Australia

Medical fellowship in honour of slain student Aiia Maasarwe will promote harmony, father says

Aiia Maasarwe. Source: Supplied

The father of an international student murdered in Melbourne will return to the city to launch a new fellowship program named after his daughter.

A medical fellowship program will be launched in the name of international student Aiia Maasarwe who was raped and murdered when living in Melbourne.

The 21-year-old's devastated father, Saeed Maasarwe, will launch the fellowship in late November, it was announced on Wednesday.

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18 Jan: Route 86 to Bundoora tram filled with flowers for Aiia Maasarwe
18 Jan: Route 86 to Bundoora tram filled with flowers for Aiia Maasarwe

The Aiia Maasarwe Memorial Medical Fellowship Program is set to provide financial support to Palestinian physicians training in Israeli hospitals.

The killing of Ms Maasarwe, a Palestinian Arab of Israeli citizenship who had moved to Australia for study, sent shock waves across Australia, and rallies were organised to show support to her family. Mr Maasarwe wants his daughter's memory and legacy to spread love and hope.

The fellowship will be part of Project Rozana, an Australian-founded organisation that aims to build bridges to peaceful co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians.

"Project Rozana shows that Israelis and Palestinians can live and work together in harmony, and that is also something that was important for Aiia." Mr Maasarwe said.

Codey Herrmann has pleaded guilty to beating Ms Maasarwe over the head with a metal pole, sexually assaulting her, covering her in flammable WD-40 spray and setting her on fire at Bundoora in January.

He is due to be sentenced in Victoria's Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Mr Maasarwe plans to attend the sentencing.

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