Rhiannon Bates Teressa Liane
Rhiannon Bates 2013
The casual ex-girlfriend of Mason Turner, larger-than-life country girl Rhiannon
arrived in Erinsborough soon after Mason had settled into town with his family. Mason had moved on from Rhiannon and was doing his best to win a date with student teacher Kate Ramsay,
when Rhiannon suddenly turned up. She explained that she'd left her eight-year-old son, Jackson, with her sister and had come down from Mount Isa to pick up where she'd left off with Mason. He, however, wasn't
quite so keen on the idea, trying his best to keep her at arm's length, and horrified when she and Kate met, and Rhiannon introduced herself as his girlfriend. After chatting to Kate and making it clear that he
and Rhiannon had never been serious, and that he'd ended things with her before moving to Erinsborough, he also told Rhiannon the same thing - that he didn't want to be with her again. Rhiannon was devastated,
but as Mason was telling Kate what he'd done, Rhiannon suddenly bounded up to the pair of them and announced that she was moving onto Ramsay Street!
Mason was also preoccupied with the disappearance of his old mate Robbo Slade. Robbo and Mason had robbed a warehouse in Mount Isa and, whilst Mason had been caught by his dad,
police sergeant Matt, Robbo had escaped. Matt had also found Mason's younger brother Bailey at the scene of the robbery, but had let him go, and it was
this that Robbo was now blackmailing the family over. Matt had received a threatening letter and, believing it to be from Robbo, Mason was desperate to track him down. After learning that Rhiannon had mentioned seeing
Robbo whilst chatting to his sister Amber, Mason eventually managed to get Rhiannon to open up to him about Robbo's whereabouts, though he had to kiss her passionately to get her to talk -
with the kiss witnessed by Kate and seemingly ruining any chance he had with her. Desperate to find Robbo and end things once and for all, Mason was about to go to Mount Isa when Rhiannon confessed that she'd been the
one who sent the threatening letter, wanting Matt to suffer for sending Mason to juvie and splitting him up from her. Mason once again had to tell Rhiannon that he didn't want to be with her, and having finally got
the message, she realised that she was stuck on Ramsay Street for the next few weeks, as she'd used up all of her money on the bond and a month's rent.
As she tried to move on from Mason, and struggled with seeing her rival Kate around Erinsborough, Rhiannon moped around number 26, irritating her new housemate Sheila, who became
determined to get Rhiannon's life in shape. When Rhiannon attempted to crack on to Lassiter's boss Paul Robinson, she was hurt as he told her that he didn't go near skanky women like
her. Seeing how much Paul had upset Rhiannon, Sheila told her that she needed to stop dressing so provocatively in order to attract men, and simply tone things down a bit. Rhiannon had a makeover, and it soon attracted
Paul's attention, who offered to buy her a drink before realising who he was propositioning. Delighted, Rhiannon knocked him back, but he persisted, particularly as he found out that Rhiannon was an old friend of the Turner
family - with Paul's niece Kate dating Mason, he was eager to make sure that he wasn't going to break Kate's heart. Rhiannon was annoyed as all Paul wanted to talk about was Mason and his past, but he then made her an offer
of lunch the next day, when he took her to a hotel room. She, however, was one step ahead of him and, having jokingly tied him to the head with some pink fluffy handcuffs, she told him that she wasn't the type of girl
who would sleep with a bloke on the first date. She then threw the key across the room and left him there.
With no money to help pay her way around the house, Rhiannon was encouraged by Sheila to go out and find a job. With no qualifications, Rhiannon feared that nobody would hire her, but when Paul heard that she needed money,
he decided that she'd be the perfect person to help him. Needing more council votes to help his plans for some of the hotel to be turned into apartments, Paul was planning to wine and dine councillor Allan Hewitt,
telling Rhiannon that he wanted her to act as his 'salesperson', charming Hewitt and convincing him that the apartments were a good idea. Delighted to be given the opportunity by Paul, Rhiannon studied the information on the Eclipse Apartments and
put on her smartest outfit but was alarmed as Allan started to push his luck, cracking on her, unable to keep his hands to himself. When Allan went to the bar, Paul encouraged Rhiannon to go along with it, offering to double her $500 payment for
the evening. When Hewitt started talking about taking Rhiannon back to his room, it seemed initially that she was going to go along with it, but then she grabbed the bottle of champagne and walked out, telling both men to get stuffed. Later that
week, Rhiannon visited Paul to get the money she was owed, and was disgusted to learn that, because of her little stunt, Paul had been forced to bribe Allan to get his vote. After taking her $500, Rhiannon bought an X-Box, telling her housemates that
it was a birthday gift for Jackson, but when Jackson later called the house, Chris learnt that it had been his birthday weeks ago. Sheila tried to get to the bottom of Rhiannon's lies, and she explained that she'd
been saving for a gift for Jackson before she came to Erinsborough, but had blown all of the money on a night out with her friends - which had made her realise what a terrible mum she was, so she'd left Jackson with her sister and fled town.
Sheila convinced Rhiannon to go home and fix things with her son, telling her that it was never too late, and Rhiannon said her goodbyes to the friends she'd made in Erinsborough. She also returned the X-Box and gave Paul his $500 back, teaching him
a valuable lesson as, in her parting shot, she told him that he could be a decent, honest human being too and she'd helped him along that path by reporting him for bribing Allan Hewitt.
