Janelle Timmins Nell Feeney
Janelle Beryl Steiger (née Rebecchi, prev. Timmins) 2004, 2005-2007
Lived: 26 Ramsay Street, West Waratah Caravan Park
Marital Status: Kim Timmins (divorced 2007), Allan Steiger (2007-)
Children: Dwayne, Brandon, Dylan, Scott [Stingray], Janae and Anne; Bree (adoptive)
Family Tree: Timmins/Rebecchi
Occupation: A Good Hair Day Salon Apprentice Hairdresser, Lassiter's Shareholder, Carpenter's Mechanics Owner
Growing up in Colac, Janelle Rebecchi always wanted to be a hairdresser, but her plans were put on hold when she met local heartthrob, Kim Timmins. Forced to drop out of school when she became pregnant at 16 with her first child, Dwayne, Janelle moved into a trailer park with Kim. Although she always hoped to make something better of herself, the family grew to six children and she never really got the chance to do anything else. Although the kids were a constant source of concern, Kim also gave Janelle plenty to worry about, particularly when he walked out on the family one day, not letting on where he was going. Janelle realised that she needed some money fast, and so left the two youngest kids, Bree and Janae, in the neighbours’ care and headed to Erinsborough, where her lawyer nephew, Toadfish, as well as one of her sons, Scott, were living.
Pitching up in Ramsay Street with her caravan, Janelle immediately got on the nerves of most of the neighbourhood. She complained about the food in Lou’s pub, then got a refund from Harold Bishop in the Coffee Shop, by claiming she’d only received half a muffin. She then went to visit her son, Scott, who had been living under the care of local teacher, Susan Smith, and whose behaviour had improved over recent months. Scott, who’d since been given a traditional family fish name of Stingray, was delighted to see his mother. Complete with neck brace, Janelle proceeded to explain how she’d been rear-ended at the main crossing in Colac and needed Toadie’s help in making a claim. Unfortunately, Stingray seemed to be the only person who was pleased with Janelle’s sudden arrival. She quickly undid most of Susan’s hard work by encouraging Stingray to eat junk food and behave like a maniac, whilst she insulted Toadie’s girlfriend Sindi Watts by calling her ‘Wendy’ and mistakenly believing that Sindi had starred in adult films. She caused further trouble by flirting with Scott's best mate, Boyd Hoyland. Before too long, Janelle announced that she wanted Scott to return to Colac with her to help look after Bree and Janae. Susan and Sindi were horrified, but a little emotional blackmail from Janelle led to Scott’s decision to return home at the end of the school year.
Meanwhile, Janelle found a friend in the street in the form of Lyn Scully. Lyn felt sorry for Janelle and admitted that she and Joe had lived in a caravan when they were first married. Janelle was thrilled when Lyn gave her a key to number 26, telling her to come and go as she pleased. Toadie grudgingly agreed to represent his aunt in her court case and she was slightly disappointed when she only managed to get $5000 in damages. However, she kept her chin up and decided to spend the money on a new skateboard for Scott and a night on the pokies. As Janelle’s time in Erinsborough came to a close and Scott completed his exams, she helped him pack his stuff to go. As they set off, stopping en route to dump all of her rubbish, Scott found a note from his ex-girlfriend, Serena Bishop amongst Janelle’s stuff. The note told Scott how much he meant to Serena and it made him realise that he didn’t want to go back to Colac. He told his mother that the people in Erinsborough had high expectations for him and treated him like he was an intelligent human being. He told Janelle to turn around and take him back to Ramsay Street. Once there, Janelle admitted that her son was right and that Susan did have her son’s best interests at heart. Everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief as Janelle took her caravan and left, but she promised her son that she’d be back…
A few months later, Janelle fulfilled her promise when she turned up once again, having been online and noticed that an apprentice was needed at A Good Hair Day, the salon where Lyn worked. She immediately moved herself back into number 26 and gave Lyn and her boss, Gino Esposito, little choice but to give her a trial run. Meanwhile, she also made her presence felt in the lives of her sons, Stingray and Dylan, who had moved to Erinsborough following his release from juvenile detention. It was clear, though, that whilst she was still very proud of Stingray for his accomplishments, she had less time for Dylan, who she felt was a user, just like his no-good father. As Janelle managed to put Dylan down at every possible opportunity, the final straw came when she barely even acknowledged a ring he bought her for her birthday. Dylan walked out during the argument that followed, while Janelle made plans to return to Colac. It wasn’t until Steph Hoyland stepped in and told her that she had to step in and be there for her kids, that she came to her senses. But as Janelle tried to win back her son’s affections by buying him a bike, a gesture which he threw back at her, she realised that it wasn’t going to be easy.
