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Character Profiles > Carmella Cammeniti Natalie Blair

Carmella Cammeniti 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006-2008, 2011
Lived: Cammeniti house, 24, 30 Ramsay Street, Carmella's apartment
Born: 1984
Parents: Lucia and Rocco Cammeniti
Marital Staus: Marco Silvani (2008; died)
Siblings: Rosetta and Rosaria
Children: Chloe
Family Tree: Cammeniti
Occupation: Student, Barmaid at Lou's Place, Editor of All Her Magazine, Wrestling Publicist, Nun, Hospital Orderly at Erinsborough & District Hospital, Manager of Celestial Fruits, The General Store Manager/Co-Owner

Having been spoilt rotten from birth, Carmella grew up with little appreciation for the value of money. Her father, Rocco, decided to send her away to a finishing school in Italy, but first, he realised that she needed some experience of working in the real world. Calling in a favour from his mate Lou Carpenter, Rocco managed to get Carmella a few shifts at the pub. The feisty young girl quickly hit it off with new workmate Connor O’Neill. However, after a severe warning from her father, Connor did his best to avoid the obvious advances of Carmella, but she soon made it clear that she wasn’t the type of person who would give up on something, or someone, that easily.

Carmella turned up one day at number 30, on the pretext of wanting to use the pool. It was quite obvious that she was hoping for more than a swim, but Connor once again managed to resist. As the weeks went on, as well as working together, Connor and Carmella often found themselves in each other’s company, even on Christmas Day, when Rocco brought Lou a gift of a suit. The following day, the couple were both guests at Lou’s wedding to Trixie Tucker, and, as the romance in the air got to the both of them, they ended up kissing in the pub office.

Unfortunately, as they were kissing again whilst locking up, Trixie happened to walk in and catch them in the act. After an argument with Connor, Trixie spitefully took her revenge by letting Rocco know what his daughter was up to. Carmella immediately ran away and once again, turned up at Connor’s place. When Rocco turned up himself the following morning, Connor was forced to lie, claiming that he had dumped Carmella as he couldn’t cope with the pressure of their relationship. The couple then fled to stay with a friend of Connor’s. However, when Connor bumped into Rocco at the Coffee Shop one day, he learnt that Mr. Cammeniti was going away to attend to family business in Sicily. The couple went to the Cammeniti home to spend some time alone. Unfortunately, it was all a set-up and Rocco returned to catch them in the sauna together. Carmella was packed off to Italy without a further word.

Some months later, Carmella returned unexpectedly to Erinsborough for a family wedding. She quickly made a beeline for Connor, lying to her father that she was spending time with a friend. Before long, she and Connor were rekindling their old flame, but things came to an abrupt halt when Michelle Scully, Connor’s ex-girlfriend, walked through the door after a sudden return from New York. Carmella was extremely jealous of this newcomer, but Connor assured her that anything that happened between him and Michelle was firmly in the past. However, after telling him that she loved him, and hearing the same back from him, she got the shock of her life when he announced that he wanted to break up. Carmella quickly realised that it was all because of his unresolved feelings for Michelle and, before returning to school in Italy, delivered a slap around the face to the woman she accused of ruining her life.

Several months later, Carmella returned to Australia, on the pretext of helping her mother run the family businesses whilst Rocco was in jail. However, she had some other business on her mind – revenge. She planned to get Connor back for dumping her, and Sindi Watts back for her affair with Rocco, which had torn the family apart. Turning up at Lassiter’s, with a new confidence about her, Carmella quickly convinced Connor to take a new job as her driver. She then employed Sindi as a columnist for All Her magazine, which she was helping to run for her mother. Carmella made sure to give Sindi ridiculous assignments, writing about a single shoe or pashmina, with strict word counts and deadlines. Meanwhile, in order to get her own back on Connor, she started changing her clothes in front of him, but made sure that he knew he couldn’t have her, by talking about her new boyfriend, Giancarlo.

After a couple of weeks of messing around with both Sindi and Connor, Carmella quickly came unstuck. Sindi told Carmella that she knew exactly what was going on, but wasn’t about to give up her new job, no matter how far she was pushed. Meanwhile, Connor caught Carmella chatting to the talking clock, when she was supposed to be talking to Giancarlo, and he realised that she’d taken him for a fool. Carmella chased after him and explained that she’d only wanted him to know how she’d felt when he broke her heart. They decided to make a fresh start – as a couple – and she told him that she wanted him to meet her mother. After an awkward start, it seemed that Lucia and Connor were going to get along, and she even offered him a job at the family business. However, when Lucia learnt about Connor’s daughter, Maddy, she warned Carmella to be careful, as she would always come second to Connor’s child…

This proved to be quite prophetic when, after Carmella had spent some time getting to know Maddy, it looked like the child was about to be taken away. Lori Lee, Maddy’s mother, had found herself a new boyfriend, Nick Sullivan. Nick became very possessive and starting refusing to hand Maddy over during Connor’s visiting time. Carmella could see how much this was hurting her boyfriend and she began to suggest ways of getting one over on Nick. Connor was upset by this, and accused Carmella of being just like her father and using violence to solve problems. Thinking that she would do Connor more harm than good if the case went to court, Carmella broke up with Connor. Fortunately, they quickly came to their senses and got back together. However, when Lori then announced that she and Maddy would be moving to Adelaide with Nick, Connor grew more desperate, realising that he would hardly ever see his daughter. Connor scoffed at Carmella’s suggestion that he refuse to hand back his child, but when Toadie also mentioned that it was a legally viable option, Connor decided to do it. The incident made Lori realise how much Connor loved his daughter and she decided to change her plans.

