Nadya Hutagalung

Eco-Activist, TV Personality

Born in Sydney to an Australian mother and an Indonesian father, Nadya’s career took off at the early age of 12, when she headed to Tokyo to pursue a modelling career. Her distinctive looks and vibrant personality brought plenty of work with top international publications all over the world. Her ease and confidence in front of the cameras later solidified her incredible success as MTV’s Asia pioneer VJ entertaining over 70 million households across Asia.

As one of Asia’s most recognized faces, Nadya has devoted her time and voice to environment advocacy. She made headlines with building Singapore’s first ever eco-home from scratch, a project three years in the making (and still ongoing, she adds). From that task grew Nadya’s favourite project by far – Green Kampong, which became an online resource for anyone looking for information and news on sustainable living. Nadya has also been Singapore’s Ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour. 

Nadya was voted one of Asia’s Leading Trendmakers by Asiaweek magazine, alongside the Dalai Lama, Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fatt, for her special ability to inspire and fascinate. Nadya’s natural mixture of confidence, humour and the sheer ability to entertain made her the Winner of the Best Light Entertainment Presenter Award at the Asian Television Awards in 1997. In this same year, she was also voted Showtime Personality of the Year by Singapore’s The New Paper, and Singapore’s Most Gorgeous Woman by Female magazine readers. 

In 2009, Nadya was voted one of Singapore’s Top 20 most influential people by CNN. That same year she was also awarded the title, Best Host TV Host by ELLE magazine, a testament to her staying power in a tough industry. The Singapore Innovation Park also presented Nadya with the SIP Fellow Awards in recognition of her outstanding achievements as a changemaker, thought and action leader, who are shaping a more inclusive, sustainable and better world. For her work in championing conservation Nadya is nominated “The International Green Awards: Most Responsible International Celebrity 2012” alongside other eco-conservationists like George Clooney, Penelope Cruz and Vivienne Westwood.

She is now working with Big Life Foundation and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, together with elephant expert and author Dr Tammie Matson in self-funded documentary that intends to go behind the scenes of the illegal ivory trade and find out what it means for Africa’s elephants.