When Janelle was offered the apprenticeship at the salon, she announced that she was going to get her kids together with her under one roof. Having finally repaired her relationship with Dylan, thanks to a family outing scavenging through the hard rubbish in Eden Hills, her sons moved into number 26. Soon after, the Timmins daughters, Bree and Janae, also arrived and Janelle was happy to have them all together. However, it quickly became clear to Lyn that Janelle’s parenting skills weren’t exactly perfect, as she failed to connect with bookworm Bree and saw nothing wrong in 15-year old Janae’s short skirts and loose morals. However, Janelle quickly found a distraction when Bobby Hoyland, father to local bar owners Max and Izzy, arrived in town. As he helped out behind the bar, he got to know Janelle as well as Lyn and Susan. Although the other two went home, Bobby persuaded Janelle to spend the night at the casino with him, but she made it clear that she was still a married woman and wouldn’t take things any further. Several weeks later, Janelle found out that Bobby had been stringing Lyn and Susan along too and the three of them hatched a plan to get revenge. Janelle phoned Bobby and lured him to number 26, before the other two women suddenly appeared and the three of them tied him to a chair, in his underwear, and told him what a rat he’d been. They then threw him out, without returning his clothes and celebrated their victory.
Meanwhile, relations between Janelle and her two daughters had been getting worse. Bree was set to take part in a national spelling bee, but she admitted that the pressure from her mum was making her throw up whenever she got in front of a crowd. Janelle was hurt as she realised that her kids had deliberately plotted to keep her away from Bree’s regional finals and she demanded to know why she was such a bad mother. Unfortunately, the result was a very long list from Bree and Janelle becoming even more upset. Meanwhile, Janae was having problems of her own with boyfriends and, when she overheard Janelle telling Stingray that he was the only one of her kids that was worth anything, she decided to run away. Finally realising the seriousness of the situation, Janelle caught up with Janae and convinced her to return home. Thinking that money could be the answer to all of their problems, Janelle took the advice of Lou Carpenter and got herself a new credit card. Unfortunately, only weeks after getting it, she’d racked up huge amounts of debt and bought, amongst other things, a brand new car for the family. When debt collector Trevor Hunt turned up on the doorstep, the Timmins girls were forced to flee and head to Canberra – for Bree’s national spelling finals – a few days early. As they camped down together, Janelle, Janae and Bree found themselves growing a little closer and, once they reached the contest, Bree even allowed her mum to stay and watch. Although Bree ended up winning the grand prize of $15,000, Janelle decided to let her keep it and announced that the kids would have to get jobs to help pay off the debt.
Although Bree found work delivering leaflets and Stingray became a bike courier, Janelle realised that they needed a quicker way to make more money. She decided that the family would enter a video on the tv show, Stupid Aussies. After attempting to stage an accident in the back garden, Janelle came inside and found Janae dancing around the lounge room, singing into a hairbrush, before falling over. She entered the video against Janae’s wishes and, to everyone’s surprise, she won $5000. Janelle was in for a shock though, when Janae decided to keep the money for herself. As the family car was then repossessed, Janelle came to the realisation that it was up to her to help the family out of debt, and the kids shouldn’t have to work. Janelle set about finding a second job and, when Stingray quit his job as a courier, since his boss, Go-Go Riley, had been harassing him, he suggested setting up a rival courier company. With no other options, Janelle agreed and the family set up Speed Freaks, which quickly became successful and started to steal customers away from Go-Go. As Go-Go realised what was happening, she confronted Janelle, who suggested a bike race, with the loser packing up their business and leaving the area. Because Janelle hadn’t been on a bike in years, she struggled to keep up and found it almost impossible to stop, which proved to be a blessing in disguise. As Go-Go raced ahead, she stopped before the finish line to laugh at a disappointed Stingray, but Janelle suddenly raced around the corner, unable to use the brakes, and flew past Go-Go and across the finish line.
Janelle found another new interest when Serena Bishop mentioned the novel, The Bride Stripped Bare, one day in passing. She decided to write her own novel, named The Bogan’s Tipped Hair, about her own experiences as a hairdresser. The story also featured several of her neighbours, with Karl Kennedy and Paul Robinson fighting for Janelle’s affections, and snooty Susan Smith looking down her nose at her bogan neighbour, before begging for her friendship. Bree helped her mother with the story, before convincing Susan to give her some tips. Susan was shocked to find that she was the villain of the piece, and turned it to her advantage when she claimed to have realised how other people see her. Susan begged Janelle to write her out of the novel and use made-up characters rather than basing them on those around her. The incident made Janelle stop and think, and she decided that it was worth a rewrite to avoid having irate neighbours piling up on her doorstep.
