Message from President and Vice-Chancellor

Dear students and colleagues,

I write to you to advise with deepest regret that on Friday 25 September the extended University community lost two of its student members; Danny Hollnsteiner and James Murphy, who died as a result of a tragic kayaking accident while holidaying in New Zealand. Danny and James were exchange students, Danny being a student from the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York, and James being from the University of Warwick.

This terrible news follows the recent loss of Monash student Kristi Kafcaloudis in a similarly tragic accident in Norway.

This news will, again, deeply sadden our University community and our heartfelt thoughts, support and best wishes are extended to the families of Danny, James and of course Kristi, their colleagues, and their friends during this tragic time.

I have asked that Monash flags on campus fly at half-mast today. This is to commemorate the lives of Danny, James and Kristi and act as a reminder to us all to provide support to each other at this difficult time.

I would like to also thank the dedicated team of Monash staff from across the Chief Operating Officer, and DVC (Global Engagement) portfolios for working at all hours through the weekend, and in concert with our colleagues at Warwick in particular, to support the group of students involved in the kayaking tragedy in New Zealand. I would particularly like to thank Vladimir Prpich, Executive Director, Campus Community Division who travelled to New Zealand to provide direct support and assistance to the students who were involved in the tragedy.

The group of students who were with Danny and James when they died, have safely returned to Monash last evening.

For students and staff who feel they may need counselling support, please access our services via: http://www.monash.edu/counselling.

Margaret Gardner
President and Vice-Chancellor
Monash University