Cosmo Beatson, Executive Director, is British and lived in Italy before moving to Hong Kong in 1989. He is married and has two daughters, Camelot 12 and Mira 1. He operated a trading company for two decades and retired in 2008, for more congruence between what I does in the world and what he is. He lives by the ideal that with great privilege comes great responsibility to influence the change we want in society. Dissatisfied with NGO objectives, in Spring 2009 he launched Vision First. His core values and friendship with refugees ensure our driving spirit is solidarity, rooted in the fundamental dignity of each individual. Cosmo studies theology at the Holy Spirit Seminary and contributes his thoughts to RTHK’s “Minutes that Matter”, posted here as personal reflections.
Danielle Stutterd, Center Manager, Australian, is responsible for case management and problem solving for Vision First’s female members and families, as well fund raising and organizational development. She has been working for the refugee cause since 2003 as volunteer, educator, center manager and case manager. Her in depth knowledge of the needs of refugees and the social services system available to them, as well as her care for the people she serves drove her to found Vision First in 2009. She has been an integral part of the Vision First team since the beginning and finds great fulfillment in serving the asylum seeker and refugee community.
Dr. Pak Ho Tsang, Director, was born in Hong Kong, is a medical graduate of University of Hong Kong. He received further medical training in HK and UK and is a registered Specialist in General Surgery in HK. Being a surgeon he is also keenly interested in psychiatry, “cutting into the mind” as he said, for which he received further training and a post-graduate diploma in psychological medicine. Dr. Tsang is married with 2 daughters. He is a member of Vision First’s Board of Directors and supports the organisation with consultations, medications and medical supplies.
Belinda Flanders, Director and Chairperson, is a full time qualified teacher at a local private girls school. She has been volunteering with the refugee community in Hong Kong since 2006. She loves living in Hong Kong for the vast opportunities it presents for developing her own skills and contributing to the betterment of the lives of those less fortunate than herself. Belinda joined Vision First as a founding member upon its conception and is actively engaged in contributing to the development of Vision First services.
Annabelle Singaram, Director and Treasurer, is a qualified Chartered Accountant and degree holding graphic designer. Annabelle was born in the UK, grew up in Australia and has been in Hong Kong for three years. With a solid career in the corporate world, she finds balance and meaning through her volunteer contribution, particularly due to her personal connection to Sri Lanka and the refugee issue. Annabelle is a Vision First GED program English tutor, using her skills to help Vision First members gain academic qualifications to prepare them for life beyond Hong Kong.
Francesco Vecchio PhD, Director, is an Italian based at Monash University, Australia, where he earned a PhD researching asylum and irregular border-crossing to the ‘global city’. He moved to Hong Kong to work with the refugee community in 2005, after gaining academic and working experience in his country, Canada, France and Japan. Since then, he maintained constant relationship with a number of refugees, based on trust and mutual respect. They were the reason for his pursuing further studies. Francesco serves as correspondent for ISMU Foundation, Italy, an independent scientific organization developing research with a focus on international migration and social cohesion. He contributes to the objectives of Vision First by aiding its long-term capacity and research program.
Dr. Fan Ning, Director, is from Hong Kong. He attained his professional qualification from the Medical School of the University of Hong Kong in 1994. Upon graduation, he joined the Hospital Authority and developed his career in serving the public health system. Today he works for Yan Chai Hospital as a specialist surgeon. After receiving enlightenment from a talk on “War-conflict sufferings” in early 2000, Fan Ning has been passionate about humanitarianism. He has worked for Red Cross and Medecins Sans Fronteire and is currently the President of MSF-HK. He has been deployed to conflict zones and areas with natural disasters. During the humanitarian missions, he left his footprints in Kenya, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Sichuan, Gaza, Haiti and Libya.
Robert Tibbo, Director, is Canadian and moved to Hong Kong in 1990. He speaks fluent Thai and Mandarin. After obtaining an engineering degree at McGill University, his first career was in chemical engineering. He holds law degrees from the University of Melbourne and University of Auckland. He subsequently joined the Hong Kong Bar Association in 2005. In his law practise, which covers constiitional and administrative law, criminal law as well as civil litigation, Robert has represented dozens of torture claimants and refugees who value his humanitarian spirit as much as his robust legal representation. Advocating for and defending asylum seekers rights with the full vigour of the law, his reputation spread widely in the refugee community, before friendship drew him to Vision First, where he has now joined the board of directors