I have immense love, deep respect, and profound admiration for our very special guest today - David Chiem. We had such an incredible conversation, so incredible that we’ve had to make it into a two-part series. This is part one.

David is the founder, CEO, and Executive Chairman of MindChamps and one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Singapore. MindChamps holds first place in premium preschools in Singapore and is the first preschool to be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

MindChamps was founded almost two decades ago on the belief that if we understand how we learn, we can find the best ways of targeting and releasing the potential in every child. The company began as a calling to make a difference by creating an approach to education that is in tune with the demands of a rapidly changing world. David has also written a plethora of books, including Only the Heart, nominated for three Australian literary awards and is used as a set text in Australian schools.

David’s story is one that speaks of immense determination and gratitude. David arrived in Australia as a refugee from Vietnam when he was 14. His father instilled in him a deep gratitude for the luck they had in making it out alive, a sentiment that had a profound effect on him. 

Then, in 1984 at the age of 14, David became the first Asian Australian to star in an international drama series. David shares how he landed the role on Butterfly Island, despite having never acted, attending the auditions in secret by himself and not being able to swim (one of the key criteria for the role!). He shares the mindset he adopted that allowed him to overcome the fears that would have held others back.

The universe rewards the unreasonably determined and David is one of those people. He finds a way to do things, despite everything. He has always had a knack for staying ahead of the game.

David reminds us to seize every opportunity. To not be too proud. And how to release yourself from the shackles of the mind, that would otherwise keep you imprisoned in fear.

He has a profound wisdom that he carries with him and believes that there is only ever one way to say anything - with 100% respect and from the heart.
Gratitude emanates from David with magnetic resonance. I know you’re going to love this conversation, that we shared over an aromatic cup of Tiger Purrr chai.

Topics Discussed


David Chiem, founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of MindChamps.


MindChamps is an approach to education in tune with a rapidly changing world.


David and I practically grew up together in the outer western suburbs of Sydney.


David shares what his childhood was like including arriving on Australian soil from Vietnam.


By the end of David’s first year at school, he had moved from not speaking English to being top of his class, which taught him the importance of mindset.


David’s incredible sense of gratitude magnetises opportunities.


David’s lead role in Butterfly Island despite having never acted before.


To audition, David crossed the Harbour Bridge to get to Northern Sydney by himself for months.


Mindset was key to landing the role.


David grew close to Director Frank who taught him many things about Western culture.


Years later, Frank shared the reason why they chose David for the role.


Gratitude and seizing every opportunity.


Speak with 100% respect and from the heart.

Never be afraid to unshackle yourself from the prison of your mind.
Stay tuned for part 2.


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