“You look so hot today (Rhonda), like a sunrise.”
While these were not the words uttered by Moree’s Ketut Budiada when he first met his wife Rhonda more than a decade ago, the glaring similarities between the couple’sfairytale romance and the actors in the famous AAMI Insurance TV ads has created quite a stir.
The loving couple, who have two sons together, were propelled into the media spotlight on Wednesday night when they made their television debut on A Current Affair.
It is understood the couple received a call after reporters in Bali, covering Schapelle Corby’s release, tipped off Channel Nine about the existence of the real McCoy.
Rhonda met her future husband, better known as Bobby, while holidaying in Bali in 1999.
At the time of their meeting, Bobby worked at a local bar and made sure he was the one to always serve Rhonda her drinks.
After a few years, with six-monthly or annual visits, and plenty of letters and phone calls in between, the couple finally took the plunge and were married in a traditional Balinese ceremony with Bobby moving to Moree in 2004.
When the ads first appeared on TV, Rhonda was often told she needed to find her Ketut, with most not knowing Bobby’s real name.
“Some people would even ring my sister every time a new ad would come out,” Rhonda laughed.
She said she thought the ads were so successful because anyone who had been to the tropical getaway could relate.
“They’re just so Bali,” she said. “It’s lighthearted and a bit of fun.”
Rhonda said all the publicity came as quite a surprise.
“We’ve had a really good response,” she said.
“We thought it would be a fun, feel good piece but we were a bit nervous.”
“I’ve never been in front of a camera that big,” Bobby laughed.