We are always concerned about women's conditions and announce our opinions on issues in due time.
Media Inquiry: If you have any inquiries about our work, services, or issues that we concern, please feel free to contact us at 2153 3153 or email us at


【HKFWC40】Growth with HKFWC - Geraldine Young

Geraldine, a member of HKFWC Executive Committee since 1992, is now the second longest serving member on the Committee. Geraldine regards her involvement in HKFWC is not just volunteering in nature, but also a continuing learning experience. Over her years of participation in HKFWC, Geraldine has come to learn that she can be much more than just being a good housewife and mother. She says her struggles in the past were not dissimilar to those of many women HKFWC serve and she has gained much gender awareness from her interactions with fellow committee members and staff members.


Unforgettable Experience

Geraldine says there have been many memorable occasions over the years, like participating in opening ceremonies of the new Tai Wo Centre and the newly refurbished Lai Kok Centre, or representing HKFWC on occasions like walkathons etc; attending the volunteer award ceremonies was always fun.  Geraldine recalls also how one time she unexpectedly came to become a Chair of the Executive Committee: "The Chairperson at the time decided to enter the political arena so she resigned since  HKFWC is  a non-partisan organization. I was the vice Chair at the time, so I became the Chair by default." About the same time, the then Director of HKFWC, also resigned to go for studies abroad which added to Geraldine's challenges: "The sudden vacuum (in leadership) created by the departures of these two key positions was daunting, since my professional training had been in Administration and I had no social work training or experience."


Geraldine, who likes to keep a low profile, saw the situation she found herself in very challenging indeed. "I had never anticipated to be in this position. I didn't want a promotion or a high profile, I just wanted to help out behind the scenes." Faced with such a dire situation, Geraldine said she was fortunate and very grateful that a number of  former Executive Committee Chairs offered to return to the Executive Committee to help out. I was  greatly relieved and deeply touched by their kind and selfless act . They did not feel pessimistic about the whole situation, but took the initiative to come back and help."



In the early years, Executive Committee members, in addition to making strategic decisions for the organization, often had to get involved in the actual work of the organization due to limited number of staff support. I remember an Exco member once commented "we must be the hardest working Exco in Hong Kong!" In 1995, a group under HKFWC helped organized a charity film gala to raise funds for the Tai Wo Centre and Mrs. Lavender Thornton Patten, wife of Chris Patten, the then Governor of Hong Kong, was invited to attend: "I was asked to be the MC of the event, introducing speakers and summarising what each speaker said." Geraldine recalls, "because it was a bilingual event, I had to translate into English when someone spoke in Cantonese and vice versa.  I had to study the script at home many times because I was not used to using Cantonese in a public address. Geraldine laughed and said, "Executive Committee members had to work hard!"


In the past, when there were fewer staff members, Executive Committee members, when participating in the preparation of events would get to know staff members easily. However, with the continuing development of HKFWC, the number of staff members has increased dramatically in recent years and relationship between the Executive Committee and staff members has become distant. Before the pandemic, there would have been opportunities to hold retreats with colleagues, but it has been impossible to hold group gatherings due to pandemic restrictions. Geraldine and Executive Committee members desire more interactions with the staff members. "The Executive Committee and staff members don't know each other so well now." Geraldine hopes if more get togethers can be held in the future Executive Committee members will be able to get to know staff members better.


Reasons to Persevere

As a long serving Executive Committee member, when to retire is an issue Geraldine has thought about for a while. "I think many of us on the committee would like to step down, having served for many years already. Good governance practice suggests also that Executive Committee members ought to change every few years. According to that suggestion, I should have retired long time ago!"  "With rapid expansion of HKFWC over recent years, workload of the Executive Committee has rapidly increased too. I can't handle them all anymore. For Geraldine who has been with the HKFWC for more than 30 years, stepping down is not an easy decision. "It's not easy to find a successor. If we are lucky enough to find qualified people who have the desire and time to volunteer to serve on the Committee, then of course decision to step down would be easier to make." Geraldine has continued to serve on  the committee so far not just because of the lack of a successor; it's also because of the constant joy she finds in interactions with her fellow committee members and her love for HKFWC's well-being. "Actually, my stepping down will not affect the overall situation, but if we don't have enough people on the Executive Committee after a member leaves, when there are too many things to handle, the remaining committee members will suffer."


Geraldine is very happy to see HKFWC celebrating its 40th Anniversary and she is grateful for all the friendships she has made at the Centre. She sincerely hopes that HKFWC will continue it's mission to serve women for years to come.



Interviewed by Alvin Chung

Edited by Trevor Ng & Alvin Chung