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Guest Character Profiles > Gemma Reeves Kathryn Beck

Gemma [Gemfish] Reeves 2013-2014
Parents: Barry and Coral Reeves
Siblings: Wayne [Tad] (adoptive)
Family Tree: Reeves
Occupation: Dancer, Science Teacher at Erinsborough High

Like their Rebecchi cousins, the Reeves siblings, Gemma and Wayne, were given aquatic nicknames, becoming known as Gemfish and Tadpole. When their cousin, Toadfish, went to stay, his mother Angie having come to the end of her tether with his bad behaviour, he soon overstepped the mark with the Reeves family when Gemfish’s mum, Coral, caught her nephew perving on his female cousin undressing through a hole he’d drilled in the wall. He was immediately sent back to Erinsborough.

A few years later, Gemma was busy making a success of her life, as her younger brother started to go off the rails and was sent to live with his cousin Toadie, who, in the intervening years had managed to get his VCE and was studying to be a lawyer. However, the reasons for the differences between Tad and his sister became obvious when he found out that he was adopted. Meanwhile, Gem's promising dancing career came to a sudden halt when she was involved in a quad biking accident, which left her in a coma, and then in hospital for months of physiotherapy. During that time, her fiance left her for another woman, and she found herself having to rebuild her life, so retrained as a science teacher.

Growing up, Gem had always been very close to her cousin, Georgia, with both girls hoping to become famous; Gem as a dancer and Georgia as a singer. When Gem arrived in Erinsborough without any warning, one of the first people she met was Georgia's boyfriend Kyle Canning, who accidentally knocked her coffee out of her hands. Having borrowed her friend Ursula's bag, Gem pretended that was her name, giving a story about how she'd been named after her Great Aunt. However, Gem then misinterpreted Kyle's offer to buy her another coffee, thinking it was a date, and was furious when she realised that he already had a girlfriend. Later, Kyle was shocked when Gem arrived to see Georgia, but he agreed not to say anything about their earlier meeting. Gem then explained to Georgia that she'd seen her video online, performing one of her songs at the local bar, Charlie's, and it had made her want to catch up with her cousin. The girls were soon enjoying themselves like old times, though Toadie, who was now married with kids of his own, and his wife Sonya struggled a little with their surprise houseguest, as Gem moved into Georgia's room until she found a place of her own.

Having decided that Erinsborough might be a nice place to settle down, Gem was delighted when she heard from Georgia's best friend Kate that there was a teaching vacancy at Erinsborough High. Following an awkward interview with principal Susan Kennedy, Gem waited to hear and admitted to Sonya that she'd struggled in her last teaching job due to a clash of personalities with her old boss. Though Susan was a little reluctant to employ Gem as her previous boss seemed like he was hiding something, after encouragement from Toadie, Sonya and Georgia, and after learning about Gem's problems with her last boss were a personality clash rather than anything to do with Gem's teaching, Susan began to warm to her. And when she overheard Gem giving some advice to Toadie and Sonya's teenage son Callum, Susan told Gem that the job was hers. However, later that day, a phone call from Coral seemed to suggest that something wasn't quite right and that Gem was actually running away from some very serious problems back at home.

Gem then managed to cause more trouble when she told Georgia about her mix-up with Kyle when she'd first arrived in town, but left her cousin with the impression that it had been Kyle who had wanted to keep it a secret. When Kate confronted Gem about what she'd done, Gem insisted that she'd taken all the blame for the situation and that Georgia must have gotten the wrong end of the stick. As she started work at the school, Gem then caused further upset by screening a video clip of Georgia performing, claiming to both Susan and Kate that she was just rewarding the class for excellent work in the assignments that she'd just marked. Susan made it clear to Gem that she wouldn't tolerate that sort of behaviour from her staff, and that Gem was setting a very bad precedent. Furious, Gem turned on Kate, believing that she'd dobbed her in to the principal, only to learn that Susan had actually overheard some of the kids talking about it. Though Gem quickly backed down, both Susan and Kate were already starting to have their doubts about Gem and her split personality. Callum's best friend, Bailey Turner, was also having doubts about the new teacher, when she gave him an A-, but awarded Callum an A, for an assignment that Bailey knew wasn't worth that mark. However, when he went to complain to Susan, he overheard Gem being reprimanded for playing the music video, and changed his mind about getting the new teacher into any further trouble.

