Occupation: School Counsellor
The counsellor at Summer Bay High, Natalie was called on to counsel Sasha Bezmel in the aftermath of her abusive relationship with Stu Henderson and spoke to her about standing up for herself. Her next client was Casey Braxton, after he had punched teacher Dave Townsend, and she questioned him about his absent father, pointing out he could only have vague memories of him. She took Casey to the Diner after finding out he’d slept on the beach but had a run-in with Brax, who assumed Casey was chatting her up. She convinced Casey to visit his father, Danny, in prison to make up his own mind and convinced Brax to let him.
Brax objected to Natalie talking about family business with Casey and got into a row with her. When Casey didn’t come home, Brax thought he was with Natalie and Gina contacted her. She learned Casey was actually staying with Sasha and Gina told her of Charlie’s death but Brax refused to discuss it with her. She apologised for overstepping the mark. She briefly met Danny when he was released from jail but Brax threw her out of the house when he found her and Casey talking about him. She and Sasha later found Casey had slept on the beach after getting drunk with Danny and took him back to the Walker farm to sober him up. Natalie helped the pair sort out their issues over Sasha’s feelings for Casey but when Casey admitted that he felt he didn’t seem to have any control over his life, she annoyed him by dismissing it as growing up.
She informed Brax that Casey had skipped school and, although they initially argued, convinced him that she agreed that Danny was a bad influence on Casey. She began sharing information Casey gave her with Brax. She also helped Gina get information on Richard Bozic, Jett’s potential father, and advised her against stopping Jett contacting him, saying her mother walked out on her when she was a teenager and she’d never understood why. She tried to chat to Danny but he intimidated her and told her to stay away from his family. She supported Brax when he was attacked by friends of Danny’s and arranged Bianca a day pass from the hospital when she was recovering from post-natal psychosis., Gina asked her for advice on Jett but she said she couldn’t treat him unless he came to her and was annoyed when Gina tried to force the issue by inviting them all to dinner at Angelo’s. She intervened when Alf caught Jett spray painting the surf club and learned he was worried John and Gina were going to send him away. Knowing they were actually planning to foster him, she tipped them off to his concerns.
When Brax became depressed about Casey spending time with Danny, Natalie told him he was a good man and slept with him. Things were uncomfortable afterwards, especially since Casey knew about them. She had to step in when Brax turned up at the school and threatened Casey on learning he was helping Danny manipulate Ruby but realised Casey was actually trying to help Brax. When she saw Danny making plans with Kyle Bennett, she told Brax. She also told him she’d seen Casey, who Brax believed was staying with Cheryl, going off with Danny. She helped Brax search Danny’s caravan and they found a map indicating Danny was planning to rob the Reefton Arms. They headed down there to find Casey had shot and fatally wounded Danny. Natalie broke the news of his death to Marilyn and tried to support Brax when Casey was charged with murder. She managed to convince the police to let her see Casey by pointing out she was his counsellor but was unable to convince him to do anything to help himself. She did however manage to convince him to attend Danny’s funeral, where Brax was able to talk to him and convince him Danny had been setting him up. Afterwards, she slept with Brax again and began a relationship with him. However, Casey refused to talk to her and Brax felt he might be more open if he and Natalie weren’t together so broke up with her. Needing somewhere to stay, she moved into Leah’s house with her, Liam and VJ and told Leah about her relationship with Brax. Casey sent her away when she tried to talk to him and told her to think about her future with Brax. She told Brax she’d be waiting for him when everything was sorted.
She tried to prepare a psychological report to help Casey’s case but he merely told her he was going to jail. However, he then told her and Brax the story of what had happened. When Casey went missing while away with Brax, she made an effort to try and find him, questioning Sasha. She admitted to Brax that after her mother walked out on her she took an overdose and accompanied him to the desert to search for Casey. They were given directions by Kyle that sent them in the wrong direction until Natalie remembered who he was and they managed to locate a badly dehydrated Casey. Brax got Natalie to take him to shelter while he looked for Kyle. When he rejoined them, he suggested he and Casey go on the run and invited Natalie to go with them. She refused and spent a last night with Brax out in the desert but Casey decided to return to Summer Bay anyway. She refused to believe his story of a girl, Tamara, helping him (especially since a delirious Casey briefly mistook her for Tamara), insisting he’d imagined her. She gave a statement to Emerson supporting Casey’s claim to have been kidnapped but his comments about the life she’d got mixed up in and Brax’s willingness to leave her to help Casey convinced her to end the relationship.
When Sasha got Casey to help them deliver leaflets for the surf carnival, Natalie told her she needed to put some distance between the two of them. However, she realised she’d made a mistake and what was right for her and Brax wasn’t right for them, so convinced Casey to make it up. Heath told her Bianca had a drugs problem and asked her to look out for her. She invited Bianca around for dinner and started an impromptu counselling session but when she let slip that she knew about the drugs Bianca got angry and stormed off. She told Liam what was going on but Bianca told them both to stay out of it. Sasha later confided in her that she might be pregnant and Natalie advised her to tell Casey. The conversation was interrupted when Natalie saw Kyle on the wharf; she beat a hasty retreat and told Brax and Heath where he was. She supported Leah when she found out she was being stalked by Jamie Sharpe, the son of Brax’s friend Adam, and went along to one of Adam’s parties to keep an eye on things but Liam advised her to leave and it also led to an uncomfortable meeting with Brax. However, she then asked Brax for help and got him to talk to Adam. She was the only person other than Liam that Leah said a proper goodbye to when she and VJ fled town.
