Nairobi, Kenya: An Australian teacher, Gabrielle Maina, was attacked by armed men on a motorbike while she walked along a road in the affluent Karen suburb of Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. Gabrielle Maina had been in Kenya since September 2015, after a successful career in New South Wales. Ms Maina taught several subjects, including English, drama and Italian.
The shooting has shocked the expat community in Nairobi, especially students, teachers and parents from the Hillcrest International School, where Ms Maina was the head teacher.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it appeared she was “killed [by] a fatal gunshot wound during a robbery on the 19th [of October]”.
“She’s a teacher, it is a tragic event and, you know, our prayers, love and condolences go out to her family and loved ones.”
Ms Maina was originally from Armidale and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New England (UNE) in 2004 and with her Graduate Diploma in Education in 2006.
“The university is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Gabrielle Maina, a member of our alumni community. Our thoughts are with Ms Maina’s family and friends at this terrible time, we offer our condolences and support.” a University of New England (UNE) spokesperson said in a statement.
Minister for Education Rob Stokes said Ms Maina taught in a number of NSW public schools, including almost five years as an English and Drama teacher at Sarah Redfern High School.
“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,” Mr Stokes said.
“Gabrielle was truly committed to her faith and her family, which took her to Kenya where in recent years she committed herself to educating young children.
“Her colleagues in the Department of Education will affectionately remember her for her humor, tenacity, dedication to students and loyalty to colleagues. Our deepest sympathies are extended to her husband and children, family and friends,” he said.
An email to parents released by the school has expressed shock at Ms Maina’s death and offered condolences to her family.
It said the much-loved teacher was attacked after she dropped her son at a friend’s house.
Police are investigating the killing.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is offering consular assistance to Ms Maina’s family.
“Due to our privacy obligations, we will not release further details,” DFAT said.