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Laura (2008)

A girl of Indigenous descent who, after accidentally dumping the landlord Michaelis' dog's ashes into the creek, becomes conflicted over whether she should apologize and face the consequences.
  • Abandon Ship: She and her friend Soriya go sailing in a small boat they find by the creek and pretend to be pirates. It goes far from well and they are forced to jump out when a hole causes it to start sinking.
  • Dive! Dive! Dive!: What she and Soriya are forced to do when the boat cannot stay afloat any longer.

Mohammed (1998)

A boy who is into cricket and describes himself as 'a mad keen bowler'.
  • Pet's Homage Name: Named his goldfish after Shane Warne and talks to it as if it were the actual cricket player.

Lily (1988)
Episode appearances: 1988
A Vietnamese Australian girl whose attempt at fitting in is temporarily interrupted by the arrival of her cousin.
  • Always Second Best: Starts to feel this way in regards to her younger cousin.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Lets her jealousy get the better of her and tries to make school life more difficult for her cousin. It backfires each time, causing her to get in trouble with her teacher and her parents.
  • Culture Clash: With her cousin, Phuong.
  • Flower in Her Hair
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Quickly becomes jealous when Phuong proves to be better than her at most things and wins the attention and awe of her classmates.
  • Teacher's Pet: Her teacher Mr Mcgrath praises her as one of the smartest students he has taught. The tables turn once Phuong arrives.

Mike (1978)
Episode appearances: 1978
Michaelis and Janice's son, who is fascinated by Australian muscle cars from 1968 - 1978.
  • '70s Hair: More specifically, the type of bowl cut that is commonly associated with young boys who grew up in that decade.
  • Birds of a Feather: Both he and the Tippy are considered odd by those their age.
  • Cool Car: One of his primary interests.
  • Good with Numbers: Able to quickly solve most mathematic problems his classmates have, a trait which only contributes to him being labelled as strange.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With the Tippy, a Vietnam War veteran whom everybody else tries to avoid.
  • Precocious Crush: On Sofia's friend Nina. He asks the Tippy for advice on how to talk to girls, which he later puts into practice on her, much to the shock of his aunt.

Sofia (1968)
Episode appearances: 1958, 1968, 1978
Michaelis' sister, first seen as a baby in 1958. She and her friend Mareka plot to break Michaelis up with with his girlfriend.
  • '70s Hair: Her appearance in 1978.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To her older brother, Michaelis. She attempts to stop him from dating Janice and smudges lipstick on his clean clothes, among other things.
  • Demolitions Expert: Apparently wishes to become one as a child.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Wears her hair in these.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Enjoys blowing toys up with crackers with her friend Mareka.
  • Trolling Translator: She deliberately gives her mother and grandmother wrong translations of Janice's words, so that they have a bad impression of Michaelis' girlfriend.

Michaelis (1958)
Episode appearances: 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, 2008
A Greek boy who simply wants to fit in with other Australians.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Being the son of Greek immigrants, he ends up being picked on by the other Aussie boys. He gets accepted eventually, though.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Sofia in 1968. His leaving for Vietnam and his relationship with his girlfriend don't do much to close the distance between them, until the end of the episode.
  • Birds of a Feather: He and Janice bond over their liking of Robin Hood and their misfit status.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Janice, as seen in later episodes where they have apparently married and had a child together.
  • Cranky Landlord: Briefly becomes one after Laura and her friend accidentally dump his dog's ashes into a creek.
  • Dad the Veteran: A Vietnam War variation, as he is seen as a father to Mike in 1978.
  • Important Haircut: Has his hair shaved into a military style before he leaves for national training.
  • Happily Married: With Janice
  • Nice Guy: Easily forgives Laura when she apologizes for dumping his dog's ashes.

Jen (1948)

Her father died fighting in World War Two and her mother marries another man.

Colum (1938)

Bridie and Kath's younger brother. He makes it his goal to save his friend Thommo's family from eviction.
  • Ace Pilot: Dreams of becoming one and is obsessed with Spitfires.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Wears a pair, though it probably has more to do with him trying to look like a pilot.

Bridie (1928)
Episode appearances: 1928, 1938, 1948
A little girl living during the twenties whose outing with her sister Kath and their friend Lorna ends in tragedy.

Bertie (1918)

Younger brother of Edward and Evelyn.

Evelyn (1908)
Episode appearances: 1908, 1918
  • Heroic BSoD: When she finds out that Freddie and her father are dead in 1918.
  • Holding Hands: With Freddie as they watch fireworks on cracker night and gaze briefly at each other.
  • One of the Boys: Prefers to play with boys and insists on being the hero in their make-believe games.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: Played for laughs when she realizes her father may punish her for wasting expensive crackers before cracker night.
  • Puppy Love: Has a crush on her friend Freddie and dreams of marrying him. Unfortunately, her dream never comes true as he dies in World War I.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: As she pretends to shoot Freddie, who is dressed up as a tiger in one of their games.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: She, along with her brother Edward and friend Freddie accidentally set off their father's firecrackers. They then try to find a way to replace them as soon as possible.

