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Comment > Love Thy Neighbour: Janae Timmins by Steve

The Timmins family first started descending on Ramsay Street in 2004, bolder and brasher than their cousins, the Rebecchis, and now, the last one is moving out. During her three years in Erinsborough, Janae has grown from a man-hungry petty thief into a mature young woman with a divorce behind her, a business and a stepson to think about. Let’s take a look back at her journey from slapper to stepmum…

It’s hard to believe that the young woman who’s leaving Erinsborough in 2008 is the same bogan who first set foot on Ramsay Street in April 2005. The elder of the two daughters born to unconventional mum Janelle Timmins, Janae turned up with her younger sister Bree and was already adept, aged 15, at using her feminine wiles to get what she wanted. Sadly, those feminine wiles quickly got her into trouble when she attended an all-ages gig and had her drink spiked by the evil Chris Cousens, though she was rescued by her siblings – Bree, Scott and Dylan – proving that, although they spent most of them time arguing and haphazard home life, the Timmins family still had a very close bond.

Relationships were never a strong point for Janae, who quickly went after one of Erinsborough High’s most popular guys, Mike Pill, stealing him away from his girlfriend Shazza and proving that she’d go to any lengths to keep him by having unprotected sex. But Janae finally showed some sense when, after weeks of him pushing her around, Mike refused to take her to the pharmacy for the morning after pill, so she ripped the windscreen wipers off his precious car and told him, in front of his friends, that he was dumped. After only a few months, Janae had proved that she wasn’t a walkover and, although she was boy crazy, she still had her pride. Her next story would show that she also had some emotional depth, as she start seeing school counsellor Karl Kennedy, causing some deep-seated insecurities about her father, Kim, to come to the fore. Kim had come and go from the Timmins family fold when the kids were growing up, and Janae decided to run away, back home to Colac, to reconnect with her father, leaving Janelle believing that Karl had tried it on with her. Janae returned to clear things up, but the issues with her absent father continued until he turned up in Erinsborough later that year, as the family believed that Dylan had died in a plane crash. Dylan later showed up alive and well, and Kim stuck around for several months, eventually fleeing town when his pirated DVD business caught up with him and the police turned up during his ‘re-wedding’ to Janelle.

Having uncovered the source of her problems with men, Janae’s next relationship was to be a slightly happier one – at least to begin with – when she started dating Boyd Hoyland, a couple of years her senior. The relationship often had its problems – Janae’s jealousy and insecurity almost split them up several times, whilst her past with Mike came back to haunt her when she learnt that he’d been diagnosed as HIV positive and had to undergo a test, which proved negative. When Boyd started medical school, Janae struggled to see him making friends with other girls, who she felt would probably be more of an intellectual match for him, and warned them off. Her jealousy caused them to split, but by July 2006, they were back together and getting married, though, in true Janae style, she’d fallen out with her mum and, in lieu of her permission, was using a fake birth certificate that had gotten her into clubs in the past.

The marriage was a hasty one, and many viewers, and other characters, believed that Janae was too immature and would soon be cheating on sensible Boyd. The reality proved to be very different, however, as Boyd, struggling to deal with the disappearance of his dad, Max, ended up cheating with a girl he met in Tasmania, Glenn Forrest. Before long a devastated Janae was forced to endure a humiliating wait as Boyd tried to make his mind up. Though Boyd chose Glenn, she realised that his heart wasn’t in it and she left, but Boyd’s attempts to reconcile with Janae came to nothing, as she again proved that, when the chips were down, she was strong enough to walk away from a man.

Boyd left Erinsborough soon after, but Janae had already started to move on by that point, with her hatred for neighbour Ned Parker slowly turning to love. Ned and Janae had history dating back to early 2006, when he accompanied her to a school formal during one of her many splits from Boyd, but it wasn’t until another twelve months had passed, and Janae had been forced to do a lot of growing up, that they were drawn back together. Ned had been forced to rob the Timmins house to pay off gambling debts and, after confessing, was left to make things up by helping Janae out around the garage that she owned. With Janae developing an interest in boxing, Ned became her coach and gradually they started to respect each other, but neither would admit their true feelings. It wasn’t until Janae lost the remaining members of her family – following Stingray’s death and Dylan’s departure for Queensland earlier in 2007 – when Janelle and Bree moved up north to Cairns, that she was forced to decide whether she wanted to be with Ned or not. After deciding to go, Janae was advised by Janelle to stay and give the relationship a go – after all, it was only a quick plane ride up the country if things didn’t work out.

Janae had done a lot of growing up during her marriage to, and split from, Boyd, quitting school and eventually taking up an apprenticeship at Carpenter’s Mechanics. With her new career blossoming – despite a few early problems with her boss, Christine – Janae ended up taking over the business when the Timmins family came into money. Next came parenthood, as Janae became surrogate mum to Ned’s son, Mickey, a boy that Ned hadn’t even known existed. As Ned and Janae got together, they quickly formed a family unit with Mickey, but visits from Mickey’s mother, Kirsten, left Janae feelings confused and pushed out. Though things improved as Ned’s brother Steve and his family moved in with them, taking some of the burden from Janae and giving her people to confide in, Kirsten’s ongoing presence left Janae and Ned’s relationship on shaky ground, so much so that Steve and his wife Miranda decided to leave her out of the deal when 26 Ramsay Street went up for sale.

Possibly due to her relationship problems, or due to the fact that she’d taken on too much responsibility at such a young age, Janae finally snapped and ended up kissing Darren Stark, who was the long-term boyfriend of neighbour Libby Kennedy. The revelation ended Libby and Darren’s already shaky relationship for good, while Ned and Janae tried to work through their problems. Though both parties were willing to try, the whole experience was confusing for Mickey, who couldn’t understand why Janae no longer lived with them, wanting everything to be back the way it was. Realising how much she was hurting him, Janae proved what a strong, mature young woman she’d become by deciding that she had to take herself out of the equation, announcing that she was moving up north to live with her family.

And so, following a tearful airport goodbye with cousin Toadie, good friend Steph, as well as Ned and Mickey, there to wave her off, Janae boarded her flight out of Melbourne, a very different girl from the one who’d arrived three years earlier, hoping to hitch a ride to Erinsborough by flashing a bit of leg. Her low-cut tops, her boganish tendencies to raid the hard rubbish collection and, most of all, her short temper, will be greatly missed.