Meanwhile, in an effort to prove how important Connor was to her and her family, Carmella announced that Lucia wanted him to work as a junior editor at the magazine. Connor was then forced to admit to her that he was illiterate when he arrived in Australia and had only been reading and writing for a couple of years. Carmella was grateful for his honesty and agreed to help him with the editing, even if it meant deceiving her mum. Meanwhile, as Carmella spent more and more time at number 30, she began to think that it might make sense for her to move in. Connor was aghast at this suggestion, but she gradually wore him down and, when Toadie agreed to a two-week trial, Connor ran out of excuses and Carmella, along with her stuffed toy collection, officially became a Ramsay Street resident.

Soon after, Carmella found herself in a bind when the entire editing staff of the magazine walked out. With her mother in Florence, Carmella had to convince her only remaining friend, Sindi, to help. The two of them then managed to call in Izzy Hoyland aswell and, as they saved the magazine, a strong friendship grew between them. In the weeks that followed, Carmella picked up on some strange behaviour by her boyfriend, noticing that he was spending a lot of time chatting to her mother. In the end, when Carmella mistakenly believed he was having an affair, Connor was forced to reveal that Lucia had been setting him challenges that would prove his worth. This quickly paled in significance when Carmella started receiving mysterious notes and gifts. She decided to hire the family’s driver, Frank Romano, who she’d known for years, for extra security, but was relieved when she found out that neighbour Summer Hoyland, who she’d been giving advice, was behind it. However, Summer soon explained that she’d only left some perfume for her new friend, leaving several other gifts and notes unaccounted for. When Connor then spotted a man looking at Carmella during a meeting, he was convinced that they’d found the stalker. Carmella told him that the man, Barry Dundas, was the magazine’s accountant and she had recently turned down his offer of a date. This was enough proof for everyone and Barry was taken away by the police.

Relieved that her nightmare was over, Carmella tried to get over what had happened, but became concerned when Connor suddenly went missing. She felt safe with Frank around to comfort her, until they shared a hug and he refused to let go. Carmella suddenly realised who’d been behind the whole thing, but she kept calm and tried to talk Frank round. In the end, Stuart managed to save her, but Frank refused to reveal the whereabouts of Connor, who’d been tied up in a building due for demolition. Luckily, Connor managed to smash a window and raise the alarm just in time. Although she was now free from her stalker, Carmella struggled to get him out of her head, pushing Connor away and suggesting that they sleep in separate beds. When Frank was released on bail, she starting to panic and Connor took her away for a few days at a country farmhouse, owned by Toadie’s Uncle Barry. Whilst there, Carmella spotted a shotgun in the kitchen and, in a moment of madness, she drove off with it, intent of ridding herself of Frank once and for all. Luckily, Connor caught her and stopped her just in time, but he realised that it would be a long time before she could be free of her nightmare.

Over the weeks that followed, Carmella began to have counselling but found it extremely difficult to open up. In the end, Connor turned to Karl Kennedy for advice and, as Karl returned to work following a heart attack, he began counselling Carmella himself. He told her that perhaps her relationship with Connor was too much for her and she was putting pressure on herself to return to normality too quickly. When Toadie’s new girlfriend, Eva Doyle, was offered a place on a wrestling tour of Australia, Carmella saw the chance to get away for a while. She agreed to work as Eva’s publicist during the tour and shocked Connor by suddenly packing up and leaving. Eva assured Connor that once Carmella had sorted herself out, she’d send her straight back to Erinsborough…

Six months later, Carmella was back in town, hoping to pick up where she left off with Connor. Sadly though, a lot of things had changed in her absence. Not only was Connor now running Toadie’s bikini shop, Bounce, but he was also dating Serena Bishop from number 24. Carmella didn’t allow that small obstacle to prevent her from getting what she came for, however, and she vowed that Serena had merely been a distraction for Connor whilst his true love was away. When Carmella heard that Maddy needed an ear operation, and Connor required $50,000 for the private operation, she saw her chance to get him back. Having originally turned him down for the loan, Carmella then told Connor that she could use her “connections” to get him the money, but only on the condition that he spend some time alone with her. Connor agreed, and Carmella allowed him to believe that the money had come from the mob, when in actual fact, she had borrowed it from her mum.

When it became clear that Connor wasn’t going to drop Serena for her, a desperate Carmella stooped even lower, egged on by Izzy Hoyland, one of her few friends in Erinsborough, who had helped her out with a crisis at the magazine several months earlier. With Connor believing that he was in danger from the Erinsborough mafia unless he got the money quickly, he faked a mugging one night as he took Bounce’s takings to the night safe, having actually given the money to Carmella. When she found out what he’d done, Carmella refused to let her ex-boyfriend get himself in so much trouble and she anonymously left the money outside the shop. Realising that her plans to get Connor back were failing, Izzy suggested one last lie, and so Carmella called Connor and begged him to give her moral support as she went to meet her contacts and beg for more time.

As Connor grew more and more concerned, Carmella finally came clean and admitted that there was no mob money. However, Serena had already spotted the two of them together and decided that they were having an affair. Connor telling her the whole story didn’t help matters much and she dumped him. As Carmella comforted Connor, they shared a kiss, but she realised that she’d already gone too far. She then proceeded to explain to Serena that Connor had only done what he did out of love for her and for Maddy, before leaving the couple to patch up their differences.

