Georgina Austin/Palmer (2009-2013)
Episodes: 4776–4778, 4818, 4831–4845, 4928–4929, 4946–5725
Siblings: Tony Holden
Marital Status: Jeremy Austin (divorced), John Palmer (2010-2013)
Children: Hugo, Xavier & Brendan Austin
Step Children: Shandi Palmer (stepdaughter)
Foster Children: Jett Palmer
Occupation: School Principal
Tony Holden’s sister, Gina, arrived in the Bay to attend the funeral of her nephew, Jack. Gina is the mother of Xavier, Hugo and Brendan and has brought them up on her own after separating from their father many years ago.
Gina could see how distraught Tony was following Jack’s death and wanted to be ther to support her brother. They reminisced about how Jack and Hugo used to pretend to be Batman and Superman when they were children and she told Tony that he should be proud for bringing up two wonderful boys. However, she was soon distracted by the friction with her son Xavier. Xavier resented Gina for making him break up with his girlfriend, Freya, and having to take on so much responsibility looking after his older brother Brendan, who has learning difficulties. Gina told Xavier that she was proud of him and Hugo but Gina notably didn’t say she was proud of Brendan too.
At Jack’s funeral, Gina’s eldest son, Hugo, turned up from overseas. She was over the moon to see him but Xavier wasn’t as he felt Hugo had abandoned the family when he left. Gina was upset when the tension between the two brothers escalated but she did her best to reconcile them. Gina was worried about Freya’s influence on Xavier and she agreed to Hugo’s idea about Xavier and him staying in the Bay permanently. She decided that she would be fine looking after Brendan on her own back at home.
Gina returned to the bay a few months later to bring Brendan to visit his brothers. Gina looked very pleased that Brendan was happy again as he had missed Xavier. Gina was also pleased to see her brother, Tony, and that his and Rachel’s wedding was back on track. Gina was worried about Brendan meeting Rachel and Martha but her fears were allayed when he took to them both straight away.
However, when the time came to leave, Brendan didn’t want to go and ended up struggling with Gina. This resulted in Brendan pushing Gina to the floor, breaking her ankle. When she returned from the hospital, Gina insisted she would be OK looking after Brendan as she was getting a friend to come and stay. Hugo wanted Brendan to stay in the Bay with him and Xavier but Gina wasn’t keen. However, Hugo eventually talked her into it, despite Gina and Xavier’s reluctance.
She returned a third time for Tony’s wedding and discovered that Brendan had been behind the accident that injured Roman and that Xavier had been covering for him. She took Brendan to the city until the charges were dropped. After a lunch with Tony and Rachel she came home to find Hugo distraught and Brendan missing. He came home soon after, covered in blood and insisting that Hugo had hurt him. Gine initially didn’t believe Hugo that it was an accident but he eventually got through to her and she returned to the city with Brendan, leaving her sons on good terms finally.
Gina returned to Summer Bay to help celebrate Brendan’s 21st birthday. She was disconcerted when Ted, a man she had been seeing on a casual basis after meeting him at a teacher refresher course, followed her to the town and told the family that he’d invited Gina to come away with him for a month. She was reluctant to leave Brendan but Martha and Hugo offered to look after him and Gina left on her trip. However, she returned after only a short while, revealing Ted had wanted her to put Brendan in a home. She was therefore not in the mood for the news that Brendan had befriended a Down’s Syndrome sufferer, Ruby Leeds, and wanted to live in a community house with her. She refused to consider the idea, saying she knew what was best for Brendan, but when he saved Xavier from drowning, and she also saw that he was capable of doing other simple jobs like making phone calls on his own, she realised he was more independent than she thought and gave her consent.
Gina was somewhat at a loss without Brendan and Tony lined her up an interview as a science teacher at Summer Bay High. She admitted to Martin Bartlett that she had been out of teaching for a long time and had struggled with a principal’s post, saying when students were involved she felt she needed to be honest. The attitude impressed Martin and he offered her the post of acting principal. She quickly told Xavier and Ruby off for arriving late and told Xavier he needed to set an example, so wasn’t happy when she was promptly dragged down the police station when Robert Robertson interviewed him about Charlie’s whereabouts the night Grant Bledcoe was killed. When Robert continued to question Xavier, Gina realised he had lied about the alibi and persuaded him to tell the truth. She encouraged Xavier to break up with Ruby but was equally disapproving when she learned he had lied to her about having amnesia.
