National

Student Maasarwe remembered for positivity

By AAP Newswire

The family of an international student murdered in Melbourne hopes she will be remembered for her positivity and energy, on the first anniversary of her death.

Aiia Maasarwe's family also hope positive change can come from the tragic circumstances of the 21-year-old's killing on January 16, 2019.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University - where Ms Maasarwe had been studying at the time of her murder - has expressed the family's wishes in a message sent to students.

Ms Maasarwe's death continues to have an impact on staff, students and members of the local community, Professor Susan Dodds said.

All digital screens at the university will on Thursday display a message in memory of Ms Maasarwe, a Palestinian Arab of Israeli citizenship.

"I encourage you to pause and reflect on Aiia, and the ways you might contribute to her legacy," Prof Dodds said.

The university has also honoured her family's wishes for how she should be remembered by creating the Aiia Maasarwe Scholarship, which will be funded in perpetuity by the institution and the Victorian Government.

The selection process for the scholarship is being finalised, with the first recipient to be announced shortly.

In October, Australian institution Project Rozana established the Aiaa Maasarwe Memorial Medical Fellowship Program, providing financial support to Palestinian physicians training in Israeli hospitals.

The program received a $50,000 boost from Gandel Philanthropy on Tuesday, bringing the total donated so far to $140,000 out of a $200,000 target.

"My daughter would have been inspired by Project Rozana which is helping Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza to receive the same level of health care that we do in Israel," Ms Maasarwe's father Saeed said on Tuesday.

Prof Dodds said La Trobe University has made improvements to its security in recent years, including improved lighting around campus, but the work will continue including at adjoining public transport.

Ms Maasarwe was raped and killed near a tram stop at Bundoora.

Her death sent shockwaves across Australia and rallies were organised to show support for her family.

Her killer, Codey Herrmann, was jailed for 36 years in October after admitting to the crime.