Medivac: characters

Dr Harry Edwards,

Graeme Blundell

Director of the Emergency Dept

Harry is considered a legend in Emergency Medicine. Julia and Wayne came to Bethlehem West Hospital specifically to train under him. However, lately he has lost his cutting edge and is suffering burn-out. He agonises over the realisation that it's time for him to retire.

His career began in Vietnam where he discovered the thrill of Emergency Medicine and the adrenalin rush from saving lives. Harry returned to Australia where he fought to have Emergency Medicine recognised as an acceptable and respected field. He helped establish the Australian Society of Emergency Medicine. Years of respect and adoration from those younger has led to pomposity and vanity. He wears $1,000 suits and $600 shoes and spends a lot of time in front of the mirror. He drives flashy, expensive cars and is seen to have friends in high places. Each year he marches beside the Premier in the ANZAC parade. His office is a monument to himself. Plaques, trophies, photographs of himself, even a framed invitation to The Lodge, adorn the walls. He considers himself to be a very important person and demands respect and humility from all. In his day he was fast, imaginative and successful. His Emergency department was once the best in the country, but now it ranks about tenth.

Dr Robert (Red) Buchanan,

Nicholas Eadie

New Director of the Emergency Dept

The ‘Red Adair’ of Emergency. Red is an unorthodox troubleshooter. Married, but not that you would know it. His wife, Jane, is a world-renowned disaster relief specialist who flies in to see him two or three times a year. They communicate and conduct their love affair through postcards, faxes and the Internet. He's a working class boy made good and he's proud of his achievements. He has a reputation for turning chaotic emergency rooms into smooth running machines in record time. In Algeria and then Zaire, with Medecins Sans Frontieres, he led medical teams caring for over 50,000 patients a week. He's entrepreneurial, a creative thinker who crashes through problems and bureaucratic entanglements. He loathes committees, regarding them as boring and paralysing. Red is determined to reshape his crew into no less than the country's finest Emergency unit. Anyone who doesn't share his vision had better keep out of his way. He will play the game or bend the rules. He will be whatever the circumstances dictate if it means furthering his quest. Red is a hands-on physician who is happiest when all hell breaks loose, when he is up to his elbows in casualties.

Dr Julia McAlpine,

Genevieve Picot

Specialist Doctor in Emergency Medicine

It was pre-ordained that Julia would become a medical specialist. Her grandfather, a highly respected surgeon, was knighted for his services to medicine. Her father, also highly regarded for his skills as a specialist surgeon, was a leader in pioneering new procedures.

Educated in the best schools, Julia was a natural leader from an early age. At Medical School, a lecture by Dr Harry Edwards inspired her decision to specialise in Emergency Medicine.

She came to Bethlehem West Hospital to study under Dr Harry Edwards and quickly earned the role as Deputy Director Of Emergency. Outside the hospital, Julia lives alone in the family mansion. Her parents, having retired to their property up North, often travel abroad and visit only when attending the opera or a society function.

She socialises with old school friends and regularly dines with university colleagues to keep abreast of latest developments. A patron of the arts, she enjoys attending opening nights at the opera, theatre, ballet and symphony orchestra performances. Julia finds exhilaration in sailing and horse riding and excels at both. She oversees the training of her stable of race horses and regularly attends racing carnivals.

Dr Archibald (Arch) Craven,

Grant Bowler


On the surface Arch is all swagger and attitude, complete with shaved head, earing, tattoos and bikie leathers. He spends his free time playing drums in a raucous rhythm and blues band.

His attitude, dress, Harley, and swagger are a manifestation of his determination to rebel against his wealthy background. Despite appearances, Arch comes from an extremely conservative family and was educated in private schools. His parents are appalled by his appearance and his apparent anti-social behaviour. They are desperately waiting for the day he grows his hair, dresses properly and starts behaving in a "responsible" manner.

Arch is highly intelligent and an extremely good doctor. Unlike Wayne and Julia, he will spend more time with the patients on a caring basis. His caring nature makes him more popular with the nursing staff than the doctors. Arch shares his small house with his Harley which takes pride of place in the living room.

Macy Fields,

Rena Owen

Nurse Manager

Bold and brash, Macy keeps the nursing staff and the doctors on their toes. An original staff member, Macy has been in Emergency since Dr Harry Edwards began the department 15 years ago. She will not tolerate idiots and runs the nurses with care, consideration and discipline. She handles the administrative responsibilities with accuracy and speed. She is astonishingly experienced, not only in the care of patients but also in the sensitive psychology of dealing with their relatives. She believes nurses should always put the patient first.

Macy admits she gets emotionally involved with some patients. She knows it's foolish but can't stop—won't stop. It's inherent in her "Earth Mother" nature. Married to plumber Roy Fields, they have two children aged eight and six. They live in a rambling old Queenslander by the river. Just as Macy is the centre of the Emergency Department, together she and Roy are the centre of the local community. She loves life and all it has to offer, you wonder how she can squeeze so much into her busy schedule!

Dr. Wayne Doubé,

Eugene Gilfedder

Specialist Doctor in Emergency Medicine

Wayne is in his mid thirties, and a highly experienced Senior Emergency Specialist. He sat for the fellowship degree in Emergency Medicine but failed. Relentlessly negative and often gloomy, nothing is ever good enough for him. The only exception is medicine. He believes in medical intervention, because it's a proven lifesaver. In a crisis he is renowned for his speed, accuracy and tireless energy. Wayne regards patients as an inconvenience and has a "superior" attitude that offends others. He thrives on turning chaos into order and may be the creator of the chaos in order to demonstrate his skills.

