Story Editor: 1998-1999
Ray Kolle was born in 1941. In 1967, having worked at a book shop and wanting to be a playwright, he got his first break in television, writing scripts for a sketch comedy series, In Melbourne Tonight. He had also written a musical, titled Little Women, which was produced by the Arts Theatre in Melbourne.
In the late 60s, Ray submitted a script for consideration on the ABC series, Bellbird and was asked to join the writing team. He worked there for seven years, eventually becoming a script editor, and eventually, the Story Editor.
Then, after leaving the series, he wrote a play for the ABC and had a second musical produced, before freelancing as a writer for Crawford Productions, on series such as Cop Shop, The Box and The Sullivans, all of which he worked as Story Editor on at some point. He won an AWGIE for an episode of The Sullivans that he wrote. From there, he joined Grundy’s and began writing for Prisoner and its short-lived male-equivalent, Punishment.
After heading the story department for Prisoner, he moved to Sydney to become the Story Editor of Sons & Daughters. He also developed the series Starting Out and wrote for Richmond Hill, before leaving Grundy’s to take up the Story Editor position on the cult classic, Return to Eden, before being poached back to Grundy’s in late 1985 to head the script department of Neighbours after it was bought by Network Ten.
During his seven years on the show, he created fan favourites such as busybody Mrs Mangel, the loveable Lou Carpenter and girl-next-door Jane Harris, as well as having input into the creation of Harold Bishop and Charlene Robinson. He also wrote a novelisation of the series with fellow Neighbours writer, Valda Marshall.
Ray left Neighbours in 1992. He moved to New Zealand to work with Jason Daniel on the Kiwi soap, Shortland Street as the Story Consultant. After doing some script editing and writing on Paradise Beach, Ray moved to Germany in 1994 to create Unter Uns (Between Us), which is still running today. He then moved to France to develop Amour Interdit (Forbidden Love). He acted as the Head Writer on both series.
In 1996, Ray returned to Australia to join Neighbours as the Story Consultant to support the young, newly-appointed Script Producer, Scott Taylor. Together, the pair brought the failing series to an all-time high in regards to the ratings, and were responsible for the re-introduction of fan favourites, Harold and Madge Bishop and the death of Helen Daniels. He left the series in 1997, but remained writing for the series until 2007.
After developing The Computer Kids for Crawfords, and writing for Pacific Drive and Breakers, Ray became the Story Editor on Home and Away in 1998. During his time on the series, he worked on an eight-week rotational basis with Scott Taylor, Ray Harding, Phil Sanders and Edwina Searle. He left in 1999.
In the early 2000s, Ray helped to develop headLand with Bevan Lee and when the series went to air in 2005, he was credited as the Story Consultant.
Ray began teaching plotting and writing at AFTRS in 2003 and finished up in 2007.