> Guest Character
Anne Baxter Tessa James
Anne Baxter 2006, 2007
Parents: Kim and Janelle Timmins (biological); Greg and Brenda Baxter (adoptive)
Siblings: Dwayne, Brandon, Dylan, Scott [Stingray] and Janae
After an illness caused her to lose her sight at the age of ten, Anne Baxter struggled to have any kind of relationship with her parents, Greg and Brenda, as she felt that they couldn’t adapt to having a disabled daughter. A few years later, Anne overheard her parents talking about a girl named Bree Timmins, who had placed an ad in the paper, looking for her birth parents, claiming that she and Anne had been swapped at birth. After learning that Bree lived in the nearby suburb of Erinsborough and was a published author, Anne went to one of her readings in the park and struck up a conversation with her, claiming to be her biggest fan. As they chatted, Anne also bumped into Bree’s mother, Janelle, who was abrupt and rude. When most of the other people started walking out of the reading and Bree asked them to stay, Anne started defending her and later claimed that her parents weren’t at home, so Bree invited her back to the Timmins house in Ramsay Street. Once there, Bree went to her room to get a CD and Anne started feeling her way around the room, only to be interrupted by Janelle, who suddenly became unsettled by the newcomer and told her that she would have to go home.
A few days later, following another of her readings, Bree brought Anne home again. This time, Anne managed to get closer to the family with bribery; she bought a leather folder for Bree and a Daryl Braightwaite CD for Janelle, who was delighted and started to let her guard down. In light of this breakthrough, Bree insisted that Anne should stay for a sleepover, along with her boyfriend, Zeke Kinski and his sister, Rachel. That night, Janelle found herself alone in the kitchen and admitted to Anne that her behaviour was nothing personal, but she simply didn’t know how to behave around a disabled kid. With that out of the way, the two started to bond and Anne was delighted but the next morning, Janelle’s doubts resurfaced when she accidentally knocked Anne’s bag from the table and found a Dictaphone. She listened as Anne spoke about how she wanted to get to know the Timmins family better, but, after catching Bree listening to it, then running out into the path of Harold Bishop’s reversing car, a shaken Anne managed to explain that it was nothing sinister, just her way of recording a diary.
That afternoon, Harold insisted on driving Anne home, so she was forced to give them a fake address, and send them off before she went inside. Once at the door, Anne knocked and a woman named Dulce Johnstone answered. Anne explained that she’d become lost and needed to call her parents in Eden Hills to come and collect her. Having secured her place in the Timmins family, Anne then set about work on stealing Bree’s boyfriend. Claiming that she was concerned that Zeke didn’t know how much Bree cared for him, Anne typed a letter to him, claiming that it was from Bree, and telling him how much she loved him. Zeke was touched, until Anne blurted out the truth and Bree couldn’t understand why. But as Zeke grew closer to Anne, thinking that she was simply being a good friend, Bree grew more and more uncomfortable about the newcomer. Things grew more difficult for Bree when Anne suddenly joined Erinsborough High, claiming that she wanted to be closer to her new friends. Bree patched up the friendship, but was still upset when Zeke defended Anne from bullies. However, the final straw came when Anne blurted out Bree’s biggest secret – that she’d been intercepting letters containing money from her absent father, Kim – within earshot of a horrified Janelle.
Anne was disappointed when her plan to cause a falling out between Bree and Janelle failed, and mother and daughter grew closer as they bonded over Kim. Convinced that Anne was trying to destroy her life, Bree stopped speaking to her former friend, but Zeke and Janelle couldn’t understand the fuss, refusing to believe that Anne was evil. As she arrived home that evening, after spending all day on her own, Bree overheard Janelle offering to let Anne stay the night – even lending her some of Bree’s spare pyjamas. After hiding all night, Bree returned the next morning and warned Anne that she could never replace her in the hearts of her family and friends and it was only a matter of time before they all saw her true colours. When a confused Zeke agreed to take Anne to the formal instead of Bree, Anne took the opportunity to get closer to him and admitted that her parents didn’t care about her and she’d never even been kissed by a boy. Zeke then leaned in and kissed her, an act which ended his relationship with Bree and caused Anne to suddenly be an outcast with Janelle, who said that stealing a man from a Timmins girl was the worst betrayal of all. Ousted by everyone, Anne refused to simply walk away, eventually turning up at the Timmins house and blurting out the truth – Janelle was her birth mother.
When Anne told them everything she knew – about the ad in the paper and Bree’s search for her real parents, Janelle realised that it was all true. As mother and daughter were reunited, Anne begged Janelle not to get in touch with her parents just yet, as, if they realised what had been going on, they would take her away and the Timmins family would never see her again. However, at a dinner, a few days later, to formally welcome Anne to the family, Bree finally snapped and announced that she also wanted to meet her real parents. Anne reluctantly agreed to go home and speak to them the next morning, to prepare them for the shock. When Bree and Janelle heard nothing from Anne, they headed to her house, only to find it abandoned. Bree then tried calling Anne, who told her that her parents had reacted badly and were on their way to the airport to leave for good. Despite the help of her grandmother, Kim’s mother, Loris, in the search, Bree failed to find Anne and was forced to accept that she might never see her again. However, unbeknownst to Bree, Loris' help with the search wasn't simply a selfless act - it was fuelled by guilt, as she had been responsible for swapping the babies. Several weeks later, after realising how badly Bree had been affected by not meeting her birth parents, Loris set off to track down the Baxters.
But, as the Baxter family settled in Cairns, Northern Queensland, Loris turned up, revealing to Anne that she had been the one who had swapped the babies all those years ago, angry at Janelle for trying to shut her out of her grandchildren’s lives. Anne accepted what Loris was telling her, realising that she had always regretted her actions and wanted to make amends, and so she did, helping Anne to fly down to Melbourne to visit the Timmins family, with her parents believing that she had gone to camp. Much had changed since Anne’s previous visit – one brother, Stingray, had died, while Dylan had left to live with his dad in Port Douglas – so Janelle was delighted to have one of her children returning to the fold. But, soon after Anne’s arrival, Greg Baxter turned up on the doorstep, looking for his missing child and determined to take her straight home without spending any time getting to know the Timmins family. However, Anne was equally determined to stay and Greg was forced to take some time to think about things at Charlie’s bar, where Bree followed him, trying to get a look at her real father. When Greg realised that Bree was watching him, the pair ended up having an honest and open conversation and discovered that they had plenty in common.
Though Greg finally came to his senses and admitted that he’d like to have the chance to get to know Bree properly, the two families realised that it was going to be difficult for them all to spend time together, with half of them in Erinsborough and the other half in Cairns. It was then that Janelle’s fiancé, Allan Steiger, suggested that, with the Baxters, Dylan and Kim already up north, and the eldest two Timmins boys, Brandon and Dwayne, living in Brisbane, it would make sense for him, Janelle, Janae and Bree to make to Queensland. After much consideration, Janelle agreed to give it a six month trial period and, a week later, Ramsay Street threw a street party to farewell the rowdy Timmins brood. But Steiger had a surprise up his sleeve, as he and Janelle were married by a celebrant in front of everyone. Anne then joined Janelle, Steiger and Bree as they boarded a helicopter and left Erinsborough behind.
Biography by Steve