Professor Judy Ling Wong

Honorary President Black Environment Network


A Short Bio
Judy is a painter, poet and environmentalist, best known as the Honorary President of Black
Environment Network (BEN). For 27 years she was the UK Director of BEN, with an international
reputation as the pioneer and creator of the field of multi-cultural participation in the built and
natural environment. Judy is a major voice on policy and practice towards social inclusion.

She is recognised as a visionary advocate for diversity and equality. She was awarded an OBE for
pioneering multicultural environmental participation in 2000, and a CBE for services to heritage in
2007. Recently, she was included in the BBC Power Women List, and the Forbes List of 100 Leading
Environmentalists in the UK, Climate Reframe List of 100 best-known UK BAME activists. She was
given the Vanity Fair International Women’s Day Challenger Award 2021 and the Earth Day Green
Plaque Award 2021

Her current contribution includes Chair – Green Apprenticeships Advisory Group, supporting the BEIS
Green Recovery Taskforce, Member – UKRI Hidden Histories Advisory Group, Member – Weston
Communicating Climate Advisory Group. Media Trust, Co-Founder – National Park City Foundation,
Member – Living Landscapes Research Steering Group. Royal Society, Member – IUCN/WCPA Urban
Conservation Strategies Specialist Group, Member – Aluna Cultural Strategy Development Group,
Member – Tree Charter Board, Member – Population Matters Advisory Group, Board member –
Botanic Gardens Education Network, Ambassador – Women’s Environmental Network.

Awards and Honours
2021 BBC Power Women List, Forbes List of 100 Leading Environmentalists in the UK, Climate
Reframe List of 100 best known BAME activists, Vanity Fair International Women’s Day
Challenger Award 2021, Earth Day Green Plaque Award 2021

2014 Honorary Fellowship Society for the Environment HonSovEnv For influencing policy and
practice re diversity and equality across the environmental sector

2013 Honorary Fellowship Institution for Environmental Sciences HonFIES For contribution to opening up understanding of environmental science and unlocking contribution by multicultural

2007 CBE Queen’s Birthday Honours For Services to Heritage. Recognition for pioneering
multicultural interpretation of heritage across the sector

2005 Honorary Doctorate University of Gloucestershire HonPhD For outstanding contribution to
multicultural environmental participation and environmental justice

2003 Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institution for Water and Environmental
Management HonFCIWEM For outstanding contribution to diversity and equality practice
across the environmental sector

2000 OBE Queen’s Birthday Honours 2000 In recognition of pioneering work in establishing the field of multicultural environmental participation

1997 Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for contribution to contemporary environmental thinking

1977 First woman in the history of China to be Master of the 3 Arts (the 3 Chinese arts of painting,
calligraphy and seal carving)

1969 Nell Norris Prize in Architecture University of Melbourne. Most outstanding student of the
year in the whole of the architectural school

1967 First Academic Colours in the history of Clyde School, Woodend, Australia. The honour was
created for her exceptional academic achievement across the arts and sciences.
Committees Advisory Groups and Campaigns 1994-2019

UN Habitat Global Stakeholders Forum, representing UK Urban Ecology Forum. Leading sub-group
for international work, creatively framing urban ecology to meet stakeholder needs in an urbanising world.

DCMS Historic Environment Executive Committee member. Teamwork to review policies for the historic environment. Specific input into document “Power of Place” 2000 in the area of diversity
and equality.

ODPM Urban Green Spaces Task Force. Developed policy framework. Set up typography of green

National Trust Council for England and Wales board member. Instrumental in putting into place
the historically first Diversity and Equality Policy. Coined the term “multicultural interpretation”
and stimulated its practice in the wider heritage sector, across heritage sites and museums. CBE
recognising this work.

Wales Assembly Government Environmental Strategy Reference Group. Worked on biodiversity
policy, with input into communication issues to increase civil society involvement. Societal
implications of policy.

