Inside Aussie couple's 40-year age-gap relationship

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Melbourne couple Rodney Higgins and Ashleigh Petrie. Photo: Facebook/Ashleigh Petrie

A Melbourne couple with a 40-year age gap aren’t afraid to speak up about their love online, despite the relationship causing some controversy.

Magistrate Rodney Higgins - who is reportedly in his late 60s - proposed to his girlfriend Ashleigh Petrie, 23, in September, sharing happy snaps on social media to mark the occasion.

“What an amazing 10 days it has been here in Fiji! Firstly, I arrived as Rod’s girlfriend and I leave as Rod’s fiancé! I cannot wait to become Mrs Higgins!” Ashleigh wrote on her Facebook account, which was public at the time.

Ashleigh shared a photo of the ring online. Photo: Instagram/Ashleigh Petrie

“It started with a crush and now I have a ring on my finger. The love of my life asked me to marry him and I said YESSSS,” she continued.

The couple started dating back in March after meeting at work where Ashleigh was a court clerk. Rodney, who was appointed to the bench in 2017, is a dad to three daughters and also a grandfather.

Rodney and Ashleigh started dating in March. Photo: Facebook/Ashleigh Petrie

The pair have been very much public with their relationship, with Ashleigh posting photos of their adventures while on the romantic trip to Fiji. She also shared photos of the diamond ring she received when she said yes.

They’ve also been at the football, went zip-lining in Fiji, bamboo rafting and shared photos doing karaoke.

Ashleigh herself has even joked about the couple’s age gap online, even joking about Rodney receiving his senior citizen’s card in a previous post.

“Dating a senior citizen … my community work is done,” she wrote on the photo.

“I don't know how I got so lucky to find such a sweet and caring man with the same sense of humour, this amazing man is the love of my life,” she added.

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