Debbie Schipp, The Sunday Telegraph, reports
They’ve touched our hearts in Australia's most popular and enduring dramas - and they've done it more than once.
Television screen queens Rebecca Gibney and Georgie Parker, both 48, have proved themselves the masters - or mistresses - of reinvention. Through characters on hit shows including A Country Practice, All Saints, The Flying Doctors and Packed to the Rafters, they have netted three Gold Logies, a swag of silver and outstanding actress awards, and shared in some of Australia's most treasured televised moments.
Both feature in The Sunday Telegraph's list of TV's Top 100 characters - more than once.
Gibney and Parker agreed that making the cut wasn't just down to them. Their success was a combination of great writing, character resolution, and an audience love of Australian voices telling local stories.
Gibney said 30 years ago she would have scoffed at the idea that she'd still be working post 40. "The fact that I'm 48 and still kicking is great," she said.
The mum-of-one's big break came at the age of 19, when she was cast as the girl next door mechanic in The Flying Doctors - a role she played from 1986 to 1991 - and audiences loved her. She was a hit in All Together Now opposite Jon English and by 1994, as cool, Armani-clad Dr Jane Halifax in Halifax f.p. Gibney was a firm favourite with Australian audiences. Her most recent incarnation as Julie Rafter only reinforced that.
"Of all the characters Julie Rafter probably came the easiest because she felt like a combination of all of my sisters," she said.
And it's her role in Rafters that connects to Parker - they share Erik Thomson as a love interest. He plays Mr Rafter and Parker's boyfriend in All Saints. Parker, currently starring as Ruth "Roo" Stewart in Home And Away, first came to prominence as lovable nurse Lucy Gardiner in A Country Practice. She collected Gold Logie number two as All Saints former nun turned nurse with a heart of gold Terri Sullivan.
"It's the character, not the actor, people fall in love with," she says. "The characters are the stars. They captured imagination, they were in good shows and they hit a nerve, so that the audience wanted what was best for them."
Television screen queens Rebecca Gibney and Georgie Parker, both 48, have proved themselves the masters-or mistresses - of reinvention.