Murdoch University has awarded Dr Kwok Fook Seng an Honorary Doctorate of the University in recognition of his significant contribution to the fields of diplomacy, international trade and climate change mitigation.Dr Kwok is one of Singapore’s most highly regarded public servants. Over his distinguished career, he has served Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs with distinction in many notable diplomatic settings.
He has served as a Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, as well as Director-General of the Singapore National Secretariat to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
These contributions to global diplomacy and foreign affairs earned Dr Kwok Public Administration Medals from the Government of Singapore in 2006 and 2008.
Currently Singapore’s High Commissioner to Australia, Dr Kwok has worked tirelessly to elevate diplomatic ties between Australia and Singapore.
Notably, he played a leading role in the implementation of the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which was signed in 2016 and significantly deepens economic, defence and people-to-people ties between Singapore and Australia.
Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Eeva Leinonen said that in addition to his many noted accomplishments in the field of diplomacy, a striking quality of Dr Kwok is his strong social conscience.
Dr Kwok lives by the belief that we have responsibility to care for what has been temporarily entrusted to us.“His contributions to climate change mitigation are particularly noteworthy, having led the Singapore team of negotiators at the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015.”
Dr Kwok, who graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Communications Studies in 1994, said receiving an honorary degree from his alma mater was an unexpected honour.
“Murdoch University helped validate the values I held as a young adult. It strengthened not just critical thinking skills but also the sense of responsibility to community and the belief that every individual can act to make a positive difference,” Mr Kwok said.
In his address to graduates, Dr Kwok advised them to live with grace and seek a bigger purpose beyond personal ambition.
“Living with an awareness of grace compels us to look for it, and to give back to our community. As you enter the workforce, armed with the skills you have acquired at Murdoch, don’t forget heart and empathy. Your journey will be enhanced tremendously.”