CSU Wagga student's Africa experience 'life-changing'

Kindness full circle: Wagga's Charles Sturt University student, Kaitlyn Weller says her experience in Africa was life-changing. Picture: Supplied
Kindness full circle: Wagga's Charles Sturt University student, Kaitlyn Weller says her experience in Africa was life-changing. Picture: Supplied

The benevolence of a grieving family has come full circle. 

Kaitlyn Weller, a student at CSU in Wagga, was the latest beneficiary of a life-changing scholarship, honouring the memory of the late Alexandra Catherine Henderson.

The former equine science student died in a farm accident in Western Australia last year. 

Following the tragedy, Alexandra’s family established an annual scholarship fund to allow CSU students, passionate about animals, the opportunity to go overseas on placement. 

Their generosity at a time of grief made a world of difference to Ms Weller.

The veterinary science student took part in wildlife conservation programs in Africa through CSU Global last year.

Spending two weeks in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Ms Weller participated in conservation research and education programs.

“We were involved in monitoring the behaviour and social interaction of the Dambwa lion pride as part of the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust,” Ms Weller said.

“The aim is to see how the cubs, born from captive lions but raised by the pride, behave in the natural environment to see if they can be released into the wild.”

She said the life-changing experience had inspired her to help others.

Ms Weller said the highlight was being part of the trust-run educations programs in the community. 

“The smiles on the children’s faces is something that stands out,” she said. “It was amazing to be able see how happy, grateful and appreciative they are with how little they have.”

She said it had changed her outlook on life.

“I want to volunteer to be part of more programs with a purpose,” Ms Weller said. “Programs that are able to help others – whether that’s people or animals.”

Dorothy Henderson – Alexandra’s mother – said the scholarship allowed the family to provide the daughter with a meaningful legacy, benefiting students who were doing the work she had planned to do. 

Ms Henderson said her daughter had been inspired by her own experience in Zimbabwe.

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