On one of her first days at her new job, Gina was surprised to meet John Palmer, who had come to the school to give a talk about the surf club. Despite her family having a chequered history with him, they got on well and began socialising, even after his and Martha’s election battle almost turned nasty. She agreed to have dinner with him after they talked about funding for the school but was put out when he fired Romeo for failing to turn up for a lesson, telling him he should have given him a warning first. John managed to win her round and she let him take her out for a surfing lesson. Xavier made it clear he wasn’t happy about the relationship and after learning of another argument between the pair, she invited John round to dinner. After the evening descended into chaos when Xavier’s two “girlfriends” Ali and Rosie both turned up, Gina tried to shock him by saying John was going to stay the night and was relieved when John realised she wasn’t serious. Xavier told her he was worried John would hurt her like his dad did and eventually agreed to give the relationship a go after Gina convinced him she knew what she was doing.
Gina was shocked when Suzy Sudiro turned up and claimed to be Hugo’s wife but ultimately gave him the benefit of the doubt and encouraged him to do whatever he could to make things up with Martha. When Miles was accused of assaulting Riley Radcliffe, Gina reluctantly suspended him from work but did arrange for him to attend the school formal in an unofficial capacity. Even after Miles was cleared of charges, she realised he was still in a bad place emotionally and instructed him to take stress leave. She was somewhat dumbfounded when Hugo abruptly ended his relationship with Martha and decided to leave town but still wished him well. The next morning, she received the news that not only had Hugo been involved in people smuggling but that he had been killed by one of his associates. She was disgusted with his actions, feeling he wasn’t worth grieving for and refusing to even attend his funeral. She later attempted to tell Brendan about what had happened but in the end it was Xavier he turned to her for comfort. She refused to discuss Hugo with Martha or Xavier when they tried to get her to let go of her anger towards him.
When Mink arrived at the house to see Xavier, Gina wasn’t happy when Mink rejected her attempts at polite conversation and implied she had been in jail and tried to dissuade Xavier from spending time with her. When Mink realised what she was doing, she confronted her at the house and pointed out Gina knew nothing about her but Gina was unmoved by her tirade. She reminded Romeo of his previous desire to return to school, telling him it was still open to enrollments. When she noticed Mink trying to talk him out of it, she confronted her, suggesting she go back to school as well, but Mink retorted that ex-criminals don’t go to school, despite Gina trying to convince her to leave her past behind. When Xavier told her Mink had taken the blame for her mum, Gina tried to talk to her about it but Mink was horrified that she knew. She later spoke to her at the house, telling her that she hardened herself when her husband left her and Mink did the same when she went to jail but it was time to let it go and be herself again. Mink broke down in tears and Gina comforted her. After she had stayed for dinner with the family, she again rejected Gina’s suggestion to return to school but hugged her goodbye and thanked her for what she’d done for her.
Although Gina and John had drifted apart over recent events, she still tried to make peace between him and Tony. After she learned about John saving Hazem during the riot and he apologised for avoiding her in the aftermath of Hugo’s death, they began spending time together again, having a night-time picnic near the beach. She tried to get John to get on better with Tony but instead they had an argument which ended with Tony selling his share of the gym. Gina reluctantly agreed to employ him at the school instead but they soon clashed over his attempts to set up boxing classes. She and John went out on a date after his divorce was finalised and ended up sleeping together, only for Xavier to walk in on them half-dressed. Although Tony was happy for her when she told him about it, Xavier tried to warn John off. Gina marched him to the surf club and ordered him to apologise but he refused and stormed off. Worried about Xavier going off the rails and having talked things over with Tony, Martha and John, she arranged for him to stay with Martha but was worried when Liam told her he thought Xavier was back into drugs and searched his room at the farm. She went looking for Xavier and was angry to find him having a boxing lesson with Tony. After both Xavier and Tony had walked away from her attempt to give them a dressing down and Rachel had failed to convince her to change her stance on boxing teaching people to resort to violent, she went to confront Tony only for him to tell her that Martha wasn’t coping with Hugo’s death as much as everyone thought. Realising Xavier staying at the farm wasn’t an option, she let him move back in and agreed she would only see John away from the house.
