THE Rowville Secondary College community has been left spellbound on countless occasions. 

At RIA Showcase, the College production, at presentation evenings, at assemblies – you name it.

Rowville Institute of the Arts student Meg Dunn’s undeniable stage talent has enthralled sell-out theatre-going crowds for years, and on Monday, Meg produced another masterpiece.

The 18-year-old is on cloud-nine after receiving her ATAR score of 90.06.

“It’s been a really good year,” Meg Dunn said.

“I’ve heard a lot of people get really stressed about Year 12 and all their subjects.

“I picked subjects that I really enjoyed doing, so I liked coming to school and I liked hanging out with my friends (and) I didn’t stress myself out.”

A hectic schedule in 2016 filled with rehearsals and shows provided a healthy balance to the rigours of the demanding Year 12 VCE year.

“I think that I balanced it out really well – I do lots of extra-curricular activities as well so it was me coming home, doing some work, and then going off to a rehearsal or for a show outside of school,” Meg said.

“I wasn’t someone who locked themselves in their room for six hours a day because I think that’s pretty ridiculous.

“But I did work hard when I was here (at school) and when I was at home.”

Her journey at the College and in RIA is one she will forever cherish, along with the teachers that celebrated her love of all things theatre.

“It was amazing – when I was first came to the school RIA was a new thing,” Meg said.

“I think the people and the course as well when you’re surrounded by like-minded people, lots of my friends have gone to other schools and they hated it because there’s mean people.

“We all think the same and we all like the same thing (in RIA).”

Meg strongly advises future Year 12 students not to buy in to the social class battle when endeavouring to do well.

“Don’t get sucked into the private school-public school battle,” she said.

“They don’t have better teachers at private schools and they don’t have better teachers at public schools.

“It’s how hard you work as an individual that will get you those marks – that’s what I did, I just worked really hard.”

One would struggle to find anyone who looks more at home on stage in front of a pulsating crowd than Meg Dunn.

She has grown up with her family-owned theatre company, Nuworks Theatre, and hopes to continue her passion in 2017.

“I’ve auditioned for NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) and VCA (Victorian College of the Arts) and got a call-back for both, and currently I’m on the waiting list for VCA, so I made it through the call-back so I’m just waiting until January to hear if I’m in,” Meg said.

“Not many people do get in the first year out of high school, so if I don’t get in, I’m planning to have a gap year and go on a theatre tour with my family’s theatre company and perform plays overseas.

“The theatre has always been what I’ve loved doing, so having (my family’s theatre company) in the background of Year 12 has been great too.

“This school has given me opportunities to do so much theatre as well.”

Meg admits she will miss the RIA Showcase concerts and the College productions, where she has had a lead role in the past three years.

“They were my favourite,” she said.

“I didn’t actually get involved in productions until Year 10, because I was really nervous about singing – I hated singing in front of people.

“But then when I auditioned in Year 10, I got a lead role in Hairspray, then Beauty & The Beast, then Legally Blonde.

“They’re so much fun.”

The community aspect of the College and the RIA program has forged bonds between Meg and her classmates over the journey, which created a beneficial support network on her way to 90.06.

“All of my friends were amazing,” Meg said.

“I’ve been friends with my group since Year 7, also eventually everyone in RIA started becoming best friends.

“By the end of Year 10, all of RIA were sitting together in the café. My four (best) friends in particular, they’re incredible, and they’re all so intelligent in their own way, I love them.

“They supported me through the whole year and I’d like to think I supported them as well.”

And her proud parents supported her every step of the way.

“My mum and my dad didn’t force me to do maths in Year 11 and 12 – they didn’t force me to do subjects I didn’t want to do,” Meg said.

“They’re the best.”