Dr. Peter NEWBERY received Honorary Degree in the 42nd Graduation Ceremony


A Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa was conferred upon Dr. Peter NEWBERY at the 42nd graduation ceremony on 1st December 2016.

A Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa was conferred upon the celebrated youth worker and educator Dr. Peter NEWBERY at the 42nd graduation ceremony of Hong Kong Shue Yan University (HKSYU) on 1st December 2016.

The ceremony for the conferment of the honorary degree was held in the Lady Lily Shaw Hall and was presided over by Professor HU Yao-Su, Provost of HKSYU.

In the citation, written by Professor Harold TRAVER, Head of the Department of Sociology, Professor Catherine SUN, Academic Vice President of HKSYU, praised Dr. Peter NEWBERY for his devotion to the betterment of youth, especially marginal youth, prisoners and refugees in Hong Kong for nearly 50 years. Dr. NEWBERY, born in 1948 in Manchester, England, was ordained in 1975 and came to Hong Kong in the same year. He worked in schools as a teacher and student counsellor, and later volunteered as chaplain to Vietnamese refugees in the closed camps, and then went on to spend 10 years as Senior Prison Chaplain responsible for advising the Commissioner of Correctional Services. The 1980s saw an exponential rise in the number of street kids in Hong Kong and Dr. NEWBERY established Youth Outreach, a non-government crisis intervention centre in 1991, and began to provide outreach services for them.

“As the name implies, rather than waiting for youths to come to them, Youth Outreach adopts a proactive approach by going into streets and seeking out at-risk youths. Initially a second hand van was donated for the purpose but now the service uses 4 vans and a 5.5 ton tracks to search for the children of night, runaways and others at risk on the streets…Father NEWBERY has always emphasized the need to help school dropouts to re-enter the education system and return to some form of regular way of life.” Professor SUN said.

Professor SUN also praised the unique services provided by the Hong Kong’s only 24-hour drop-in centre – The Hang Out – operated by Youth Outreach. The Hang Out provides a safe and positive meeting and activity place for young people at any time of the day or night. Dr. NEWBERY has received worldwide and local recognition for his distinguished contributions to youth work, including a Letter of Commendation from the Consul General of the United States of America for services to Vietnamese refugees, a Badge of Honour awarded in the Birthday Honours List of Her Majesty the Queen of England for services to Inmates of Correctional Institutions in Hong Kong and a Medal of Honour from the Government of Hong Kong for contribution to youth work and, in particular, work with delinquents and youth at risk.

“He has touched the lives of literally thousands of young people in Hong Kong and changed them for the better.” Professor SUN said. (full citation)

Dr. NEWBERY: make a positive contribution to our community

Dr. Peter NEWBERY gives his address.

In his address to the ceremony, Dr. Peter NEWBERY said he felt “very surprised but also greatly honoured” when ask if he would accept the award of the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa. “I was particularly pleased when I was told that the degree would be conferred in recognition of the work we have been doing over the 25 years at Youth Outreach.”

Dr. Peter NEWBERY encouraged graduates to make the best use of the opportunities which Shue Yan University offers them to make a positive contribution not only to themselves and their families “but to our community in general.”

“Your education here at Shue Yan University provides you with a wonderful start on your life journey. Stride out along this road with confidence and courage to build a better world.” Dr. Peter NEWBERY said. (full speech)

From left to right: Ms. Sophia YIP, Ms. Andrea Hope, Mr. Felix LEUNG, Dr. HU Fai Chung, Mr. Francis CHEUNG, Dr. Peter NEWBERY, Dr. Henry HU, Professor HU Yao Su, Professor Catherine SUN and Professor Harold TRAVER

Source: January Issue 2017

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