Borneo Research Council Medal

In 1990 the Council instituted the Borneo Research Council Medal to be awarded from time to time to an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the social, medical, and biological sciences in Borneo.


2012 Jayl Langub

The Board of Directors of the Borneo Research Council takes great pleasure in awarding the BRC Medal of Excellence to Jayl Langub in acknowledgment of his many contributions to our anthropological understanding of Borneo, his life-long dedication to human and indigenous rights, his work in codifying customary law, his humanitarian concerns as a scholar and active citizen, and his unstinting commitment to forest conservation and the sustainable management of Borneo’s natural resources. The 2012 medal was awarded to Jayl Langub and presented during the opening ceremonies of the BRC Eleventh Biennial Conference at the Universiti of Brunei. Jayl is a Senior Research fellow in the University of Malaysia Sarawak’s Institute of East Asian Studies.

2010 Robert Reece

The Board of Directors of the Borneo Research Council takes great pleasure in awarding the BRC Medal of Excellence to Professor Bob (Robert H.W.) Reece in acknowledgement of his many outstanding contributions to the study of the history of Borneo. The 2010 medal was awarded to Professor Bob Reece and presented on July 5th during the opening ceremonies of the BRC tenth biennial meetings in Miri, Sarawak. Professor Reece is Professor Emeritus of history at Murdoch University, Western Australia.

2004 Bernard Sellato

For the past 30 years, Dr. Bernard Sellato has distinguished himself by his extensive contributions to the study of Borneo societies and cultures. First arriving on the island as a uranium geologist in 1973, he soon developed an interest in the tribal peoples of the remote Müller Range where he was engaged at the time in geological mapping. He lived among the Aoheng, a community of forest farmers, for two years, and then, shifting his field of interest, took up graduate studies in anthropology, earning his doctorate from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, in 1987.

Dr. Sellato has been extraordinarily productive in contributing to the field of Borneo studies both as a scholar and an administrator. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Borneo Research Council from 1985 to 1997 and Director of the Indonesia Office of the BRC in Jakarta from 1991-1996. During this time he was responsible for administering Ford Foundation grants to the Council which enabled more than three dozen Indonesian scholars to attend the BRC Biennial Meetings in Sabah (1992), Pontianak (1994), and Brunei (1996). From 1999 to 2003, he was Director of the Institute for Research on Southeast Asia (IRSEA), University of Provence, having served in other administrative positions earlier. Currently he is a member of CNRS, the French National Science Research Center, and the founding editor of the Southeast Asian studies journal, Moussons.

In the realm of Borneo scholarship, Dr. Sellato is the author of four volumes and editor of six other works. These books cover a wealth of topics, ranging from art and material culture, through kinship and social organization, to ecology and ethnohistory. He is the undisputed authority on the smaller Dayak groups of the central Borneo interior, including not only the Aoheng and other swidden agricultural peoples, but also, notably, a variety of rainforest hunter-gatherers.

1996 A. J. N. Richards

Anthony John Noel Richards has made major contributions to the study of Dayak adat law and Iban culture, and he has prepared the most extensive of Iban-English dictionaries.

1996 P. M. Dato Shariffuddin

Your development of the Brunei Museum, your vision and efforts in this, are truly unique, and you have left a lasting contribution to knowledge and scholarship. Your support of scholars both inside and outside of Brunei and your welcoming of them will always be remembered.

1994 J. Derek Freeman

Professor Derek Freeman's work has spanned several disciplines, and he has broken incredibly important ground in them all. His study of Iban agriculture and social organization forms the canon against which all other Bornean ethnographies will be measured. And his contributions to social anthropological theory on the basis of his Iban research has been ground breaking.

1994 William R. Geddes (awarded posthumously)

As part of the Colonial Office Social Science Research Council Project, Professor William R. Geddes undertook the first ethnographic study of the Bidayuh Land Dayak. This research on Bidayuh Land Dayak agriculture and social organization were benchmark studies with which all later research may be compared. Professor Geddes described the rich but, at that time, little known culture of the Bidayuh Land Dayak, perhaps best in his transcription and translation of the epic published as Nine Dayak Nights. This work has few equals in the field of folklore. And his exquisite films of Bidayuh Land Dayak culture have yet to be equaled in Borneo ethnography.

1993 H. S. Morris

H.S. Morris in his long-term committment to the study of the culture, social organization, and religion of the Melanau people has made outstanding contributions to the ethnography of Borneo. It is with the greatest pleasure that the Board of Directors of the Borneo Research Council awards him the Borneo Research Council Medal of Excellence for his devotion to this work, his humanitarian concerns for the Melanau and his classic publications.

1990 Datuk Amar Dr. Leonard Linggi Jugah, Chairman, The Tun Jugah Foundation

We of the Borneo Research Council have had a dream. For many years we seeded the clouds and up until now the rain has fallen only in scattered patches. But here in Kuching, the barat banal, what the Rungus call the southwest wind, has arrived carrying with it the monsoon rains. And we are carried along the resultant flood of interests, concerns, and enthusiasms of the people of Sarawak. The Honorable Datuk Amar Dr. Leonard Linggi Jugah has been a central figure in all of this. He is a modest man, a man of incredible vision.

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