Gina was thrown when both Martha and Xavier mentioned that they still missed Hugo, insisting that she didn’t and encouraging Martha to do the same. She invited John round to dinner, telling Xavier their deal only applied to him staying the night, and was disappointed when Xavier said very little and left the room as soon as the meal was finished, even though John felt they were making progress. She was on the receiving end of some criticism when she suspended Miles from work after finding out about Rabbit and trying to get him to have a psych assessment but when he received counselling she supported his reinstatement. She went for dinner with John to help cope with the situation and ended up sleeping with him again. She tried to keep out of John and Tony’s boxing argument and was suspicious when she learned Xavier hadn’t been keeping up his boxing training but still had a locker at the gym. She asked John to let her search it and was shocked to find a large amount of money there. Martha admitted to her that it was from Hugo and she tried to get rid of it, despite Martha and Xavier both wanting to honour Hugo’s wishes.
When she heard Hugo was alive, Gina had very mixed feelings, admitted she’d buried her love for him so deep she wasn’t sure if she could find it again. It didn’t stop her slapping Angelo in public and accusing him of putting her family through hell, effectively making the news public. She was furious with Hugo when he turned up at school, telling him he was dead to her after betraying the way she’d raised him, but when he seemed ready to walk out on her she forgave him and twice hid him from Angelo and Charlie before letting him stay with Martha. She wasn’t in the mood to deal with seeing John getting into a flirtatious chat with Jill and being kissed by her, throwing a jug of water over him and leaving him sleeping on the doorstep when he tried to explain, although she reconsidered slightly when Romeo told her it was probably Jill who instigated it. When Xavier went missing, she frantically searched for him and ended up willingly going with ‘Killer’ to try and find him. It resulted in her being tied up in a water barrel with Martha and Xavier and nearly drowning before Xavier got them free. After expressing her relief that everyone was fine, she left the others and went to John’s house, unaware Jill was hiding in the next room. She told him about what had happened and was miffed when John didn’t let her stay the night, claiming he didn’t want to take advantage. She told Xavier that they had to make the most of the little time they had with Hugo and was at the farm for some of Eaves’ attempt to kill him, giving her a chance to see him and Martha one last time before they fled town.
With the crisis over, she was shocked to realise she’d lost John to Jill after discovering they’d spent the night together and John told her that Jill was uncomplicated while she blew hot and cold all the time. She was even more shocked when Romeo offered to help her win him back and tried to dissuade him from getting involved. After she and John had talked things over and she’d made it clear she still wanted to be with him, their relationship was soon back on track.
John asked Gina to move in with him but she suggested he move in with her and Xavier instead. She was annoyed when Xavier had a go at John about it and ordered him to help John move in. When Xavier stayed out all night, she got ready to read him the riot act only for him to come home and apologise, taking the wind out of her sails. She also agreed to let Xavier’s new girlfriend April and her older sister Bianca, a teacher at the school, move in with them in return for Xavier being nice to John for two months but asked them to leave when Bianca frequently clashed with John. She was upset when Xavier started avoiding the house as a result and ordered John to smooth things over with him. She accepted April’s request to install recycling bins at the school, although she wouldn’t let Xavier have an X Box. She was pleased when John agreed to support April’s environmental ideas on the council (although it was news to him). She made it clear she didn’t want any arrests at the rally they organised and seemed taken with the Ford Falcon John and Xavier brought home.
When Bianca slapped Liam at school, she sentenced them both to do a library inventory as punishment. She was slightly concerned that something had happened when she found Bianca’s scarf and Liam’s guitar pick left in the library but decided not to ask too many questions. She tried to help Tony and Rachel sort out their marriage problems before they left and, when John asked her, told him she was in favour of marriage. She was pleased John was willing to consider April’s combibus proposal but, when she overheard Xavier and April admitting April had lied about it being used in Sweden, insisted they tell John the truth. She was slightly uncomfortable when John told her he had already found out from his own research and wanted to teach the pair a lesson and encouraged him to tell them the truth before accidentally letting it slip herself. When John suffered a heart attack, she was devastated and pleased when he made a recovery, telling him she loved him after she and Xavier had spent the night at the hospital with him.
She was delighted when John was discharged from hospital but slightly thrown when Shandi Ayres turned up claiming to be John’s daughter. John cancelled a dinner date as a result but Gina insisted on going ahead with it. John then proposed to Gina but she felt he was only doing it because he thought he was going to die and turned him down. John then got drunk while they were having dinner with Miles and Shandi and made a few bitter remarks, before deciding to move out. When he popped round the house to help Xavier with the car, she was less than welcoming. Xavier tried to set them up to talk but Gina told John they should just pretend to make polite conversation to humour the watching Xavier and then walk away. However, she got some insight into her own behaviour while advised Bianca on her relationship with Vittorio. Gina encouraged John to continue to support Xavier and April’s campaign and was pleased when he did so. They started seeing each other again in secret until Xavier found out and asked Gina if she was serious about John. She confirmed she was and asked him to move back in on condition they didn’t discuss marriage.
