Remote Area Nurse: characters

Helen Tremain (Susie Porter)

Helen Tremain is a white registered nurse in her mid 30s who has been working in remote areas of Australia for most of her career. Passionate and outspoken about indigenous health, Helen is committed to the cause. She has worked on the island for a long time now and is determined to train up local islanders as health-workers with the goal of eventually making herself redundant. But her identity is so linked to the island, its problems and its people that the prospect of life away from it is almost inconceivable. She's smart, spunky, hard-working and confrontational with a salty sense of humour.

Russ Gaibui (Charles Passi)

Russ Gaibui, husband of Ina, is in his 50s and is the father of Eddie, Solomon, Paul (adopted), Nancy and Faith (adopted). He is the all-powerful island chairman and rules both island and home with an iron fist, much to the discomfort of his family. Not above using influence and manipulating public opinion (both within the community and outside it) to achieve the desired political result, he is judgmental and self-serving — but also incredibly, undeniably charismatic.

Robbo (Billy Mitchell)

Robert Henry Hoffman (Robbo), is a white barge operator in his mid 30's. A life-long drifter, Robbo has camped out in the waters off the island now for a number of years, and wants no part of the politics or social issues of dry land. The laid-back coach of the island football team and long time friend to Helen, he is content with this transitory existence but is self-aware enough to know that ultimately, he wants more.

Paul Gaibui (Luke Carroll)

Paul Gaibui is in his early 20s and is the son of Russ and Ina and brother of Eddie, Solomon, Nancy and Faith. He is the defacto of Bernadette and father to Rhianna, Esther and Jasmine. A capable and committed health worker, openly resentful of white involvement in island health care. The Acting Health Centre Manager coping with the stress of the job, as well as the pressures of home life. Long overlooked by his father, his family banished to a one room flat out the back of his grandmother's, Paul struggles to balance study, work and family, at times turning to drink and pot to cope. But instead of dulling his anger, it only fuels it.

Bernadette (Merwez Whaleboat)

De facto of Paul. Mother of Rhianna, Esther and Jasmine. Spirited, strong-willed islander girl who likes a drink, a game of cards and a good time. In an argument she gives as good as she gets, especially when the confrontation is physical. Frustrated by the monotony and social restrictions of island life, Bernadette speaks her mind, and refuses to tow the Gaibui party line, much to the consternation of her de facto's father, the island chairman.

Nancy Gaibui (Margaret Harvey)

Nancy Gaibui, mid 20's, is the daughter of Russ and Ina, sister of Eddie, Paul, Solomon and Faith, and biological mother of Faith. The chairman's high achieving daughter — a science graduate and now first-year medical student who has, to her father's disappointment, deferred her study to work out where she fits in the world. Torn between the social ease and intellectual challenges of the mainland and the pull of the remote island that is her home… as well as the love for her daughter, Faith, who was adopted to her parents at birth to allow for Nancy to reach her full potential. Back working as a health worker in the interim, Nancy looks to her friend Helen for guidance and support in navigating the treacherous path of parental expectation.

Solomon Gaibui (Jim Gela)

Solomon Gaibui is in his early 20s and is the son of Russ and Ina. He is brother to Eddie, Paul, Nancy and Faith, husband to Lindy and father of Grace. He is the second-born son of the island chairman and — in the absence of Eddie, the black sheep — his father's favourite. Married to a white woman, living the good life in well-appointed quarters downstairs from his parents, with a high status job as the island quarantine officer, Solomon takes his good fortune for granted. A keen fisherman, he is cocky, self-assured and proud.

Eddie Gaibui (Aaron Fa'aoso)

Eddie Gaibui is in his late 20s and is the son of Russ and Ina. He is the brother of Solomon, Paul, Nancy and Faith. The first-born son of the island chairman, estranged from his family, Eddie returns to the community to start a rival church, for personal as much as religious reasons. Handsome, strong-willed, a captivating public speaker, and a mesmerising dancer, Eddie is very much his father's son.