Six months later, Lucia got in touch with Connor – who was attempting to start up a new career as a private investigator – and asked him to track down Carmella. She explained that the last time she had seen or heard from Carmella was at Christmas. Connor managed to track her down to a nearby town after finding out she’d received a parking ticket there, and eventually found her living at Saint Clare’s Convent, about to take her vows to become a novice nun. She explained that, following the way she’d treated Connor and Serena, and believing him to be dead following the plane crash, she had decided to make some drastic changes to her life. Connor wasn’t convinced that she had thought it through properly and, since there were still a couple of weeks before her vestiture ceremony, he asked her to come and stay with him in Ramsay Street and remember her old life for a while. Carmella reluctantly agreed to this and turned up at number 30, surprising Toadie in the process, who thought she’d become a stripper in her time away. A night out clubbing with Connor led to a kiss, but Carmella realised that she felt nothing during it, and it confirmed that becoming a nun was the correct choice for her. Connor, meanwhile, started to look at his own life and decided that he was going to take the trip around Australia that he’d always wanted to.

Toadie and Connor attended Carmella’s vestiture ceremony and saw her become Sister Mary Catherine, before saying her farewells to them both, as she left to spend a month helping out at a bush hospital. Before she went, Carmella visited the patients at St Luke’s Hospice, where she’d also been assisting and was surprised to realise that one of the coma patients, Robert Robinson, was the spitting image of someone she’d met in Ramsay Street. She phoned Connor, who was all packed and about to leave, and told him of her discovery. Connor quickly realised that it had to be the missing identical twin of Paul Robinson’s son, Cameron, who had recently arrived in Erinsborough. Connor thanked Carmella and went to speak to Cameron, but what neither of them realised was that the man in the coma was actually Cameron, and the man living in Ramsay Street was evil Robert, who was masquerading as his nicer twin in order to destroy Paul’s life. When Connor told him about Carmella’s finding at the hospice, Robert quickly realised that his scheme was about to become unstuck and invited Connor inside for a beer – which was the last anyone saw of him, but nobody thought it odd, since he was off on his big adventure.

A month later, Carmella returned to Erinsborough to begin some volunteering at Erinsborough Hospital. She bumped into Katya Kinski, a nurse and Ramsay Street resident, who had been dating “Cameron” during his time in Ramsay Street and she explained to a stunned Carmella about the twins swapping places and Robert’s attempts to kill his father. Carmella realised with horror that nobody had heard from Connor since she told him about the man in the coma and they all started to wonder whether he had been another victim of Robert Robinson. However, there was some good news when Connor’s wallet was handed in at the Australian embassy in Beijing and, when Toadie confronted Robert in prison, he took his slightly shocked silence as an admission that he knew nothing about the whereabouts of their Irish friend.

Just as Carmella was enjoying her fresh start in life, a couple of incidents threatened to blow her secret reason for becoming a nun. When Ned Parker, Toadie’s latest housemate, heard her singing, he decided that it was too good an opportunity to miss. He recorded it and became hellbent on getting her a recording career and some publicity. But Carmella made it clear to Toadie that he had to destroy the tape, as she wanted nobody to know where she was and couldn’t risk that tape exposing her. Things got more serious when Cameron, freshly released from prison after Robert’s attempts to frame him, suddenly started having flashbacks to his time in a coma, and realised that Carmella had been making phone calls from his room. Unable to piece the fragments of memory back together, Cameron spoke to Carmella, desperate to know whether he was imagining things. At first, Carmella refused to discuss it, but after realising that she was hindering Cameron’s progress and that she could trust him, she told him her reasons for entering the convent, making him promise to keep it a secret. Cameron, in turn, asked her to try and help his father, Paul, whose behaviour had become increasingly erratic in the weeks after his time in the mineshaft.

As Carmella tried to speak to Paul, all he was interested in was seducing her. When she started talking about the crisis centre and how it would be closed by the end of year as they were running out of funding, Paul saw an opportunity, and agreed to pay its running costs for the next year, if Carmella would spend one night with him. After rejecting the idea outright, Carmella then gave it some thought and went back to Paul and agreed to his plan. He was delighted and they arranged to meet one evening later that week in the Lassiter’s complex. Whilst Paul turned up with a picnic basket and plans to spend the night in the spa, Carmella brought along a couple of her elderly nun friends, Sister Frances and Sister Agnes. As she sent them off to buy bathing suits – at Paul’s expense – she said that she had another surprise for him underneath her clothes, then produced a DVD of The Sound of Music for them all to watch. Although Paul then threatened to have the cheque stopped, Carmella told him that it had already been banked and was being put to good use, and besides, she hadn’t broken her promise of spending the night with him, she just never claimed that it would be just the two of them.

A further tragedy hit the Robinson family in the weeks that followed when Max Hoyland, mistakenly believing that Robert had escaped from prison, ran down Cameron, putting him in intensive care. As Carmella sat by his bedside, he made her promise to “find the baby” and make things right, and also asked her to keep an eye on his sister, Elle. Soon after, Cameron lost his fight for life and Carmella joined his devastated family for the funeral in Tasmania. Upon her return to Erinsborough, Carmella’s behaviour started to stray further and further from the code of the convent and, when Sister Mary Ignatius caught her attempting to seduce Ned, she realised that they needed to get to the bottom of the problem. Suspecting that Carmella was unhappy due to Cameron’s death, the Reverend Mother was shocked when Carmella admitted that she had sold a baby belonging to her cousin, Teresa, for $100,000. She then explained the incident in her past, when Connor had come to her for $50,000 for Maddy’s operation, and, at the same time, Teresa had approached her for help with an unwanted pregnancy. In an act of desperation, Carmella had sold the baby and split the money with Teresa, but quickly realised, after she failed to win Connor back and then thought he had died in the plane crash, that she had done the wrong thing and entered the convent looking for forgiveness. Although the Reverend Mother was sympathetic, she told Carmella that she would have to leave the convent for the time being, to seriously consider her future.

