New addition to Trinity portrait gallery: Serene Yong

By Emily McAuliffe

We’ve officially unveiled the latest addition to our revered portrait gallery.

Last month we were pleased to honour a very special friend of Trinity College, Serene Yong, via a portrait. Serene is the director of Overseas Academic Link, or OAL, in Singapore, and has been a key connection of Trinity College since 1990, helping us build the international student base of our successful Foundation Studies program. 

Over the past 30 years, we’ve had many students come to Trinity through OAL, with Serene acting as the driving force behind these numbers. 

Although Serene is based in Singapore, the portrait is set against the backdrop of the Gateway Building at Trinity College’s main campus, which is the flagship building for our Foundation Studies program. In this way, the painting symbolises the instrumental role Serene has played in growing our Foundation Studies program for the best part of three decades. 

The artwork itself was created by 28-year-old Tasmanian artist Effie Pryer. Effie studied a Master of Conservation at the University of Melbourne and has been the recipient of notable prizes, such as the Qantas Young Achievers Art Award and the Manning Prize. 

She caught Trinity’s attention when she was named a finalist in the Australian national award, the Black Swan Portraiture Prize, and was subsequently commissioned to complete this work for us. 

Effie has presented Serene beautifully, in a way that captures her wisdom and generosity. The Vanda orchid in the lower left-hand side of the painting is a subtle nod to Serene’s background, given it’s Singapore’s national flower, and the oil painting’s blackwood veneer panel cleverly mirrors the blackwood used as interior cladding inside the Gateway Building.

The painting of Serene will join Trinity’s fine compilation of portraits, which recognises people with significant and special connections to the college. Our collection was founded in 1911 and has gone on to become one of the most significant collegiate collections of its kind in Australia, representing a diverse mix of both subjects and artists. 

A number of the artworks have been finalists in the Archibald and other high-profile portrait awards, so it’s a great honour to now add this wonderful portrait of Serene Yong by Effie Pryer to the collection. 

Image: Barbara Cargill (former Dean of the Trinity College Pathways School), Diana Smith (former Director of Foundation Studies), Tony Buzzard (Senior Fellow), Serene Yong, Denis White (former Director of Foundation Studies) and Professor Ken Hinchcliff (Trinity College Warden and CEO)


07 Jun 2019
Category: Foundation Studies