800 Words: profiles

Shay Turner played by Melina Vidler

Shay is George's 17-year-old daughter; a young women looking to figure out who she really is. She's got as far as realising she will never be as academically inclined as her younger brother, but she is much more naturally inclined towards art, to the point of having actual, real talent — even though she doesn't realise this yet.

When her mother died only a few months ago everything else in her life has paled into insignificance. She has tried to be strong for her father and brother, and to step up and fill Laura's shoes around the house. But this is an impossible act for anyone, let alone a 17-year-old. The end result is a huge amount of grief and hurt building up inside. She knows it's there, but she hides it because she has to be strong for her family.

Her father's decision to move the family to a small town in New Zealand could be the thing that finally tips her over the edge.

"Shay doesn't want to lose precious memories of her mum. If she moves to New Zealand then that's all going to be gone, and it will be like her mum never existed," explains Melina.

Melina Vidler

Melina Vidler is an actor and model with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Queensland University of Technology.

This is her first major television role and she says working with Erik has been phenomenal.

"It's mind-blowing how incredible Erik is.

He is very generous and so willing to give advice; he's really become a sort of father figure in real life because this is my first time in such a big production. I went to him for advice all the time," says Melina.

Melina's previous acting credits include the feature film The Arrangements, the television show Mako: Island of Secrets and a series of short films, theatre productions and television commercials.

She has also worked as a photographic and runway model.