A Trinity love story for Valentine's Day

By Emily McAuliffe

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we share the love story of former Trinity students Isabelle (TC 2014) and George (TC 2016) McPharlin, who met at Trinity College in 2016. They both lived and worked at Trinity, before getting married in our chapel in 2019. There are two sides to every story, so here are George and Isabelle’s recollections of their blossoming romance.

George’s story

Isabelle and I met at Trinity and quickly discovered a common interest in athletics. However, I soon learnt that my moderate interest in the sport was to be far outclassed by Isabelle’s talent. She was a dedicated athlete and was co-captain of sport at the University of Melbourne. I realised that I would have to move pretty swiftly to keep up with this amazing person.

Once we had been going out for a while, we were able to forge some great memories while travelling in Europe. The Choir of Trinity College, of which I was a member, toured the UK with some keen tag-alongs, including my parents, sister, and Isabelle. The choir was in great form and the beautiful, summer scenery was an ideal setting for spending time with Isabelle.

By the time we were engaged, we were employed by Trinity as Residential Tutors. Most weeks, we could be tempted by at least one of our favourite eateries on Lygon Street. Eating out was a great way to escape the College bubble and chat about wedding plans.

We were able to book the College Chapel for the occasion, and the choir were thrilled to be involved. A highlight from the wedding day was hearing one of Isabelle’s choral favourites from the Europe tour, 'Seek Him That Maketh The Seven Stars' by Jonathan Dove. Time has flown since then.  We moved interstate at the start of 2020 to establish our teaching careers in Perth. I am so excited to continue our journey together.

George and Isabelle McPharlin
Isabelle and George met at Trinity and were married in our chapel – photo by Acacia Chenda

Isabelle’s story

I moved to Melbourne from Gippsland in order to begin my studies at Trinity. The first couple of years zoomed past with College events and many sporting opportunities with Trinity and the University of Melbourne. In my third year I met George, and was so pleased when we were able to strike up our first conversation. I was also delighted to discover that George, like me, was able to live in Melbourne and not be addicted to coffee or avocado on toast. 

Once we started dating, George was very supportive of my sport and soon started coming along to watch my pole vault competitions, which took place on Saturdays in locations all across Melbourne. George was thrown in the deep end when he learned that the 14-foot poles used in pole vault would often need to be transported to and from the university. He kindly offered to help with the difficult task of strapping the poles to the car.

George is very caring and was there for me when I was dealing with a stress-fracture in my foot. He knew that I would struggle with the idea of several weeks without sport. George was always happy to help me carry things and attend medical appointments. I was so thankful for his help and for encouraging me along the way.

George proposed to me on a beautifully crisp, winter’s day. We were so excited and soon set about addressing the invitations. We were slightly pressed for time since I was preparing to leave for Japan to complete my final teaching placement. Japan was a fantastic experience, and I would love to go back again as a teacher, but I was really excited to arrive back in Australia for the wedding. It was such a beautiful occasion that we will remember forever.

George and Isabelle have done plenty of travelling together since meeting at Trinity in 2016


Did you meet your significant other at Trinity? If so, we'd love to know! Email us at alumni@trinity.unimelb.edu.au 


12 Feb 2021