Home and Away is renowned for its “revolving door” of characters; while Summer Bay mainstays like Alf Stewart, Irene Roberts, and Marilyn Chambers have remained for decades, the majority of the other characters often go after only a few years.
The year 2023 was no exception, as a few well-known names came to the end of the line. Some of the guest characters also left after their plot lines naturally wrapped up.
Here, we take a look back at the year’s most noteworthy departures so far and discuss the reasons behind each one.
Niku Parata’s Kawakawa Fox-Reo
The news that Kawakawa Fox-Reo would no longer be playing Nikau Parata was initially made public in November 2022. In March 2023, his last scenes were broadcast on Australian television.
Kawakawa had portrayed the part of Nikau for three years, which is typically the length of a younger cast member’s contract.
Kawakawa didn’t conduct an exit interview prior to leaving, although rumours claimed that he was prepared to take on new endeavours.
In recent months, Kawakawa has travelled extensively, including a trip to the UK.
Bella Nixon’s Courtney Miller
Bella Nixon was played by Courtney Miller until she left the role in 2022, however this year she returned as a guest cast member to take part in Nikau’s farewell plot.
After their tragic breakup, Bella and Nikau had unfinished business, so Courtney returned for a few episodes to wrap things up and give the young pair their happy ending. This indicated that Bella’s comeback in 2023 was always intended to be fleeting.
Courtney stated on the Stuff website in New Zealand that she made the decision to leave in 2022. I had undoubtedly completed my acting contract. In reality, I continued working for a further three months. I did it joyfully but not without shed a lot of tears.
She said, “I genuinely believed that when I left, I was saying goodbye. My tale had continued without me, so it seemed strange when I returned. She was mentioned. Despite the fact that I, Courtney, didn’t, she did continue to exist in that universe.
Ziggy Astoni’s Sophie Dillman
This year marked the end of an era for Summer Bay as the last living Astoni family member announced his retirement. Ziggy has been portrayed by Sophie Dillman since 2017.
The actor who portrayed Ziggy’s on-screen boyfriend Dean, Patrick O’Connor, and Sophie both left at the same time.
We both did everything we could with our characters, so it was time to begin a new chapter, she told Australia’s TV Week magazine.
It’s emotional and heartbreaking, but we recognise how fortunate we are to have had such an amazing run.
Patrick O’Connor as played by Dean Thompson
Patrick’s persona After learning that his little son Jai would be relocating to Far North Queensland, Dean made the decision to leave the Bay with Ziggy. Dean was happy when Ziggy recommended they move yourself so they could be closer to him because he didn’t want to be so far away from his oldest child.
Patrick opened up about abandoning the character of Dean after five years in real life.
It’s a major commitment and a significant portion of my life, he told TV Week. During the time we were there, I felt like I transformed into six different people.
Both as an actor and a person, I’ve grown a lot. Although it’s a fantastic place to work, I was prepared to go on.
The fifth is Jordi Webber (Kahu Parata)
This year, Jordi Webber brought some life to the Parata home when his character Kahu dropped by and got into a little of trouble with his cousin Tane.
Later, viewers learned that Kahu wouldn’t be remaining around because he had to return to New Zealand to face the consequences after Tane learned of his secrets.
For this specific narrative, which aired for around a month, Jordi was added as a guest cast member.
He reflected on the part in an interview with Stuff, saying, “[The producers] wanted Kahu to be extremely free, hyper surfy, and Mori, and at the time, I was touring the east coast of Australia in a van, living in a tent.
“I was the ideal candidate in terms of energy and personality. That is how I got there.
“It was like the part was written for me; they were just waiting for me to come in and fit in,” he continued. Simply put, I needed to be more charming and cheeky.
Like other individuals from my hometown, I have a large number of cousins, including Kahu. It was quite simple to sort of harness that, and I definitely added a little of my own free, playful spirit.
Andrew Lawrence’s Joshua Hewson
Although Andrew Lawrence, played by Joshua Hewson, is still continuously airing in the UK, his farewell scenes first aired in Australia in July.
The terrible activities of the Vita Nova cult made Andrew’s stay in the Bay exciting, but it was always the plan for him to leave as soon as the plot was resolved.
Joshua stated to Perth Now when asked about his future goals, “It would be my desire to get to Hollywood. As soon as I can, I want to hit it.
That has always been my first priority. As soon as possible, hit Hollywood and America.