Gina was approached by Roo, who gave her a letter from Hugo asking for the money from the people smuggling operation. Although she was worried Roo was after the money for herself when she found out she was in debt, she accepted she couldn’t take chances about it being true. Realising neither she nor Roo had any sort of plan, she spoke to John and Xavier, who agreed to help. She refused to allow the students a formal on the grounds they tended to end in disaster. She seemed to be changing her mind about John and, when Bianca called off her wedding to Vittorio, Gina announced she and John were getting married instead and they took over the service.
Gina settled into married life and arranged for John to meet the real Shandi when it turned out the woman they had met was an imposter named Daria Hennessey. She was shocked when she discovered some chemicals had been stolen from the school and quizzed Xavier when Liam and Bianca told her he’d been researching them. When both Xavier and April were rushed to hospital after inhaling toxic fumes from the chemicals, Gina assumed Xavier was responsible and, when April admitted she had stolen the chemicals and Xavier had just been covering for her, banned her from seeing him. When the department decided not to press charges against April, Gina was reluctant to suspend her so gave her a detention instead and, when Xavier made it clear he’d carry on seeing April anyway, gave them her permission (although April ended the relationship anyway).
She asked Miles to take a special interest in Casey when he joined the school and was unimpressed when they ended up having a public argument. She listened to Miles’ theory that Casey was dyslexic and agreed to speak to his family. She found Casey wandering by the beach and gave him a lift back to school, before pairing him with Xavier and Dexter for a science project. She was pleased with the results and met with Cheryl to discuss Casey’s dyslexia only for Cheryl to accuse her of making excuses because they couldn’t teach him.
When Xavier took the Ford, which he wasn’t licensed to drive, Gina blamed John and was also annoyed when he enlisted the police’s help, ranting about high speed car chases. Even when Xavier turned up fine, she said she was selling the car but John overruled her. She briefy chatted with Roo about Martha and Hugo when she returned. She had to deal with Charlie’s condemnation when someone sent a video mocking Ruby to several students’ phones and gave the school a lecture on cyber-bullying. She suffered a similar problem when Charlie claimed Ruby was doing Casey’s homework for him. She was worried when Xavier wanted to take a delivery job at Angelo’s restaurant that meant riding a scooter and insisted on accompanying him to his riding lessons. When Xavier failed to return from a drive because of the scooter running out of petrol, Gina took the instructor’s motorbike to look for him and admitted to John and Xavier that she used to be a biker chick but gave it up when her boyfriend was killed in a motorbike accident.
She had a run-in with Romeo over his attitude which led to him quitting school. She was pleased when Xavier took an interest in philosophy and began coaching him. She was worried when he stayed out all night and, although he told her he’d gone to an art gallery and fallen asleep on the beach, she found some fake ID in his pocket. When Xavier stonewalled her questions, she began investigating his relationship with Miranda Jacobs, joining Facebook to keep tabs on her and inviting her to dinner. Worried how Xavier would react to her spying, she invited Miranda to give a motivational talk at the school as an excuse for getting in touch with her, ironically causing Miranda to discover Xavier was a schoolboy, which he’d lied about.
She was pleased when her dalliance with Facebook allowed her to get back in touch with an old friend, Vanessa Unley, but not so much when Xavier used tales of her wild past to blackmail her into letting him, Ruby and Casey go to a music festival and acting as chaperone. She later decided to pull out and didn’t see Vanessa as a suitable replacement but ended up apologising to both of them and telling Xavier he could go on his own. Vanessa persuaded her to accompany them and, when the festival was washed out, she agreed she and Vanessa could go camping together while the teens returned home. Although they decided against spending a night out, it gave them a chance to talk and accept that, although Gina had become more responsible and Vanessa had stayed wild, there was nothing wrong with either of their lives. They then had the satisfaction of towing John and Xavier, who had become stuck in mud after rushing to their rescue.
When Dexter fell behind at school, having been kept awake by George’s crying, Gina spoke to him about it and invited Sid in to discuss it. She was once more in the role of a frustrated observer over John’s rivalry with Gary O’Connor, the head of the Mangrove River surf club. When Liam set a class an assignment to plan a terrorist attack, she chastised him, considering it inappropriate, and sent him home when she found him high on drugs at work. She supported him during a meeting with an inspector until she realised he was on drugs again and told him to leave, later telling him it had been decided he couldn’t continue teaching. She threatened to call the police when he later turned up at Bianca’s class high and took him home when she found him in the street in a dishevelled state.
