'A privilege to work on Gardens' Unesco bid'

Ms Jean Wee started assembling the 700-page nomination dossier for the Unesco bid in 2013. She said that during the process, she did not have time to wonder "what if" because of the short timeline.
Ms Jean Wee started assembling the 700-page nomination dossier for the Unesco bid in 2013. She said that during the process, she did not have time to wonder "what if" because of the short timeline.PHOTO: NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD

She was one of the key players behind the Singapore Botanic Gardens' bid to be recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Ms Jean Wee, director of the National Heritage Board's (NHB) preservation of sites and monuments division, said she felt "both relief and great happiness" when she learnt of Singapore's successful bid last month.

This year, the 50-year-old is receiving the Public Administration Medal (Silver) as part of the National Day Awards. In a statement, the NHB said: "Jean ensured that the required research and preparation work were done in order to have the Gardens inscribed by Singapore's jubilee year."

Ms Wee said that, while playing a part in the bid was a privilege, she counts the everyday work of overseeing the restoration and maintenance of historic buildings as highlights of her work. "These are small achievements, but they mean a lot to me," she said.

Tiffany Fumiko Tay

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2015, with the headline ''A privilege to work on Gardens' Unesco bid''. Print Edition | Subscribe