For Zahra, studying the Bachelor of Biomedicine means another step towards her goal to one day work with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and provide medical humanitarian assistance to the people who need it most.
As someone that grew up with little opportunity in the war-torn country of Afghanistan, I know the importance and significance of education and seeking opportunities.
Throughout high school Zahra was involved in many leadership roles and programs including STEM Captain, Australasian Youth Cubesat Initiative and the Debater's Association of Victoria. She was a Spirit of ANZAC recipient, Australian National Taekwondo Champion and her science expertise saw her represent both her School and Australia in many national and international student science fairs.
As Zahra says, such experiences taught her critical skills - leadership, time management and collaboration.
Always strive for more, and more opportunities. Reach out for everything that comes your way, and never lose sight of each goal, until you reach your dream.
Now, as a Hansen Scholar at the University of Melbourne, Zahra says the scholarship program means she is part of a group that will inspire the next generation of leaders and thinkers.
"It’s a university experience like no other. I have grown and developed so much and constantly think about how lucky I am to enjoy University without the financial struggles," she says.
This has enabled Zahra to engage her own pursuits outside of study. She has co-founded a not-for-profit organisation to balance the academic inequities within Victoria and Afghanistan by delivering quality educational materials and tutoring support to students.
While the initial transition to University was difficult, Zahra got a lot of support from her peer mentor and experienced how professional and helpful UniMelb services like CAPS are.
I love the support and programs available - and the independence I get to experience every day on campus...I am always meeting such amazing people from all over the world.