After Bianca saw her crying in a classroom, John became convinced she was going through the menopause and she was increasingly annoyed when he first came to the school to talk it over with her and then arranged for her to talk to Colleen about it, making him sleep on the couch. She suspected Dexter and Kate Hanlon of cheating at an exam when she saw Kate looking at Dexter’s answers. She was delighted when John arranged for them to attend a business conference in Hawaii but had to pull out when Xavier suffered a head injury while surfing and needed someone to keep an eye on him. She suspended Casey for fighting with Xavier. However, when she heard Casey was planning to quit school she went to see him and made it clear he’d be welcome back once his suspension was over
She was concerned when Xavier made attempts to go on a schoolies holiday and tried to manipulate him into abandoning the plan by offering to play for a nice quiet holiday instead. She then ended up comforting him when April broke up with him and was sympathetic when he subsequently got into a scooter crash while in distress. She let Kelly O’Mara stay with the family on condition she and Xavier were just friends. They later admitted they had become a couple but she appreciated their honesty and said Kelly could stay on condition her mother was fine with it. She also agreed to Kelly’s brother Dean staying and found him charming until she and John walked in on him fighting with Xavier. She was unsure when John suspected Dean was the one who had raped Bianca but ultimately helped convince Kelly of the fact. She was shocked when Xavier ended up following Kelly when she went home to her farm and annoyed with him for potentially losing his HSC, ending up taking her temper out on Casey when he missed school after Heath was attacked. She resolved to go after Xavier and force him to return, ignoring John’s attempts to persuade her otherwise, but changed her mind after Leah reflected on how Miles sometimes understood VJ better than her.
When John injured his ankle during a fight at the surf club, she considered exaggerating it to Xavier to get him to come home but gave him an accurate account and they had a friendly conversation. Miles told her Casey had had a knife at school so she expelled him, which prompted Miles to suggest she was taking her feelings about Xavier out on him. When Xavier returned home, Gina’s mood improved and she offered Casey a chance to return but he was already too dispirited and refused.
She organised an evacuation centre at the school during a storm only for the roof to collapse. She made plans with Miles and Elijah to hold lessons at the church hall after the building was declared unsafe, only to receive the news the school was being closed permanently. After fruitlessly debating with the department and the council, she was ready to give up until Xavier and Dexter brought together a large number of residents willing to campaign to stop the closure. She was left depressed again when she heard it was to be demolished, ignoring Sid’s attempts to ask her to convince Sasha to stay at school, but regained her fight when Xavier, April and Dexter arranged a protest that delayed the demolition. When department representative Bernard Steiner reacted in horror to the news she had the school files, she realised there was something in there they didn’t want getting out and used the knowledge the school hadn’t been repaired properly after an earthquake to blackmail them into keeping it open.
She was concerned about Sasha and asked Xavier to keep an eye on her, which resulted in him being punched by one of the River Boys, which she and John took up with Brax. She organised a dinner for most of the Bay’s adults for John’s 50th birthday. She and John complained to Roo about the noisy parties at the Braxtons’, resulting in Heath threatening them, but when he apologised she withdrew a complaint she’d made to Charlie. When April collapsed from drug use in assembly, Gina took no action. She asked Miles to help the students with the extra exam stress caused by the incident, prompting him to take them to a tai chi class. She later chatted to Miles, who had removed his books from the house to please Leah, and commented on how John’s surfing magazines annoyed her but she wouldn’t want him to get rid of them.
She was unhappy about Xavier’s plans to take a gap year and go backpacking but agreed to John selling the V8 to fund it. She warned John that Harvey was planning to tell the council he’d been taking bribes from developer Dennis Harling and, when he was subsequently thrown off the council, found the rebuilding plans for the school affected. She also worried when he chose to invest his savings in the development. When Alf decided to stand against Harvey in the election, she warned him she agreed with Harvey’s policies for the school. She had to deal with Dexter attacking Xavier at the school formal because he was jealous of him and April and then Sid beating up Stu after seeing him hit Sasha. She accompanied Stu to the hospital and phoned his parents.
She expressed her concern when Xavier elected to join the police force but ultimately realised she couldn’t stand in his way. She admonished him when he went looking for Stu after learning he had hit Sasha again and was concerned when he admitted he had feelings for Sasha, advising him to stay away from her after Sid thought he was hassling her. She worried when Xavier ended up as a suspect in Stu’s murder. She also sided with Henri Brown over the drop in April’s school work and helped Alf and Harvey organise a fundraiser for a school in Thailand.
