Lisa Lau - Caring for the HK Community

Miss Lisa Lau (Class of 1980) has served as the Chairman of the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) for 6 years till October 2014. During her tenure, she successfully headed an anti-smoking promotional campaign which left a lasting legacy of a healthier Hong Kong, and brought about a heightened awareness of the perils of smoking. Under her chairmanship of COSH, significant progress was achieved through the education of the public on the hazards of secondhand smoke, the ban on display of all forms of promotion of tobacco products, cumulating in the successful lobbying and the eventual passing of various legislation amendments, including the increase in tobacco tax and the implementation of comprehensive tobacco control measures.

In 2013, Lisa was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Government for meritorious public and community service, particularly for her valuable contribution to the advocacy of tobacco control. After handing over the reins of COSH to the next generation of tobacco fighters, Lisa continues to serve the HK community on various quasi-governmental boards and charitable organisations such as Sir David Trench Fund Committee, The Sports Commission, Action Committee Against Narcotics, Independent Police Complaints Council and Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

After completing her studies at DGS, Lisa pursued undergraduate studies in the USA, majoring in advertising, and eventually started her own graphics and advertising consultancy after working for her family garment manufacturing business. DOGA Editorial Sub-Committee met with Lisa to explore the factors which led her to devote herself to service in the community.

I: Interviewers       L: Lisa

I: What were the factors which shaped your involvement in community service?

L: My father was a big believer of community services, and devoted many years of his active life to serve on the board of charitable organisations and many education related groups. Following in his footsteps, I started volunteering for the “Summer Youth Program” of the Home Affairs Department, where I served as the program’s publicity and education sub-committee convener. In 2000, I became a member of COSH, and eventually taking the role of chairman in 2008 before retiring in October 2014.

I enjoy identifying problems and tackling them with solutions from different angles. From the varying roles I play on volunteer organisations, I derive an enormous level of satisfaction from learning about the multi-faceted needs of the community, and challenging myself to finding solutions for them.

I: Did your time at DGS shape you towards servicing the community?

L: Dr. C J Symons definitely had a huge influence and instilled in us the motto of “Daily Giving Service”. I recall in one morning assembly, Dr. Symons spoke about a girl who lost her wallet at school. Instead of criticising the morals of the pickpocket, Dr. Symons placed emphasis on the responsibilities of the girl who did not take care of her own belongings in the first place. From Dr. Symons, I learned to view societal responsibilities from multiple angles, instead of from any single perspective.

I: What advice do you have for DGS girls?

L: My advice for DGS students today is, “As you encounter different responsibilities at different stages of your lives, it is crucial to set goals as to what you aim to achieve. Trying your best is often far more important than mere eventual achievements. DGS girls have often demonstrated that they can work with confidence. This self-belief will eventually translate into success in achieving your objectives.”

I: Would you like to share any of your future goals?

L: Going forward, my goal is to better manage my time between personal, business and community service work. For the community, I would like to focus on the development of arts, culture and sports for the youth. My passion for the arts remains unabated, as I run a graphics design company and will continue to help to place internships for art school students.

We applaud Lisa’s contribution to our society and wish her every success in all her pursuits.