Award and scholarship recipients urged to remain open to unanticipated opportunities on the road to success

MIRI: Award and scholarship recipients at the recent Award and Scholarship Ceremony of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) have been urged to take advantage of any unanticipated opportunities that they may encounter in their ongoing studies or future careers.


Addressing the 52 award and 69 scholarship recipients, former Sarawak deputy chief minister and chair of the university’s council Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam, said, “While you should take great care in preparing yourselves to succeed, be prepared for any eventuality, do not limit your options, and remain open to other opportunities.”

Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr Chan presenting a scholarship to a recipient as Professor Mienczakowski looks on.

Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr Chan presenting a scholarship to a recipient as Professor Mienczakowski looks on.


“No one can know for sure what opportunities life will offer you in the future. You can be sure however that enthusiasm, preparation, self-discipline, and good character will lead to numerous opportunities. In addition, you can be sure that achievement in one area will lead to other, sometimes totally unanticipated opportunities,” he added.


Dr Chan went on to share his thoughts about history’s lessons and relevance, and about the university’s namesake John Curtin, the wartime Prime Minister of Australia.


“Curtin was a humble and unassuming man, but a man whose determination and whose soaring rhetoric, at a critical juncture in history, transformed the way Australians saw themselves and Australia’s place in the world. In short, Curtin was a man of ideas, a man of vision, a man who did things that were hard.


And we see Curtin University, and Curtin Sarawak, his namesakes, acting in those great traditions. And we see here, in all of you, such a great source of strength for this university, for Sarawak and Malaysia, and indeed the world,” he said.


The event, the varsity’s seventh award and scholarship ceremony, saw students being recognised for academic excellence, outstanding extracurricular activities and community service contributions.


Among them were students who made it into the Vice Chancellor’s List and graduating student ambassadors of the John Curtin Leadership Academy, Curtin’s elite leadership programme.

Vice Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry presenting a Vice Chancellor’s List award.

Vice Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry presenting a Vice Chancellor’s List award.


This year’s award sponsors comprised ACCA Malaysia, Bintulu Development Authority, CPA Australia, Crowe Horwath, Ernst & Young, Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE, Halliburton Energy Services (M) Sdn Bhd, Institution of Engineers Malaysia, KPMG, Miri Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Miri City Council, Murphy Sarawak Oil Co Ltd, Petronas, Polar Light Sdn Bhd, Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd, Samling Group of Companies, Sarawak Higher Education Foundation, Shell Malaysia, Shin Yang Group of Companies, Tokuyama Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Wan Ullok Jugah Chin & Co, Yayasan Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan, Datuk Dr. Lee Kim Shin and Dato Sri Celestine Ujang Ak Jilan.

Group photo with award sponsors.

Group photo with award sponsors.


Scholarships from Curtin University, Curtin Sarawak and the government of Western Australia were also presented to deserving students. They included the Curtin Sarawak scholarships for foundation, undergraduate and Higher Degree by Research (HDR) study; Bill Nichol’s Scholarship for engineering study; Dean’s and Pro Vice-Chancellor’s scholarships for business and Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for engineering studies; the School of Business and School of Engineering and Science’s scholarships for foundation and undergraduate studies; and the Western Australia Premier’s Scholarship.


In his opening speech, Curtin Sarawak Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Jim Mienczakowski said he was impressed by the students’ level of scholastic achievement and the strength of their commitment to their studies, and that it was a reminder of how important a good education is.


He thanked the award sponsors for their support and expressed hopes that their support would extend beyond awards and scholarships. He said that as Curtin Sarawak continues to grow, there will be many other opportunities for collaboration.


Present at the dinner were Assistant Minister of Communications and chair of the Curtin Sarawak Management Board, Datuk Dr Lee Kim Shin; the acting chancellor of Curtin University, Sue Wilson; Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry, and chairman of Curtin (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Datu Dr. Hatta Solhi.


4_Datuk Dr Lee Kim Shin and Professor Mienczakowski

Datuk Dr Lee Kim Shin (third left) and Professor Mienczakowski with winners of Lee’s Outstanding Student Community Contribution Award.


Also present were members of Curtin Sarawak’s council, board of directors and management board; senior management staff of Curtin University in Western Australia; deans and management staff of Curtin Sarawak; and representatives of the award sponsors.


For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at, its Facebook page at, Twitter profile at, YouTube channel at, or Instagram at


Guests, recipients, family and staff members at the ceremony.

Guests, recipients, family and staff members at the ceremony.

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