Water Rats: articles


Raelee's New Recruit

Raelee Hill is delighted another girl has joined the Rat pack…

Cop a look at this. Much to the pleasure of the Water Rats cast and crew, another Rat has been added to the ranks—and this time the new police officer has a pretty female face.

"It's certainly good to have another girl on set," says fellow Rat Raelee Hill with clear relief. "I have to say you get a little boy-ed out after a while. I have really been outnumbered by the boys in the past 18 months."

So pleased was Raelee to have another young female added to the bloke-heavy Water Rats bunch that the pair instantly became gal-pals.

Blonde Sydneysider Allison Cratchley (who has been seen in Murder Call, Neighbours and Home And Away) plays new police diver Constable Emma Woods.

"One day the boys walked in and said we were going to get a new diver, and I just assumed it was going to be another guy," Raelee says.

"When I saw the name Emma Woods I thought: 'It's a woman. This is excellent'.

"There's a lot of testosterone in this show—a lot of guys in the cast and the crew is always 95 per cent male—so it can get a little overbearing. But I think she's dealing with it well.

"Don't get me wrong, they are fabulous boys, but sometimes you just feel you want to be around some girlies."

Spending most of her time on the police boat or in the water, Allison knew she either had to sink or swim with the blokes on board.

"I saw them and thought: 'OK, just be one of the guys. Because if you're not, you'll never survive'," Allison says.

"I get on well with men and enjoy being around them, which is lucky."

"It's great having Raelee here, though, because you just find yourself talking about toenail polish and that sort of thing—not the sorts of things you can talk about with guys. Raelee is very generous and very giving, so I feel really lucky."

Raelee agrees it's nice to get into a more girl-oriented head space from time to time: "There's a different dynamic and energy when you chat with a woman. You really look forward to just sitting down with your girlfriends for a chat."

Catherine McClements and Toni Scanlan are other females in the cast, but Raelee and Allison are the two girls whose paths cross most often. And, because of all the criss-crossing, they've already discovered a few mutual passions.

"We met in the make-up van, and she was so sweet to me," Allison says. "It can be a bit scary joining a cast, but we found out quickly we had things in common, such as golf. We both play, but not really well, so we plan to fit that in at some time. Oh, and we plan to head to the snow, too."

What's in my handbag!

I'm not a girl at all when it comes to my bag. I've got a wallet, a hairbrush and bills. That's about it. Oh, and my mobile as well."

"I don't have a handbag, I need a satchel. I've got a pen, paper, book, lipstick, tampons, no brush, but photographs of girlfriends, letters from my sister, no phone, but a diary, jasmine oil, car-keys, chocolate, a squeaky toy and anything nostalgic. It's a back-pack."

By Shane Sutton
TV Week