Francesca Packer Barham was among the droves of high-profile Australians at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night, photographed kissing boyfriend Robert Bates during the Men’s Finals.
The billionaire heiress and Sydney socialite is the daughter of international financier Nicholas Barham and philanthropist Gretel Packer, and the oldest grandchild of the late Kerry Packer.
Mr Bates, meanwhile, is a controversial entrepreneur, and the founder of troubled wellness businesses Aquamamma and Aurum+.
The couple started dating in 2022, seemingly confirming their relationship that December when they were spotted sharing a kiss on the deck of a luxury yacht in Sydney Harbour.
Sources previously told The Daily Telegraph they were introduced by Ms Packer Barham’s former best friend Roxy Jacenko, who has known Mr Bates since she was a teenager.
While The Telegraph reported last March the pair had split, their affectionate display at the Australian Open clearly showed otherwise.
In a rare interview with Vogue Australia in 2015, Ms Packer Barham, an interior decorator, spoke about living up to her family’s famous name – crediting her mother with helping her to forge her own path.
While she said she realised she had “big shoes to fill … I’m never going to fit them, because they’re not my shoes”.
“I’ll find different shoes. It’s not about being better than the last generation in any way, or being better than anyone else on the planet, it’s about being the best you that you can be,” she told the magazine.
“And I think my mum really emphasised that and she kept us almost secure and safe and away from that pressure.”