Former banker and board member of the Hong Kong Ballet and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre talks to us about the next steps of her philanthropic work

A Cornell University graduate and a mother of two, Anne was working in banking before she found her calling in charitable work. Dedicating much of her post-work life to NGOs in Hong Kong and the US, including Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre, an organisation that provides free practical, emotional, and psychosocial support for patients and their family members affected by cancer, where she sits on the board of governors, Anne is known as an avid philanthropist whose work has made a significant impact in Hong Kong.  

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Juggling multiple roles at the same time, Anne believes in giving back to the community and supporting future generations, which is evident in her role as the co-chair of the Hong Kong Ballet Guild, where she devotes her time promoting ballet and making the arts accessible to children from different backgrounds in Hong Kong. In ‘The Next Step’ series where we pose six questions to Hong Kong-based philanthropic women about their philanthropic work, we asked Anne about her milestones, what motivates her, and her current and future projects. 

How, and when, did you first get involved in philanthropic work?

It started when I was young and has always been engrained in my family, in high school we always volunteered and I’ve found that I’ve been drawn to philanthropic work throughout different stages of my life and I hope to instil the same values in my children.

What are the causes you care about?

I care about a range of causes related to the arts, culture and health and wellbeing. I’m currently a board member for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre and also on the board of the Hong Kong Ballet. 

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Which of your philanthropic endeavours are you most proud of?

I’m proud of all the philanthropic work I’ve done to date, I was drawn to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre after many family and friends were affected by cancer and I think most people underestimate the psychological implications fighting cancer can have on your conscience. I used to practice ballet so the Hong Kong Ballet has always been a cause close to my heart.

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Above Anne wears Nash 24K Gold Dorset Cream Patent with Shadow II Pebble (Photo: Moses Ng/Hong Kong Tatler)

Why is giving back to the community important to you?

In a city like Hong Kong it’s easy to overlook those who are less fortunate or who are suffering, so I take pride in always actively volunteering and giving back to the community at large—there’s no better gift than donating your time to those in need and being a source of support.

Can you tell us what are you working on right now?

We have the Fayre of St Johns later this month (Nov 29) and it’s a great way to kick off the festive holiday season as it’s often a reminder to give back to those who are less fortunate and who are going through a painful time for what is a joyous season for many. We also have the Hong Kong Ballet Ball approaching (Dec 4) and it’s followed by The Nutcracker Benefit (Dec 9)—all enjoyable events that benefit great causes.

What’s your next step?

I think the ongoing challenge anyone involved in charity work can relate to is the need to drive more awareness towards the causes, so I’ll continue to volunteer and create awareness where possible. 

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'The Next Step’ series is brought to you by R. SANDERSON London, a maker of precious, one-of-a-kind women shoes and accessories. Its creations exude timeless elegance and exceptional artistry, distinguished by the unique hand-gilded 24-carat gold leaf heel and iconic “Pebble” that is instantly recognisable by its artistic expressiveness.