Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: An Australian teacher has been shot and killed in a daylight street robbery while walking home in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
Gabrielle Maina was gunned down about 10am on Thursday, local time, while walking on Miotoni Road in the upmarket suburb of Karen, Fairfax Media has confirmed.
Insight Secure, a security company that monitors local incidents, reported that a “Caucasian woman” was killed by “unidentified assailants” and that “a 9mm cartridge was recovered at the crime scene”.
Fairfax Media understands Ms Maina’s purse was snatched by the rider or riders of a “boda boda” motorcycle.
Ms Maina was a former Armidale High School and University of New English (UNE) student.
Close friend and UNE lecturer Anna Cavallaro told Fairfax Media her death is a “tragic loss to humanity”.
“I’m not exaggerating because she was one of those people that you can’t forget,” she said.
“I just can’t believe it ??? she was almost like a daughter (to me).”
Ms Cavallaro taught Ms Maina Italian for three years during her undergraduate degree before she concluded her studies with a Graduate Diploma in Education in 2006.
“It’s very rare you get close to students,” she said.
“I think more than anything her perseverance, her determination and her positive attitude stood out.
“She liked people and having people around her, she really was a lovely person.”
Ms Maina was living at Wright College in Armidale and met her husband, who is from Kenya, at university. In 2015 she moved to Kenya to work as a teacher.
“She always wanted to help students in disadvantaged schools,” Ms Cavallaro said.
Tributes from across the country continue to pour in for the former Armidale resident, including condolences from New England MP Barnaby Joyce.
“She was an inspiration to many, and by all accounts, left a lasting impression on fellow students and staff here in the New England,” Mr Joyce said.
Ms Maina was working as the head teacher at Nairobi’s Hillcrest Preparatory School, according to the school’s website.
A statement from Hillcrest said: “It is with great sadness and shock that we are writing to let you know that Gabrielle Maina, Head Teacher of Hillcrest Prep has been tragically killed whilst out walking this morning.
“She was returning home after dropping her son at a friend’s house.
“Condolences to Gabrielle’s family.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the death of the teacher was a “tragic event”.
“And our prayers and love and condolences go out to her family and loved ones,” Mr Turnbull told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said: “Our consular officials are providing support to the family and, in the interests of the privacy of the family, we will not make any further comment.”
The teacher’s biography on the school’s website says she “relocated to Kenya in September 2015, a long-term goal to establish her family here so her children can grow up with their extended family”.
After completing her postgraduate degree in education, she was engaged by the NSW Department of Education, where she taught at a number of schools in Sydney.
This included five years spent as an English and drama teacher at Sarah Redfern High School in Minto.
A Facebook page believed to belong to Ms Maina says she is from Armidale.
Minister for Education Rob Stokes said Ms Maina would be remembered for “her humour, tenacity, dedication to students and loyalty to colleagues”.
“She developed a reputation as a passionate and highly dedicated teacher who was a fierce champion of public education and creating opportunities for students to improve their educational outcomes and life opportunities,” he said.
Her school friends told Fairfax Media she “was very intelligent, musically talented and always smiling”.
The NSW Teachers Federation wrote in a Facebook post it was deeply saddened by the loss.
“As an English teacher, Gabrielle was known for her passion for poetry as well as her work mentoring students from low SES (socio-economic status) backgrounds,” the post said.
It described her as an active member of the community through her work as an Italian teacher and her position as a workplace representative for the federation.
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said the department was providing consular assistance to the family.
“Due to our privacy obligations, we will not release further details,” the spokesperson said.
with Miriam Webber and Rachel Baxter
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.