Aiia Maasarwe scholarship awarded

La Trobe University is pleased to award the inaugural Aiia Maasarwe Research Scholarship to an exceptional student investigating the empowerment of female victims of violence.

Peruvian researcher Cecilia Bravo Huaynates will embark on a PhD analysing new feminist theories aimed at empowering women who have been victims of gender-based violence.

Cecilia has studied linguistics and holds a La Trobe Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO said La Trobe is honoured to partner with the Victorian Government to deliver the Aiia Maasarwe Scholarship program, and looks forward to welcoming Cecilia in March.

“Our heartfelt congratulations to Cecilia for deservedly receiving this inaugural Aiia Maasarwe Research Scholarship to further our understanding of gender and violence,” Professor Dewar said.

“The La Trobe community will always remember Aiia as an intelligent, warm and generous student.

“The Maasarwe family has expressed their wish for Aiia to be remembered for her positivity and energy, and hope that positive change can result from the tragic circumstances of her death.

“La Trobe University is honouring this wish by awarding this scholarship in Aiia’s name,” Professor Dewar said.

Aiia’s father Saeed Maasarwe said his family hoped the scholarship would help bring the same warmth and light into the world that Aiia had.

Her family said: “Aiia was a special girl for everyone who knew her, she was not only a daughter or a sister for us, but also she was our hopes and dreams. We will always carry her energy, inspiration and smile with us.

“Her memory will always be a vivid memory in our mind, her smile will always be in our heart. We wish for no one to go through a tragic experience like the one we had.  Through this scholarship Aiia will forever contribute to improve the lives of women and girls across the world.”

The scholarship program, jointly funded in perpetuity by the Victorian Government and La Trobe University, is available to financially disadvantaged students to either study a three-year undergraduate degree in any subject or, as is the case with Cecilia’s scholarship, to undertake a four-year PhD research project specifically into the safety of women and girls.

The scholarship provides the equivalent of up to $68,000 a year or up to $272,000 over four years to support the recipient’s studies at La Trobe.

Support the Aiia Maasarwe Scholarship by donating here.

Support the Aiia Maasarwe  Memorial Medical Fellowship Program here.

PHOTO: Cecilia Bravo Huaynates

Media Contact: Kathryn Powley | | 9479 3491 | 0456 764 371