Kate's concerns seemed to be confirmed the following day, when Gem claimed to have read a staff email, telling the teachers to be sensitive around one of the students, Josie Lamb, who was going through a difficult time with her self-esteem. Gem told Kate that she'd read it, but couldn't actually be bothered, and did more damage to Josie's confidence by humiliating her and calling her a nerd in front of the class. Having won Bailey over, chatting to him about relationships and generally charming him, Gem then proceeded to lie about the email, claiming that she'd seen it but hadn't read it. Kate knew this was a lie, but Susan was forced to accept it as a simple oversight on Gem's part. Later, however, Kate made the mistake of mentioning her doubts about Gem to Georgia, who reacted angrily, defending her cousin and making it clear that she would choose Gem over Kate. When Kyle then tried to fix matters between Kate and Georgia, Gem questioned his motives and he, still feeling guilty about a one-night stand with Kate earlier in the year, decided to back off. He made it clear to Kate that he didn't want to be stuck between them, and he would be on Georgia's side if it came to it - and Gem's manipulations left Kate without either of her best friends.

After spotting that 24 Ramsay Street was up for lease, and growing tired of the cramped conditions at number 30, Gem suggested that she and Georgia should move across the street together. However, when Kyle then became part of the plan too, Gem was secretly furious, and cancelled the application, but lied to her cousin that they'd decide to give the place to a family instead. Kyle was convinced that Georgia didn't really want to live with him, so he contacted the leasing agent and found out that it had been cancelled - Georgia denied doing it, so they realised that it must have been Gem. After being caught out, Gem immediately became emotional with her cousin and claimed that, with her terrible track record with men, she simply couldn't face living with a couple, but hadn't wanted to hurt Georgia's feelings by telling her the truth. Meanwhile, at school, Gem continued with her attempts to keep Bailey on side, offering to give him some science tuition, and encouraging his secret dream to become an astronaut. Gem also got involved when Bailey's sister Amber was considering running for school captain, against the more confident Imogen Willis. After convincing Amber that she should run against Imogen, and when Imogen then ignored Gem's advice about her campaign, Gem decided to rig the vote. Entering the school office one morning, Gem stole some of Imogen's votes and put them in her bag, but during her tutoring session with Bailey, he noticed the votes when her bag fell on the floor, and confronted her about it. She explained that she'd done it for him, and for Amber, but Bailey was upset, hinting that he'd go and tell Susan if Gem didn't fix the situation. When Imogen then won the vote and became the school captain for 2014, Bailey was satisfied, but made Gem promise that she wouldn't do something like that again.

Despite Gem's best attempts to control everyone and everything around her, it started to spiral out of her control when Georgia unexpectedly proposed to Kyle. Aware that she was coming close to losing Georgia, Gem did her best to pull attention back in her direction, pretending that she'd hurt her hip during a small impromptu party at number 30, and raising Toadie's suspicions when he spotted her in her hospital room, walking around normally, after complaining about all the pain she was in. After contacting Coral, Toadie found out that Gem was unhappy about the engagement, but he also got the sense that there was something else that Coral was concerned about, but she couldn't talk about it. With her family getting closer to seeing the real Gem, she also had to step up her machinations at school, when Imogen began to question her teaching methods. After receiving a detention for being ten minutes late for class, Imogen then said that it wouldn't have happened if she was a boy, and received another detention for her efforts. Imogen then went to Susan, explaining that she wanted to make a complaint about Miss Reeves treating the boys differently to the girls, allowing them to get away with things and giving them better marks than they deserved. Susan did some asking around and found that several other girls agreed with Imogen, warning Gem that, whether it was intentional or not, she couldn't run her classes like that. Gem was also doing her best to keep Bailey close, flattering him and making it seem like she wanted more than just friendship from him. But when Imogen spotted Gem holding Bailey's hand, as they sat on a bench by the lake, she went straight to Susan to tell her. Susan questioned Gem and Bailey, who both denied the whole thing, and Gem then plotted her revenge, going through Imogen's school file and learning that she was suffering from bulimia. Gem threatened Imogen with this information, warning that it wouldn't remain secret for long if she didn't keep her mouth shut. Though terrified of everyone finding out, Imogen was empowered when she confided her secret to Sonya, who helped her to be honest with a group of students with whom she was planning the school dance, and forcing Gem to realise that, this time, she'd met her match.