Several months later, Rhiannon made an unexpected return to Erinsborough, when Matt asked her to come down and help with some enquiries into the Allan Hewitt bribery case. Matt had grown tired of Paul always managing to escape his
charges and was determined to pin something on him, and with her flight paid for, Rhiannon was happy to help. Unfortunately, she struggled to remember the exact details of her meetings with Paul and Hewitt, and Matt told her to think
things through and come back later that day. Meanwhile, Rhiannon caught up with many of her old friends in Erinsborough, delighted to learn that Mason was now single again. She also had a chat with Sheila, who was upset to learn that things
hadn't improved too much for Rhiannon back in Mount Isa, where everyone already knew her and nobody was willing to give her a chance. Sheila told Rhiannon that she had to make her own chances in life, and force people to take her seriously.
Paul also made it clear that he wasn't happy to see Rhiannon, warning her that, if she made a statement against him, he would make sure that everyone knew that he'd paid her to be his escort on that evening with Allan Hewitt, and once word got
back to Mount Isa, things would be very difficult for Rhiannon and her son. After thinking this through, but knowing how worried Paul was about her return to town, Rhiannon made a deal with him - he gave her a job at Lassiter's and the chance of
a fresh start for her and Jackson, and she agreed to withdraw her statement.
After chatting to Karl, Rhiannon learnt that he was looking for a drummer for his band, and she said that she knew someone, though they might need somewhere to stay for a few weeks when they arrived in town. Karl was happy to agree, but was in
for a shock when, the following week, Rhiannon returned to start her new job and introduced her 9-year-old son Jackson to Karl as his new drummer. With no chance to say no, Karl and his unimpressed wife Susan found themselves with
two new lodgers, and lumbered with much of Jackson's childcare, as Rhiannon started her orientation at the hotel. She was pleased to find herself working alongside Mason, and encouraged him to become a bigger part of Jackson's life, and even suggested that she
and Mason could have a 'friends with benefits' arrangement. After failing to take the job seriously, and losing the hotel an important client in the process, Rhiannon soon had other thing to worry about when Jackson
went missing. After asking Susan to take him to school, and having packed his bag so that a new mattress could be delivered to his room, Rhiannon didn't realise that Jackson had misunderstood and thought he was being thrown out by the Kennedys. Rhiannon
was distraught to learn that Jackson had run away, and soon most of the neighbourhood was helping with the search. He was eventually found at Kyle's builder's yard, and Rhiannon, having furiously blamed the Kennedys for the situation, was shocked when she
realised that she was to blame, having left Jackson feeling like there wasn't room for him in her life.
Rhiannon assured her son that there was room for him and for Mason in her life, and Jackson quickly came to enjoy having Mason around. However, although he was happy to be back with Rhiannon, Mason was starting to feel uncomfortable with the instant family set-up,
and being a father figure to Jackson at only 18 years old. It didn't take long for Rhiannon to see through his excuses, and she confronted him, telling him that if he wanted out of the relationship, then he only had to say so. Mason explained that he wasn't sure he was
ready for the responsibility yet, and later Rhiannon had to break the news to Jackson that he wouldn't be seeing quite as much of Mason as before. But after chatting to Kate, Mason realised that he did have feelings for Rhiannon and he enjoyed how straightforward she was,
so he spoke to her and they agreed to give the relationship another try, despite it being clear that they both still had their doubts.
After getting called in for a last-minute shift the following week, Rhiannon struggled to find anyone to look after Jackson, and not wanting to make a bad impression and turn down the shift, Rhiannon took her son to work and had him hide out in the staff room. It wasn't
long before her supervisor Veronika Stephens realised what was going on, and politely warned Rhiannon that it would have to be the last time it happened. When Cindy Tebbell from the Department of Human Services
then came to visit, explaining that she'd had a complaint that Jackson was being neglected, Rhiannon immediately suspected that Matt was behind it, as he'd been very vocal about his doubts over her relationship with Mason. However, when Mason did some asking around at work,
he found out that it had actually been Veronika who made the complaint. Rhiannon was forced to apologise to Matt, but the whole incident made her realise that she had to try harder to get people to take her seriously, and she pleaded with hotel manager Terese
for a chance to work on reception. Terese finally gave in and agreed that Rhiannon could do a shift, if someone else called in sick, but she would have to make an effort with her appearance if she was going to be dealing directly
with the hotel guests.
After finally getting the opportunity to work on reception, Rhiannon impressed Terese with her work, and Terese was surprised to realise that Rhiannon had her heart set on a career in the hospitality industry, hopeful that she could
work her way up the chain. Terese explained that there weren't any jobs on reception available, but after making some calls, she reported that Gaby Willis had a vacancy at Lassiter's in Darwin. Though
delighted, Rhiannon decided to turn it down, as she and Mason were in the process of renting 24 Ramsay Street, and she felt that it might be her best chance to give Jackson a real family. Sheila was quick to point out that Rhiannon
was once again putting her own dreams aside for a man, and when Mason admitted that he couldn't go through with it, Rhiannon decided to take the job and move up north. Though Jackson was heartbroken to have to say goodbye to Mason,
Rhiannon knew that she was doing the right thing for both of them and, after saying goodbye to Mason and everyone else who'd been there for her on Ramsay Street, she left Erinsborough with her head held high.
• Teressa Liane previously appeared in 2011 as Tammy Frazer
• Click here to read our 2013 interview with Teressa Liane
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Biography by Steve