ALUM OF THE YEAR BY TIM FLICKER In March 2018, a record crowd of more than 300 alumni attended Drinks Under the Oak, where Melissa Madden Gray (TC 1988) was named Bill Cowan Alum of the Year. An internationally acclaimed actress, dancer and cabaret performer, Melissa is also known by her stage name, ‘Meow Meow’. Melissa was a resident and non- resident at Trinity, during which she completed both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law degrees at the University of Melbourne. She went on to study musical theatre at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) before moving to Sydney to build her career as a solo cabaret performer. Since then, Melissa has performed throughout Australia and around the world, including in Berlin, London and New York. She has collaborated with the likes of David Bowie, Liza Minnelli and Barry Humphries, as well as the philharmonic orchestras of Berlin, London and New York, among countless other groups and performers. Melissa was nominated for the prestigious Bill Cowan award by College peers James Ramsden (TC 1987) and Angus Smallwood (TC 1987). ‘The performance scene was flourishing at College during her time, and quite a number of people went on to have professional performing careers on the stage, television and screen,’ says Angus. ‘None of us have succeeded like Mellie [Melissa] though, possibly because she’s actually more talented than the rest of us,’ he laughs. ‘But it’s also definitely because she has worked harder for longer and given up more to become who she now is – a world‑renowned stage performer.’ Melissa’s mother, Claire Gray, accepted the award on behalf of Melissa, who was touring overseas at the time. The cat’s out of the bag ‘Meow Meow’ crowned Bill Cowan Alum of the Year 35 TRINITY TODAY Bill Cowan was chairman of the Trinity College Board from 2006-13 and currently serves on a number of College committees. He has contributed significant time and energy to countless endeavours in support of students and alumni. Do you know an alumnus or alumna who has made a significant contribution to the College or wider community? Submit your nomination for the Bill Cowan Alum of the Year award by emailing Nominations must be received by COB Friday 25 January 2019 and must reference specific achievements during the period 1 January to 31 December 2018.