After being given the sofa at number 30 to stay on, Carmella set about tracking down Teresa, but realised that none of the family had seen her in months. Then, whilst visiting Ned one day at number 30, Katya mentioned that a girl called Teresa Cammeniti had been admitted to the hospital, after being found unconscious in the car park, and Carmella rushed over to visit her. A furious Teresa was not pleased to see her cousin, and told her that the only way she could make up for the past was to get the baby back. Realising that this wouldn’t be possible, Carmella decided to visit the adoptive parents anyway, in the hope that they would allow Teresa to visit. But when Carmella met with Charlotte Hingston at her home, she was shocked to find out that the baby had died three months earlier. Carmella was left to break this news to Teresa, who then found herself sharing a hospital room with Harold's pregnant granddaoughter, Sky Mangel, and developing an obsession with her unborn child.

Carmella, meanwhile, decided that it was time to leave Erinsborough, but was stopped in her tracks by Harold, who offered her support and a roof over her head. Having put some distance between herself and Ned, Carmella also realised that her attraction to him was still there, but it was too late, as he had started dating Katya. After learning that Katya had dressed as a nun in order to seduce Ned, Carmella started to wonder if she’d just been a fantasy figure to him, but went on to make a fool of herself by dressing up as a nurse in an attempt to win him back. When this failed, Carmella decided to back off completely, and found a new distraction when her sister, Rosetta, moved in across the street. Trainee lawyer Rosetta had started as an articles clerk at Tim Collins & Associates law firm and Tim had told her that Toadie had gone to cover a long case in Sydney, so she could have his room. The sisters were far from pleased to see each other – Carmella resented Rosie for being a perfect, high-achiever, while Rosie felt that her sister simply blamed everyone else for her own mistakes. After an awkward reunion, the sisters agreed to try and get along. When Rosie, inexperienced in the romance department, found herself drawn to new housemate Will Griggs, she decided that the safest course of action was to push him away towards Carmella and make she he was no longer a temptation. The plan worked, and, after a night of theatre and star-gazing with the mysterious Will, Carmella was smitten and the pair shared a kiss, though Carmella’s vow of chastity prevented her from taking things further.

In the meantime, Carmella found herself some work as an orderly at Erinsborough Hospital, where she was shocked to realise that Sky and Teresa were sharing a room. She was even more shocked to learn that Teresa had told Sky about her husband and baby who were waiting at home for her, and was forced to tell Sky that none of this was true. When Sky then went into premature labour a few days later, Teresa’s full obsession came to the fore and she was thrown off the ward and taken to see a psychiatrist. Desperate to get back to see ‘her baby’, Teresa left the hospital and headed to Ramsay Street, where she stole Carmella’s orderly uniform. After being caught by Carmella, Teresa then ran into number 30 and told her cousin that she had to save her baby. As the awful truth dawned on Carmella and she tried to stop her cousin, Teresa spotted a pan of boiling water on the stove and threw it at Carmella before running off. When Carmella didn’t show up for their second date, Will headed home, only to find her in agony on the kitchen floor. He quickly covered her face with a cloth and headed to the hospital, where the extent of Teresa’s mental problems became clear – she had set fire to the building and an entire hospital wing had been evacuated. The following morning, Carmella woke up in a hospital bed, with Rosie and Will watching over her. She insisted that Teresa was behind her injuries and they had to check on her whereabouts, as Sky’s newborn baby was in danger. When Will found out that baby Kerry had gone missing the night before, Carmella explained to the police that Teresa was unstable, having given up her own baby only for it to die. The police managed to track down Teresa, but there was no sign of baby Kerry. Rosie offered to help Teresa, by representing her on the arson charges, but was alarmed to find out that the baby hadn’t been given up for adoption, but that Carmella had sold it. Already overwhelmed by guilt and with Kerry still missing, Carmella was distraught when Rosie then disowned her, and so, she told Will that she could no longer be with him either.

However, Will refused to abandon her and, as it became clear that Carmella was going to be scarred, Rosie also softened towards her sister. They were, however, surprised when Carmella decided that her scar was simply God’s way of punishing her for selling Teresa’s baby and she was going to keep it rather than have reconstructive surgery. It wasn’t until Paul blasted her for being a martyr, pointing out that he’d do anything not to have a false leg, that she changed her mind and went under the knife. All the time, Will stood by her but became more and more evasive as she tried to find out about his past. And when Carmella was told that, as long as she hadn’t broken her vow of chastity, she could return to the convent, she was left with a big decision to make. Unsure of her feelings, Carmella was concerned when she found out that Will had been lying about his dad working at a particular accounting firm, but he covered and told her that if there was no trust between them, then they should split up. After apologising to each other and spending time together at Paul and Lyn’s wedding reception, Carmella decided that she wanted to be with him, and on Christmas Day, the pair slept together before she removed her bandages for good. Soon after, Carmella took Will to meet her mum, but when she asked about meeting his parents, he explained that they were about to leave for six months, to tour Australia in a campervan. When Carmella pushed the point, he agreed to arrange a meeting, then paid an old family friend, Selma Atkins, to pretend to be his mum. When Carmella later saw Will paying Selma, she asked what was going on and he lied that he’d been paying her back some money he owed her.

