Joanna 'Jo' Evans (née Hartman) 1995, 1996-1997
Joanna Hartman Emma Harrison
Lived: 24, 30 Ramsay Street
Parents: Tony 'Tarquin' and Kate Hartman
Marital Status: Rob Evans (1996-)
Family Tree: Hartman/Evans
Occupation: Aerobics Instructor, Co-owner of Anna-Jo Promotions, Investor in Chez Chez, Barmaid
As Annalise was about to leave Erinsborough for a new life overseas, she was stopped in her tracks when a young lady came knocking on her door - claiming to be her long lost sister. Annalise was at first in denial, thinking there was no way on earth that this mystery woman who stood before her could be who she said she was, but the realisation soon sunk in, and she realised that she must learn to accept the girl, named Joanna Hartman, as her half-sister. She cancelled her trip overseas to spend some time getting to know her.
Jo realised that Annalise had never met their father, so she arranged for them to meet - Jo spun many stories about him, saying what a great man he was, which led to Annalise dreading the meeting due to nerves. When Tarquin Hartman did eventually meet Annalise, she was shocked at his occupation - a female impersonator! Jo was upset that her sister couldn't see past her father's job, and begged her to give him another chance. Annalise was against this, especially since he humiliated her in public by performing a song for her in character. Jo desperately tried to get the two to reconcile and become friends, especially as Tarquin announced that he was going to be leaving soon. She eventually succeeded and the pair settled their differences and became friends. Jo then left with Tarquin, asking Annalise to come with them - but Annalise had too much unfinished business in Erinsborough and said a tearful goodbye to the new family who had left her life as quickly as they had entered it.
However, Jo was to return to Erinsborough later in order to spend more time with her sister. They became inseperable and when Annalise told Jo about the article Libby Kennedy had written about her relationship with Tarquin, the girls decided to get their revenge on her. They left her a note saying her appearance would change if she didn't send on a chain letter - Libby nonchalantly ignored the threat, but then Jo and Annalise stole her school uniform as payback. When they saw Libby in the newsagency buying envelopes to send on the chain letters, they felt sorry for her and confessed all, saying it was just simply them extracting their revenge on her. Jo had bigger fish to fry anyway - going into business with Annalise.
In order for the girls to concentrate on their business, named Anna-Jo Promotions, Jo moved into Number 24. She got off on the wrong foot with landlord Marlene Kratz, because Annalise never even consulted her about letting Jo move in. Even worse was Cody Willis' instant dislike towards Jo (she at one stage even branding her a "waste of space"). They brushed Cody to one side and focused on their business - and after advertising for several weeks with no luck, they got their first client. However, all was not as it seemed. They were soon contacted by the police, and told that their client was in actual fact, a criminal. The policeman asked them if they would go undercover so they could catch him. Annalise was instantly against the idea, but Jo managed to persuade her to go along with it. Jo blew her cover whilst on the job and nearly destroyed the entire business. Whilst all this was going on, Jo had taken it upon herself to play matchmaker with Cody and Stonefish Rebecchi, after they had broken up. Jo wanted to try and do a good deed to mend her rift with Cody, but as would be expected, her action of kindness was taken the wrong way, and Cody erupted at Joanna, not quite able to believe how she could have the audacity to meddle in her affairs. Unable to live under the same roof as Jo anymore, Cody decided to move out. This event made Jo feel extremely guilty, and she considered moving out of Ramsay Street - as all that had happened since she arrived was create trouble and have a run of bad luck. Annalise persuaded her to stay, saying she needed her for the business.
Annalise was soon regretting that decision, however, when Jo began to date her ex-fiancé Mark Gottlieb. Annalise couldn't believe what her sister was doing, but Jo failed to see the problem - after all, they had broken up almost a year ago, and Annalise was in a relationship with Sam Kratz. When the relationship didn't go according to plan, Jo was worried that Mark still had feelings for Annalise. Mark convinced Jo that she was the only person he was interested in, and unfortunately for him, Jo took this statement as him meaning the pair should get married. Jo's friends became increasingly worried for her when it soon became evident that her love for Mark was fast becoming an obsession, and Mark realised that Jo valued the relationship a lot more than he did. When Mark told her that it was nothing but a fling, Jo broke down and realised that she was in dire need of professional help.
She began to come around, after realising that she was simply looking for security, and just when things started to get back on track, Mark tried to set her up with slime ball Marty Hackman. Jo was devastated that Mark could do this to her, and rued the day she ever set eyes on him. Whilst all of this was happening, Jo's sister was also delving into romantic endevours - but not with Sam. Whilst tutoring Stonie, the pair shared a kiss, and both were wracked with guilt afterwards. They decided to finally "get it out of their system" and were, as would be expected, caught in the act by Sam and Stonie's mother, Angie Rebecchi.
Annalise fled to Number 24 where Jo was waiting, begging to be told what was happening. After she put two and two together, she booked Annalise and herself into a motel so they could talk about the recent events. Annalise appreciated the shoulder to cry on, and Jo did her best to support her sister, as well as keep her friendships with Sam and Stonie. After sorting herself out, Annalise realised that the relationship with Sam was over, collected her things, and left Erinsborough for good. Jo was left behind to fend for herself, and more confrontations with Cody made her consider moving to Western Australia to be with her father again. However, she decided not to go when Stonie asked for her help to put together a dance routine for his Performance Arts course at University. They were both thrilled when he won a place to study there.
