via the link in bio. 👆
 
#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #WorldDiabetesDay #Diabetes #DiabetesAwareness #Dietitian #Healthcare #MentalHealth #Career

Curtin Nutrition graduate Savina Rego felt compelled to help improve the lives of the more than one million Australians living with diabetes. 🎓

After witnessing the pervasive impact of diabetes on people’s health and wellbeing early on in her career, Savina knew she had to
help mitigate the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system.

Now working as a senior dietitian and diabetes educator, Savina plays a pivotal role in fostering positive lifestyle changes, promoting nutritional awareness, and enhancing the quality of life for those navigating the challenges of life with diabetes.

 
This #WorldDiabetesDay, Savina shares the most surprising things she has learnt in her career. 👇
 
𝐐: 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐯𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐝?
A: One of the most surprising aspects of diabetes that many people may not know is the intricate interplay between mental health and diabetes management. Working in the field has highlighted the profound impact that stress, anxiety, and depression can have on blood sugar levels and overall well-being for individuals with diabetes. Recognising and addressing the psychological aspects of diabetes is an integral part of comprehensive care.

𝐐: 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐣𝐨𝐛?
A: Witnessing the positive changes in someone`s health and well-being, knowing that I played a role in empowering them to manage their diabetes effectively is incredibly rewarding.
 
Get inspired, and dive into more graduate stories in #CurtinCommons via the link in bio. 👆
 
#CurtinUniversity #CurtinAlumni #WorldDiabetesDay #Diabetes #DiabetesAwareness #Dietitian #Healthcare #MentalHealth #Career
...