The Spirit of Hong Kong Awards celebrates the achievements of truly remarkable people who might otherwise be off the radar. To ensure the awards are being recognised as authoritative, in-touch, and positive image to our readers and the public, the awards are judged by an esteemed panel.
KBE, CMG, GBM, JP
Sir David Akers-Jones was born in the United Kingdom and joined the Hong Kong Government in 1957. During his long career as a civil servant, he held many important posts, including Secretary for the New Territories, Secretary for Home Affairs, Acting Governor of Hong Kong, and retired as Chief Secretary in 1987.
From early on, Sir David came to love the culture of the people whom he served with total dedication. He is conversational in Cantonese and other Chinese dialects. For his insight of local culture and customs he was appointed “Advisor on Hong Kong Issues” by the Chinese Government, from 1993 to 1997, in preparation for the transfer of Hong Kong’s sovereignty to the People’s Republic of China. In retirement, he remains a keen observer of current affairs and occasionally writes columns for the local press.
One of Sir David’s most lasting contributions to the prosperity of the City was his service as Secretary for the New Territories, during a period when the rural hinterland was rapidly transformed into a conglomeration of thriving new towns. Later, as Chairman of the Hong Kong Housing Authority from 1987 to 1992, he presided over spectacular growth and upgrading of public and subsidised housing. Even today, Sir David actively participates in different kinds of charitable activities and community work for organisations in mainland China.
Lawyer, Chair of the Competition Commission
Ms Anna Wu is a lawyer admitted to the Law Society’s Roll of Honour. She is the current and founding chair of the Competition Commission. She stepped down as a member of the Executive Council on 1 July 2017 having served since January 2009. She was a member of the Legislative Council and initiated the Equal Opportunities Bill, the first private member’s bill covering a whole area of policy. She previously chaired the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority, the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Consumer Council and the Operations Review Committee of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Ms. Wu was also a member of the Law Reform Commission and the Hospital Authority and a Director of the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited and the Securities and Futures Commission. She is extensively involved with university education and is an honorary fellow and honorary professor of the University of Hong Kong.
CEng, FHKEng, FHKIE, FICE, FIStructE, FCIHT
James Blake, currently a Project Reviewer for Home Affairs Bureau’s Kai Tak Sports Park Project and Ocean Park WaterWorld.
He was the Chief Officer of Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation until 2012 and Chief Executive Officer until 2007. Senior Director from 1997 responsible for the Corporation’s HK$70 billion expansion programme of railways and stations in tunnel, on viaduct and at grade. Secretary for Works, Hong Kong Government from 1991, overall coordination of the HKD165 billion new Airport Core Programme including road, bridge and railway.
Chief Executive, The Hong Kong Council of Social Service
Mr Chua Hoi Wai is the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), which represents over 460 non-governmental social services organisations. The HKCSS aims at building a socially sustainable society through enhancing social services and policies development and promoting cross-sectoral collaboration.
Mr Chua has participated in a number of advisory or statutory bodies of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. He is currently a member of the Hong Kong Housing Authority, the Land and Development Advisory Committee, the Elderly Commission and the Advisory Committee on Mental Health.
Mr Chua is a graduate of the University of Hong Kong in Mechanical Engineering. He studied Master of Social Work in University of Illinois at Chicago and is now a social worker by profession. He was the President of the Hong Kong Social Workers Association (2004 – 2008).
Deputy Chairman, Sino Group
Mr Daryl Ng Win-kong, Deputy Chairman of Sino Group, is a steadfast advocate of good causes for the betterment of the community. He actively participates in community services, green initiatives, heritage conservation, as well as arts and cultural events.
Mr Ng encourages collaboration on social innovation solutions to contribute to a more sustainable community. He also supports nurturing home-grown innovations and technology through sharing experiences and providing co-working space for start-ups.
Keen to support the young generations, Mr Ng initiated the Go Code project in 2014 to provide complimentary coding classes for students from underprivileged families to equip them with this essential skill. The programme has been well received, with the number of enrolment increased from some 20 students in the first year to over 1,500 in 2018.
In 2008, the Ng Family set up the Heritage Conservation Foundation (HCF) to revitalise and maintain heritage buildings, and promote the conservation and appreciation of heritage and historical places. Tai O Heritage Hotel, converted from the Old Tai O Police Station, a Grade II historic building, through Batch I of the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme of the Development Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, was opened in March 2012. Since opening, the hotel has welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors from Hong Kong and around the world, and has received over 30 international and local accolades in recognition of its devotion to heritage conservation and engagement of the community. Notable examples include the Award of Merit at the 2013 Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation organised by the UNESCO and Citation Award by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Hong Kong Chapter in 2014. The Hotel also received three titles at the 2017 World Luxury Hotel Awards, of which it is the sole Hong Kong-based hotel to be named Regional Winner for East Asia in the ‘Luxury Cultural Retreat’ category.