Joanna then met Bruce Styles at the gym, who said he was pleased with her work and wanted to employ her. Jo was ecstatic at this, but her happiness was shattered when Cody cruelly remarked that she was an air head and that dancing around in a leotard couldn't be considered a profession. The nasty jibes made Joanna all the more determined to succeed - and it looked as though Karma wanted to repay her for all the problems she had been through with Cody, when she soon met the man of her dreams at the gym - the wealthy Rob Evans.
Jo had to then question her future as an aerobics instructor when she found out that the only reason Toadie Rebecchi joined her class was to perve on the women in lycra. A diversion from this hassle was offered when Sam roped her, Luke Handley and Mal Kennedy into doing a photo shoot for his Stefano Gold modelling career. Her confidence in her job was tested again when the gym she worked at decided to go 'women only', as they weren't generating enough money from the male clients. Although she campaigned to abort the decision, it went ahead -- but this actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Rob employed Jo as his personal trainer.
The residents began to gossip about Jo and Rob's "relationship", and Jo started to believe the rumours herself, when after accepting a lunch date with him, she found out she beared an uncanny resemblence to his late wife. Rob insisted that he wasn't dating Jo because she resembled his deceased spouse, but because he genuinally enjoyed her company and liked being around her. To prove his feelings were genuine, he proposed to her, and Jo had no hesitation in accepting.
Jo enlisted the help of fashion designer, friend and neighbour Danni Stark to make her a perfect wedding dress. When Danni delivered the finished product, Jo was mortified by the monstrosity that had been created, and said that Danni had ruined her wedding. The wedding became the only focus in Jo's life, and she abused, sniped and bitched at anyone who stood in her way or could possibly cause a hitch for the big day. She ticked off handyman Mal one too many times, and he threatened to walk out on the job unless she changed her attitude. Jo realised she had let the wedding get on top of her, and even asked Danni to make her another dress. She was thrilled when Rob had arranged for her father Tarquin to return for her special day.
The wedding arrived and went off without a hitch, and Sam left Erinsborough to patch things up with Annalise in Europe. Married life wasn't all Jo had hoped it would be. Rob was away on business a lot of the time, and Jo hated rattling around his empty mansion without him. In order to occupy herself, Jo decided to become a silent partner in Chez Chez - but Jo didn't seem to understand what the words "silent partner" meant, and started to dish out her ideas and nag owner Cheryl Stark into improving the pub the way she wanted it to be. Cheryl began to wish she had never let Joanna get involved in the first place. Much to Cheryl's glee, Rob returned to Erinsborough and told Jo to pack her bags - they were moving overseas because of his job. Jo quickly packed her bags and said goodbye to her friends and headed off to begin her new life with Rob in Europe.
But the residents were in for a shock when Jo returned a few months later. Whenever someone asked after Rob, Jo would quickly change the subject or brush off the question. It didn't take long for her friends to realise something was up, and Jo eventually came clean and announced to Marlene that she had broken up with Rob whilst in Europe.
Luke took sympathy towards Joanna and allowed her to stay at Number 30, causing Danni to be jealous - especially when Luke insisted on including Jo in all their plans, but Luke soon made Danni realise that Jo was not a threat to their relationship. Jo had got hold of tickets to the Melbourne cup, and invited Mal Kennedy along with her - Mal soon realised they had less in common than he initially thought, and tried to subtly tell her he was not interested in a relationship with her by taking her to drag racing. Jo was blind to this, and eventually Mal had to tell her straight up that he wasn't interested in her. When she later spied Mal kissing her housemate Catherine O'Brien, she was far from impressed. Joanna started to feel as if she was friendless in Erinsborough, and began thinking about the possibilities of leaving once and for all. She moved out of Number 30, and later on, just when Jo was feeling like no one was her friend anymore, Catherine extended an olive branch and the two patched up their differences.
The Number 30 girls Sarah, Catherine and Jo, were looking for a new housemate after their disasterous time with Luke's old Uni friend Vince, and decided to take in Lisa Elliot, a new teacher at Erinsborough High. Despite the fact the girls were all at each other's throats when Lisa viewed the house, they convinced her to move in, saying that normally they all get on fine.
Having had her shares in Chez Chez bought from her by Lou Carpenter, Joanna decided to invest in something else, and looked to Debbie Martin's coffee shop. Debbie's father Philip intervened and tried to talk her out of it, and Debbie exploded with rage when she found out he had deliberately undermined her. Nevertheless, Jo did end up investing the business, but gave Debbie various ultimatums when she showed poor management skills. Jo then turned her interests in Lou's used car business, and vowed to help him out.
Jo's business with Lou came to an abrupt end, however. After the love letters between herself and Rob were made public, she made the decision to renew contact with her estranged husband. The following day, Jo was on the next plane out of Erinsborough - and straight into the open arms of Rob, leaving a bottle of champagne and a note for her housemates.
• Jo suffered from arachnophobia
Episode 2395: Joanna's
Episode 2640: Joanna and Rob's Wedding
Episode 2832: Joanna's Departure