Rowley (1898)

Believes that performing 1000 good deeds will make his father come home.

Victoria (1888)

Henry (1878)
Episode appearances: 1878, 1888
Minna's nephew, who is friends with Leck's son Franklin.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Believes this of himself when nobody seems to appreciate what he does. He begins to fantasize about a time when machines will be able to take people to the moon as well as do the washing.
  • Bungling Inventor: In trying to experiment with a hot air balloon, he blows up his schoolhouse and is subsequently expelled.
  • Child Prodigy: Failed inventions aside, he is pretty bright and manages to make a working dough churner in 1878, seven years before they were patented in America.
  • Dashingly Dapper Derby: Is seen wearing one when he makes an appearance in 1888 as a coach driver.
  • Homemade Inventions: Not surprising, considering the infrastructure of the time period. Henry makes most of his machines right in his family's saddlery as his father watches.

Minna (1868)
Episode appearances: 1868, 1878, 1888, 1898, 1908, 1918, 1928, 1938, 1948
The youngest child of two German immigrants. She later becomes a matriarch of sorts to the Muller family and has the most consecutive episode appearances out of all the central protagonists.
  • Alliterative Name: Minna Muller.
  • Catapult Nightmare: She wakes up this way after having a frightening dream in which a golem that she makes comes to life.
  • Cool Old Lady: Lives to be at least ninety and continues to play a major role in subsequent episodes, usually providing advice or emotional support to later children.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover
  • Mirror Scare: One of the Owen boys gives her a mirror and dares her to summon the Bloody Mary. She does so, and jumps in fright as soon as something appears behind her.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Claims to be unafraid of anything, enjoys frightening the Owen boys, loves Edgar Allen Poe and is interested in ghosts.
  • Proper Lady: Polite and soft-spoken as an adult, in contrast to her child self.

Ben (1858)
Episode appearances: 1858
An American boy who comes to Australia with his family after his parents failed to find gold in San Francisco.
  • Culture Clash: With local Chinese boy Leck, whom he believes is responsible for the disappearance of his cat Scratch.
  • Named After Someone Famous: Benjamin Franklin is his full name.
  • Not So Different: When he asks Leck if he has ever eaten cat, Leck initially counters by asking him if he has ever eaten gophers or pigeons.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: When he sees John Owen throw out a broken clock, he comes up with a plan to fix it before selling it for a high price so that he can get a turkey for Thanksgiving. After coming across some difficulty, he reluctantly goes to ask Leck for help.

Johanna (1848)
Episode appearances: 1848
Sarah and Sam's granddaughter, who must sell potatoes for her family instead of go to school.
  • Fiery Redhead: The local boys tease her because of her hair colour and she has quite a temper.
  • Heroic Bastard: Was born out of wedlock and has no idea who her father is for most of the episode. It's John Owen.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Lives with her grandmother Sarah after her mother Alice died giving birth to her.
  • Youthful Freckles

Davey (1838)
Episode appearances: 1838
Sarah's son, as well as the younger brother of Alice and Maryann. He tries to save his favourite horse Duchess from being sent to the tannery.

Alice (1828)
Episode appearances: 1828, 1838
One of Sarah and Sam's daughters. She enters a pig race against George and her younger siblings.

Charles (1818)

The hardworking son of Mr and Mrs Owen, two fairly wealthy landowners from England. He unwittingly ends up having to help a convict on the run and tries his best to keep the secret hidden from his parents.
  • Birds of a Feather: He finds out society is also preventing Liam from becoming what he wants to be.
  • Oh, Crap!: His reaction when Liam (the convict) decides to gatecrash Sarah and Sam's wedding, which is being held on his family's land.

Sarah (1808)
Episode appearances: 1808, 1818, 1828, 1838, 1848
A servant to Mrs Thea Owen. She befriends Alice Owen, the sickly daughter of her mistress.
  • Birds of a Feather: She and Alice become friends over their shared loneliness and feeling of being trapped.
  • Happily Married: To Sam from 1818 onwards.
  • Messy Hair: When she first arrives at the Owen's house.
  • Servile Snarker: She becomes this a few times in response to Alice Owen's demanding attitude.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Has her hair done up neatly and her face clean for her wedding with Sam. She even manages to convince Mrs Owen to let her wear an expensive shawl.
  • Street Urchin: Was one before she was hired as a servant.
  • With Friends Like These...: Her friendship with Alice is arguably this, as Alice is rather mean to her at times and isn't above taking advantage of her.

