After meeting at the ANU Alumni Gala Dinner in Melbourne in November 2015, ELAINE LI, BA ’13 and JONATHAN CRAIG, LLM ’14 immediately liked each other, but a missed phone call meant they might not meet again.
Fortunately, another alumni function brought them together – and now they’re married. Here they share individual versions of their love story.
Elaine Li (Han Li)
Having just graduated from further study, I was excited to reward myself with delightful food and a good night with inspiring alumni at the dinner.
I was seated beside Jonathan. As English is my second language, I needed to practise the pronunciation of his name. I found him exciting to talk to because of his humour, broad thinking and informed views. After noticing how quickly he was devouring his meal, I couldn’t refrain from sharing the benefits of eating slowly. We also shared some great conversation about fitness, travel and study.
I left the function slightly early and Jonathan kindly provided his contact number and informed me that his phone was off. I called him so that he would know my number.
I didn’t hear from him after that until February 2016 when I attended the Sofitel Hotel in Melbourne for the Alumni and Friends’ Reception to meet the new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Schmidt AC. I was surprised and happy when Jonathan greeted me straight after the Vice-Chancellor’s speech. He was pleased I could still remember his name and he invited me out to dinner.
From then, we were in contact nearly every day and we saw each other frequently. We had a great time and developed a wonderful connection.
One evening in August I invited Jonathan out to dinner and I was surprised and elated when he proposed to me – after he had enjoyed a few glasses of champagne!
We decided we wanted to get married soon and we did so on his birthday on 8 November 2016.
Jonathan Steven Craig
Elaine and I met at the Gala Dinner in November 2015. Allocated seating had fortuitously placed us next to each other. I quickly saw how caring Elaine was when she pointed out that I shouldn’t eat so fast because it isn’t good for me!
During the conversation, I recall thinking that Elaine is an impressive individual and I felt attracted by her focus and clear strength of character. She left slightly early and I gave her my number. Elaine called me so I would also have her number. Having switched my phone off however, I did not receive a missed call notification.
We may never have seen each other again if it wasn’t for the fact that both of us attended another ANU alumni function in February 2016. I saw Elaine and quickly went over to her to reintroduce myself. We left and enjoyed dinner together at a nearby restaurant in China Town.
From there, we started to see each other frequently. We often shared our love of food, walking, conversation and travel. These were very happy times for us and many fond memories were created.
We did not study at the same time at ANU as I started my degree shortly after she had graduated. It is very fortunate that ANU is also such a close community and we had these two opportunities to meet so close together.
We married on 8 November 2016 at Brighton Beach, Victoria. That date is also my birthday – Elaine says this means that I will remember our anniversary! We decided to separate the legal side of the marriage from the ceremonial side according to Chinese culture. We will have ceremonies next year in both China and Australia to celebrate our marriage.
Elaine is an accountant and I am exploring different opportunities, having spent some time working as a solicitor and university tutor. We simply hope to live long, healthy and happy lives together.
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