Six officers receive Australia’s OBOE Endeavour Award

Hakim Hayat

Six officers comprising five Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) officers and one Ministry of Defence (MinDef) civilian officer received the OBOE Endeavour Award from the Australian government yesterday, in recognition of their outstanding results during the recently concluded RBAF’s Command and Staff Course.

The OBOE Endeavour Award is an Academic Excellence Programme where these officers will be invited to Australia to meet with key Australian Defence Force leaders, visit an Australian military base, and participate in educational and cultural activities, as well as engage in dialogues and discussions.

The six officers – 722 Major (U) Pengiran Mohammad Ezul Hazrin bin Pengiran Haji Zohaini; 726 Major Shahrul Amirul Iqbal bin Haji Sharbini @ Haji Sarbini; 748 Major (U) Mohamad Fazley bin Hasabullah; 763 Major (U) Muhd Zabri bin Abdul Rahman; 771 Major Dayangku Nur Izzah Nazurah binti Pengiran Haji Mohammad and Noorhazwani binti Ariffin received their award from Australia’s Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds CSC in a ceremony at the Defence Academy.

Commander of the RBAF Major General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sahat and Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Tiffany McDonald were present.

The Australian Minister for Defence shared that since 2018, they have hosted 11 high performing graduates of the RBAF Command and Staff Course, and said that they continue to view the programme as a wonderful opportunity to deepen and broaden people-to-people links.

Australia’s Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds CSC hands over the award to 748 Major (U) Mohamad Fazley bin Hasabullah as Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Tiffany McDonald looks on. PHOTOS: HAKIM HAYAT
A former OBOE Endeavour Award recipient speaks at the event

“It enables future senior leaders of both our militaries to deepen their mutual understanding of our countries and of our respective armed forces,” she added.

She however noted that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the award recipients to delay their week-long visit to Australia. “But, when it becomes possible, the tour will allow your officers to participate in numerous education and cultural activities,” she said.

According to MinDef, the programme aimed to impart knowledge to the officers about Australia and its defence force, share commonalities on the region’s security and interest, as well as to build stronger relationship between the armed forces and enhance the bilateral defence relations between Brunei and Australia. This programme is the third in series since it first started in 2018.

The name ‘OBOE Endeavour Award’ was chosen to commemorate Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the successful liberation of Borneo from the Japanese occupation during Operation OBOE in World War II, which marked the beginning of Brunei and Australia’s defence relationship.