14 February 2019
The Australian Government has awarded two Bangka Belitung University students the Vivian Gordon Bowden Education Prize, giving them IDR20.000.000 each to help with their studies.
Representative from the Australian Embassy Shane Flanagan today presented Rani Dian Sari and Alfin Dwi Rahmawan with the prize in Bangka, only the second time it has been awarded.
“We are pleased to support the tuition and living expenses of these Bangka Belitung University students in memory of Vivian Gordon Bowden,” Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Gary Quinlan, said.
Vivian Gordon Bowden was Australia’s Official Representative in Singapore who tragically lost his life on 17 February 1942 in Muntok, Bangka Island while attempting to evacuate to Australia. Mr Bowden was the only Australian diplomat to be killed in World War II.
“Bangka Island is historically important for Australians. Aside from Mr Bowden, we also remember the loss of 22 Australian nurses who were killed at Radji Beach on 16 February 1942 and honour the people of Bangka Island who helped Australians during that period,” Mr. Flanagan said.
On 16 February, Australian government representatives will join the annual commemoration services in Muntok to pay their respects to the Australian nurses and local people affected by the tragedy.
Members of the public can also visit the Museum Timah Muntok to learn more about Australia’s historical connection to Muntok, including Vivian Gordon Bowden and the Australian nurses.
Media Enquiries: Ian Gerard 021 25505290