1996 Honorary Fellow
Mr Chui Kam was born in Hong Kong and educated at Wah Yan College where he was rated as an outstanding scholar. He was then admitted into Northcote College of Teacher Education where he won the first prize on graduation. Subsequently, he received tertiary education at the University of London and Trinity College, University of Oxford. In 1979, he was admitted by nomination to attend the Royal College of Defence Studies, London.
From June 1964, Mr Chui served as an Administrative Officer in a wide range of departments and Government Secretariat policy branches leading to his promotion to the rank of Policy Secretary in 1986. His policy subjects included constitutional development, Chinese language policy, new town planning and development, administration of municipal councils, food and environmental hygiene, recreation and culture, telecommunication and broadcasting, the preservation of antiquities and monuments, and the performing arts. Throughout his career, he took a special interest in personnel management in public administration, culminating in his appointment in June 1991 as Chairman of Public Commission, from which position he will be retiring later this summer. Mr Chui maintains a keen interest in education and is currently a member of the court and Chairman of Advisory Committee on the Bachelor of Arts degree programme of the Baptist University. He was appointed a Commander of the Excellent Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours in 1991.
From April 1985 to June 1991, Mr Chui served as Director, Urban Services, and then Secretary, Municipal Services and Secretary for Recreation and Culture. Those years marked a significant period in the development and advancement of Hong Kong’s cultural life in the wake of the commissioning of the Academy for performing Arts. Important milestones included the completion of major auditoria and venues such as the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Hong Kong Coliseum and the Shatin and Tuen Mun Town Halls. It was Mr Chui’s strategic vision as policy secretary for culture and the arts that consolidated this Academy’s pivotal role in the development of the performing arts in Hong Kong.
Under his leadership, the independent Accreditation Advisory Panel chaired by Dr Rayson Huang was commission. It visited the Academy in October 1988 and completed its report in January 1989. This report envisaged the destiny of Hong Kong’s performing arts in general, and that of the Academy in particular. Its major recommendations to which Mr Chui gave staunch support included up-grading this Academy to be a degree granting institution; providing it with long-term policy objectives and a realistic funding basis to achieve them. These recommendations were far-sighted and thanks to Mr Chui’s policy guidance and support, they were endorsed by the Governor-in-Council in October 1989 and the HKAPA successfully established its degree granting status from September 1992.
This achievement was of paramount importance not only to the future of the Academy and its students but to the future cultural life of Hong Kong because of the strategic role that the Academy can now play in assisting the development of local performing groups, in creating new groups of high caliber and in reaching out to broaden the social base of audiences. The expansion of television services created a further demand for new graduates not only as technicians but also as creative practitioners such as writers, producers and directors. The HKAPA was being looked to by the performing arts industry as a key institution for training its new personnel, attracting some of the brightest talent for a variety of careers in the field.
This period also saw the emergence of an international dimension of this Academy, attracting top grade students from all over the world and enabling local students to proceed to post-graduate studies in leading institutions overseas. Thanks to Mr Chui’s leadership and untiring team work with the Academy Council, staff and students, the Academy progressed from strength to strength during those crucial years of its growth development.
Mr President, in grateful appreciation of his contribution to the work of this Academy and to public service, I present to you Mr Chui Kam for the award of Fellowship of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.