Craig Challen

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Craig Challen

Craig Challen and Richard Harris.jpg
Challen (left) with Richard Harris.
EducationMurdoch University
Known forTham Luang cave rescue
Medical career
FieldVeterinary medicine
AwardsAustralian of the Year 2019

Craig Challen, SC, OAM is an Australian technical diver and cave explorer. He was the recipient of the Oztek 2009 Diver of the Year award for his services to caving,[1][2] and was joint winner of the 2019 Australian of the Year.[3]

A veterinary surgeon by profession, Challen has made notable dives in Cocklebiddy Cave and Pearse Resurgence.[4] In 2010 he made a record-setting 194-metre (636 ft) dive while caving in New Zealand.[5]

In 2018 Challen, along with his dive partner Richard Harris was involved in a cave rescue operation in Thailand to evacuate 12 children and an adult from the flooded Tham Luang Cave system.[6] On 24 July 2018, Challen was awarded the Star of Courage (SC) and Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) by the Governor-General of Australia for his role in the rescue.[7] On 7 September 2018 Challen was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Direkgunabhorn by the King of Thailand.[8]

He is the joint-winner of the 2019 Australian of the Year award with fellow diver Richard Harris,[9] and 2019 Western Australian of the Year.[3]

See also[edit]

  • Agnes Milowka – Australian cave diver, on Challen's line in Cocklebiddy Cave


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Thai cave hero wins top WA honour". The West Australian. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Australian Honours" (PDF). Government Notices Gazette. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. 24 July 2018. ISSN 0819-7105. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Cave boys claim life remains the same. His Majesty to confer about 200 decorations" (in Thai). Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  9. ^ Zhou, Naaman (25 January 2019). "Australian of the year 2019: Thai cave rescue divers win rare joint award". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2019.

External links[edit]