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MH17 crash: Former Melbourne University student from Penang among the dead

Diane Leow

Sat Jul 19 2014


FORMER University of Melbourne student Elaine Teoh has been identified as one of the victims on Malaysia Airlines flight 17. The university is offering a range of support services for staff and students affected by the news. Diane Leow reports.

Former University of Melbourne student Elaine Teoh has been identified as one of the victims on Malaysia Airlines flight 17, which is believed to have been shot down near the Russia-Ukraine border.

Ms Teoh, 27, was originally from Penang, Malaysia. She graduated from the University in 2008, where she studied commerce.

According to News Limited, Ms Teoh was in Amsterdam with her boyfriend Emiel Mahler, who was a Dutch national and also a victim on the flight. They were reportedly on their way to Kuala Lumpur for a wedding.

In a statement released yesterday via its Facebook page, the University of Melbourne said it was “shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of life of those aboard Flight MH17”.

“We are especially saddened to hear reports that Elaine Teoh is among the dead. Ms Teoh graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2008. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.”

The university said it was offering a range of support services for staff and students who may be affected by this news.

Ms Teoh had been working with financial services company IG Australia since 2010. Mr Mahler was also an employee with the company, before moving to Vanguard Australia as a foreign exchange trader this January, according to News Limited.

“IG Australia wishes to send its deepest sympathies and our heartfelt condolences to the families of our colleague and former colleague Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler,” the company said in a statement.

“Both were beloved members of our close IG community and were valued members of our team.

“We are deeply saddened by this news.”

According to documents released by Malaysia Airlines, there were 27 Australians on MH17, as well as groups of AIDS researchers and scientists who were on their way to Melbourne for the AIDS 2014 International Conference.

Among the dead was prominent Dutch researcher Joep Lange, who was a pioneer in HIV research, as well as Toorak College teacher Frankie Davison and her husband.