Miri – 28 March 2011 – Former Pro Vice-Chancellor of Curtin Sarawak, Professor John Evans, headed an honours list of over 200 Sarawak state award recipients when he received the Darjah Utama Yang Amat Mulia Bintang Kenyalang Sarawak – Johan Bintang Kenyalang (Companion of the Order of the Star of Hornbill Sarawak – Honorary) recently.
Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Head of State) of Sarawak, Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Mohammed Salahuddin, presented the award to Evans at a special investiture ceremony held at a leading hotel here on 23 March 2011.
Evans, 56, said he was honoured to be conferred the award which came as quite a surprise as he had not expected to be given such a state recognition.
According to Assistant Minister of Communication and Sports Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who is also the chair of the Curtin Sarawak management board, Evans was a very dedicated pro vice-chancellor of the campus, a joint venture between Curtin and the Sarawak State Government, between January 2006 and April 2010.
“He deserves the recognition for his contributions to the university and education in the state. He is also widely respected here because has no problem mixing well with the local people from different cultural backgrounds,” said Datuk Lee.
He added that when Evans was helming Curtin Sarawak, he introduced many new initiatives such as new courses and improving facilities at the campus. He also introduced the John Curtin Leadership Academy programme to groom leaders among the students and enhance the university’s community outreach.
He was also instrumental in establishing the Curtin Sarawak Research Institute (CSRI) and laying the groundwork for the Miri BioPark to be built at the Curtin Sarawak campus.
He is currently Professor of Accounting and Director of Research in the School of Accounting at Curtin Bentley, Curtin’s main campus in Perth.
Sarawak state orders, decorations and medals are presented by His Excellency Yang di-Pertua Negeri to those who have rendered exceptional and meritorious service or deeds to the State of Sarawak, the government and the people. The Darjah Yang Amat Mulia Bintang Kenyalang Sarawak (Order of the Star of Hornbill Sarawak) is the second highest order group in the state’s Group of Orders. The Johan Bintang Kenyalang (Companion of the Order of the Star of Hornbill Sarawak), meanwhile, is reserved for foreigners and only 150 living recipients can hold the award at one time.
Also present at the investiture ceremony was the wife of the Head of State, Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Hajah Norkiah, Deputy State Secretary Datuk Abdul Ghafur Sharif, Miri Division Resident Antonio Kahti Galis, heads of government departments and community leaders.