Scottish Museums Council National Access and Learning Steering Group. Advising on approaches
to representation and increasing access to learning by disadvantaged groups within the museum

Attingham Trust Working Group. Worked on definitive report on heritage learning and education
“Opening Doors: Learning in the Historic Environment”. Coined the term “Hidden Histories”, widely
used in the heritage sector. Following on from this, commissioned by Heritage Lottery Fund to
write the paper “Multicultural Interpretation and Access to Heritage” to coincide with the “Whose
Heritage Conference”.

OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) Imperial College Advisory Board Advising on the significance of citizen science engagement in the policy context. Evaluating and planning activities such as Bioblitz at Brompton Cemetery Park, with diverse partners, including scientific partners such as Natural History Museum.

Trees Woods and People Campaign steering group. Led by Woodlands Trust involving over 70 organisations. Public awareness campaign building up to mass signing and launch of the Tree

UK Urban Ecology Forum – representative at the UN Habitat Global Stakeholders Forum

Committees and Advisory Groups – Current

DEFRA Civil Society Partnership Network core group – Vice Chair

National Park City Foundation/London National Park City – Co-Founder

Sowing the Seeds Network – Chair

Black Environment Network – Honorary President

IUCN/WCPA Urban Conservation Strategies Specialist Group – Member

Countryside and Community Research Institute – Advisory Board member

Aluna – Cultural Strategy Development Group

Tree Charter Board – member

Museum of the Anthropocene. IYPUI Arts and Humanities Institute – working group member

Population Matters – Advisory Group member

Botanic Gardens Education Network – Board member

Women’s Environmental Network – Ambassador

Living Landscapes Research Steering Group. Royal Society – Member

Weston Communicating Climate Advisory Group. Media Trust – Member

Hidden Histories Advisory Group. AHRC and NERC. UKRI – Member

Healthy Environment Engagement Project Advisory Group. NERC – Member

Green Apprenticeships Advisory Group, supporting the BEIS Green Recovery Taskforce.
IFATE – Chair

Biographical notes
2010President Black Environment Network
1987-2010 Director of Black Environment Network. Organisational operations. Partnership. Funding.
Effective delivery. International reputation as the pioneer of the field of multicultural
environmental participation. Promoted environmental science. Pioneered methodology and
training. OBE recognising this work.
1949-1987 Lived in 3 different cultures before the age of 25. This experience of repeated cultural displacement formed the basis for my social commitment in later life. Born in Hong Kong. Moved to Australia for school and university in 1965. Arrived in Europe and lived in West Berlin in 1972 as a painter. Settled in the UK from 1974. Exhibited Britain, Europe, Australia and the United States.
My work as a community artist in the UK consolidated my social commitment, with a complete change of career direction from immersion in the arts to environmental concerns in my thirties.

Committee and campaign work as a public speaker

• Keynote speaker World Urban Parks Congress Cape Town 2016

• Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Environment Annual Lecture 2019

• Julie’s Bicycle podcast “The Colour Green” 2019

• Speaker at World Urban Forum on nature-based solutions, Abu Dhabi 2020

• WaterAid Water and Environment Summit – Policy Roundtable by invitation 2020

• Lectures: Center for Alternative Technology, UCL, U of Sheffield, U of Gloucestershire etc. across
the years

• Panelist Natural England New Strategy Launch – Building Partnerships for Nature’s Recovery 2020

• Keynote speaker “Transformations for All – Addressing Diversity and Equality” in the Environmental

• UK Environmental Law Association UKELA Garner Lecture 2020

• Professions for CIEEM Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, December

• Global Keynote for ICCS International Center for Cultural Studies Conference “Ancient Cultures
Championing Humanity” February 2021

• Keynote speaker “Leadership in the 21st Century” for FIE Foundation for International Education,
April 2021

Lecture title

“Challenges & Opportunities in the creation of new jobs to achieve the legal commitment to Net-Zero Carbon”

This website uses cookies and asks for your personal data to enhance your browsing experience and when you contact us. You can browse our site without any cookie being set by us. However, we need your consent to contact us via the form on the contact page.