Although her new business was safe and her novel complete, Janelle had other issues to be concerned with at home. Lyn had started dating Sky Mangel’s stepfather, Joe, a relationship which upset Janelle as she felt like she was losing the attentions of her best friend. However, once Janelle had tested Joe’s honesty – by pretending that she’d spent a drunken night with him that he couldn’t remember – she was glad to see Lyn finally find some happiness. But the peace didn’t last long, as Janelle realised that there was something seriously wrong with Janae, who had been spending a lot of time with her school counsellor, Karl Kennedy. Janae had become increasingly reliant on Karl and come to see him as a father figure, so when he suggested that she change counsellors and failed to attend her big basketball game, Janae was inconsolable, and led Janelle to believe that there had been a lot more to the relationship. Janae then ran away to Colac to look for her father, leaving Janelle to read her daughter’s diary, which only made things worse. Janelle confronted Karl, who denied that he’d been anything more than a counsellor to Janae, before vowing to get the police involved and heading off to track down her eldest daughter.
Although Stingray and Dylan tracked Janae down and she returned to clear Karl’s name, it wasn’t the end of Janelle’s worries. Janae had found out during her time in Colac that Kim hadn’t cheated with Tracey Richardson, as Janelle had claimed, and that, by marrying Janelle, Kim had missed out on a large inheritance from his parents. However, before Janae could make contact with Kim, Janelle got there first, warning her husband that if he allowed Janae to visit him, she’d tell the kids about his dirty little secret. Kim did as he was told and let his daughter down, leaving Janae to realise that maybe her mother was right about him all along.
As the family pulled themselves back together, disaster struck once again, as Joe convinced Lyn to evict the loud family from her home. As Janelle realised that Lyn was serious, she found them alternative accommodation in a bus at a local campsite. In an attempt to get revenge on Joe, Janelle decided to kidnap Susan’s dog, Audrey, who was the only thing that would get Joe’s greyhound, Bouncer 5, to race. Joe soon found her out and got the dog back, but Lyn was beginning to feel guilty for evicting Janelle and her brood, so she allowed them to move the bus to Ramsay Street and use the facilities at number 26. To get back at Janelle, Joe decided to email around the first draft of her novel, to everyone in Janelle’s address book, including all of the locals she’d based characters on. However, the plan backfired on Joe as, with the neighbours lining up to rant at Janelle, Lyn allowed her and the family to move back into the house, for their own safety.
A few weeks later, Janelle received word that a publisher, Melody Jones, was interested in her novel. As Bree and Janelle were celebrating the news, Janelle stopped suddenly and looked up, thinking she’d been Dylan standing in the kitchen. But the celebrations didn’t last long, as Stingray was taken in for questioning over an armed robbery at a local service station. Stingray claimed that he’d been kidnapped by Dylan’s old enemy, Roo Hausman, who had then forced Dylan to rob the servo, but the police were sceptical. With Dylan away on a flight to Tasmania, celebrating 20 years of Lassiter’s, Janelle was called in and immediately laid all of the blame at Dylan’s door, saying that he’d had his last chance and she’d washed her hands of him. Moments later, as if things couldn’t get any worse, word came through that the plane had crashed in Bass Strait. As information about survivors came through over the days that followed, Dylan, along with Susan, Liljana, David and Serena Bishop, and Connor O’Neill, appeared to have perished.
Consumed with guilt for having wished Dylan would never come back, following the robbery, Janelle shared her fears with Karl Kennedy, whose ex-wife, Susan, was still missing. The next day, she set off for Tasmania to join in with the searches, but returned a few days later, having given up on ever seeing Dylan again. Janelle was in for a shock upon her return, as Kim had read about the crash in the newspaper and arrived in Ramsay Street. With the kids asking all sorts of questions about their parents, Janelle realised that they’d have to be honest and get everything out in the open. She explained that Kim hadn’t been seeing other women – she’d only made that up to cover for what had really happened. After Kim had turned down his parents’ offer of money if he broke up with Janelle, they had second thoughts and offered him a job and house anyway, regardless of whether he stayed with Janelle or not. Kim’s pride had stopped him from accepting their offer, then he had walked out on the family. When Janelle refused to allow Kim to stay, she was shocked when Bree decided that she’d go and live with her dad. Realising that she could lose her kids, Janelle agreed to let Kim stay on as the family tried to cope with life without Dylan.
