Sandra Sully never expected to find happiness like the happiness she has found in the arms of Symon Brewis-Weston.
For much of the past decade, Sandra, one of the most popular newsreaders on Australian television, lived a life constrained by anxiety after a brutal assault that left her both traumatised and distrustful. Yet meeting and falling in love with Symon, a handsome, spontaneous corporate banker, has revitalised Sandra’s faith in both life and love, and provided the catalyst to finally leave the past behind her as they look to a new future together.
“Symon is the best thing that ever happened to me,” says Sandra, who married Symon in an elegant ceremony at the Sydney Opera House recently.
“He came into my life at exactly the right moment. Knowing him has brought me a new perspective. I was ready for someone new in my life, but I wasn’t expecting to find someone like Symon, someone with whom I share so much. I certainly wasn’t expecting to get married again, but I’m madly in love and I don’t think I have ever been happier.”
Sandra Sully is one of life’s great survivors. If anyone deserves personal happiness and security, then perhaps it’s her. For nearly two decades, she has been one of the most recognised faces on our TV screens, first reporting the news and then presenting it. Yet behind the perfect image and modulated voice, Sandra has endured years of personal turmoil, the aftermath of an assault that shook her life to its foundations and still reverberates today, more than 14 years later.
In a wide-ranging and candid interview, Sandra, now in her late 40s, speaks openly about falling in love with and marrying Symon, 42, an executive general manager with the Commonwealth Bank.
Sandra also breaks her silence about the assault, its aftermath, including the end of her first marriage, and her long, sometimes difficult path to recovery, and her close relationship with Symon’s adopted six-year-old daughter, Mia, to whom she is now both friend and step-mother. “Mia is a blessing for both of us,” says Sandra, “and the most wonderful surprise for me. We have a lovely relationship. I fell in love with Symon and she is part of that. I never expected to be a step-mother, but Mia is a beautiful gift in my life.”
When Sandra entered the marquee at the Opera House for her wedding to Symon, she was greeted by a crowd of family and friends. “I came in and saw Symon waiting for me on the dais at the front of the room, and saw all these smiling faces turned toward me. I had tears streaming down my face as I walked by. It was everything I wanted for the day and more.”
Sandra wore a diamond-encrusted bracelet, set with a string of blue sapphires. Initially, she didn’t want a ring – “I already had the man, I didn’t really need a ring” – but Symon convinced her to at least look at some. Then, when she had left the store, he returned and bought the one she liked most. “He likes to surprise me, so how could I say no,” she says, laughing.
When Sandra and Symon made their vows, they stood on the dais with Mia standing beside them. “She was so excited,” says Sandra. “And she loved it. We were so very proud of her. It was wonderful to have her with us to share that moment. Afterwards, she was dancing with the band and dancing with our friends, and doing handstands. It was lovely to see.”
Read more about Sandra Sully’s love story in the October issue of The Australian Women's Weekly.