Sports Star Earns ACU’s Young Alumni of the Year Award
Oct 5, 2017 by Patrick Rebakis
Congratulations to Melissa 'Milly' Tapper for taking out ACU’s Young Alumni of the Year Award! The award recognises a young Alumni (35 years or younger at the time of nomination) whose early accomplishments since graduation have led to a high level of achievement in their professional field or community engagement.
Despite being born with brachial plexus, a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the upper group of the arm’s main nerves, Milly developed a passion for table tennis at an early age and made her first able-bodied junior Australian team at 14 and was the nation’s top ranked junior athlete at 18. Milly played her first paralympic competition in 2009 and went on to win a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Milly also recently won the Korean Open singles gold and was crowned Australian Champion in mixed doubles!
In 2016 Milly made history in Rio de Janeiro – becoming the first Australian athlete to compete at both the Paralympic and Olympic Games. Regardless of her extensive sporting commitments Milly still finds the time to volunteer, mentoring youth at risk of disengaging with education and speaking in a range of forums inspiring both able and disabled people to never give up.