A Trinity love story for Valentine’s Day: Anni Grimwade and Tim Roberts

By Emily McAuliffe

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we share the story of former Trinity students Anni Grimwade (TC 1981) and Tim Roberts (TC 1981), who first spotted each other across the Bulpadock.

Anni Grimwade and Tim Roberts on the beach in Darwin in 2022

Anni’s story

Tim and I met when we were both 18. My family has a strong history at Trinity and I had always hoped I would be there while studying medicine at Melbourne University. That wasn’t to be. However, I was very happy to arrive at Trinity as a physio student while studying at Lincoln.

I first saw Tim on the other side of the Bulpadock in O-Week. I thought he was very spunky (as we used to say then) and my heart skipped a beat! He was athletic and handsome, had a good sense of the ridiculous, and had beautiful blue eyes. As an added bonus, I found out later that he was a good driver of his 1962 Morris Major, which we still have. I also discovered over time that he was the kindest man I knew. All these qualities he still maintains, 41 years later.

We never dated at Trinity but Tim was my perfect stress-free ‘plus-one’.  Apart from attending lots of social events together, we went on camping trips to Wilson’s Prom and enjoyed regular bowls of $4 spaghetti carbonara and stale bread at Tiamo in Lygon Street.

After College, I moved to Sydney for work. We always stayed connected and whenever we were both in Melbourne we would make an effort to catch up. One weekend, Andrew Rouse (TC 1982) and Vicky Griffith (TC 1982) invited us to join them on a visit to a relative’s property in the Western District. A long drive in the Morris, laughing all the way, and some fresh country air changed our relationship. We started going out when we were 28, a decade after we first saw each other across the College lawn, and were married by former Trinity Warden Dr Evan Burge in 1994 in Broadford, my hometown. 

Along with an ability to fix anything and a love of talking to strangers, I like Tim’s idiosyncrasies – and he has a few! We bring out the best in each other and are spontaneous as a couple. Our current stay in Darwin is a case in point – we love it, though we are not quite sure how we ended up here. Who knows where we’ll be in years to come, but no matter where we are, we seem to find a way to have fun and I would rather spend time with Tim than anyone else.

Tim and Anni lying on the beach in Mt Martha
Tim and Anni on the beach at Mt Martha in 1981

Tim’s story

Thinking that College was only for interstate and out-of-town students, but having many friends at College, I initially joined Trinity as a non-resident. My arrival as a resident the following year was then somewhat accidental. A case of mistaken identity got me an interview with then-Warden Evan Burge, but it ended well and I moved into residence in my second year of university.

I saw Anni one day after lunch across the Bulpadock but thought she was way out of my league. She was from the country, seemed to be very sporty (one of the first female rowers), had (and still has) gorgeous smiling eyes, and was clearly much smarter than me. She was also sometimes a bit scary! We had a lot of fun as friends during my two years in Trinity and have many happy memories of country tennis tournaments, College and University balls, and summer holidays at Mt Martha with 20 people crammed into every nook and cranny of Anni’s family holiday house.

After University we stayed very close friends and, 10 years after we met, we got together as boyfriend and girlfriend. Not long after, in 1992, I was moved to Hong Kong for work and asked Anni to come with me. We had many happy years in Hong Kong at a historic time before the handover of the island from English to Chinese rule in 1997.

Hannah (TC 2014) was born in Hong Kong, and Archie (TC 2017) and Hamish (TC 2020) were both born while we lived in Indonesia. We returned to Australia in 2003. Throughout these times I have admired Anni’s sensitive and loving nature, amazingly good ability to multitask, her love of celebrating any success big or small, the way she keeps us organised, and her endless encouragement and support to me and our children. 

Who would have thought that a glimpse across the Bulpadock would result in all that?  Our unofficial family motto is ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ and I can attribute that to Anni’s enthusiasm and her daring nature, which certainly brings out the best in me and all the children. We are very lucky and thankful indeed. I couldn’t have found a better person to share my life with.  Anni is my best friend and, as time goes on, we seem to keep having more and more fun together.

Tim and Anni lying on the beach in Mt Martha
Tim and Anni on the beach at Mt Martha in 2018


As told to Seraphina Nicholls


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


14 Feb 2022
Category: People