Welcome to Commonwealth Day
Introduction to the Commonwealth, its work & Commonwealth Observance Day
H.E Charles Hayes, MVO, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Malaysia
His Excellency Charles Hay MVO started as the British High Commissioner to Malaysia in March 2019 in succession to Vicki Treadell CMG MVO. Prior to Malaysia, Mr Hay was the British Ambassador to South Korea from 2015 to 2018. During his time in the British diplomatic services, he has been posted to the Czech Republic, Spain and the UK Representation to the EU in Brussels. Charles was also the Director of Consular Services in London, responsible for assisting British nationals and in crisis management worldwide. Before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1993, he was a Captain in the British Army.
Kassim Bin Abdul Rahman, President of The Royal Commonwealth Society of Malaysia
Mr Kassim bin Abdul Rahman joined The Royal Commonwealth Society of Malaysia in the year 1986 and was later appointed as the President from 2017 in till present. Mr Kassim is currently working as the Head of Public Affairs and is the company’s corporate liaison with local authorities, state and federal government agencies for the Selangor Properties Sdn Bhd. Mr Kassim is active. member and have held many other portfolios in Council such as HR & Admin, Membership & Discipline for many years before his appointment as the President in 2017.
Simon Christopher, Founder of Blu Hope
Simon is a Sabah/Malaysia-based zoologist deeply committed to communicating the critical importance of biodiversity to as many people as possible worldwide. Having founded Scubazoo.tv and TimorBlue after more than two and half decades with more than 180 documentary programmes from BBC Natural History blockbusters such as Blue Planet II, LIFE, Human Planet – Oceans and Big Blue – Live, to hit reality shows like Survivor, Amazing Race and Man vs Wild, IMAX films like Sacred Planet and Conquest of the Skies, 3D – plus seven large-format coffee-table book publications under his belt, Simon is excited to be launching BLU HOPE alongside UNESCO Ocean Decade.
Monica Chin, Co-Founder/Community Director of Blu Hope
Born and bred ‘ocean-loving Sabahan’, Monica has been diving/promoting Sabah’s unique marine biodiversity for 23 years. Owner of Ocean Virgo Scuba Dive for diving, environmental & marine educational conservation program, set up ‘Trash Hero Borneo’ and the Marine & Environmental Research, Education & Conservation Centre (ADRECC). A regular speaker at various Asia Dive Expos and Australia, Monica was awarded ‘Top 25 most influential Women Diver in Asia’ at ADEX Singapore plus ‘Outstanding Contributor to Ocean Conservation & Environment’ at ADEX Beijing. With her “Ocean is not our Garbage Bin, Be part of the Solution” mantra, via super-strong, multiple stakeholder partnerships and collaborations, Monica looks forward to rolling out Blu Hope all across Sabah and beyond …
Mogesh Sabathy, Co-Founder of Project Ocean Hope
Mogesh is a co-founder of ‘Project Ocean Hope’, a youth-led group that aims to raise the visibility of ocean issues and environmental conservation through campaigns and youth leadership training. The group has also run educational community projects to reduce littering and unsustainable fishing practices, and an ocean literacy webinar series on waste management, reaching over 10,000 individuals across 15 countries. He is an impassioned ocean activist committed to go beyond awareness and develop positive behaviours around ocean protection as well as to raise the visibility of ocean issues among Malaysian youths.
Dr. Nicholas Hardman-Mountford, Head of Oceans & Nature Resources, Commonwealth Secretariat
Nick Hardman-Mountford is Head of Oceans and Natural Resources at the Commonwealth Secretariat where he leads the Commonwealth Blue Charter Initiative and a technical advisory team working on ocean governance and sustainable natural resource development projects in Commonwealth countries. Prior to joining the Commonwealth, Dr Hardman-Mountford was a principal scientist at Australia’s national research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). His research on ocean observations and modelling has taken him to the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans and has found application in addressing a diverse range of societal drivers such as sustainable blue economies, carbon storage, food security, energy and climate change. Dr Hardman-Mountford has published over 100 research papers, book chapters, articles and technical reports. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia.