RGS-HK was established in 1995. It provides a forum for members to meet and listen to leading local and international speakers from the worlds of geography, history, exploration, travel, research, Asian studies and conservation.
RGS-HK holds over 120 events each year, including talks, special events, dinners and field trips, and publishes an Annual Review.
Previous speakers at talks include the Polar explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the mountaineers Sir Chris Bonington and Adrian Hayes, the famous explorers Benedict Allen, Robin Hanbury-Tenison and John Pilkington, primate expert Dame Jane Goodall, Hong Kong explorers Paul Niel and Esther Roling, Wong How Man of the China Exploration and Research Society, one of Asia’s best-known financiers Weijian Shan, China’s longest-standing foreign photojournalist Adrian Bradshaw and authors William Dalrymple and Paul French.
Special events include a diverse range of activities such as an annual quiz dinner and exploring galleries. Field trips include the opportunity to explore unique parts of Hong Kong such as behind the scenes at the airport and numerous trips to outlying islands.
In London, Hong Kong members can have access to the RGS Members' reading library, business centre and the "Hong Kong Room".
The branch also runs a major Schools Outreach Programme, through which it hosts numerous educational events at schools throughout Hong Kong. RGS-HK also runs the annual Hong Kong Young Geographer of the Year Awards. Awards are distributed amongst primary, secondary lower, secondary upper and tertiary age-groups with the 20 awards comprising financial prizes and RGS-HK student benefits.
Since its inception, RGS-HK has also strived to assist geographical research in the greater China region. In addition to serving as a point of contact for geographical academia interested in the region, the RGS-HK awards multiple scholarships yearly. These include a Major Post-Graduate Award and several scholarships for undergraduate and masters’ degree research.
RGS-HK has a Board which meets three or four times a year to decide policy matters. Elections to the Board are held once a year at its Annual General Meeting. RGS-HK’s Chairman is James Riley, Vice-Chairman is Timothy Peirson-Smith, Treasurer is James Anderson, Secretary is Julian Stargardt and the three Officers are Susie Schwittal, Catherine Leonard and Dr Melanie Bryan.
The Honorary Patron of RGS-HK is the British Consul General.
The branch is run by a Director, Rupert McCowan, and three managers for Events & Schools Outreach, Membership and Field Trips.