Xander Ong On Taking CFF Forward

On 1 October 2023, Xander Ong will take over as CEO of Centre for Fathering. Get to know Xander in this article. 

Xander Ong and his wife have a son who was born in early 2023.   

Not one to shy away from going deep into his own personal perspective of fatherhood, Xander shares his own experience of his father, “My father lost his father in his teens, so essentially, a good part of his growing up years was without the active presence and involvement of his father. He also experienced hardship growing up in a kampung, having to pick up food scraps to feed the livestock, such as chickens and pigs to help with his single mother’s livelihood. Working hard and taking hold of growth opportunities are his mantras. Over the last thirty years, he has established a reputable eldercare business.” 

Naturally, in the world’s terms, Xander’s father has achieved success. He has also provided consistently, above and beyond, for the family’s financial needs. However, Xander had limited time to bond with his father during their childhood years – a fact he laments. This retrospection became one that Xander would begin to examine closely upon the birth of his firstborn son. Along with his wife, they would face the task of aligning their parenting approach as they identified areas of hard and heart work they needed to engage in, with intention and grit.  

Together, they were determined to raise their son with an engaging presence where he would form secure attachment and bonds within the family and community. To this end, Xander credits his time spent in pondering and learning about fathering, as well as attending the ICAN Fathering Workshop at Centre for Fathering.  

Prior to joining, Xander was no stranger to the organisation – having attended programmes and on several occasions met with staff and previous CEO, Bryan Tan, as well as co-founder Edwin Choy, who played a part in identifying Xander for the CEO role.  At his previous workplace, Xander even connected some of the ideas of DADs for Life and MUMs for Life, as he was convicted about dads and mums being truly for life. 

Taking CFF Ahead 

Building on CFF’s foundation of equipping fathers to connect with their children and be more involved in their lives, Xander hopes to help businesses positively impact families, the bedrock of society. Xander, who has a PhD in International Business from Australia’s Monash University, plans to encourage organisations to build more family-focused and father-friendly policies and practices in workplaces. He hints at future collaboration and co-creation of products and services with companies – infusing the values and ethos of DADs for Life and MUMs for Life – to help them reach and engage dads and mums more meaningfully.   

Over the past two decades, CFF has focused on activating fathers in the community, evidenced by over 140 father groups which have been largely formed in schools, prisons, grassroot organisations, and some companies. With Xander at the helm, CFF is poised to come alongside businesses, in supporting them to create even greater value for society as they inspire dads and mums together to strengthen families in Singapore.