Australian High Commission


Datuk Irene Charuruks invested with an Honorary Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia

The Australian High Commission is pleased to announce the investiture of Datuk Irene Betty Benggon Charuruks as recipient of an Honorary Medal (OAM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. Datuk Irene is presented the Honorary Medal for service to Australia for her support for Sabah’s annual commemorations of Australia’s fallen soldiers and for promoting tourism links between Australia and Malaysia.

The Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, HE Mr Miles Kupa said it was a pleasure to bestow the Honorary Medal to Datuk Irene for her great contribution Australia.   

“I am delighted to see Datuk Irene’s hard work and distinguished contribution recognised through this prestigious award. Australia honours her today for her commendable contribution, confident in the knowledge that Datuk Irene will continue to foster the strong ties between our two countries well into the future,” he said at the investiture ceremony in Kota Kinabalu on 22 April.

Datuk Irene is the General Manager of the Sabah Tourism Board since 1991. She has worked extensively to support commemorations of Australia’s fallen soldiers at Sandakan, Ranau and on the Death Marches in Sabah. Over the years, Datuk Irene has assisted in the efforts toward the restoration of various memorials in Sabah including the Cleary Memorial at Ranau, the Kundasang War Memorial and Gardens, the Starcevich Memorial at Beaufort and the Last POW Camp at Ranau.

Datuk Irene provides support to the annual commemorations on Anzac Day with the Dawn Service and the Sandakan Day (15 August) Service held at the Sandakan Memorial Park. She has also provided services in Australia commemorating the Sandakan-Ranau Death Marches. Her dedication to the memory of those who lost their lives is demonstrated through her warm support of veterans and their families. She has also provided tireless assistance on visits of senior Australians, including the visit of the Governor General to Sandakan in August 2010.

Datuk Irene has made an important contribution to supporting Australia’s commemorations in Malaysia.

HE Mr Miles Kupa, High Commissioner to Malaysia, invests Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks with her Honorary Medal of the Order of Australia.


Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks OAM and the High Commissioner following the investiture ceremony.


Ms Catherin Chua AM, Sandakan Municipal Council; Datuk Andrew Sim Men Kin, Honorary Consul of Australia to Sabah; Datuk Michael Emban, Permanent Secretary, Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment; Mr Sevee Charuruks AM MBE; Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks OAM; HE Mr Miles Kupa, Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia; Ms Joanna Kitingan, Director, Sabah Museum; and YM Dato' Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin bin Tengku Mahamood, Chairman, Sabah Tourism Board.