The dramas continued when Stingray disappeared on the morning of his trial, having gone to Colac with Sky in one last attempt to track down Roo. When the plan failed, and Stingray was caught by the cops, he was placed in remand and his trial date was postponed. This meant that it would come after his 18th birthday and, if he went to prison, it would be an adult facility. The Timmins family continued to bond as they prepared for a memorial service for Dylan, but they were in for a shock when, during the ceremony, Dylan suddenly appeared from the bushes. A shocked Janelle first hugged him, then delivered an almighty slap. It seemed that he’d survived the crash and had gone on the run, hoping to avoid the police charges, only to read in the newspaper that Stingray had been charged. Dylan immediately joined his brother in remand and Janelle vowed to stand by her boys, realising how close she’d come to losing one of them. On the day of the trial, Janelle was shocked when her sons were unable to get their stories straight and Dylan was sentenced to ten years in prison; Stingray to four.
As plans for an appeal got underway, Janelle found herself at a crossroads in her relationship with Kim and, unable to work things out, he decided to leave. However, Bree and Janae weren’t about to let that happen again, and they plotted to keep Kim in town long enough for Janelle to realise that she couldn’t live without him. The plan worked and before long Mr and Mrs Timmins were once again a couple. The good news continued as the family celebrated Christmas and found a huge parcel on the doorstep, only for Stingray and Dylan to burst out of it. It seemed that local cop Stuart Parker had gone undercover in the prison and, at the last minute, Dylan had managed to get Roo confessing on tape. And there was even more reason to celebrate when Janelle’s deal with publisher Melody Jones started moving forward. However, Bree had to help her make a few rewrites when Kim wanted to read the book and Janelle realised that he was the villain of the piece. Fortunately, it all worked out for the best when Kim suggested making his character, Tim, more of a rogue and spicing up the book with more sex scenes. Melody, who had the original copy of the novel, complete with evil Tim and plenty of sex, absolutely loved it and told Janelle that it needed tidying up and a few hundred more pages, but they were prepared to take her on as their latest literary discovery. However, they all quickly had other things to worry about when the content of the book – Janelle’s character having an affair with Dr Karl’s character – made Janelle remember an incident in which she’d gone back to Karl’s flat on the night of the plane crash as they drowned their sorrows together. Neither Karl nor Janelle could remember what had actually happened, and they agreed to claim that nothing had gone on, but a horrified Janae accused her mother of being a tart, before blaming her for possibly contracting HIV. Janelle was shocked as it emerged that Janae’s ex, Mike, had been diagnosed and Janae had confided in both Bree and Kim rather than going to her mother. However, in typical Timmins style, the family stuck together and supported Janae as she learnt that the test results were negative.
With things slowly beginning to look up for the Timmins family, Janelle was still struggling to cope with Kim’s lazy ways, and it looked like they might be set for yet another bust up when he lost his latest job as a barman at the Scarlet Bar. It wasn’t until neighbour Zeke Kinski put it simply to Janelle, questioning whether or not she loved Kim, that she realised that it wasn’t worth losing their relationship and instead, she headed to Lassiter’s, where Kim was helping Dylan on his hotdog cart, got down on one knee and proposed. As Kim tried to take in what was happening, Janelle explained that she felt that the fact that they’d never had a proper, grand wedding was the reason why their marriage kept failing. Kim agreed and soon plans were underway for the Timmins re-wedding. The timing worked out well, as, days later, Janelle’s sister-in-law Angie was in town to pay Toadie a visit. Soon, the two women were squabbling over the age-old Timmins/Rebecchi feud and, when Stingray jokingly suggested a boxing match to settle their differences, the two women decided to go along with it, with Janelle spurred on by the belief that Angie had once cracked on to Kim years before in Colac. After a few weeks of training with Janae, the day of the big fight dawned but moments after it started Janelle was floored as Angie taunted her about stuffing her bra. As Janelle stopped to defend herself, Angie delivered a knockout punch and, before leaving, also dropped the bombshell that it had been Kim who had come on to her – and she had a witness, Toadie.
With Toadie away in Sydney, Janelle refused to believe what she was hearing until she’d been given proof. However, when Toadie came back, he claimed that he hadn’t seen any clandestine clinch, but he had witnessed an argument between Kim and Angie. It finally came out that Angie had pinched Kim on the bum, and Kim had staged an argument to make it look like he hadn’t enjoyed it, just in case word ever got back to possessive Janelle. However, even with everything out in the open, Janelle refused to patch things up with Angie, finally admitting to Kim that she blamed her for losing her big brother. It was only as Angie was about to leave town, and following a little blackmail about the real author of the book from Bree, that Janelle went and told Angie the truth. Far from being relieved that the feud was over, however, Angie turned on Janelle, accusing her of being selfish when they could have been as close as sisters for all of those years. Fortunately, the situation had a happy ending as Janelle spoke to Kev and managed to convince him to give his marriage another go. And there was more good news as The Bogan’s Tipped Hair went on sale and Janelle was invited to appear on her favourite chat show, Rove Live, in order to promote it. Things took an unexpected turn, however, when Janelle admitted on live television that Bree was actually the author. Bree, who had joined her mother for moral support and was standing in the audience, was brought up on to the stage where she admitted that her mother was telling the truth. Despite the deception, the publishing company were delighted and sales went through the roof.