Wayne isn't intentionally an unpleasant person. He's lonely and afraid of dying alone. The death of his wife from cancer was a catastrophe, from which it seems he cannot recover.

He lives alone. Spending his money and his free time on his impressive stamp collection. Happiness eludes him. Indeed he is terrified that he will never be happy.

Gosia Maléski,

Caroline Kennison

Clinical Nurse

Gosia is a "take charge" nurse like Macy, but that is where the similarities end. Nobody can quite get a fix on who Gosia is because she's hiding from her past. She suddenly left home at a young age, never communicating with her parents, leaving them anguishing, never knowing if she's dead or alive. She wandered aimlessly across the continent fulfilling her inner need for excitement. She has been at Bethlehem Hospital just over a year. The adrenalin rush and unpredictability of emergency provides the excitement Gosia needs and fuels her appetite for short term "pleasure".

Bree Dalrymple,

Danielle Carter

Registered Nurse

Bree is the youngest member of the team, and part of the "new breed" of nurses. She demands respect from the doctors and the patients and regards her job as a caring moral one.

Bree is an energetic worker and a passionate adrenalin junkie. From a working class family, she grew up with her six rugby playing brothers. She shares a house with other nurses and loves to party. Away from the hospital she seeks the thrill of skydiving, white water rafting, rock climbing and hang-gliding. She will try anything. Being a health nut can sometimes make her a pain to the other staff, as she reminds them of their poor dietary habits and the hazards of smoking. Her beliefs in post-trauma therapy and her knowledge of accu-pressure as an alternative to opiates in pain management, enable Bree to stand out from the crowd.

Dr. Marina Zamoyski,

Lisa Forrest


From a normal catholic childhood, Marina sensed her calling at 15. She wanted to care for people. In keeping with her desire to care for people, Marina studied to become a nurse. She spent two years as a missionary nurse in Papua New Guinea and had to deal with many ethical problems, like Family Planning. She advised against the teachings of the church in favour of the welfare of the patients. Frustrated by the short supply of doctors to assist with the missionary work, Marina decided to return to Australia and train to be a doctor. Her plan is to return to PNG as a doctor to continue her service to the people. Her time in PNG has made her resourceful and independent. She has a short fuse with difficult people and will do her best to make others comfortable while not compromising herself.

Her plan to return to PNG is firmly in her mind, but the more time she spends in Emergency, the more she likes it!

Dr. Mark "Oopy" Hiltonwood,


Oopy is young, handsome, talented and knows it. Mark Hiltonwood is from ‘old money’. He attended a private school and holds a medal in rowing and an honours degree. He still plays rugby at weekends, dabbles in gold stock and carries his pager and mobile phone with him constantly. He wears his "old boys" tie in the Department as a status symbol. He still lives at home with his parents. His mother dotes on him; still preparing his meals, cleaning his room, doing his laundry. He's a more-than-competent intern but greatly lacking in social skills. He's doing his requisite ‘tour of duty’ in Emergency and has no intention of making it his career. Unlike other doctors, Oopy presents a selfish money-orientated approach to medicine. He's not there to save lives—he's there to get rich. He plans to move into cosmetic surgery; a field that has nothing to do with health, only peoples vanity. Oopy hates his work environment and his arrogant disrespect quickly puts him at odds with his colleagues. The only common thread he shares with them is his need for an adrenalin fix.

Dr. Jane "Colonel Doom" Buchanan,

Helen O'Connor

Disaster Specialist

Dr Jane Buchanan is Red's wife… "Doom" because she's found wherever a major disaster strikes, and given the honorary rank of Colonel by the military to take "command" of disaster situations.

She is always on the move overseas. In Rwanda, one week advising on burns victims, Indonesia, the next coordinating disease control following an earthquake. Spectacularly vain, she expects the whole city to be put on cyclone alert. She's much too restless and in-demand to hang around for too long. She keeps in touch with her husband Red, via postcards, faxes and the Internet which provides gossip for the hospital staff who often know what the Colonel is up to before Red does. From an upper class background, Jane met Red at University. They married young, lived together for a time, but both found it restricting. Jane was on a holiday overseas when a volcano erupted and being the only doctor around she took charge of the situation—receiving world wide acclaim and starting her career as a Disaster Specialist.

Dr. Thomas Albert Shawcross



Skilled doctor and diagnostician. Refuses to keep his illness from keeping him from working as it is all he has going for him at present.

Develops a relationship with Julia after she takes over his pain management and later marries her. An only child.

Dr. Sean Michaels



24-year-old intern with dreams of greatness but a lack of self confidence to achieve his goals.

Father is an oncologist at Bethlehem West and is also Dr. Shawcross's physician.

Dr. Stella O'Shaughnessy



A young intern who is very confident in her medical skills but quick to take offense at having her medical opinions challenged.

Family owns a car wrecking yard.

Evie Morrison, RN


Registered Nurse

Young nurse with ambitions of becoming a doctor. Transferred to the ER from the pediatrics ward.

Has an on again, off again relationship with Sean Michaels.

Roy Fields



Macy's husband. Has his own small plumbing business that frequently brings him to the hospital.