Olivia Kate Fraser-Richards (1998-1999, 2005; 2015- )
Emily Taylor, Alexandra Kotz, Connor Hamond, Zara Williams, Shaylee Pratt, Brielle Gardiner, Shaylee Pyett, Elise & Lauren Newman, Brianna & Tamara Wilkie, Bridget & Holly Durkin; Ivy Latimer (2005); Raechelle Banno (2015-present)
Parents: Lachlan Fraser & Chloe Richards (both deceased); James Fraser (former stepfather)
Olivia nearly made a premature entry into the world as her mother went into labour whilst going for a walk. Even though they got home in time, she was diagnosed with a heart murmur at birth but quickly recovered to be reunited with parents Lachie and Chloe.
Her first couple of months of life were largely uneventful, with a first visit from grandmother Diana, and Chloe being thrown out of the Diner by Alf for breastfeeding in public. But then Lachie was diagnosed with a brain tumour and although an operation went well he suffered a cerebral haemorrhage that left him permanently brain damaged. His mother Diana sent him to the States for treatment and after Chloe briefly tried looking after him on her own they moved back in with Irene.
Lachie’s brother James, Olivia’s uncle, came to town to keep an eye on his family. Diana also began to involve herself in Olivia’s life, offering to get her on the list for a private school, and James was surprised when Chloe agreed. Chloe was uncomfortable when an old lady mistook James for Olivia’s father and felt Olivia needed her father in her life. James paid for them to go to the States to see him but when they arrived they discovered that, as a result of his brain damage, Lachie no longer had any feelings for either of them and was seeing someone else.
Soon after her return to Australia, Olivia showed signs of being unwell. Irene and Chloe seemed ready to dismiss it but James insisted on taking her to a specialist and learned she was suffering from a narrow aorta. She needed an operation but fortunately it went well. With Joey behaving erratically at the time, as a result of undiagnosed schizophrenia, Irene persuaded Chloe to take Olivia and move in with James, who she had recently started dating.
Chloe and James married but cracks soon started to appear in the relationship. James asked to adopt Olivia but Chloe suggested they try for a baby of their own instead, only she kept taking the Pill. When James found out, he ended the marriage and Chloe and Olivia returned to live with Irene. Soon after, Lachie died in the States from a second haemorrhage and Diana became even more obsessed with controlling Olivia’s life. When a solicitor told her she had no more say in Olivia’s upbringing than Chloe allowed her, Diana kidnapped her granddaughter but her husband Peter quickly returned her to Chloe and checked Diana into a clinic. Chloe allowed Diana supervised access when she came out but had begun to feel she needed a new start. She took Olivia to live in the city after a hasty farewell to Irene and James.
Olivia returned to Summer Bay in 2005, by which time she had started using her mother’s maiden name Richards and also somehow aged to around ten years old. Chloe and Sally went to collect her from the city, after which Sally and Jesse took her to the Diner. She was on hand to give Chloe a hug after she was attacked by her violent boyfriend Troy. Olivia wished Alf a happy 60th birthday but that evening she was orphaned when Chloe was killed in a car accident. Colleen was looking after her for the evening when Irene and Barry returned to tell her the news. Irene declared her intention to apply for custody of Olivia and she and Barry took her away for a while. They returned to the news Jesse had turned himself in for causing the accident.
Despite Irene doing the bare minimum to inform her of Chloe’s death, Diana turned up at the funeral, where Olivia greeted her politely but without any real pleasure. Although neither Irene nor Olivia was happy with the idea, Diana was allowed to spend time with her granddaughter but Olivia was unimpressed with the posh doll she bought her. Hayley took Olivia down the beach but Diana joined them uninvited until Irene stepped in and took her away.
With Diana having applied for custody, Olivia was looked after by Kim and Hayley during the hearing and told them that because they were having a baby and loved each other they should get married. With the first day of mediation having gone badly, Olivia begged Irene not to let Diana take her. That night, Irene grabbed Olivia and drove off into the night, without any real idea of where they were going. Olivia left the teddy bear Chloe bought her at a petrol station and when Irene went back to get it, they ran into Barry, who persuaded them to return home. Olivia backed up Irene and Hayley’s story that they had gone to a sale in Yabbie Creek and had a flat tyre. The mediator questioned Olivia and she said that she loved Irene but also liked living in the city and, because she was questioned in front of Diana, didn’t feel able to say she didn’t want to live with her. As a result, the mediator awarded Diana custody and a distraught Olivia was dragged from the house.
After only a few hours of Diana’s cold and highly disciplined parenting, Olivia was ringing Irene begging for help. Irene and Hayley went to the house and spoke to Olivia through the gate but Diana turned them away. However, then James arrived as the executor of Chloe’s will, and summoned Diana and Olivia to the beach house.
