Top Aussie TV Families

Australian television has a long and lustrous history of quality television drama production, along with which go the numerous family groups, both perfect and imperfect.

With many of them loved the around the world, here are our favourite Australian TV families!

The Rafters on Packed to the Rafters

Seven's hit drama frequently pulls in close to two million viewers per episode, and is a mainstay of Seven's schedule.

So much of the show's success is down to the realistic family dynamic that is shown on screen, with its family-orientated comedy/drama garnering as much popularity as other big hitters such as MasterChef Australia.

Focusing on the nuclear family of Dave and Julie Rafter (Erik ThomsonRebecca Gibney and their three children Rachel (Jessica Marais), Ben (Hugh Sheridan) and Nathan (Angus McLaren), who boomerang back into the family home in their mid-twenties following relationship breakdowns and unemployment, quietly destroying their parents peaceful retirement plans.

Hailed for its realistic portrayal of daily suburban existence and a top notch script -- which is often lacking in Aussie drama -- the light-hearted tone, and sometimes controversial topics clearly call out to the public at large.

The Day-Knight/Craigs on Kath & Kim

Iconic Aussie comedy Kath & Kim has won numerous Logie Awards and even had the misfortune of being afflicted with a failed American remake of the same name.

Written by, and starring Jane Turner and Gina Riley who play the title characters, Kath Day-Knight and Kim Craig: a suburban mother and daughter with one of the most dysfunctional and haphazard relationships seen on comedy screens for sometime.

Premiering on the ABC in 2002, the show became an instant hit, as the exaggerated relationship between mother and daughter struck chords throughout Australia and the world.

Together with Kath's lothario boyfriend and husband Kel (Glenn Robbins, and her clunky and awkward best friend Sharon Strzelecki (Magda Szubanski), the group deal with fashion, clubbing, drug use and interior design -- all in their own special and chaotic ways.

Establishing as many catchphrases as Little Britain and Monty Python, the likeability of the central family propelled Kath & Kim to become a marketing juggernaut.

The Fletchers on Home & Away

One of the most enduring families on the Australian small screen, the Fletchers were the back bone of internationally syndicated soap Home & Away for over 20 years.

Originally comprised of Summer Bay residents Pippa and Tom Fletcher (Vanessa Downing/Debra Lawrance and Roger Oakley -- they had previously flexed their philanthropic prowess by becoming frequent foster parents, bring to the program numerous children, including Sally Keating (Kate Ritchie), who become one of the mainstays of the soap.

Pippa was portrayed by two different actresses in the character's time on the show, Vanessa Downing from 1988 to 1990, Debra Lawrance from 1990 to 1998, and then with numerous guest appearances up to 2009.

Richie appeared in the pilot episode on January 17, 1988, spending 20 years on the soap until April 3, 2008. Notable story arcs for her character included dating Scott Irwin (Heath Ledger), dealing with sudden infant death syndrome, and armed robbers. Richie has since moved her career to another successful Australian drama, Cops L.A.C.

The Twists on Round The Twist

One for the kids -- Round The Twist's family is certainly one of the more eccentric in the history of Australian drama.

Just four seasons of the program were made, although they were spread out over 11 years, allowing the show to become iconic to a huge cross-demographic of kids coming home from school.

As a result of the long duration of the series' run -- the cast have changed numerous times, although the enduring family set up of widower father, twin children and a loner youngster obsessed with food and smell is seemingly the perfect package to be loved around the world.

Ghost fighting, becoming superheroes and entering into political office have all been a feature of this comedy drama that captured the hearts of viewers, if only with it's incredibly catchy theme tune...(above)

The Jacksons on Love My Way
Before the glory days of James Cameron's Avatar, Sam Worthington was ab core component of the extended family unit on Love My Way.

Focusing on a group of thirty-somethings dealing with the trials and tribulations of separated parents, estranged siblings and on-off lovers.

Also starring Dan Wyllie, Asher Keddie, Brendan Cowell, and Alex Cook, the program only broadcast on pay TV, allowing it to be foul mouthed, drug addled and highly sexed -- just like every good Australian family should be!

The Kovacs on Tangle

Broadcast exclusively on the pay TV channel Showcase, Tangle focuses on the lives of two generations of two families and their tangled and complicated lives.

Revolving around the interactions of the Kovac and Williams families, the show has been highly lauded by critics and award shows alike, reaping their fair share of ASTRA Awards.

The show is centred around the return of character Nat Manning (Kat Stewart) to her old stomping ground in Melbourne after ten years in England.

Her return to old friends and families lives results in a serious stir as years of memories and and repressed emotions are released in a deluge.

Ally (Justine Clarke) is the commited wife of builder Vince (Ben Mendelsohn), mother of Romeo (Lincoln Younes) and Gigi (Eva Lazzaro).

Also starring Catherine McClements and Matt Day, the never ending cycles of sexual tension and hidden hatred revolves around the Kovac family, proving to be both productive and destructive in equal measure.

The Proudmans on Offspring

Offspring premiered on Network TEN in August 2010. Focused upon 30-something obstetrician Nina Proudman (Asher Keddie) and her family, as they weave and duck through the obstacles thrown up at them by modern life.

Blending comedy with flashbacks and graphic sequences (a la Ally McBeal), the show was originally intended as a two-hour telemovie, but quickly expanded into a 13 episode season -- marketed heavily through iTunes, highlighting its youthful target demographic.

Starring Asher Keddie (Nina Proudman), Don Hany (Chris Havel), Kat Stewart (Billie Proudman) Eddie Perfect (Mick Holland) and Deborah Mailman (Cherie Butterfield), the show provides a lighter side of Australian life in the face of domestic misery portrayed on other shows.

The Kennedys on Neighbours

Launching the careers of Alan Fletcher, Jackie Woodburne, Benjamin McNair, Kym Valentine, Jesse Spencer and is the Kennedy family -- the backbone of the soap that has seen each family involved in every bizarre situation you can possibly imagine.

Originally introduced in 1994, Neighbours' storyliners felt the need to create a more traditional family unit, in the face of a street full of singletons and crazies.

Introducing community stalwarts Karl Kennedy, the GP, and Susan, the teacher -- the family was quickly a central focus of Erinsborough community life.

With the three young actors quickly becoming teen idols, the introduction of the family solidified the popularity of the show amongst the viewing public, both at home and overseas.

Family life has not remained quite to consistent in recent years however, with affairs, amnesia, death and Karl Kennedy's ever inflating ego taking the sheen from the once golden family.

Comments (1)
Jan 03, 2011
Out of this list, I can only cope with the Rafters because I think Rebecca Gibney is brilliant. I always loved the Twist family though, they were great, even though they kept changing actors. I think that, from the past, the best Aussie television family were The Sullivans. Brilliant show.