On 16 January 2019, Aiia Maasarwe, an Israeli Palestinian, and an exchange student studying at La Trobe University in Melbourne, was tragically murdered as she returned home from an evening at a comedy club in North Melbourne. The violent, random nature of the killing sparked renewed community concern about the safety of women, especially after dark. Maasarwe was buried in Israel, in her hometown of Baqa al-Gharbiyye.
This page is to remember her and to showcase programs that have been created as a tribute to the life she lived.
Aiia was a happy, bubbly, passionate young woman brimming with energy and hope. In order to remember her, and the values she stood for, her family has endorsed several initiatives named for Aiia, which will inject positivity and light into the world.
I wish that from our tragedy people can change, so that more lives can be saved. My family and I support these programs to remember our Aiia.
Tim Costello AO
Aiia's shocking murder compels us to channel our grief and anger into improving society and ensuring violence against women is eradicated.
The Aiia Maasarwe Scholarship has been jointly funded in perpetuity by the Victorian Government and La Trobe University. The scholarship is open for domestic or international students who can demonstrate financial disadvantage and will support either a four year PhD research program or a three year undergraduate scholarship.
The undergraduate opportunity will be open to any area of study. The PhD research program should be designed to address the safety of women and girls, with a preference for this to focus on public transport from origin to destination.
Aiia Maasarwe was an international exchange student at La Trobe College Australia when the horrific murder took place.
One scholarship at a time has been fully funded in perpetuity by the Victorian Government and La Trobe University. Donations will allow additional scholarships to be offered. All donations are tax deductible and will be in invested in the Aiia Maasarwe Scholarship fund administered by the La Trobe University Foundation.
For more information about applying for the Aiia Maasarwe Scholarship, please contact the La Trobe Scholarships office here.
Professor John Dewar
Vice Chancellor, La Trobe University
The La Trobe community will always remember Aiia as an intelligent, warm and generous student. We are honoured to partner with the State Government to deliver the Aiia Maasarwe Scholarship program in perpetuity.
Dr Khadra Salami
I believe that through medicine we can build the bridge of peace. Thank you Project Rozana for granting me this special Fellowship in honour of Aiia Maasarwe.