He announced that not only had Chloe left everything to Olivia, to be placed in trust until her 16th birthday, but she had also stipulated that under no circumstances was Diana to be given custody of her – and had instead awarded guardianship to James. Olivia told Diana that she didn’t want to live with her because she always made trouble for everyone and was delighted when James told her they would be living in his flat in the city, so she could stay at the same school and still see all her friends. Once more, Irene said a sad farewell to Olivia as she waved them off, but was happy in the knowledge that Chloe’s wishes had been honoured.
In 2015, it was revealed that Olivia and James were now living in London when Irene went over to visit. A few months later, Olivia turned up in Summer Bay, now aged around seventeen and using both her parents’ surnames, having been expelled from her London school. She encountered VJ on the beach and convinced him to “borrow” a couple of bicycles to tour the town. She then went to Irene, revealing she had been suspended from school and claiming James had sent her to stay with Irene. In fact, she had stolen his credit card and bought herself a ticket but Irene agreed to her staying for a while. She tracked VJ down again, flirting with him heavily, and they took Leah’s car out for a drive, even though she didn’t have a license. The car was damaged while parked and Olivia had to work in the Diner to pay for the damage.
She went to meet VJ but found Hunter with him and insisted he stayed around, excluding VJ from the conversation and paying more attention to Hunter. When VJ objected, Olivia freaked out and insisted she’d never been interested in a relationship with him. She was then seen cutting her thighs. She started an argument with Charlotte when she saw her arguing with Irene and encouraged Hunter to reject her. Shortly after she was told to empty the bins at the Diner, the refuse was found scattered over Charlotte’s flat. She was questioned by the police but denied everything. However, it was revealed she had been expelled for vandalism: She told Irene a boy had been harassing her so she had painted “Pervert” on his door. She told Irene that James had no time for her and Irene agreed to her staying permanently.
She asked Hunter to avert her gaze after he found her in the water in a bikini but he peaked and saw the scars. VJ tried to talk to her about it, as did Irene, and she ran away but Hunter convinced her to go back to Irene. She admitted to her that a friend of James’ who stayed over used to come into her room and abuse her. However, Irene began acting strangely after she heard the story. Olivia wanted to forget about it and spend time with VJ and Hunter but Irene pressured her to see a counsellor. When Olivia accused her of not understanding, Irene replied that it had happened to her too. Olivia summoned Leah, and Irene admitted to them both that she had been raped by her uncle.
Olivia began seeing a counsellor but Irene continued to behave oddly, blowing up at Olivia and her friends. Olivia and Hunter cooked her breakfast as an apology. Hunter backed off from kissing her, worried about making her self-conscious about her scars, but she followed him home and kissed him, then opened up to him about her abuse and self-harm.. She seemed unaware of Irene’s alcoholism, being unconcerned when she saw her drinking. However, when Irene spoke to her nastily while drunk, she and Hunter alerted Alf. She told Hunter she loved him and wanted to sleep with him but found the experience uncomfortable, admitting she wasn’t over her abuse but didn’t want to ruin what they had. After attending Zac and Leah’s wedding reception, she told Irene about Charlotte killing Denny. She was shocked when Hunter announced he was leaving, saying Charlotte would reveal he was as bad as her. She tracked him down as he was getting in a car and told him he didn’t have to worry about Charlotte but he left anyway.
She made a disparaging remark about only idiots dating him when she learned Chris had just been through a break-up. She was annoyed that Hunter didn’t contact her as soon as he returned to town, despite his mother having been killed; when he eventually did come to see her, he told her he had stayed with the guy who gave him a lift. She tried to get him to open up to her about his feelings about Charlotte’s death and found him crying on the beach. She attended Charlotte’s funeral to support him after which Hunter confessed to her that he had burned down Leah’s house, which Billie was about to stand trial for, as well as robbing the Diner, which Charlotte had killed Denny to cover up. Olivia advised him to go along with Andy’s plan to blame the fire on Charlotte but instead he confessed. Olivia continued to support him and helped convince Irene to let him stay with them. However, she was resentful when Skye also moved in and continued to complain about her even while trying to get VJ to forgive Hunter. However, after Hunter told her she was being a jerk towards Skye, she befriended her. She was Skye’s confidante when she developed a crush on Oscar and the two girls worked together to lecture VJ and Hunter when they got into a fight in class.