Carmella was quickly realising that something was amiss where Will was concerned and she told him that, if he couldn’t be honest with her, then they had no future. It was then that Will took her out to dinner and told her the truth – he was extremely wealthy and, following his parents’ death, he’d inherited several hotels in the city, including a 2% share of Lassiter’s. Carmella refused to believe him, until he picked her up in a limo and took her to one of his hotels. Although relieved to have finally found out the truth, Carmella told Will that she’d have loved him, rich or poor, but now the trust was gone, they couldn’t be together. Unhappy with the way her life was heading, Carmella went to see the new doctor, Charlotte Stone, unaware that the woman was a fake intent on conning locals out of their money. Dr Stone put Carmella on a course of tablets which had a dramatic effect on her moods and she was quickly hooked. Reunited with Oliver, things only got worse when Carmella found out from him and Elle that Paul had been behind the incident at the Valentine’s Day retreat, and they were planning revenge, pretending to be a couple so they could con Paul out of everything. Carmella was upset at having to keep her relationship a secret and watch Oliver and Elle pretend to be in love, but she went along with hit, though almost let the cat out of the bag when, during one of her tablet-induced highs, she warned Paul that he should be careful around Elle, as all might not be as it seemed. Luckily, Elle managed to convince her dad that Carmella was just jealous, having lost Oliver, and, soon after, the plan finally worked, and, having convinced Paul to sign his half of the hotel over to Elle, with Oliver having bought the other half from Janelle, they let Paul in on the plan, in front of everyone at their “engagement party”.

Though relieved that she no longer had to pretend, Carmella’s pill addiction continued, and she confused her family and friends with her erratic behaviour and lack of tact. Finally able to spend time with his girlfriend, Oliver quickly realised that she had a serious problem and confronted her, but she took off, claiming that she wanted to visit some fruit and veg suppliers out in the country. Upon her return, Carmella told Oliver that she’d kicked her habit and hadn’t taken any pills in days, and made plans to join him at a function at the hotel, designed to show off the venue to some of Australia’s best travel agents. As the big day dawned, Carmella was clearly struggling without her medication and put some in her bag to take with her. Once there, she made a fool of herself, spilling her drink on an important client, and finally succumbed to temptation and quietly went outside to resume her pill-popping.

As Carmella’s pill problem got worse, she started to grow distant from Oliver, even mistakenly reminding him about their first date, looking up at the stars, before realising that it had actually been with Will. As Oliver grew closer to Elle, Carmella found herself relying on Ringo, the 17-year-old brother of Rosie’s fiancé, Frazer, who she had taken on at Celestial Fruits to help with the deliveries. Ringo quickly picked up on her pill problem and decided that some difficult steps had to be taken, so, having taken the pills from her bag without her knowing, he drove them out into the bush, pretending to be going to a client, and then sabotaged the truck so that they were stuck there overnight and Carmella was forced to go cold turkey. And, as she finally split from Oliver, Carmella found herself attracted to Ringo, even though he was already dating schoolgirl Rachel Kinski. But as rumours spread regarding the amount of time the pair were spending together, Carmella made it clear to Ringo that they couldn’t be more than friends, and he snapped, speeding off in the fruit track and crashing it. Following his release from hospital, Ringo continued to pursue Carmella, who was slowly weakening and the pair were forced to spend more and more time together when they were paired up to dance together at Rosie and Frazer’s wedding. During a trip out to the country to meet a new supplier, Carmella decided to give Ringo an impromptu dance lesson, as he was struggling to learn in front of the others. When they almost kissed, Carmella quickly backed away, reminding Ringo that, apart from the other issues, he still had a girlfriend. Carmella was relieved when Ringo said that he planned to sort things out with Rachel, only to find out that he’d dumped her.

Soon after, Ringo snuck into Carmella’s bedroom one evening to talk about things, only for their conversation to be interrupted by Rosie, desperately trying to finalise the wedding plans. Ringo hid under the bed, but was caught by Rosie and Frazer, who were horrified to think that he’d been hiding there and perving on Carmella. Forced to apologise to her, Ringo came up with the lie that he’d just gone into her room to put some washing away and had panicked when he heard her coming and hid. A grateful Carmella thanked Ringo for saving them both from further questioning, and the pair then started sending flirtatious text messages. Their feelings finally bubbled over during Rosie and Frazer’s joint hen and bucks’ night at Lassiter’s – Ringo crept out of the hotel suite as everyone else slept and went to the pool, where Carmella later found him, climbed into the pool fully clothed and kissed him. But she was quickly snapped out of it when he mentioned that this would be his first sexual experience and Carmella got out of the pool and walked away. The following day, the tension between the pair was palpable and she was forced to use excuse after excuse to keep away from Ringo during the wedding reception. At the end of the afternoon, a group of Ramsay Street residents were being driven home in a minibus when the Parker family’s removal van rolled out onto the street, causing a crash. Though most of them escaped with only cuts and bruises, Ringo and Carmella were trapped at the back of the van, with Ringo in a lot of pain, trapped under a seat. He started telling Carmella that he loved her and, desperate to stop him from losing consciousness, she lied that she felt the same way, moments before they were rescued by Ned. At the hospital, Carmella could barely contain her emotions as they were informed that Ringo’s condition was critical and he had been placed into an induced coma to give his body a chance to recover.

Desperate to talk to someone about everything that had happened, Carmella revealed all to Rosie and soon found herself being thrown out of the house by Frazer, and was forced to return home. But as Ringo awoke, he was still under the impression that she shared his feelings, and Frazer warned Carmella not to continue destroying Ringo’s life, and just to be honest with him. Carmella went to the hospital but found herself unable to break Ringo’s heart and walked away, only for him to suddenly turn up during Sky’s farewell party, having left his hospital bed against doctor’s orders. With most of Ramsay Street looking on, Ringo them asked Carmella again if she loved him, and she was forced to tell him that she didn’t, and that she had lied to him in the minibus. Following this very public confrontation, Rosie was comforting her sister when Carmella suddenly had a dizzy spell and admitted that she felt ill, but, at the hospital, was stunned to learn that she was pregnant. Rosie immediately turned on Carmella, who had claimed that nothing more than a kiss had happened between her and Ringo. But when this was confirmed by Ringo, Rosie returned to support Carmella, who was distraught to realise that she’d been pregnant for a few months, during which time she’d been drinking, eating badly and abusing prescription medication.

