Never too late to change your life

Professor Debra Grace
Professor Debra Grace

Debra Grace was a 35 year old office administrator who took a chance that changed her life.

She is now Professor Debra Grace of the Griffith Business School and a woman who is passionate about spreading the message that it is never too late to transform your life through study.

Debra’s academic journey began when she heard about an entry exam which, at that time, Griffith was holding for people who were thinking about going to uni.

Overcoming self-doubt

“I was a bit reluctant, lacking confidence I guess, but my friend who was doing a Bachelor of Education at Griffith at the time wouldn’t stop nagging me! ,” Professor Grace said.

In the end Debra thought she’d give it a try, but even after turning up for the exam her confidence wavered.

“I couldn’t find a car park and I thought, ‘That’s it, if I can’t find a park in the next two minutes I’m leaving’.”

Sure enough a car pulled out and Debra drove on into her future. Even then it was still touch and go.

“I did the exam but after I left, this woman came running down the street after me because I’d forgotten to put my name on the paper!”

Her exam result was outstanding and Debra was offered a place at Griffith University. No stranger to challenge, the single mum of two small girls seized the opportunity and she has never looked back.

Business degree

“I chose a business degree at Griffith because I knew it would open up doors for me and I wasn’t wrong! Who would have thought, back then, that I would be in the position I am today. “

Debra completed her Bachelor of Business with first class honours in four years, and then a PhD in two and a half. Nine years later she was a full Professor with the Griffith Business School.

And academic achievement has become a family affair, with both her daughters now Griffith graduates as well. Jayde has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, while younger daughter Teneille has a Bachelor of Digital Design.

Pathways to studying at Griffith

There are no longer entrance exams quite like the one Debra sat, but there are even more pathways to study at Griffith. Find out more through our Study at Griffith Week program.

Debra says don’t let age or anything else put you off. “Remember, it is never too late to try something new.”