Sam (1798)
Episode appearances: 1798, 1808, 1818, 1828
A convict boy who is sent to work for Mr Owen.
  • City Mouse: Spent most of his life in cities and towns, and initially has a hard time adjusting to working on a farm.
  • Farm Boy
  • Happily Married: To Sarah from 1818 onwards.
  • Justified Criminal: Transported to Australia for stealing a jacket when he couldn't afford one himself.
  • Oop North: He and his family originated from Yorkshire, England.
  • The Klutz: Rather clumsy when it comes to doing menial tasks.
  • The Promise: To another child convict who did not survive the trip to Australia. Sam promises to keep their token so that he can eventually pass it on to their family.

Dan (1788)

Waruwi (1788)

Bunda (Before Time)

Barangaroo (Before Time)


Bunda's Father

  • Good Parents: Does what he can to help his sons and accepts that their behaviour won't always be perfect.



Mrs Thea Owen

  • Proper Lady: Places great value on her family's good breeding and manners, of which she goes to great effort to pass on to her children.

Alice Owen

John Owen

The younger brother of Alice Owen and older brother of Charles. He inherits the family fortune when his parents pass away and becomes the patriarch of the Owen family.


An escaped convict who hides on the Owen estate. Charles is forced to give in to his ever increasing demands.


The sister of Alice and Davey, as well as Johanna's aunt.


One of the Owen's stablehands, he serves as an older brother figure to Davey and later marries Maryann.

Leck Wong

A Chinese immigrant who befriends Ben in 1858 and later opens his own shop.
  • Eat the Dog: When asked if he's ever eaten cats by Ben, he gives an affirmative answer before explaining that his family were starving at the time.
  • Not So Different: It turns out that Ben and his family have also eaten unusual things to survive.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Ben when they fix a clock together because they both want the money.

Adelaide Owen

Minna's best friend, who is always eager to play a part in scaring her brothers.

Minna's Parents

Karl Muller

Minna's older brother and Henry's father.
  • Family Business: Runs the Muller saddlery and expects his son to follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately for him, Henry would rather start a company with Franklin.

Mrs Wong

Leck's wife and Franklin's mother.

Franklin Wong

Leck's son and Henry's best friend in 1878. He repeatedly stresses the importance of testing inventions first.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Wanders out into the bush alone when his sister goes missing.
  • Bungling Inventor: Similar to Henry, though he is more sensible and possesses more common sense.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Every time Henry gets a little too excited over a invention.
  • Leave Me Alone!: Does this a few times to Henry after Mrs Wong forbids them from spending time with each other. Things return to normal between them once one of Henry's lanterns help to locate Mei-Lin.

Mei-Lin Wong

Franklin's little sister. She happens to be rather fond of floating lanterns.


  • An Arm and a Leg: Loses a leg while fighting in World War I.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Taunts Evelyn by reminding her of her potential punishment if she doesn't finish her chores by five.
  • The Pollyanna: When he comes back from the war, he remarks about how lucky he is to have only lost a limb. His little brother Bertie on the other hand, doesn't take things as well.

Freddie Müller

Minna's great nephew.


An Aboriginal digger who befriends Bertie.

Kath Wilson (née Sheahan)

A sister to Bridie and Colum, she later marries Jack and gives birth to Jen.
  • Parent with New Paramour: She begins dating Wal after Jack dies, much to Jen's grief.
  • Team Mom: Older than Bridie and Lorna, as well as the one who assumes the most responsibility and looks out for their safety.


A friend of Bridie and Kath.


  • Romancing the Widow: His relationship with Kath.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Jen certainly finds him unattractive, rating him as a three out of ten and thinking that her mother is too good for him.

Jack Wilson

Kath's husband and Jen's father.


The Tippy

  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Everybody refers to him as 'The Tippy' throughout the episode, with the sole exception being when Michaelis offhandedly mentions that his real name is Jerry.


A young boy who Mike makes a bet with. He turns out to not be all that he seems.

Mrs Benson

A neighbour to a few of the characters from 1958 to 2008.

Lily's Friends

  • Innocent Bigot: They refer to Lily's cousin Phuong as 'a boat person' and openly discuss how long it will take for her to become 'normal,' while being seemingly unaware of how offensive their statements might be.


Thi Mai

Lily's strict mother.


  • Passionate Sports Girl: Tries out for the boy's cricket team since there isn't one for girls, but gets rejected. She tries to form her own team as a result and invites Mohammed to join.


Laura's best friend.
  • Hypochondria: Self-diagnoses herself with lockjaw based on some internet research, after accidentally swallowing dirty creek water. It turns out to be a false alarm.


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