Australian Embassy

Bangka Belitung University Students awarded the Vivian Gordon Bowden Education Prize

Media Release

15 February 2018

Australian Embassy representatives today presented the innaugural Vivian Gordon Bowden Education Prize to two Bangka Belitung University students, Nopa Laura and Muhammad Abdul Kadir.

Vivian Gordon Bowden was Australia’s Official Representative in Singapore. He died on 17 February 1942 in Muntok, Bangka Island – the only Australian diplomat to be killed during World War II.

This annual Education Prize will be awarded to two students over the next three years and will contribute to their tuition and living expenses.  A Vivian Gordon Bowden biography will also be on display at the Museum Timah Muntok.

“We are pleased to support these local students in memory of Vivian Gordon Bowden, who tragically lost his life on Bangka Island,” said Allaster Cox, Chargé d’Affaires of the Australian Embassy Jakarta.

“Bangka holds a historical significance for Australians,” Mr Cox said. “Aside from Mr Bowden, we also remember the loss of 22 Australian nurses who were killed at Radji Beach on 16 February 1942.”

Australian government representatives will join relatives at commemorative services in Muntok on 16 February to pay their respects to the Australian nurses and the local people who helped survivors of the incident