Janelle soon had her own family problems to worry about, when Bree had to get some DNA tested as part of a school project. Janelle was shocked when the results showed the Kim wasn’t Bree’s biological father and, desperate to prove that she had never cheated, Janelle agreed to be tested, along with the rest of the family. The next set of results brought more shocks, as they showed that neither Kim nor Janelle were Bree’s blood relatives. Looking for answers, they tracked down Louise Fletcher, who had been the midwife at the hospital when Bree was born. Louise admitted that she’d never forgotten that night, as something in the back of her mind had told her that the babies had been mixed up before she’d had the chance to write their wristbands. Louise gave Kim and Janelle the details for the other new parents from that night and they considered whether to get in touch with them, and whether to tell Bree the truth about her parentage. After much soul-searching, they decided to leave matters as they were, but fate stepped in when Janae read a letter from Louise, addressed to J Timmins, and realised the truth. She confronted her parents and told them that if they didn’t tell Bree, then she would. In the end, the situation became too much for Janae, and she blurted out the truth to her little sister. When Bree asked them if it was true, Janelle and Kim’s silence confirmed things and Bree quickly decided that she wanted to find her real family. However, after driving to Colac, Bree suddenly decided that she couldn’t go through with it and was happy to stay as a Timmins. A relieved Kim and Janelle drove back to Erinsborough, where they set about planning the final details for their imminent re-wedding.
When Janelle found out that Kim had been running a pirate DVD business in order to pay for the wedding, she was shocked, but soon calmed down as she realised how much money she was making, and used to it put down a deposit on a new house in Paradise Lakes. The day of the re-wedding then finally dawned, with Janelle alert and ready, having been the only person at her hens’ night not to drink alcohol. She was determined that nothing would go wrong and thought her biggest problem was Kim turning up late at the venue, but, as the ceremony began, the family was in for a huge shock as the police arrived. With Stingray, Dylan and Angie working to distract the officers, Kim and Janelle finished their vows and he apologised to his wife and daughters, before running out a side door. Back at home, the reality of what had happened began to dawn on Janelle, who was told by Toadie that Kim would face at least five years in jail if he returned. As the rest of the family accepted that he probably wouldn’t be back, Janelle pinned her hopes on him returning, and decided to take the rap for the charges, getting away with only a fine. However, as she started to celebrate, Janelle was in for another shock when she received a letter from the DVD company, telling her that she was being sued for $200,000 for breach of copyright. Her plans to move to Paradise Lakes were shelved and Janelle accepted that they’d be lodging with Lyn for the foreseeable future, and that Kim wouldn’t be back.
Some good news came Janelle’s way when she found out that Sky was expecting Dylan’s baby. The young couple had already split up before the announcement, and Dylan was attempting to move on with Elle Robinson. Janelle immediately offered her support to Sky, excited at the prospect of being a nan for the first time, and attempted to push Elle out of the family. But Elle wasn’t about to let Janelle ruin her relationship with Dylan and proceeded to bribe her with gifts, which worked temporarily. When Janelle then received a bill for a $27,000 settlement fee from the DVD company, Elle saw another opportunity and agreed to pay off the debt, if Janelle stepped aside and gave her blessing to her relationship with Dylan. Janelle agreed, but warned Elle that she wouldn’t be able to stop Dylan from going back to Sky if that was what he wanted. Elsewhere, Bree formed a new friendship with a blind girl named Anne Baxter. At first, Janelle was uncomfortable having the girl in her home, especially when she found a Dictaphone in Anne’s bag, on which she spoke about learning everything she could about the Timmins family. When Anne admitted that it was just her way of keeping a diary, Janelle started to soften towards her and admitted that she just didn’t know how to speak to a young girl with a disability. After that, Anne and Janelle started to get along well, but Bree’s friendship with her started to suffer, especially when Anne “accidentally” let slip that Kim had been sending money for three months and Bree had kept it from Janelle. Although the revelation only succeeded in bringing Janelle closer to her daughter, Bree was convinced that Anne was trying to destroy her life and take her place in the Timmins family.
