From School Sweethearts to Scholars: An Inspiring Story

Ben Grandison & Annie Simpson (2018)

Graduating from school is often seen as the first step toward adulthood, but for Ben and Annie, it was just the beginning of a remarkable journey that saw them chase their academic dreams and build a life together.

After tossing their graduation caps in 2018, Ben and Annie had the world at their feet and embarked on their university journeys. Despite taking opportunities in different states, their love and commitment stayed strong.

Ben’s academic path led him to The University of Queensland, where he initially studied pharmacy before starting his Doctor of Medicine in 2022. Meanwhile, Annie ventured to The University of Newcastle, where she pursued a Bachelor of Medical Engineering, graduating with flying colours in 2022. Despite being apart for extended periods, their relationship endured, and when Annie graduated, they finally moved in together in Brisbane.

Annie’s journey continued to soar as she received a prestigious scholarship from the Australian Academy of Technological Science & Engineering (ATSE) to pursue her Masters of Bioengineering at the University of Queensland.

Currently, both Ben and Annie are full-time university students, juggling placements and casual work alongside their studies. Annie is set to complete her Masters in 2024 and Ben is on track to graduate from medical school in 2025. While their specific career paths remain open, Ben is preparing to become a junior doctor, still exploring the exciting array of specialties in medicine. Annie, with her focus on engineering solutions to improve health outcomes, is currently interning as a rehabilitation engineer, where she helps create custom mobility devices for hospital patients.

Their pride in each other’s achievements since graduating from school is palpable. Ben’s journey to becoming a doctor is only two years away from fruition, and Annie is immensely proud of his unwavering dedication. In turn, Ben admires the hard work and dedication Annie put into her undergraduate studies, culminating in her graduation with first-class honours as an engineer.

As they reminisce about their time at school, they fondly recall the positive aspects of their years at Sunshine Coast Grammar School.  Their exceptional teachers, incredible friendships, and participation in extracurricular activities like debating, social sports, Da Vinci Decathlons, and Grammar Helping Hands events remain cherished memories. Additionally, they express gratitude for the unforgettable experiences they shared, including the 2016 French tour and the 2017 Timor-Leste service trip.

In a delightful turn of events, Ben and Annie recently got engaged on the 22nd of July 2023. This special moment occurred exactly nine years after Ben asked Annie to be his girlfriend at the 2014 athletics carnival, marking another significant milestone in their journey together.

To celebrate their journey, the couple has shared some heart-warming photos, including a recent one from their engagement and snapshots of their time at school including the 2017 Timor-Leste tour and the 2018 athletics carnival where they sported the costumes of the Sturt Leopard and Bradman Bulldog.

Their story is a testament to the power of determination, love, and unwavering support, showing that the pursuit of dreams can be all the more meaningful when undertaken together.