Happily, all of Carmella's tests came back clear and so her next hurdle presented itself - breaking the news to her family, and to Oliver. Telling Lucia proved easy, as she spotted some baby booties and, after wrongly assuming that Rosie was pregnant, found out the truth. As Lucia probed her, Carmella insisted that she was happy with the arrangement, as she no longer had feelings for Oliver, but realised that he still needed to know that he was about to become a dad. The following day, Carmella asked if Oliver would meet her for coffee, where she broke the news to him - Oliver was delighted but realised that Elle, who he had since started dating, might not take the news so well. This proved to be true and, after confronting Carmella for her assurance that she wasn't going to try to steal Oliver back, Elle realised that the situation wasn't going to work, so she ended the relationship.

Despite Oliver's new single status, Carmella insisted that she didn't want to get back together with him, and would be happy to raise the baby alone, though she was also pleased when Oliver accompanied her to some pregnancy yoga classes, and supported him when he donated a kidney to his long-lost father Richard Aaronow. Lucia's constant badgering over Oliver was also driving Carmella insane, and she decided that she'd have to move out from under her mother's roof, so Oliver offered to buy a property for her. Though worried that the boundaries of their friendship were becoming blurred, she accepted the offer and found a flat which needed some work doing, but finally gave her a sense of independence. When news came from Rome that her Aunt Maria had passed away, Carmella took the first flight out there, leaving Oliver to renovate her flat while she was gone. Upon her return, Carmella found herself approached by Valda Sheergold, who was in town to launch her online lingerie business and, noticing that Carmella was pregnant and struggling to carry boxes of produce, offered her a job. Carmella turned her down, but it did get her thinking about taking Celestial Fruits online, and she contacted Valda's website designer Jude Troy, who asked for $20,000 to design and run a site for her. With only $10,000 at her disposal, Carmella turned to Rosie and Frazer, who had just received $50,000 compensation for his racetrack accident. Though Rosie agreed to donate the money, Carmella then overheard the couple arguing and, realising the problems she was causing, announced that she would go to the bank for a loan instead. When they turned her down too - due to Rocco's dodgy past - Carmella was ready to give up, until she bumped into Marco Silvani. Marco was the son of Franco, one of Carmella's suppliers, and they knew each other well from the markets, so when he offered to put up the money and go into partnership with her, Carmella agreed.

While Rosie took pleasure in teasing her about the obvious chemistry, Carmella retained that she was in the arrangement purely for her profession. She was soon admitting, however, that she had thought over how complicated a romance with Marco would be with both the business and her residual feelings for Oliver. There was immediate sparks as the pair grew close over an impromptu dinner, Rosie continuing to egg them on in the days that followed. Things grew tense as Marco and Oliver were introduced and Marco soon began judging Oliver for having priorities bigger than fatherhood, upsetting Carmella. Though they soon made up, she was forced to say that nothing more than business could happen between them as she absorbed her role as a mother; Marco then lay his heart on the line by explaining that he had been infatuated with her since they first met but would also accept Carmella’s wishes until she said otherwise.

After experiencing stomach pains, Carmella was relieved to learn that the baby - revealed to be a girl - was perfectly fine. Left alone with Oliver, the pair shared a moment as he felt the baby’s kick though Marco soon accidentally interfered by mentioning the baby’s sex to Oliver, who did not yet know. Immediately picking a fight, Oliver called Marco desperate for wanting to pick up a “pregnant chick,” greatly offending Carmella. Wanting to forgive him and make amends, she was soon convinced by Rosie to walk away from the man who had only ever placed her second, Oliver’s mother Rebecca imploring her not to put herself or the baby through such inevitable stress. She was then left heartbroken as Oliver arrived to apologise and, when probed not to stupidly dodge around everything, it became clear that he did not share her love.

Under Rosie and Marco’s persuasion, Carmella took up on their suggestion of going away for a few days’ break to stay in the country house owned by Marco’s family, with Rosie joining her. Once there, Rosie easily swayed Carmella into snooping through old photographs and keepsakes, until some photographs showed Marco and a woman together on their wedding day. Retaining that nothing could happen between them with this revelation Carmella was later surprised when Marco himself arrived at the house, the pair of them left alone as Rosie returned home. She then took to casually trying to wheedle an answer from him, before telling him upfront that she knew, and was left guilty when she saw how hurt he was to speak of his divorce. As Marco grumpily stopped speaking to her, Carmella made the move of apologising and suggesting they keep things strictly professional. When she then got angry as he appeared blunt and unforgiving he teasingly explained that he saw she was attracted to him, leaving her speechless when he proved it with a kiss.

Taking time out of making deliveries to upload the company website, Carmella was alarmed when it emerged that Jude’s company had gone bankrupt after the advance had already been paid, with only half refundable. Though she apologised to Marco for wasting his money she was surprised when he did not pull out of the deal but suggested that they could still make an online retailer work with what they had. Getting to work on her own novice website design she was left feeling inferior when Marco suggested they instead hire a professional, so she took to seeking out a replacement supplier though was left satisfied as he negotiated an offer to keep himself in the business.