She tried to testify on Casey’s behalf during his court case but the prosecutor used the opportunity to bring up the fact she was counselling him for violent behaviour. After Casey got away with periodic detention, she suggested to Brax that now the trial was over their reasons for being apart were gone. She was shocked to find that Brax thought he’d sorted things for Leah with Jamie and warned Gina when Jamie started trying to use Jett to find out where Leah had gone. Brax asked her to get a friend, Zac MacGuire, to keep an eye on Casey in jail. The pair kissed but were interrupted by Heath and Kyle. She later confronted Brax with the reality of Adam’s treatment of the Bay residents but was left devastated when Brax refused to resume their relationship because of the danger it would place her in.
As a result of still being involved with Casey, she began spending time with Zac, an old university boyfriend, and they became close again. She disapproved of Brax and Casey’s attempt to take control of Tamara’s issues with her ex-boyfriend Nelson Gregory and, when Nelson turned up in town, denied knowledge of Tamara. She reminded Casey that Tamara couldn’t stay at the house permanently since Leah would be returning. She acted as Liam’s confidante when Bianca petitioned for divorce. She remained on the fence about Zac until Brax returned and didn’t come to see her, at which point she cut her losses and kissed Zac. Brax witnessed the kiss and blanked her as a result. She criticised Brax for encouraging Casey to challenge prison bully Courtney Freeman, prompting Brax to say they should stay away from each other. She defended Zac when Brax blamed him for Casey being stabbed and suggested Zac tell Casey about his own time in prison to convince him to make a deal with the authorities. She learned Zac had been fired because of his protecting Casey.
She counselled Rosie Prichard, a student who had been left living on her own. Sasha told her Rosie needed help and Rosie admitted that she tested friends to see if they’d leave her. She encouraged Rosie to make new friends and build a life away from Sasha then told Sasha to involve Rosie in her campaign to change the school uniform, leading to them clashing when they both tried to follow her advice. She alerted Romeo when she became concerned about Liam disappearing and was upset when Brax moved Casey out of the house, reminding her they weren’t friends anymore. When Zac questioned her about her mood, she decided she needed to cut all ties with the Braxtons, telling Zac they could have something special.
Heath asked her advice about getting counselling and she recommended a colleague, Robin Sutton, although Heath was upset with her when the first session didn’t go as he’d hoped. She was unsure about attending Heath and Bianca’s engagement party but Zac convinced her. She told Brax about Zac losing his job for Casey’s sake and encouraged him to make a go of things with Ricky Sharpe. She and Zac began searching for a new housemate. Brax confronted her over Zac turning Kyle down so she told Zac she was fine with it and Kyle moved in.
She comforted Rosie when she was date raped by Alexander Mullens but warned Sasha it was unlikely to get to court. When Sasha and Rosie introduced her and Zac to Bella Lugarno, another of Mullens’ victims, they weren’t convinced that even a statement from her would be enough to get him charged. When Bianca and Zac arranged a meeting between Rosie and Mullens’ friend Lachlan Stone which ended with Lachlan providing the police with incriminating evidence, Natalie was angry that she hadn’t been involved, telling Bianca that without professional involvement it could have gone wrong. When Rosie got upset at school after finding out she was pregnant, Natalie insisted on taking over from Zac looking after her but Rosie refused to talk to her, only wanting to see Sid and Sasha. Natalie argued with Zac over him intruding on her area. Bianca tried to broker peace but a dinner out descended into an argument which then turned into a slanging match at school, forcing Bianca to threaten them with the sack if they couldn’t manage to be professional. Rosie still preferred to talk to Zac rather than her, fearing Natalie would try and talk her out of having the baby.
She advised Bianca over Heath’s desire for another baby and tried to warn Zac about the seriousness of Holly Chapman’s crush on him, then, when Holly told the papers he’d sexually assaulted her, tried to convince Bianca to issue a statement defending him. She then learned Brax had been shot but claimed not to be affected by it. However, when Ricky told her she was leaving town and encouraged her to be there for Brax, she went to see him only for him to push her away. She lied about the visit to Zac only to find he already knew. When Leah objected to their arguing in the house, Zac decided to go away for a few days and Natalie was left uncertain how she felt about it.
She tried to talk to Casey about his break-up with Tamara only to give away the fact she was still in town. When Zac she returned, she tried to make a go of things with him, but when he saw her looking wistfully at Brax and Ricky she was forced to admit she still loved Brax. She tried to rebuild her friendship with Zac but ran off when he mentioned her mother.. Zac then revealed he had had a friend in the police track down her mother. After talking with Brax about how he managed to forgive Ricky, she said goodbye to Zac and left town to try and build a relationship with her mother.