Bevan Lee

Series Story Editor: 1988-1989
Network Script Executive: 1996-2014
Story Editor: 2002
Executive Script Producer: 2004
Script Producer: 2008

Born in Western Australia on 7th November 1950, Bevan started his career as a Maths and Chemistry teacher before becoming an actor. After a few small roles in films and TV series and looking for an income between jobs, someone suggest trying writing. After a script submission at Grundy’s, this proved a successful move.

In December 1979, Bevan started work at the Grundy Organisation in a trainee storyliner position on The Restless Years. Working through the ranks, he was the story editor on the series for its final year, and went on to set up two soaps for Grundy’s, Sons and Daughters and Possession, and became their inaugural story editors.

In December 1984, Bevan decided to leave his executive story editor position at Grundy’s. At the time he told the Sydney Morning Herald, “After 550 hours of television stories, my head was switching out a bit. I left to go freelance in December, but I remained in an advisory capacity on Possession.” Following this, he moved to Melbourne. He returned to the company for a six-month stint as story editor for Prisoner following Coral Drouyn’s departure in 1985.

In 1987, Seven Network’s Head of Drama, Alan Bateman, asked Bevan to look over a script for a new TV pilot which wasn’t up to scratch. With production due to begin in only a couple of weeks, it was realised that the whole script would have to be rewritten. Production was delayed, and Bevan locked himself away on his home on Scotland Island for 3 weeks to give the script a complete overhaul.

The resulting pilot, for Home and Away, was a success, and production on a full series started in the October 1987. The series premiered in January 1988 but came close to being canned by executives only 6 weeks into its run. Alan Bateman fought for a stay of execution and managed to keep it on the air for the few more weeks it needed to gain traction.

Bevan stayed on as the story editor for the first 18 months. In that time, he wrote the first block of episodes for Seven’s attempt at a daytime soap The Power The Passion. Both he and H&A producer John Holmes followed Alan Bateman to the Nine Network after being headhunted to set up a new soap Family & Friends. Bevan remained at Nine for eight years, in which time he developed multiple dramas including Paradise Beach and Pacific Drive, the latter with Coral, as well as oversaw the network’s drama output which included the successful original telemovie of McLeod’s Daughters.

Bevan returned to Seven in May 1996 as the network’s script executive, a role in which he oversaw the scripts for all of Seven’s drama output, including Home and Away, and was responsible for employing script producers on said shows. He also oversaw the network’s children and teen series output. Continuing his creative partnership with John Holmes, who had returned as Seven’s head of drama in 1994, the two (alongside drama development team Anthony Ellis and Jo Porter) were responsible for creating the hit shows All Saints and Always Greener, as well as the short-lived series, Marshall Law.

Talking of his and John’s creation of the Seven Network’s longest-running in-house drama, Bevan stated, “John brought me over and said would you help put together a . . . medical show. I’d had this idea in my head for a long time since I had my own personal confrontation with cancer and came out of hospital thinking the nurses are all saints.

In discussion on the development of Marshall Law, from the original pilot Leather and Silk, Bevan stated, “You do a pilot to see where you’re at. What became clear was that we hadn’t quite got the balance right. It was too serious. We hadn’t quite got the casting right either. To have your pilot tested and to have things come out quite clearly from the testing and not act on them would be silly. The testing of the pilot proved that if we proceeded in the way that we were going, we wouldn’t have a success.

Bevan returned to Home and Away’s script producer chair himself in 2004 for six months, to bridge a gap between Coral and Dan Bennett. During those months, he was responsible for such popular storylines as the Sarah Lewis saga and Kane Phillips’ cancer battle. He left the series to helm Headland alongside Barbara Bishop, which was originally intended as a Home and Away spin-off. The series aired for 58 episodes between November 2005 and January 2006. The series was cancelled alongside Blue Heelers.

In 2007, Bevan was named one of the 25 most influential gay and lesbian people in Australia.

Bevan would later return to the chair again for six months in 2007 in order to facilitate the departure of Sally Fletcher from the show. Speaking to BTTB when we announced his return he said “I wanted to come back to pay honour to the show I love so much and plot material that will pay strong tribute to the first twenty years. I don’t want to honour the 20th year in just one big event, I want to pay tribute throughout the entire year by referencing the show’s history in as many ways as I can.

The tenure, which he completed alongside Alan Hardy, was a huge success. Storylines including Sally’s exit, Cassie’s HIV diagnosis, the revelation of Colleen’s paternity and Aden dealing with his childhood abuse were much praised by long-term fans of the show.

Bevan’s continued partnership with John Holmes saw the creation of more popular dramas, including the award winning Packed to the Rafters, Winners and Losers and A Place to Call Home.

Of his creation of one of Australia’s most popular dramas, Packed to the Rafters, Bevan wrote, “In the landscape of Australian television back in 2007, I felt that too many drama series examined the margins of society, the criminal, the dispossessed, the anti-social, the rebel. I felt the need to balance the books by creating a series that examined the lives of an average family that celebrated the fact that love and the family bond can overcome the problems of life, that by gathering around the family “camp-fire” we are warmed and protected from what’s out there in the dark. The day when such love and warmth and empathy have no place in the landscape of entertainment is going to be a very say day indeed. I am very proud with Packed to the Rafters, to have contributed a little hope and happiness to the viewers’ lives.

From 2009, Bevan gradually wound down his involvement with H&A in order to concentrate on Seven’s other drama output. He officially handed over the oversight of Home and Away to a newly created script executive position in 2013, which was taken up by Louise Bowes.

Bevan took leave from Seven in 2014 to explore options in LA, passing his script producer role on A Place to Call Home onto Susan Bower, but ultimately came to the decision to continue his work in Australia and returned to oversee the final three series of the show. At the conclusion of Place, Bevan put the finishing touches on his final series for the Seven Network, Between Two Worlds, a concept he’d been working on for six years. This went to air in 2020.

In 2019, Bevan was awarded an Order of Australia Medallion (OAM) for his service to broadcast media.

After forty years in the industry, and following the Amazon produced miniseries Back to the Rafters, Bevan retired in 2021.

For a list of Bevan’s credits, please scroll down.

Bevan’s BTTB Interview
Bevan’s 2004 Q&A
Bevan on Sally’s Departure

Bevan’s Credits

The Restless Years

Trainee Storyliner (1979-1980)
Storyliner (1980)
Story Editor (1980-1981)

Sons & Daughters

Story Editor (1982-1984)
Executive Story Editor (1984-1985)


Story Editor (1985)

Prisoner Cell Block H

Story Editor (1985-1986)

Family & Friends

Script Executive (1990)

The Flying Doctors

Story Editor (1991)

Paradise Beach

Network Script Executive (1993-1994)
Story Editor (1993)

Pacific Drive

Executive Creative Consultant (1996-1997)

All Saints

Network Script Executive (1998-2009)
Script Producer (2001)

Always Greener

Network Script Executive (2001-2003)

Marshall Law

Network Script Executive (2002)


Story Producer (2005)
Network Script Executive (2005-2006)

Packed to the Rafters

Network Script Executive (2008-2013)

Winners & Losers

Network Script Executive (2011-2014)

A Place to Call Home

Script Producer (2013-2014)
Script Executive (2016-2018)

Between Two Worlds

Script Executive (2020)

Image with thanks to Bevan Lee