Mr Sevee Charuruks and Ms Catherin Chua – Honorary Members (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
The Australian High Commission is proud to announce the investiture of Mr Sevee Charuruks, and Ms Catherin Chua, as Honorary Members (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. Mr Sevee’s award is in recognition of outstanding service to Australia in restoring and maintaining the Kundasang War Memorial and gardens, to preserve the memory of Australia’s fallen soldiers in Sandakan, Ranau and on the death marches. Ms Chua is recognised for her outstanding contribution in providing assistance with commemorative services in memory of Australia’s fallen soldiers in Sandakan.
Speaking at the investiture ceremony in Sandakan on 24 April, the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Mr Miles Kupa, said: “It is my great pleasure to bestow on Mr Sevee Charuruks and Ms Catherin Chua the award of Honorary Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for their service in Sandakan. I am delighted to see their commitment and distinguished contribution recognised through this prestigious award. Their dedication in assisting Australians has been exemplary.”
Mr Sevee undertook the restoration work of the memorial in 2003 and has cared for it since then. The memorial was built in 1962 to commemorate the 2,428 Australian and British Prisoners of War who died during World War II at the Sandakan Prisoner of War Camp, on the death marches, and at Ranau. It is also a tribute to the many Sabahans who died or risked their lives to assist POWs.
Ms Chua, Senior Personal Assistant to the President of Sandakan Municipal Council, has, over many years, welcomed visiting Australians to Sandakan. She provides valuable assistance to the Office of Australian War Graves for the annual Anzac Day Service and organises the 15 August Sandakan Day memorial service.