With her proposal turned down by Claudia Scanlon, a potential new client and accomplished produce buyer, Carmella was disbelieving that Marco would make any improvement when he decided to negotiate Claudia himself. Furiously watching as Claudia was won over by his charm, Carmella was dispirited as the pair agreed to further discuss over lunch and told Marco to know where to draw the line, clearly hating the way things were headed. Still claiming that she was not attracted, Carmella was then surprised to find him alone at Charlie’s where Claudia was to meet him; he then got around to explaining that after they had made the deal, he staged the whole arrangement of a lunch date - allowing him to see Carmella’s true feelings in following him.

As Christmas approached, Marco invited Carmella to join him in hosting a party for Celestial Fruits’ clients, which she was happy to agree to, a moment between them later interrupted by the arrival of guests. Despite a shaky introduction to his sister Mia, who clearly did not see pregnant Carmella as a worthwhile relationship, there was definite sparks as Marco invited her to sleep over and they spent their first night together. There was more tension to come next morning, however, as Carmella joined him in the kitchen wearing only his shirt to find that Mia and their mother Patrizia were visiting. Attempting to make conversation she was left hurt as Mia claimed that Marco was still love his ex-wife, though Marco soon made it clear that he was in for the long haul.

Still uncomfortable, Carmella asked that things slow down, before meeting Patrizia who was happy for the relationship to continue, until Marco made a hassle by assuming that she was warning Carmella off and irritating Carmella with his over-protectiveness. With the pair of them struggling to take it slow, Carmella was unimpressed when Rosie purposely suggested that, with Marco “evicted”, he could try for No 26 Ramsay Street just up for sale; she soon realised, though, that doing so would make more sense than Marco moving across town and her struggling on her own. She was soon confronted by dealing with Oliver’s feeling excluded from a relationship with his daughter, assuring him that she would always rely on him to be there.

Refusing to take pain relief during the birth for fear of her addiction returning, Carmella was unwilling as she faced up to the fact that she would have to come clean to Marco about her past. Though he forgave her as she eventually confessed, more was in store when she went into premature labour. As the baby continued to take its toll Marco insisted on an epidural, which Carmella eventually gave into, though the baby’s distresses then forced them to proceed to an emergency C-section. With the procedure underway, Carmella began to fret as the baby had to be fed doses of oxygen during the birthing process. She was then left in the lurch without getting to see her daughter when the baby had to be immediately transferred to another unit for care. Growing steadily more anxious Carmella was horrified to learn that the baby’s breathing was unstable, requiring close monitoring with Carmella refrained from seeing her. Finally allowed to see her baby she was then guilt-ridden to find her in the incubator, blaming her overworking, the new relationship with Marco and the addiction for what was going on; soon coming around she decided with Oliver to name the child Chloe.

As Marco announced that he was going to spend the night in hospital with Carmella she had to forcefully say no and ask for some space, now extremely stressed as Chloe remained under surveillance. When Marco then called for a visit the next day Carmella was forced to apologise and ended the relationship. Still blaming herself for Chloe’s condition she told Marco that all of her affection had be given solely to Chloe, the one whom she owed it to. Returning home from hospital, Carmella was thrilled to find the apartment completely furnished with baby equipment and presents, both Oliver and Rosie picking up on how down she was about Marco.

Things soon came to a head when word came through that Marco was making a permanent move to Perth. Struggling to let go of the past, Carmella was soon distracted by Chloe finally coming home from the hospital and forced to adjust to the reality of being a mother. As Rebecca saw how upset she was about Marco, she encouraged Carmella to give some thought to her own happiness as well as Chloe’s, and so Carmella was thrilled when Marco then called to check in. As they got to talking, Carmella was hurt to learn that he was being offered a 12-month contract at his new job; as she begged him to come home, he admitted that he had been waiting for her say-so and made immediate arrangements to return. As the pair quickly rekindled their relationship, Carmella soon got around to asking him to move in with her and Chloe, to which he hastily agreed. With Marco settling in, the pair came to realise that the flat was not big enough for the three of them, bringing Marco to confess that he had been eyeing up No 26 since it went on the market. Though it seemed like a good investment, Carmella explained that she would much rather he chased his dream of opening a restaurant instead. She soon came to see that a family home was something they both wanted, though came into competition with the Parker family who were also intent on buying.

After they were outbid at auction Carmella faced more opposition from Mia, who soon managed to sway Oliver with her thoughts of Marco and Marisa, his ex-wife, still feeling something for each other. When Oliver then learnt that Carmella had asked Marco to be Chloe’s godfather, he was insulted and again began to feel more pushed out. When Marco came to understand the situation, he made Carmella realise that it would be more courteous to let Oliver have some say and instead she offered Rosie the role of godmother.

Overjoyed to learn that Rosie was pregnant, Carmella’s happiness was put on hold when she and Marco returned home to find Oliver and Mia heavily kissing on the sofa. While she came to accept that it was not just a fling, Marco was particularly scared that Mia would divulge “things” that he had told her in confidence. Wanting to tell Carmella himself before someone else did, Marco confessed that he was infertile. On edge at first, wondering when he had been planning to tell her, Carmella ultimately refused to let it affect the relationship.

Things picked up as Carmella and Marco signed the contract to rent No. 24 during Harold’s extended trip. Soon after, though, the question of whether the pair were having more children arose and Carmella was pushed to tell Rosie the truth. While she retained that they were happy as they were, Rosie strongly advised Carmella not to compromise her happiness of having more children just to satisfy Marco. Things got worse at Chloe’s Christening when Oliver got wind of the situation and publicly accused Marco of using Carmella in his plot to “steal” Chloe, leading to a fight between the two. With things between the three worse than ever and Oliver doing everything to drive Marco away, Carmella made Marco promise not to get in his way again, eventually telling the pair to grow up when their attempts to be civil proved futile. As tickets arrived for a trip to Rome in order for her relatives to meet Chloe, Carmella was thus grateful for the escape as Oliver refused to back down with threats of battling for sole custody of Chloe.

