By donating to Victoria University, you can have a real impact on real lives. We are a university with heart, that treasures cultural diversity, and places 'opportunity and success' at the core of our values. Our Asylum Seeker Scholarship and COVID Student Support Fund are just two of the ways we put that ethos into action.

How a scholarship changed Hossein

“We took the risk and put our lives in danger to escape, passing through the ocean to achieve something bigger.”
– Hossein Haghi, Iran, Bachelor of Paramedicine

Hossein Haghi’s is one of courage, humility, determination and optimism about the future. Hossein and his wife arrived by boat after a horrific journey, fleeing for their lives from Iran. Detained for 18 months, Hossein remained fiercely determined to study - his hope of creating a meaningful and safe life in Australia never wavering.

Hossein was accepted an Asylum Seekers Scholarship, completing a Bachelor of Paramedicine in 2020.

Read more about Hossein's journey and how proud he is to wear the Ambulance Victoria uniform.

Kirner Kosky Scholarship Recipient Gives Back

Female student in graduation gown looking proud

"Since graduating, I’ve had the privilege to work in several fulfilling positions, including at Ravenhall Correctional Centre helping Aboriginal men transition smoothly back into society, and the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS), with victims and perpetrators of family violence."

There’s nothing more powerful than telling a student someone like you believes in them enough to support their learning. You’d be amazed by the chain reaction of empowerment it triggers – with consequences that last long after they graduate.

Receiving the Kirner Kosky scholarship started a journey of passion and justice for alumna, Wiradjuri woman Tahlia Zayat. Each year, two scholarships are awarded to support female students from Melbourne’s west who have faced barriers in their education, for the duration of their degree. Tahlia is the first Kirner Kosky scholarship graduate and we are proud to share her story with you.

Read more about Tahlia's story.

Estate of prestigious neurologist funds vital VU research

“We are deeply honoured to receive this contribution from the estate of Dr Charles A Bonsett, a pioneering research clinician of his era. We were saddened to hear of his passing, but feel fortunate be continuing the ASA work in his memory."

– Dr Emma Rybalka

Have you ever thought about the power you have to leave a legacy? Many members of the VU family choose to leave a gift in their will to VU scholarships or research projects, and make a difference for generations to come.

Our Institute for Health & Sport (IHES) recently received a gift in memory from the estate of US neurologist Dr Charles A Bonsett, which will fund a year of critical research into treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The generous gift will enable Dr Rybalka, together with Dr Cara Timpani and the IHES team to keep Dr Bonsett’s methodology alive, with the goal to find an effective treatment for the debilitating disease.

Read about Dr Charles A Bonsett's legacy and VU's groundbreaking research.

Your impact – COVID student support fund

"It means a lot to see all the staff students and the wider VU community coming together to ensure that every international student is supported in any way possible."
– Ashfaq, Sri Lanka, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

Zahra & Fatemeh


 "Our whole family is so proud. It’s particularly meaningful for mum; she would have studied in Iran, but women are not allowed to get an education."
– Zahra

From the womb to the classroom, twins Zahra and Fatemeh Sayahi have been through the highs and lows of life together. They fled their country of birth, Iran, as teenagers, bound for Australia. And after secondary school they chose the same study pathway from TAFE Business into a Bachelor of Criminal Justice.

Zahra and Fatemeh recently celebrated securing academic Asylum Seeker Scholarships that include accommodation on campus at UniLodge Victoria University.

Read about their career dreams and the common misconceptions people have about them.

Sara Hamidavi

Sara Hamidavi, asylum seeker scholarship recipient, graduating

"Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to attain my goal. I am eternally grateful. I will repay the kindness and generosity by educating young citizens and helping the community.”

– Sara

Victoria University (VU) Polytechnic alumna Sara Hamidavi is an asylum seeker student who studied the Diploma of Early Childhood and Care CHC50113 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Early Childhood.

Sara was one of the first graduates of the Asylum Seeker Scholarship program. She left her home country in Iran to pursue a new life in Australia. Since studying at VU, Sara has been successful in securing employment after completing her placement as part of her diploma qualification at the Polytechnic. Her husband and mother are also currently undertaking courses with VU Polytechnic.

Sara shares her story.

Contact us

Find out more about supporting VU, our students and our wider community, by contacting the Advancement Office.