Additionally, the Ng Family set up the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation (‘NTFCF’) in 2010 in memory of the late founder of Sino Group, Mr Ng Teng Fong. Since 2012, the NTFCF has donated to over 240 local non-governmental organisations, universities and social enterprises. The NTFCF established the Ng Teng Fong Scholarships in 2015 to provide financial aid for outstanding secondary and university students from underprivileged families in Hong Kong and Mainland China; about 1,500 students have received scholarships since launch.
Group General Manager, Sino Group
Ms Nikki Ng is Group General Manager of Sino Group, and a strong advocate of arts and cultural development.
She spearheaded the establishment of Sino Art in 2006 to support the local arts scene and Sino Art in Community in 2013 to further the efforts. Working with local and international artists, Sino Art brings arts to the community through supporting cultural programmes, curating events and hosting educational activities; Sino Art has completed over 100 projects so far.
Ms Ng is a Director of the Heritage Conservation Foundation, which converted the 1902 Tai O Police Station into Tai O Heritage Hotel, a nine-room boutique hotel, under Batch I of the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme of the Development Bureau. Operating as a non-profit-making social enterprise, the public-private initiative received the Award of Merit at the 2013 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
She has been deeply involved in the master planning of heritage programme for The Fullerton Heritage in Singapore, a world-class, vibrant waterfront precinct comprising seven historic and modern buildings with a total GFA of approximately 1.4 million sq ft. The Fullerton Heritage combines historical and contemporary aspects to add vibrancy to the long-established cultural, heritage and central business district with its public engagement heritage walks, gallery, software programming, documentation and celebrations.
Ms Ng is an Executive Committee Member of The Boys & Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong. She is also a member of the Thirteenth Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Prior to her current capacities in the public services, Ms Ng has served as an Executive Committee Member of the Hong Kong Art Festival, and a member of the Hong Kong Art Museum Advisory Panel and Hong Kong Arts Development Council respectively.
Ms Ng holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a Master of Arts degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University College of London.
Founder and Managing Director of Altaya Group
Mr Pong is the Founder and Managing Director of Altaya Group. In 2013, he was named in Decanter’s Power List as one of the 50 most influential people in the wine world. In 2012, he was nominated by Wine Intelligence for the 10 for 10 Business Awards He is also a Co-Founder and Executive Director of Classified Group of restaurants which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
In 2008, 2014 & 2015, Mr Pong was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre de Merit Agricole, the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merit for his dedication in building business, arts and cultural links between France and Hong Kong. He is a Board Member as well as Chairman of Product and Events Committee of Hong Kong Tourism Board; a Board Member, Executive Committee Member and Co-Chairman of Campaign Committee of The Community Chest; a Development Committee Member of Hong Kong Arts Festival Society. In 2017, he was also appointed as Council Member of Hong Kong Arts Development Council and Member of the Council and the Court of Hong Kong Baptist University. In 2018, he is appointed as a member of Commercial Letting Panel of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; he has also been appointed as Justice of the Peace in July 2018.
Prior to all that, Paulo worked in Bordeaux for several estates including Château Petrus and Château Cheval Blanc after he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he got his BA in Materials Science and Engineering.
Editor in Chief, South China Morning Post
Ms Tam joined the South China Morning Post in late 2011 as our Senior Editor and was subsequently promoted to Deputy Editor in early 2012. She took up the role of Editor-in-Chief of the SCMP in January 2016, responsible for the editorial direction and newsroom operations. She started her career in journalism at the Hong Kong Standard before shifting to television industry for 20 years. Having served in Television Broadcasts Limited, i-CABLE Communications Limited (“iCable”) and Asia Television Limited (“ATV”), Ms Tam developed herself from a reporter to senior news executive. She was responsible for the newsrooms management and leading coverage of many major local, China and international news events. Ms Tam had participated in cross-media business development while serving in iCable and played a key role in launching the city’s ﬁrst free-to-air 24 hours television news channel while being ATV’s news controller and later vice president. Ms Tam holds a Master degree in Journalism, a Bachelor degree in English and also has a Bachelor of Laws degree.