Irene introduced her to Claire Lewis, a woman who may have been her daughter. When they were alone, Claire pressed Olivia for news on how she was conceived and Olivia told her about the rape but when Claire ran off Olivia was left worried that she’d messed up their reunion. However, she was concerned when Irene accepted Claire as her daughter without any evidence and searched through Claire’s bag, finding unpaid bills. Her concerns increased when Irene began paying for Claire’s flights to visit her. She asked Roo and Morag to look into Claire, but they found nothing untoward except a past drug addiction that Claire had already admitted to. However, Olivia refused to drop the matter and decided to order a home DNA kit. Hunter was disgusted at her interference and she promised to rip up the results, but instead looked at them and told Irene that Claire wasn’t her daughter. She then had to watch as both Irene and Claire were left devastated at the loss of their new family bond. She went to Hunter for reassurance but he refused to tell her she’d done the right thing. However, they were interrupted by the arrival of Lindsay Ford, the person who Hunter had really stayed with during his absence who revealed they’d kissed.
Olivia soon made up with both Irene and Hunter, after Hunter explained he had kissed Lindsay the first night then been just friends with her. However, Lindsay implied more had happened than that, and when Olivia saw her with her arm round Hunter she ended things. She was convinced to attend a beach party with VJ and Skye to cheer herself up only to learn it was Lindsay’s. One of Lindsay’s friends, Drew Parton, made a pass at her but she rejected him. She refused to forgive Hunter and nearly hit Lindsay when she goaded her in the Diner, with VJ and Skye having to cover for her. When she learned that Lindsay had set it up so Hunter would think she’d been with Drew, she went looking for him and saw him injured while trying to stop Lindsay joyriding Alf’s ute. She used the fact to force Linsdsay to leave town.
Afterwards, Olivia and Hunter went on a picnic to mark their reunion but Hunter collapsed, unable to breathe, as a result of not being properly checked over after the accident. She ran and got Zac and Greg for help, resulting in Zac giving him emergency treatment under Nate’s direction. She managed to get Irene to give her food from the Diner to re-do the picnic but ran off when Hunter tried to have sex with her on the beach afterwards, then bought a pregnancy test. Skye supported her when she took it and it turned out to be positive; Irene was quickly clued in but Olivia asked for them to give her a week to tell Hunter. Eventually, she called him over and told him the truth. When he walked away without saying anything, she told Irene and Skye she was considering a termination. Although Hunter quickly came back and said he’d stand by her, a chat about everything they’d have to give up quickly made her realise she should have the abortion anyway. Irene and Hunter escorted her to the clinic and, after chatting to a counsellor, she went through with the procedure. However, she was soon contemplating cutting herself again.
When she found out that Skye was seeing Tank, she denounced her as stupid, insisting Tank would never change and ignoring comparisons between him and Hunter. She blew up at Chris, calling him a pervert, when he spotted her new scars but agreed to go to the movies with Hunter and VJ instead of attending the hospital fundraiser, meaning they missed the explosion. Soon after, she realised Irene hadn’t gone to Fin’s as she claimed and looked for her with Hunter and John, finding her car abandoned. She was mollified when Leah received a text from Irene saying she had found her child and was with them. She was the one Skye tried to confide in when Tank told her he had caused the explosion. She also worried about Chris cutting himself off after Hannah’s death. She refused to stay the night with Hunter in his caravan, pointing out the need to wait six weeks after the abortion, but later admitted it was because she didn’t want him to notice she was cutting herself again. She admitted the counselling wasn’t work anymore but wanted Hunter to be her boyfriend rather than the guy that solved her problems. Instead, she confided in Chris, who arranged for her to attend group counselling and she was soon ready to sleep with Hunter again. She was more supportive than she had been in the past when Skye confided that she’d slept with Tank but bemused when Skye thanked her for being a friend until she found out Skye had run away and realised it was her way of saying goodbye.
When she and Hunter spent time with VJ and Billie, Olivia deliberately excluded Billie from the conversation by talking about things she didn’t know about and then called her stupid for getting pregnant by someone younger. Both VJ and Hunter told her to apologise and she admited she was afraid of the gang splitting up with Skye gone and VJ focused on Billie, but ended up spending time with the couple. She received an odd phone call from Irene’s phone consisting of sounds of a struggle, then a text message in which Irene called her “Oli”. She was unable to interest Chris, and Hunter was preoccupied with the news Andy had confessed to killing Charlotte, so she went to the police on her own and was given short shrift. Not long after however, she received videos and photos showing Irene being held prisoner. She was then confronted by the kidnapper, Mick Jennings, who told her that if she didn’t come with him she’d never see Irene again. Instead, she ran off after planting her phone in his car, allowing the police to locate the shack where Irene had been held. She and Chris found Irene wandering in the bush nearby and Olivia tried to support her when it was revealed that Mick was her son. She tried to get Hunter to talk to her after it came out that Josh killed Charlotte but he just snapped at her.