A Country Practice

Australian television series

A Country Practice is an Australian television soap opera that aired (shown) on the Seven Network from 18 November 1981 to 5 November 1993 at 7:30 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. A total of 14 seasons and 1,058 episodes were produced. The show was produced at the ATN-7's production facility at Epping, New South Wales. Outdoor locations were filmed in Pitt Town and Oakville, in the northwestern suburbs of Sydney, Australia.

A Country Practice
GenreSoap opera
Created byJames Davern
Starring(see Cast List in Article)
Theme music composerMike Perjanik
Opening themeA Country Practice (instrumental)
Ending themeReprise
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons14
No. of episodes1,088 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)James Davern
Running time48 minutes
Production company(s)JNP Productions
Release
Original networkSeven Network (1981–93)
Network Ten (1994)
Picture format4.3 PAL
Audio formatStereo
Original release18 November 1981 (1981-11-18) –
5 November 1994 (1994-11-05)

Several of the regular cast members became popular celebrities as a result of their roles in the series. It also featured many native Australian animals, particularly the iconic 'Fatso the wombat' adding to its appeal both nationally and internationally. After the series was cancelled by the Seven Network in 1993, the series was relaunched on the Network Ten in 1994.

At the time of its cancellation, A Country Practice was the longest-running Australian TV drama. However, by the late 1990s, the record was overtaken by Network Ten series Neighbours. The series was eventually sold and aired in 48 countries.

CastEdit

Main cast (Seven Network series) 1981-1993Edit

NOTE: Actors highlighted in pink were original cast members. Note: Actors highlighted in yellow were kept in the series when switching from Seven Network to Network Ten.

Actor Role Episodes
Lorrae Desmond (MBE, AM) (Note:[1] Nurse: Sister Shirley Dean/Gilroy (1981–1992) 816 episodes.
Shane Porteous Dr. Terence Elliot 1981-1993 986 episodes
Brian Wenzel Sgt. Frank Gilroy 1981-1993
Joyce Jacobs Esme Watson (1981–1993) 805 episodes, Seven Network. Semi-regular cast member until episode 99 onwards, debuted in episode 1 as Norma. (Retained to Network Ten 1994 series (30 episodes))
Gordon Piper Robert Hatfield (1981–1992) 742 episodes (Debuted in episode 3) Returned as guest character during season 12
Syd Heylen Vernon 'Cookie' Locke (1982–1992) episodes 723 (Debuted in episode 14) Returned as guest character during season 12.
Joan Sydney Matron Margaret 'Maggie' Sloane (1983–1990) 453 episodes, Seven Network. (Retained to Network Ten 1994 series after appearing in the Seven Network series finale (30 episodes)) Guest starred in the last episode of season 13.
Shane Withington Nurse Brendan Jones (1981–1986) 367 episodes (Debuted in episode 3)
John Tarrant Dr. Matthew Tyler (Vet) (1988–1992) 349 episodes
Grant Dodwell Dr. Simon Bowen (1981–1986) 332 episodes
Penny Cook Dr. Victoria "Vicki" Dean/Bowen (Vet)

(1981–1985, returned as a guest in 1986, and the 1993 Seven Network series finale) 330 episodes Guest starred in the last episode of season 13.

Anne Tenney Melissa 'Molly' Jones (1981–1985) 299 episodes (Debuted in episode 3)
Georgie Parker Nurse Lucy Gardner/Tyler (1989–1992) 266 episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Barbara Gottlieb in 1988)
Josephine Mitchell Josephine Loveday/Langley (1985–1989) 254 episodes
Diane Smith Dr. Alex Fraser/Elliot (1986–1989, returned as a guest in 1993) 246 episodes later guest during 1989 (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Sharon Lyons in 1982)
Maureen Edwards Matron Rosemary Prior/Elliot (1991–1993) 243 episodes (Had previously appeared in guest roles as Yvonne McLean in 1983, and Katherine D'Angelo in 1990)
Kate Raison Cathy Hayden (National Park Ranger) (1987–1990) 236 episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Darlene McCoy in 1987)
Andrew Blackman Dr. Harry Morrison (1991–1993) 236 episodes Seven Network (Retained to Network Ten series 1994 (30 episodes))
Michelle Pettigrove Nurse Kate Bryant/Morrison (1991–1993) 230 episodes Seven Network (appeared in Network Ten series 1 episode, 1994) (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Mary O'Connor in 1988)
Matt Day Julian "Luke" Ross (1989-1992), 227 episodes Guest starred in the last episode of season 13.
Wendy Strehlow Sister Judy Loveday (1981–1986) 216 episodes
Nicholas Bufalo Dr. Benjamin Green (1985–1988), 206 episodes
Kym Wilson Darcy Hudson (1991–1993), 183 episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Leanne Baxter in 1989)
Emily Nicol Chloe Jones (1983–1986) 174 epiosdes
Michael Muntz Dr. Chris Kourous (1989–1991) 164 episodes
Gavin Harrison Hugo Szreclecki (1992–1993) 161 episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as J.J. Moffitt in 1987 and Mick O'Brian in 1990)
Jon Concannon Senior Constable/Sgt. Tom Newman (1992–1993) 160 episodes
Judith McGrath Bernice Hudson (1992–1993) 149 episodes Guest starred in the last episode of season 13.
Allan Penney Perce Hudson (1987–1993) 114 episodes (Had previously appeared in guest roles as Arty Turner in 1981, Alf Trotter in 1982 and Alfred Hitchins in 1984) Appeared from time to time as a valley resident. Not credited until season 13.
Anne Looby Dr. Anna Lacey/Newman (Vet) (1990)(1992–1993) 148 episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Jennifer Rose in 1990)
Helen Scott Matron Marta Kurtez (1981–1983) 126 episodes
Brett Climo Nurse Michael Langley (1987–1989) 121 episodes (Had previously appeared in guest roles as Barry Hall in 1982, and Sandy Hughes in 1984)
Sophie Heathcote Stephanie "Steve" Brennan (1990–1991), 117 episodes
Jamie Croft Billy Moss (1992–1993) 111 Episodes. (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Ashley Baker in 1991)
Caroline Johansson Nurse Donna Manning (1986–1987) 98 episodes
Mark Owen-Taylor Peter Manning (Teacher) (1986–1987) (88 episodes) returned for a short time in a guest role in 87.
Mary Regan DN. Ann Brennan (1990–1991) 85 Episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Wendy Allen in 1989)
Annie Davis Kelly Shanahan (Reporter) (1985–1986) 35 Episodes
Georgina Fisher Jessica Kouros (1989–1991) 112 episodes
Queenie Ashton (AM) Mrs. Lillian Coote 1982-1992 (recurring)
June Salter (AM) Hilda Arrowsmith - Matron of Burrigan District Hospital itinerant 1982-1992
Vincent Ball (OAM) Ted Campbell recurring
Brian Moll Councillor Alfred Muldoon recurring (1982-1992)

