Chuk was born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia on 19 June 1984. His father worked as a mining engineer, and consequently the young Chuk lived in many places during the first years of his life, including Melbourne, Broome and Collie. During his primary school years he settled in Perth with his family. Having been a student representative since the age of ten, Chuk continued in this vein after moving on to the now defunct Hollywood Senior High School, whose most famous graduate; Kim Beazley, was also a president of the University of Western Australia Student Guild. During this period, Chuk developed formidable debating skills, culminating in him captaining Hollywood to victory in the State Debating Championship in 1999. Following the closure of Hollywood in 2000, Chuk moved on to Shenton College, where he was the school's inaugural Head Boy. Despite the additional workload, Chuk excelled as a student, graduating with the award for English Literature, and winning the award for "Best All Rounder". In the following 2001 Tertiary Entrance Exams Chuk achieved a TER of 99.65, placing him in the top 0.4% of school leavers.
In 2002 Chuk commenced a combined Law/Arts degree at the University of Western Australia. During this period Chuk worked part-time for UnionsWA. He promptly joined the then dominant STAR party and in 2002 ran for the position of UWA Guild Councillor, winning comfortably. In subsequent years, despite the terminal decline of STAR, Chuk contested and won the positions of Treasurer of the Guild in 2003, NUS representative and President of the Education Council in 2004. He rose to prominence in this final role in 2005 during an Anti VSU protest when he famously blocked UWA Vice Chancellor Alan Robson from entering a senate meeting. By this stage STAR had been in power for ten years, and was growing increasingly unpopular with an electorate restless for change. Facing an electoral holocaust, STAR took the unprecedented step of elevating the factionally unaligned, yet electorally popular Chuk to the position of STAR's candidate for Guild President. The gamble paid off as Chuk was able to defeat the other candidates in the 2005 election, winning with 59% of the primary vote, a sizeable margin of 43% between him and the next nearest candidate and a 7% improvement on his predecessor.
Almost immediately following his ascension to the presidency, Chuk spearheaded one of the most ambitious expenditure projects ever undertaken by the Guild. At a time when Eastern States student unions were slashing services to avoid financial apocalypse under VSU, Chuk oversaw the complete overhaul of the catering and cafeteria facilities. His goal was to improve services to attract voluntary membership in future years, and UWA's 2007 guild membership rate of 66.7% - the highest in VSU Australia - is a testament to the success of these initiatives.
However, students failed to engage with Chuk's big-picture policies, adopting a utilitarian stance that shunned further expenditure at a time when student rental prices and living costs in Perth were rising faster than ever before. Adding to STAR’s predicament was the increasingly venomous civil war unfolding within the party, as break-away factions mounted a coup against the party hierarchy. In what was seen as the cruelest cut of all, several of the STAR powerbrokers who had been instrumental in Chuk's ascendancy turned against him, abandoning STAR and forming the Alpha party that campaigned heavily on perceived waste within the organisation.
Indeed, Chuk was only able to delay the inevitable, as STAR's position quickly became untenable. Saddled with the resentment accumulated throughout a decade of Guild Council control, STAR experienced a trainwreck at the next election in October 2006. Battered by a tsunami of electoral discontent, and crippled by a vicious internal power struggle, it lost nearly half its seats on the Guild council, including the loss of the key portfolio of Education Council President. But most significantly the STAR candidate for Guild president was defeated for only the second time in the party's history, with the newly formed splinter group Alpha gaining control of the coveted position. Chuk was nevertheless able to win the key position of Senate representative, ensuring STAR's presence in the University's governing body and increasing the majority from his predecessor in the process.
STAR's sojourn in the political wilderness was short lived, however, as a fresh-faced ticket saw them storm back into power in the 2007 elections. Still smarting from the factional in-fighting of previous years, STAR went to the election with a message built around renewal and unity. Their presidential nominee was the youngest in the party's history, aged just nineteen while their star-studded ticket, that included political heavyweights such as Federal Labor politician Dominic Rose, put the result beyond doubt.
While both STAR and the incumbents predicted a tight contest, the Guild presidency was nevertheless reclaimed in emphatic style, with STAR engineering a 19% swing against the incumbent. STAR’s electoral resurgence was largely at the expense of arch-rivals Alpha, who suffered a spectacular collapse in their primary vote. Failing to win a single office-bearer position, the incumbents attracted just 800 votes in the presidential race, a catastrophic result that saw their council presence slashed to a dismal four seats. STAR's defeat in 2006 was deemed by some to be an indictment on Chuk's record, however, the unprecedented swing to them at the 2007 elections have led insiders to believe that 2006 was the defeat STAR "had to have", with previously disillusioned students flocking back to the party in 2007.
This result came about due to several unique circumstances apparent during the 2006 NUS conference. In previous years, a "sweetheart deal" between the two Labor-aligned factions (the National Organisation of Labor Students dominated by the Labor Left and Student Unity dominated by the Labor Right) saw them share President and National General Secretary. However, at the 2006 conference, the newly formed (out of a merger between ALS and NOLS) NLS split, and therefore the two Labor factions no longer controlled the majority of the votes.
The Independents and all other Left factions pledged their votes to Chuk, with the two Labor factions supporting the Labor candidate, leaving the ALSF with the casting votes. Faced with the prospect of electing a Labor Right candidate, continuing the faction's fifteen-year long dominance of the position, or an independent candidate more left wing than either his predecessor or the opposing candidate, the ALSF made history by electing the independent Chuk. Despite Liberals being responsible for his election, Chuk named the defeat of the Howard Government as one of his major goals as General Secretary.