The perfect love chemistry

It soon became apparent to the rest of the work team that we were not only a perfect match but were able to work together really well.

After a job interview in 1999, JO FISCHETTI walked through the ANU Research School of Chemistry's administration area and locked eyes with NEIL BAYLEY, BInfTech '05. That moment set off a chemical reaction rendering them inseparable.

Jo got the job and, sometime later, a husband. The couple now work 500 metres away from each other on the ANU campus.

In the new edition of ANU Reporter, the couple tell their sides of the story.

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Jo Bayley [née Fischetti]

I remember the day I went for an interview for the administrative assistant job at the Research School of Chemistry (RSC) back in early 1999.

There was a special moment where I made eye contact with the tall, dark, handsome man standing by the photocopier.

From there, I was fortunate and thrilled to get the job but more so because I went home telling my mum how lucky I was - I got to sit across from this man I was absolutely smitten with. I can admit it was love at first sight.I guess it's true, opposites must attract.

Despite the fact we are different in so many ways, we have always been able to have great conversations and get along really well.  Day after day, we would sit directly across, facing each other. In 2000, to no-one's surprise, Neil and I started dating.

It soon became apparent to the rest of the work team that we were not only a perfect match but were able to work together really well. In 2004, I moved to the former Department of Chemistry while Neil remained at RSC. This was a nice change for us especially since we bought a house together around the same time.I adore Neil for so many reasons. He is calm and collected (most days), modest, gentle and kind, not to mention his funny sense of humour and fine intelligence.

While working full-time, Neil also completed his degree part-time here at ANU and was glad to finally complete it in 2005. 

In 2008, Neil and I were married here in Canberra and, in 2009, we had our son Mekhai, followed by our gorgeous daughter Jazmyne in 2011. Almost 16 years later, I am currently the RSC administrative coordinator and, though times have certainly changed since the early days and we are much busier now with two children in the mix, we are still so happy together. 

Neil Bayley

My first memories of Jo are when she was leaving the office after her job interview in 1999. She got my attention as she left the office with her beautiful brown eyes and cheeky grin. We ended up working facing each other's desks.

It wasn't long before we realised there was definitely some chemistry there and the sparks ignited at one of the RSC Christmas parties. 

From then on, we were basically inseparable. I soon learned there was a lot more to this girl than met the eye. She was generous, caring and kind, not to mention an incredible dancer.

One of the things I didn't know at the time was how good she was with children. It showed in the hip hop dance school she ran for around eight years until things got a bit hectic with our own two beautiful children, Mekhai and Jazmyne. 

I have had several roles in my time at ANU but at the moment I am working in Finance and Business Services as a Business Analyst.

We are no longer sitting a small distance away from each other but we're still only about 500 metres apart here at ANU.

We want to hear your personal stories about love on campus. Email us at reporter@anu.edu.au.