Meanwhile, Janelle had other things to worry about, when Lou returned from Moscow, where he’d been trying to convince his fiancée, Mishka Schneiderova, to return to Australia with him. Upon his return, Lou immediately went to see Janelle with a bunch of flowers and, although slightly confused, Janelle took advantage of his sudden infatuation with her, getting him to do odd jobs around the house and garden. However, when she was applying some after-sun cream to his back, she noticed a big tattoo of a heart with ‘Mishka’ written across it. Lou denied having any tattoo, and, after further probing it became clear that he had forgotten a whole week of his fortnight in Russia. As Karl made a tentative diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s, Janelle opened up to him about losing her own father to the illness and vowed to do everything she could to help Lou. Lou quickly realised that he could take advantage of the situation, pretending to forget things whenever she was around, but it looked like he’d gone too far when he kissed Janelle.
Over the weeks that followed, the Timmins family faced one crisis after another. Janelle was floored when Kim’s mother, Loris, arrived, having bought number 26 from Lyn and wanting to let bygones be bygones. At first, Janelle refused to have anything to do with the woman, but they both softened toward each other, as Janelle realised that Loris shared her opinion about Kim, even encouraging her to try and make a go of things with Lou. Despite still being on shaky ground, Janelle allowed Loris to come and stay with the family on a trial basis. The next crisis came when Anne suddenly announced the reason for her continued presence in the house – she was Janelle’s daughter, the baby who’d been swapped with Bree. Janelle immediately realised that Anne was telling the truth, as the connection had always been there and she welcomed Anne into the family. But, when Bree insisted on meeting her birth parents, a worried Anne offered to go on ahead and speak to them, unsure of how they would react. After a few hours, Janelle and Bree had heard nothing from Anne, so they went over to the Baxter house and found it deserted. Bree then called Anne, who said that her parents had reacted extremely badly and they were all on their way to the airport. Despite Bree and Loris’ best efforts to track down the Baxters, Janelle realised that it was hopeless, and she might never see her daughter again. She was soon distracted, however, by the revelation from Sky that Dylan wasn’t the father of her baby. The family reacted with horror after learning that Stingray had fathered the child during a one-night-stand and Janelle threw Stingray out of home.
During those difficult few weeks, Janelle was grateful for Lou’s support, and came to realise that she was beginning to see him as more than just a friend. But their happiness was soon shattered when Mishka made a sudden return to Australia, having landed a new job with a Russian airline. The two women in Lou’s life quickly turned on each other, with Janelle throwing a drink at “the Russian mole”. Desperate to win Lou, Mishka arranged for some flowers to be sent to Janelle, apparently from Kim and, after realising who was behind it, Janelle then sent Lou a letter from Mishka’s husband, Igor, with a bullet attached. Janelle’s letter had the desired effect and Lou became terrified of the implications of staying with Mishka, telling her that he could no longer see her. But Janelle was about to have more important things to worry about, when she found out that Stingray had an alcohol problem, which was spiralling out of control, and almost everyone in the family had known about it. When Lou came to visit, a tearful Janelle told him that she had sent the letter from Igor, and that Lou should be with Mishka, as they were meant to be together.
Meanwhile, Sky went into premature labour after catching Dylan and Elle together in a hotel room. At the same time, the Timmins family were desperately trying to help Stingray by calling an intervention, then locking him inside number 26. The plan failed, as he got his hands on the house keys and left, but, instead of going to be with Sky, he turned to the bottle. Janelle, Janae and Loris, meanwhile, joined Sky and Harold at the hospital, where the birth was interrupted by mentally ill Teresa Cammeniti. Teresa had been sharing a room with Sky for several weeks, with none of the staff aware that she had given up a baby for adoption which had later died, and she was growing more and more obsessed with replacing it with Sky’s child. Teresa’s outbursts during the labour made everyone realise that there was something badly wrong with her, and she was taken away, but she soon managed to get back onto the ward and, and she then started a fire, intended as a distraction so that she could steal the baby. A drunk Stingray also tried to get in on the birth, but was thrown out of the hospital by security. Meanwhile, with support from Janelle and Harold, Sky continued with the labour, but, as fire alarms began to ring, the hospital had to be evacuated. With only a couple more pushes to go, Karl claimed the it was just a fire drill, in order to make sure the baby was born before Sky was led out of the hospital. And, following the dramatic birth, the tension didn’t let up the next morning, when Sky was finally to be reunited with her baby, a little girl named Kerry, in another wing of the hospital, but found the crib to be empty.