Ina Gaibui (Serai Zaro)

Ina Gaibui, in her 50's, is the long-suffering wife of island chairman Russ, and mother of Eddie, Solomon, Paul (adopted), Nancy and Faith (adopted). She is the daughter of Mrs. Augustus, the sister of Doug. She is patient, loving and kind. As the woman behind the man, Ina has long kept her opinions to herself but her silence masks a steely resolve.

Lindy Gaibui (Peta Brady)

Lindy Gaibui, in her early 20's, is Solomon's wife and mother of Grace. A pretty white woman married to the favoured son of the island's prominent family, she is determined to make a go of a marriage in a culture far removed from her own, Lindy is tenacious, resourceful and loving.

Mick Gaibui (Belford Lui)

Mick Gaibui, in his 40's, is the brother of Russ and father to Giddy and Judy. Mick is the island policeman and doubles as its deacon. Known for his spirited, joyful, yet somewhat unorthodox sermons as much as for setting new land speed records on his police-issue gator.

Myrtle (Louisa Taylor)

Biological mother of Jesus. A simple soul, Myrtle is playful, loving, loyal and never without her feather duster. She enjoys being around both people (especially Helen and the health workers) and crocodiles.

Mrs. Augustus (Santa Marina Rodgers)

Mrs. Augustus, in her 60's, is mother to Doug and Ina and grandmother to Eddie, Solomon, Paul, Nancy and Faith. The widowed former midwife relishes her status as elder within the community. She enjoys a game of cards with her friends and worries constantly about her schizophrenic son, Doug.

Doug Augustus (Moses Kaddy)

Doug Augustus, in his 40's, is the son of Mrs. Augustus. A schizophrenic, well loved on the island, known for cadging smokes and his bowerbird — like collection of flotsam and jetsam. A gentle soul, whose only frustration in life is the constant supervision of his ageing mother.

Vince (Bruce Spence)

Vince, in his 50's, brother of George and brother-in-law to Judy. A white "entrepreneur", Vince washed up on the island with his brother George and has made the best of it for the best part of fifteen years. Together they have forged a living from their import business — booze, drugs, deep-fried delicacies, you name it. Their illegal trade is an open secret within the community. A lifelong smoker, Vince's health is dubious. Apart from his brother, he is closest to his dog, Baskerville.

George (John Brumpton)

George, in his 40's, is the brother of Vince and husband to Judy. Despite being married to an islander, the white George and his brother hold the island community in contempt, and while being openly critical of their traditions, he is comfortable enough with his lot in life to have stayed put this long. And though married to the sister of the local policeman, his career has not suffered… the demand for his wares remains undiminished. Along with Vince, they are known on the island as the "Cholesterol Brothers".

Lucy (Norah Bagiri)

Lucy, 30 Mother of Daniel, Joey and Jesus (adopted). Lucy is a health worker, privately critical of the involvement of white nurses in indigenous health. Prone to gossip, spelling words out loud and general inefficiency, she is nonetheless an integral part of the island's health centre team.

Dr. John Bourke (Felix Williamson)

Dr. John Bourke, in his late 20s, is a white doctor on a working holiday in the tropics. Though vaguely colonial in his attitude to islanders, he is pragmatic in his approach to indigenous health.

Tuuks (Gabriel Ingui)

In his early 20s, Tuuks is Giddy's friend and a would-be gang member. Bored to distraction on the CDEP program, he spends much of his time smoking pot, drinking or sleeping. Anger and resentment simmers just below the surface.

Mr Ted (Dan Mosby)

A plain-talking island elder and the husband of Mrs Ted (played by Elsie Passi), who is a diabetic with a weakness for Mars Bars and a low tolerance for Mrs Augustus.

Judy (Gail Mabo)

In her late 30s, Judy is the wife of George and sister of Mick. Judy is the silent partner in the Cholesterol Bros. business, and perhaps the 'brains' of the operation.

Amos (Fred Kebisu)

Amos, aged 9 — a mischievous island kid.

Gideon "Giddy" Gaibui (Patrick Ahwang)

19 years old, Gideon is a talented footballer who plays guitar in his father's church.