On August 30, 2019, Park Won-soon, the Mayor of Seoul, presented Robert Kok, a Councillor of the City of Sydney who has set an extraordinary example of making efforts for social integration among immigrants from Asian countries living in Sydney, with honorary Seoul citizenship.
Although he is a Chinese Australian, Mr. Kok has contributed to achieving social integration and fostering the culture of mutual respect for all citizens from Asia, not only those from China. In cooperation with the Korean Society of Sydney Australia, for instance, he changed the name of the largest Asian culture festival in the city, the Chinese New Year Festival, into the Lunar New Year Festival. He is also active in supporting the local activities of Korean residents in various ways, including using the name, “Korean Town,” in naming administrative areas in Sydney.
Seoul presented Mr. Kok with honorary Seoul citizenship with the expectation of his continuous efforts in accomplishing social unification for Asian residents in Sydney and playing the role of a mediator to broaden exchanges and cooperation between the cities of Seoul and Sydney.
Mr. Kok invited the city of Seoul to CityTalks, a representative international event in Sydney that took place in May, as the first Asian city to be invited to the event. Mayor Park participated in CityTalks as the keynote speaker to introduce the citizens’ participatory democracy, smart city, and urban regeneration of Seoul.