Upon her return a month later, Carmella was unimpressed to discover not only that Elle had become Marco’s new partner at the General Store, but also that her cousin Sienna had arrived in town. With Sienna hoping to make up for the girls’ petty bickering in the past and learn from Carmella as a role model, Carmella agreed to build bridges as necessary. She then had more pressing matters to focus on with the $20,000 debt on her credit card bills from Italy, and Marco - left with no other option - accepting a loan from Elle.

Some good news arrived when Oliver announced that he was dropping the custody case, realising that it would only cause more hassle. Yearning to escape all the drama, Carmella took to stealing money from the Store till for shopping and clubbing, the first in a series of impulsive thefts. Caught in the act by Marco, already completely stressed with his two jobs, she finally admitted to having an addiction and sought to seek help.

Carmella was thrilled when, during his birthday picnic in the park, Marco proposed to her. Celebrations were cut short however, when a bushfire broke out, forcing the group to evacuate. Finding shelter, Marco realised that he had left Chloe’s bottles back at the site and vowed to get them back, along with Carmella’s lost engagement ring. Returning to the shelter, he found the door welded shut by the fire, while Carmella and the others were helplessly left to do nothing as the flames beat down. When the fire passed and Marco was brought to hospital, the severe burns had left him with only hours to live. When he then asked Carmella to marry him from his hospital bed the next day, hiding the extent of his injuries, the procedures went ahead and they became man and wife. Not letting on that she knew that things were not as well as Marco had said, Carmella made sure to later stay at his side until his passing.

Walking around in a daze as the funeral drew nearer, Carmella found comfort in Marco’s spirit as he encouraged her to put the grief behind her, as he would always be near. Taking the first step as she attended the funeral in a dress previously worn for the couple’s anniversary, Carmella again looked to Marco’s spirit for guidance, poignantly singing Amazing Grace in honour of him. That evening, a lonely Carmella was overheard by Oliver wishing for Marco to be with her again. Completely misconstruing her words, Oliver kissed her, greatly infuriating Carmella. Though they quickly put it behind them, it was not long before Oliver’s continued support led to another kiss and Carmella was left confused over her feelings. When Oliver then took up a job in New York in order to give Carmella the space she needed, he later asked that she and Chloe join him. Now certain that her old feelings had returned Carmella was tempted, though insisted that she needed time to grieve for Marco before jetting off to start things over; the couple consequently shared a last goodbye kiss before Oliver left town for good.

As she took over Marco’s share of the Store - by way of honouring his memory - Carmella was not put off by the fact doing so made her Elle’s new partner. Aiming to look past it, however, the girls found that they worked well together and their old friendship was slowly restored. Coming to lean on Elle, Ringo and the newly-returned Harold as she worked past her grief, Carmella was in a bind as to whether she could officially move forward with Oliver, now moved to Portugal. Finally deciding to take him up on the offer, a farewell party was held with Carmella fully signing her half of the Store over to Elle - lastly requesting that it be renamed Harold’s as a tribute. Packed and ready to go, she then bid goodbye to her friends and loved ones before setting off, later informing Rebecca via video message that she, Oliver and Chloe were happily settled with their new life as a family.

More than two years passed before Carmella set foot in Erinsborough again, returning with Oliver and Chloe to help Rebecca, whose marriage to Paul had ended badly. Rebecca had pushed Paul from the Lassiter's mezzanine in a moment of rage, and he was now using the information to blackmail her and stop her from moving on with her life, with new man Michael Williams. Knowing from personal experience how low Paul could stoop, Oliver and Carmella explained that, although willing to help her fight Paul, they knew that she couldn't continue to live her life constantly looking over her shoulder, waiting for Paul to hurt her again. Deep down, Rebecca knew that Paul wouldn't give up until he'd destroyed her and everyone she cared about, so she asked Michael if he'd be willing to go to Portugal with her. Unfortunately, he told her that he couldn't make such a huge change with his home and daughter already in Erinsborough, but he then tried to convine Rebecca to stay, by proposing marriage. A thrilled Rebecca accepted, much to the shock of Oliver and Carmella, who said that they would still be returning to Europe the next day, and taking Declan and India with them. Carmella then did her best to support Rebecca, as her sons and Michael argued over what was best for everyone, and Paul continued to make threats. Ultimately though, Michael knew that he was being selfish by trying to keep Rebecca with him, and told her that it would be best if she left and, knowing he was right, Rebecca packed her bags and left Erinsborough, and Paul, behind her, to make a fresh start surrounded by her family.

Trivia Notes
• In 2005, Natalie's role as Carmella won her the Logie for Most Popular New Female Talent, almost unheard of for a guest actor on a series
• She made several guest appearances in 2003, 2004 and 2005 before joining the cast permanently in 2006
• In 2007 and 2008, Natalie was nominated for the coveted Gold Logie
• Although Carmella and Chloe left Erinsborough in episode 5598, they made a further appearance in episode 5600 through a video message with Oliver. It had been filmed before David Hoflin left Neighbours. Oliver, Carmella and Chloe then all returned for two episodes in March 2011, to facilitate the exit of Jane Hall (Rebecca)

4378-4405, 4439-4445, 4588-4695, 4817-4832, 4966-5600, , 6116-6117

Magic Moments
Episode 4378: Carmella's Arrival

Episode 4966: Carmella's Return
Episode 5371: Chloe's Birth
Episode 5598: Carmella and Chloe's Departure

Biography by Brendan