A police investigation got underway, with Teresa and Stingray the prime suspects for the snatching. Teresa was quickly found and, although arrested for the arson attempt, she did not have Kerry with her. Stingray was then found unconscious in some bushes but, again, there was no sign of the baby, though he did have her baby bracelet in his pocket. After an anxious wait, Sky, Harold and Janelle were stunned when baby Kerry was simply left on the Bishops’ doorstep. Unbeknownst to Janelle, it had been Dylan who found the baby, in the arms of his unconscious brother outside the hospital and, convinced that he was the father, he took her to a hotel room. But a concerned Elle had found him, snatched the baby back and returned her to her family, fearful that Dylan would return to prison if he was caught. At the hospital, Dylan told Sky everything and explained that his instincts were telling him that he was Kerry’s dad. Sky agreed to a DNA test and an appalled Janelle warned Karl that, if the results showed that Dylan was the father, she would make sure that his medical career was over.
Around the same time, Loris suddenly disappeared from Erinsborough – with Janelle unaware that she had been the one who swapped Anne and Bree and had gone to find the Baxters and make up for the past. Although Janelle was furious, thinking that Loris was just like Kim, she was stunned when, in order to make up for things, Loris signed over number 26 and her 40% share in Lassiter’s, to the family and, since Loris had already given Dylan 9%, this put them on equal footing with hotel owner Paul. This, coupled with the news that Dylan was Kerry’s biological father, saw a sudden upturn in the fortunes of the Timmins family, with Janelle then deciding to sue Karl for $1.5 million for medical negligence. But when Karl then decided to stop practising as a doctor anyway, Janelle dropped the law suit. And, after looking into buying a bigger house in a nicer part of town, Janelle realised that she’d much rather be the richest person in Ramsay Street than move somewhere and become a nobody again. Paul, meanwhile, was horrified to realise that the Timminses were now part of the decision-making process at Lassiter’s, but he managed to track down Will Griggs, who owned the other 2%, inherited from his parents, and blackmailed him into siding with him during board meetings, if he agreed to keep his identity a secret. So, a few weeks later, after the Timmins family had helped out Ned Parker by giving him a job at the hotel, Will was forced to side with Paul and have him sacked.
Janelle was also surprised when she started to get close to Senior Sergeant Allan Steiger, after he saved Janae from being attacked by her pervy boss, Rex Colt, then stopped Janelle from getting revenge and setting fire to Rex’s business. As Christmas approached, Steiger was surprised to learn that his ex-wife, Christine, was a lesbian, putting paid to any chance that they might get back together. Janelle, meanwhile, got a letter from Kim telling her that he wouldn’t be coming back. With a little encouragement from Janae, during Ramsay Street’s Christmas Day barbecue, Janelle plucked up the courage to ask Steiger out on a date but was turned down, as he felt that they both needed some time alone. In the weeks that followed, Janelle resorted to speeding and reporting mysterious prowlers in order to get his attention and he finally relented and agreed to a date. But as the pair tried to enjoy their time together, Steiger failed to switch off from his role as a police officer and ended up looking for crime and criminals everywhere. He apologised and admitted that he didn’t think Janelle would enjoy his favourite hobby of pig shooting, only to find out that it was her favourite sport. The pair soon set off on a camping trip together, where romance blossomed under the stars. And, back in Ramsay Street, having come to terms with Steiger’s model train obsession and managed to convince his daughter, Pepper, that she wasn’t going to steal him away from her, Janelle happily settled into her new romance.
As the Timmins family faced more problems – with Paul trying to convince them that Lassiter’s was losing money in the hope that they’d sell their shares to him – tragedy struck when baby Kerry was diagnosed with leukaemia. Although almost everyone in Ramsay Street volunteered to be tested, Stingray was found to be the only suitable match. And although Janelle wasn’t impressed that Stingray and Sky had become a couple, she soon forgot that as her son prepared for the operation. Following an anxious wait, the Timmins family was relieved when both Stingray and Kerry pulled through the operation and, a few days later, as Janelle celebrated her birthday, they were given the news that Kerry had accepted the transplant and all the signs were positive. But, at her birthday street party, a tired Stingray sat down for a moment, only to pass away suddenly from an aneurysm. As he was taken away by the ambulance, Janelle struggled to come to terms with what had happened, remembering being told that Dylan had perished in the plane crash, only for him to turn up alive. But, at the hospital, the sight of her son in the morgue brought the reality of the situation crashing home for Janelle, as she realised that her youngest boy was dead.