Network Ten (primary and recurring cast) (1994)Edit

Only four of the original cast members from the Network Seven series were kept in the Network Ten re-launch: Joan Sydney, Joyce Jacobs, and Andrew Blackman, and Michelle Pettigrove (1 episode)

Actor Role Episodes
Joan Sydney Matron Maggie Morrison 1994
Joyce Jacobs Esme Watson 1994
Andrew Blackman Dr. Harry Morrison 1994
Michelle Pettigrove Kate Bryant 1994 (episode 1)
Paul Gleeson Ian McIntyre 30 episodes (Appeared in the final 8 episodes of the Seven Network Series 1993)
Claudia Black Claire Bonacci 30 episodes (Appeared in the final 4 episodes of the Seven Network Series 1993)
Vince Colosimo Danny Sabatini 30 episodes
Jane Hall Dr. Jess Morrison 30 episodes
Laura Armstrong Georgie Wilkes 30 episodes
Katherine Murray Fred Bates 10 episodes (School friend of Georgie's)
Alyce Platt Sarah Wilkes 5 episodes (Georgie's mother)
Chris Lyons Miles Ferdenbach 4 episodes (School friend of Georgie's)
Clarissa House Dr. June Munroe 2 episodes (Doctor at Burrigan Hospital)

Celebrity guest starsEdit

A Country Practice rose to fame with a long list of guest appearances, with a total cast of over 1000 stars and well-known mostly Australian actors in two-part episodes each week.

Famous stars included:

Name Notability
Bob Hawke Prime Minister As himself
Sir Robert Helpmann (CBE) Dancer, choreographer, actor
Baz Luhrmann Film director (see also article: List of awards and nominations received by Baz Luhrmann
Nicole Kidman (AC) Actress
Simon Baker (AACTA Award winner) Actor
Toni Colette Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award winning actress
Smokey Dawson (AM, MBE) Singer, radio personality
Paul Kelly (AO) Singer-songwriter, musician
Ruth Cracknell (AM) Actress, comedian
Pro Hart (MBE)) Artist
John Meillon (MBE) Actor
Ray Meagher (AM) Actor
Andrew Denton (AM) TV Host, broadcaster
Barry Crocker (AM) Actor, singer
Richard Wilkins (AM) Entertainment reporter, today Show prsenter
Dr. John D'Arcy Medical specialist, media personality
Delta Goodrem (AM) Singer, actress (Neighbours), TV music show judge
Henri Szeps (OAM) Actor, comedian

Logie AwardsEdit

A Country Practice is the third most successful television program after Home and Away (1st) and Neighbours (2nd), at the Logie Awards. The show has won 29 awards during its twelve years of production.[2]

Logie Awards 1983

  • Best Supporting Actor In A Series: Brian Wenzel
  • Best Juvenile Performance: Jeremy Shadlow

Logie awards 1984

Logie Awards 1985

  • Most Popular Lead Actor: Grant Dodwell
  • Most Popular Lead Actress: Anne Tenney
  • NSW Most Popular Male: Grant Dodwell
  • NSW Most Popular Female: Penny Cook
  • NSW Most Popular Show: A Country Practice
  • Most Popular Drama Program: A Country Practice
  • Best Lead Actor In A Series: Shane Withington
  • Best Supporting Actress In A Series: Wendy Strehlow

Logie Awards 1986

  • Most Popular Australian Actor: Grant Dodwell
  • Most Popular Australian Actress: Anne Tenney
  • NSW Most Popular Female: Anne Tenney
  • NSW Most Popular Program: A Country Practice
  • Most Popular Australian Drama: A Country Practice

Logie Awards 1987

  • NSW Most Popular Program: A Country Practice

Logie Awards 1988

  • NSW Most Popular Program: A Country Practice

Logie Awards 1989

Logie Awards 1990

Logie Awards 1991

  • Most Popular Actress: Georgie Parker

Logie Awards 1992

  • Most Popular Actress: Georgie Parker

Logie Awards 1993

  • Most Popular Actress: Georgie Parker

ReferencesEdit

  1. Australia didn't have a national honour's system in place until 1975, so Australian recipients received British honours. Desmond was given the Order of the British Empire. She also received the Order of Australia and won the Gold Logie
  2. "TV Week Logie Awards – Past Winners". Yahoo!7 TV.