Harper Matheson

Harper Matheson (2023-present)
Jessica Redmayne
Episodes: 8093-present

Siblings: Dana Matheson

Occupation: Social Worker

Harper arrived in Summer Bay in the latter half of 2023 and quickly applied to Irene’s advertisement for a room to let, introducing herself as a social worker on leave. John was suspicious of her on seeing her avoiding the police and asked Cash to look into her…only for it to turn out she was actually an old friend of Cash’s, with them often having worked together in the city. Harper did have an ulterior motive for being there, however: Her sister Dana was on the run after being accused of drug theft when drugs stolen from the hospital where she worked were found in the flat she shared with her boyfriend Olly, and she wanted Cash to look into it. What she didn’t tell him was that she knew exactly where Dana was, having smuggled her into her room at Irene’s.

The heat was taken off slightly when Irene went to visit her granddaughter in the city, leaving Harper in charge of the house. Harper returned her favour to Cash by giving his sister Felicity advice when Jeremy Holding, the man who raped her, asked to meet her as part of restorative justice. Cash learned the truth about Dana’s whereabouts but accepted she would be in danger from corrupt cop Will Madden if he turned her in. Harper was herself interviewed by Madden about Dana’s whereabouts and told Cash she was having lunch with Dana at the time of the theft, something Madden had never asked her about. However, Madden got to the CCTV footage before Cash could, tipping them off to the fact that Madden was in contact with Olly. Harper had to go back to hiding Dana when Irene came back, then Madden turned up at the house and tried to force her to come with him. Irene stepped in and sent Madden away, before uncovering Dana hiding in the bedroom. Irene agreed to help the pair but then Madden turned up and tried to arrest Harper. Dana gave herself up instead but promptly disappeared, with Madden claiming she had escaped. Harper alerted Cash and his colleague Rose when she got a mysterious silent phone call she realised was from Dana, resulting in Dana being found and Madden’s attempt to kill her being exposed.

Although Dana was cleared, Rose warned Harper they could all still faces charges for helping her, and Cash’s girlfriend Eden blamed her when he was suspended for rule-breaking. Harper admitted she’d lost her own job during her absence, since her boss had never liked her. She was then arrested, and charged with hindering a police investigation: She and Irene both had to spend a night in lock-up before the magistrate could see them. After pleading guilty, they were released pending sentencing. She was informed by her lawyer that Irene had a prior conviction, and was advised to distance herself from her but refused, instead suggesting she and Dana get jobs in the area to help her in court. When Irene asked them to move out, Harper realised it was Dana’s doing and insisted on supporting Irene, with both her and Dana going to court with her. To her relief, not only were the charges against Irene dismissed but her charges were dropped too.

Harper began spending a lot of time at gym sessions and befriended Tane, giving him a sympathetic ear as his marriage broke up. She took a job with Northern District Health and Tane put her through a training session beforehand but their closeness led to Felicity telling Harper to stay away from her husband and Harper feeling uncomfortable that she bit back at her instead of defusing the situation. She considered distancing herself from Tane but Felicity ended up apologising. Harper was involved in the discussion for a fundraiser Xander was planning to put on for SCAD research.