17 Residential College In February, Jessica Tan from Singapore created history by becoming the first child of a Foundation Studies alumna to also study at Trinity College. Jessica’s mother, Madam Choong Wai Lan, who studied Foundation Studies at Trinity in 1994, says she was ‘very surprised’ when she heard news of the milestone. Jessica is also studying Foundation Studies. The owner of a chain of hair salons in Singapore, Madam Choong says she enjoyed her time studying at Trinity and believes studying there made it easier for her to transition to the University of Melbourne, studying a Bachelor of Commerce. She has fond memories of the teachers in Foundation Studies, including the former director of the program and mathematics lecturer, Diana Smith, and drama subject leader, Rosemary Blight. ‘After lectures and tutorials we could always go and ask the lecturers questions, especially Diana,’ says Madam Choong. ‘She was very popular among the Foundation Studies students. A lot of us went to her for help in maths. If we had any questions we could grab her and ask for advice.’ During a recent visit to Trinity, Madam Choong says she was struck by how the standard of the facilities at the College had improved. ‘The Dining Hall, for example, is now bigger and more beautiful, and I heard the food is better as well. ‘And there are more student facilities. During my studies, Foundation Studies students weren’t allowed to use the Leeper Library in the Evan Burge Building on campus, and we had to go to the Baillieu Library at Melbourne University. But now, all students have access to the Leeper Library.’ Meanwhile, Jessica is settling into life at Trinity and enjoying living in Melbourne. She says highlights so far have been attending the Big Noise music festival and the Fair Dinkum Festival. She enjoyed her group tour of the Melbourne Zoo – despite not seeing any kangaroos – and the subsequent bonding with her fellow students. She says living with her student peers at Trinity’s accommodation in College Square has helped her settle into life in Melbourne. Both Jessica and her mother are excited by the prospect of Jessica’s brother coming to study at Trinity next year. ‘Next year I hope my son will also be coming to Trinity,’ says Madam Choong. ‘I hope Jess can look after her little brother and keep an eye on him.’ It looks like the family legacy is set to continue, with exciting times ahead for the Choong family and Trinity College. Although the Theological School and the Residential College have enrolled students from families with a history of up to four generations at Trinity, the Choong mother-daughter legacy marks a significant milestone in the history of Foundation Studies at Trinity, which commenced in 1990. ‘The Dining Hall is now bigger and more beautiful, and I heard the food is better as well.’ A MOTHER-DAUGHTER FIRST FOR FOUNDATION STUDIES Pathways School BY TIM FLICKER Madam Choong (TCFS 1994) and Jessica Tan (Feb Main 2017) are the first mother-daughter to attend Trinity’s Foundation Studies program.