Generous local raises money for refugee student

By Kirra Livingstone

LIFELONG traveller Alycia Watson is selling her international collection to raise funds for a Monash University Scholarship for a fortunate Afghan female refugee.

After her first big trip spanning across ten weeks she studied at Monash University, and later on was an administrator at James Cook University.

But it’s the Monash connection that she had which informed her about a program the university was running, which was the same time her and her husband were considering letting go of their collectables.

“We were talking about downsizing in a few years time, and about that time the information about funding for Afghan refugees came into my emails, so the two worked together,” she said.

“We’ve got an awful lot of things in the house, and you can’t possibly cram it into a smaller property, so we thought what on earth are we going to do, and then this came at the right time.”

Alycia has been collecting goods from across the globe for more than 50 years during her travels from small businesses who sold things such as handbags, shawls and much more.

She has now raised three to four thousand dollars since she started selling just before Christmas last year, with the goal being $26,000-$40,000.

This is close to her heart because Afghanistan is one of her favourite countries out of the 90 she has visited and because of the importance of funding young women’s educations from less fortunate countries.

“Women are fifty percent or more of the population throughout the world so if they are not contributing, the whole world loses,” she said.

“They make a terrific contribution whether they are on a board or whether they are doctors or what.

“Being a female, I just know how talented some of the women I know really are.”