With Georgia's wedding plans suffering as a result of the animosity between Gem and Kate, Georgia asked her cousin to try and sort things out. As the two women met up, Kate made it clear that she would never be friends with someone like Gem and soon, Georgia would also see what her cousin was really like, and then she'd be gone for good. Panicking about Kate's threat, Gem persuaded Bailey to hack into Kate's email account, telling him that Kate was spreading lies about her and trying to get her sacked. Bailey reluctantly went along with it, but Gem found no evidence that Kate was trying to get rid of her and was about to give up when she found something in the Drafts folder - a note written to Kyle after their one-night stand, telling him that they had to forget that it ever happened. The next day, during a surprise engagement party at number 26, Gem put the printed out email into a folder containing other well wishes from those who couldn't be there. And then, in front of everyone, the truth finally came out, as Georgia read out Kate's email, slowly realising that it wasn't a joke, and that her fiance and best friend had slept together, and had been keeping it from her for months. A horrified Georgia ran from the room, closely followed by Kyle and Gem - and as Kyle tried to explain things, Gem threw him out of the house. Gem's overprotectiveness continued, worrying Toadie and Sonya, as she told her cousin to immediately forget about Kyle and move on, as she'd never be able to trust him again. Gem continued to do her best to alienate Georgia from those around her, and was disappointed when Karl encouraged Georgia to face up to the gossips, and to perform a planned gig at Charlie's that night. Worried that she was losing her grasp on her cousin, Gem was secretly pleased as the gig went badly, as Kyle walked into the bar and Georgia ran off in tears. Back at home, Gem then started planting the idea in Georgia's head that maybe they should cut ties with Erinsborough and move away together for a fresh start.

Gem's lies really started to catch up with her when a guilty Bailey confessed to his part in the email hacking - Gem denied everything, but wasn't quick enough to get out of the school, and her laptop was taken away to be checked. With the investigation ongoing, Gem was suspended from her job, but managed to convince Georgia that the whole thing was a set-up by Kate. Gem then tried again to tell Georgia that they should get out of town, if only for a few days in the country. Georgia was reluctant, but after having run-ins with Kyle and Kate, and finding out that Chris had known about the one-night stand all along, Georgia was ready to get away, and she and Gem disappeared to a guest cottage in Lorne. There, Gem tried to isolate Georgia further, stealing her phone and deliberately damaging the car so they couldn't go for help. As she became increasingly irritated by Gem's behaviour, Georgia decided that she was going to walk to a nearby farm for some help, but was shocked when, whilst looking for a torch, she found her phone in Gem's bag. On it, she found lots of missed calls and a text message from Toadie, saying that the police had found proof that Gem's laptop was used to access Kate's email account. As an argument broke out, Gem pushed Georgia against the cooker, and she unwittingly knocked it, turning on the gas. As Georgia then tried to leave, Gem pushed her again and she hit her head and fell to the floor - Gem then fled the scene, leaving her cousin unconscious in a room slowly filling with gas.

Georgia was saved as her friends tracked her down, but there was no sign of Gem, who'd taken Georgia's car and disappeared. After her own experiences, and after learning that Gem had actually deliberately caused her quad bike accident to try and win her fiance back, Georgia was left wondering if she'd ever really known her cousin. A few days later, Georgia had returned to work and was surprised to find her car outside the hospital with the keys inside. Knowing that Gem must have been there, and could very well still be hanging around, Georgia became concerned. Bailey, meanwhile, was also worried about Gem and when he saw a pile of her things at the Rebecchi house, ready to be returned to her mum, he took her diary and read it. After learning that Gem really did like him, and hadn't just been using him all along, Bailey contacted her and they arranged to meet at Sonya's nursery, under the cover of darkness. There, Gem was relieved to learn that Georgia was OK, but upset to realise that everyone thought that she'd deliberately hurt her cousin, explaining that she'd gone to get help, but then panicked and fled, not even knowing that the gas had been turned on. As Bailey encouraged her to get help for her problems, Gem started to turn on him too, but soon disappeared again. She next turned up at the hospital, rushing in with a cut on her hand, and asking Georgia to help her. With Kyle and Kate also there at the time, a stand-off followed, with Gem facing up to three of the people whose lives she'd wrecked. But Gem was still adamant that she'd only ever acted in Georgia's best interests, and she then declared that Kate was in love with Kyle, something that Kate couldn't deny. As the police arrived, Gem was taken away and given psychiatric assessment. With neither Kate nor Georgia willing to press charges, Gem was put on medication and sent home to her mum in Birragurra, where she would begin regular sessions with a psychiatrist. As Georgia struggled with whether she could face her cousin again, Toadie went to the hospital to see a confused Gem, who still believed that she'd be going to stay with him and Sonya, and returning to her teaching job. As Toadie explained to her that she'd be going home with her mum and walked her downstairs to the car park, Georgia arrived to say her own goodbyes. Struggling to be upset with her, even after everything that had happened, Georgia simply told her that it would be good for them to have some time apart and wished her luck for the future.

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Biography by Steve