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.
Francesco Vecchio PhD, Director, is an Italian based at Charles Sturt University, Australia. He previously earned a PhD at Monash University where he researched asylum and irregular border-crossing. He moved to Hong Kong to work with the refugee community in 2005, after gaining extensive academic and working experience overseas. Since then, he maintains constant relationship with a number of refugees, based on trust and mutual respect. Francesco collaborates with 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.
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
Mark R.C. Sutherland, independent non-executive director, is a Barrister-at-Law of the High Court of Hong Kong (2005) and of the Middle Temple in London (2006). In July 2009, Mr. Sutherland was re-appointed as a member of the Board of Review established under the Inland Revenue Ordinance for a third three year term. Mr. Sutherland is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is an Accredited Mediator. Mr. Sutherland is a member of Joseph W.Y. Tse SC’s Chambers.
Dr. Parul Batra, Director, is a Clinical Psychologist (Psy.D) trained in the UK and in Hong Kong. She has provided individual and group therapy to refugees and asylum seekers since 2011. Having had close exposure to this clientele, and the struggles and injustices inflicted upon them in their countries of origin, Dr. Batra has become involved in advocating for their rights. She has since aided their legal cases by means of conducting psychological evaluations, and bearing witness to their complex experiences and symptomatology in a court of law. Dr. Batra’s specialty areas lie in issues of clinical anxiety and depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other adjustment problems, as well as child and developmental issues. She has joined Vision First with the aim of preventing further traumatization in this vulnerable group of individuals.