Judge Roz Challis 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2018
Roz Challis Janet Watson Kruse
Occupation: Social Worker, Judge
With his application to officially become guardian to young Callum Jones reaching its final stages, Toadie Rebecchi was shocked when the department rang to say that they'd be making a surprise visit for a guardianship interview. Unfortunately, earlier that day, Toadie and Callum had fallen out, over Callum's refusal to wear glasses in the hope that it would improve his reading problems. As Toadie took the call, he went to Callum's room to find that the boy had run away, and with people out looking, he awkwardly sat with social worker Roz Challis, trying to buy time, but eventually she had to go. When Callum finally realised the error of his ways and came home, it looked like it might be too late for him.
A few days later, Roz made a return visit to see Toadie and Callum, making sure they'd both be around. But with Callum still struggling with his new glasses and the whole street in shock at the sudden death of Zeke Kinski, his teacher, and Toadie's girlfriend, Kelly Katsis suggested throwing a 'pirate party', during which everyone could dress as pirates and Callum wouldn't feel as self-conscious about having to wear an eye patch. The plan worked, but as Toadie was play-wrestling with Callum, Roz walked in and found the boy in a headlock. Fortunately though, she saw the funny side of the situation, joining in with the pirate impressions and agreeing that Callum could stay on with Toadie.
Six months later, Roz was back in Ramsay Street when the Ramsay kids moved into Salvation Army refuge number 24. 17-year-old Kate, 16-year-old Harry and 10-year-old Sophie had just lost their mum Jill and were desperately trying to avoid being split up, but Roz told them that she would refer their case to the Children's Court, which would allow them to stay together, but they'd have to agree to continue attending school and see a family therapist.
Though Kate and Sophie had done a good job of settling into Ramsay Street, Harry's behaviour still gave cause for concern, as he struggled to fit in at school and tried to smuggle in alcohol for the school dance. After Harry was suspended, the kids received a visit from Roz. Though Kate was unwell with food poisoning and unaware of the drama unfolding, Roz said that she'd be in touch again when Kate was better, as she felt that it was time for formal mediation from the Department of Human Services, as perhaps living on their own wasn't the best arrangement for the young family. Following further assessment, Kate was horrified to learn that Roz would be suggesting that Harry be taken into foster care, as he clearly hadn't adjusted as well as his sisters. The Ramsay kids decided to run away, but didn't get far after missing their bus at a rest stop, and were soon back in Ramsay Street, where their Uncle Paul offered himself up as their guardian. Unfortunately, with Paul's colourful history, he was ruled out almost immediately, and Harry was taken into foster care.
It was then suggested that Lou Carpenter, a longtime family friend of the Ramsays, could become guardian, and the wheels were set in motion. But when it was discovered that Harry was being abused by his foster brother, Craig, Lou risked losing everything and helped Harry to escape and hide out in Ramsay Street. When Harry was eventually found and taken away again, Roz warned Lou that his actions may have cost him the Ramsays' guardianship.
When Kate turned 18, she became Sophie's legal guardian, but in 2012, Sophie was expelled from Erinsborough High, and Roz arrived to investigate. She found Sophie living with Paul, and Kate nowhere to be seen, with Paul claiming that she was
away on holiday and unable to be contacted. In actual fact, Kate, tired of her responsibilities, had left to go travelling and, when Roz found out the truth, she demanded that Kate be found and told to return home within seven days, or else
Sophie would be placed in foster care. A week later, Kate was back in Erinsborough, but the constant fighting, and time apart, had made the Ramsay sisters realise that they didn't want to live together. They suggested Paul as Sophie's new
legal guardian and, despite his criminal record, they agreed to give him the chance, Paul having proved that he had moved on from his past and done a lot of good for the local community.
Six years later, Roz Challis was a judge at the murder trial of Tyler Brennan. Tyler had been accused of the murder of his father Hamish Roche but had made things even worse for
himself by attempting to do a runner with his girlfriend Piper on the morning of the trial. When Toadie told him that his best option might be to avoid a trial completely and plead guilty, Tyler went along with it,
only for Judge Challis to sentence him to twenty years in prison.
• Janet Watson Kruse previously appeared as Molly Wright in 2006 and as Ruth Cato earlier in 2008
• Click here to read our 2009 interview with Janet Watson Kruse
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Biography by Steve