In the days following Stingray’s death, Janelle struggled to cope, but it was Dylan who had the most alarming reaction, lashing out at everyone around him and destroying the Scarlet Bar on the day of the funeral. Kim, who had returned, risking arrest, for the funeral tried to help his son, but it was Steiger who realised that Dylan needed to get away from Erinsborough before he did something he’d truly regret. And so, following the funeral, as Janelle thanked everyone for coming and the family planted a tree in Stingray’s memory, Steiger asked Kim to take Dylan away with him, and give the boy the chance to recover from recent events. Later, as Janelle realised that she’d lost another of her children, she was devastated, throwing Steiger out, though everyone else made her see that he’d only done what he did to save her family from further heartbreak. She told Steiger to come back, even asking him to move in. He hadn’t been there for long, however, when he explained to Janelle that he’d been offered a two-month placement in the Solomon Islands, a job he’d applied for before they got together, but it would be an amazing opportunity. Janelle admitted that she couldn’t cope with someone else leaving her and, after years of Kim’s disappearing acts, she was worried that he might not come back, so Steiger made the romantic gesture of leaving her his grandmother’s engagement ring and informing her that, upon his return, he would propose.
With Steiger away, Janelle’s problems only increased, as Sky struggled to cope without Stingray and turned to fake spiritualist Terrence Chesterton for support. Terrence encouraged Sky to follow Stingray’s advice and scatter his ashes at the skate park. Janelle was horrified, but Bree managed to talk Sky out of it, though Janelle was later alarmed when Terrence mentioned Cedric, her grandfather, and began to wonder if it was genuine and he really could talk to the dead. Janelle started giving money to Terrence, in return for the chance to speak to her precious ‘Scotty’ and even scattered his ashes at the skate park, but events took a dark turn when Terrence was found murdered. Having just found out that he was a fake, Sky had attacked him and believed that she was his killer, little realising that Charlotte Stone, Terrence’s partner who’d been pretending to be a G.P. at the Erinsborough Medical Centre, had dealt the fatal blow. Sky was sent to prison, while her friends and family tried to prove her innocence, eventually finding out that Terrence had committed similar cons in South Australia and later piecing together the puzzle, with Boyd the one who conned Charlotte into admitting her guilt, securing Sky’s freedom.
Meanwhile, Janelle was in for a couple of blasts from the past when both Steiger – suffering from malaria - and Anne came back to Erinsborough. She was delighted to have them both back in her life, but quickly realised that Anne’s parents, Brenda and Greg, weren’t aware of where she was, thinking she’d gone to school camp. When Greg arrived on her doorstep, Janelle tried to talk him into letting Anne stay and spend time with her biological relatives, but Greg was adamant that she was coming home with him. Anne wasn’t quite so keen to go and as she hid out across the street, Greg went and sat in Charlie’s Bar, where Bree followed him to finally try and find out what her real father was like. It wasn’t long before father and daughter were chatting away about books and Bree started to finally feel like she fitted in somewhere, but Greg was determined to return home to Cairns and having nothing to do with any of the Timmins clan. But he then had a change of heart and, when he came to collect Anne, he explained that he would like the chance to get to know Bree too, but with the two clans at opposite ends of the country, they quickly realised that this was going to be difficult. It was Steiger that suggested that the Timmins clan could relocate to Cairns, bringing them closer to Kim and Dylan, who were up in Port Douglas, and Brandon and Dwayne in Brisbane. Janelle agreed to a six-month trial and the clan made preparations to leave, with Ramsay Street throwing them a farewell barbecue.
The day took a celebratory turn when Steiger announced that he had a little surprise in store – they were not only gathered to say goodbye, but also to see him and Janelle get married. And, following their vows, Janelle was in for another surprise, when she saw her wedding present – Daryl Braithwaite was there for a quick performance. The surprises kept on coming when Steiger then gathered everyone at the Erinsborough Sports Oval to see the family off in style, as they flew away in a helicopter. But Janelle had a surprise of her own, when she told Janae that she should stay in Erinsborough, running the garage, that the family had bought with proceeds from selling their Lassiter’s shares to Elle, and looking after the house, but most importantly, seeing if her fledgling relationship with Ned was going to come to anything. And so, certain that her daughter wasn’t going to lose her chance at happiness, Janelle boarded the helicopter with Steiger, Bree and Anne, and waved goodbye to the various neighbours who’d come to be her friends.
• Nell Feeney previously played Joanne Blair in 2003
• She was once married to Shane Connor (Joe Scully) and, prior to landing the role of Janelle, was a trainee Neighbours storyliner
• Janelle is a big fan of the singer Daryl Braithwaite
• Janelle entered all her children into baby competitions - Brandon Timmins won his competition and the prize was a deep fat fryer
Episode 4609: Janelle's
Episode 4673: Janelle's
Episode 4978: Janelle and
Kim's Wedding: Part One
Episode 4979: Janelle and
Kim's Wedding: Part Two
Episode 5255: Janelle and
Biography by Steve