She was shocked to learn that John had actually invested $400,000 with Dennis, which was lost when the development went bust, and was furious with John for keeping it from her. She was worried when John seemed to come into money. Xavier and Roo tried to convince her to give John another chance but as she was going to talk to him she saw him accepting money from Brax. She learned Brax was paying him compensation over his car being stolen by Casey’s friend Tyler Churchill but was annoyed that he was keeping something else from her. She was shocked when Colleen told her that John had moved out and got into an argument with him.
When Sasha began being bullied because of her role in Stu’s death, Gina advised her to stay away from his memorial service. She offered her help to Sasha, ultimately getting the video evidence needed to prove Christy Clarke had led a group of girls in attacking her and expelling Christy. Continuing to row with John, she spent an evening getting drunk round Henri’s. Xavier and Sasha tried to reconcile the pair by cooking them dinner but the evening was spoilt when Gina overheard John admitting he’d lied about liking the dish she always cooked him. She and John eventually confronted each other, confessed their feelings and were reconciled.
She allowed the police to search the students’ lockers after a police car was vandalised and learned VJ was the culprit. She was shocked when she witnessed Heath confronting Henri about sleeping with Casey. Henri claimed Casey had a crush on her and Casey backed her up, telling Gina he’d lied to Heath about it. They later went to her and told her Casey had kissed Henri and she’d pushed him away. However, Gina was suspicious about their identical stories and, on seeing Casey talking with VJ and learning he had witnessed the kiss, suspended Henri pending an investigation. She and Roo forced John and Harvey to have dinner together to try and get them over their feud but it descended into an argument. She found herself in a difficult position when she received a complaint against John for throwing a student off the school bus, which resulted in John losing his contract.
She found herself caught up in the feud between Casey and teacher Dave Townsend. After Sasha indicated Townsend was bullying Casey, Gina tried to intervene and instructed Townsend to mark an essay he’d failed for being late. Casey promptly hit Townsend and Gina suspended him but tried to dissuade Townsend from getting the police involved, not wanting to see Casey sent to jail. Townsend responded by threatening to report her to the Department if she didn’t back him up, although she tried to mediate between them, but the threat and Townsend’s intimidation of Sasha gave her the opportunity to blackmail him into leaving the school and dropping the charges. She refused to get Casey a new tutor, reminding him of what happened with Henri.
Gina took an interest in Jett James after he turned up at the school and was revealed as the person who had been bullying VJ and, after speaking to his mother Liz who was on sick pay and illiterate and was unable to cope with him, made it her mission to look out for him, whilst also trying to keep him in line over his bullying and truancy. She warned Heath to stay away from him after Xavier saw them talking. She defended him when John and Xavier believed he was responsible for a series of thefts and tried to talk to Liz about it, being impressed when he showed intelligence in class, only for him to admit his guilt. She went to his house looking for Liz but Jett claimed she was in hospital and he didn’t have a house key so let him stay the night with them. She got him to apologise to Marilyn and return her bag and persuaded Marilyn not to press charges but then found out Liz was dead and tried to support Jett before he left town.
Jett ran away from the foster home and asked her to take him in. Despite John and Xavier expressing their reservations, she got permission from DOCS and insisted on persisting even when he stole a purse at the surf club, bullied VJ and pushed her into a table when she tried to remonstrate with him. When Brax worried school counsellor Natalie Davison was getting too involved with Casey, Gina had a word with her. She was initially furious when Xavier began investigating a man he thought might be Jett’s father, especially when it became clear he was just looking for an excuse to get rid of Jett, but changed her mind when she realised how much Jett felt he was missing out on not having a father and told Xavier to pursue it. As a result Xavier was nearly thrown out of the force for misusing police resources and decided to move away to live closer to the academy. Gina was initially angered about the news but eventually wished him well. Before he left, however, he provided Gina with the address of Jett’s possible father, Richard Bozic, which she elected not to pass on to Jett.
Gina asked Natalie to do research on Richard and, even after Natalie gave her relatively reassuring information, wanted to let the matter drop, removing the page with Richard’s details on from the list of Bozics Jett was contacting, but Natalie told her about how much not seeing her own mother affected her. When she heard Irene and Roo discussing the possibility of Lottie going back to live with her mother, she admitted she’d been keeping Jett with them for her own sake. Jett discovered the missing page and angrily confronted Gina about it. She went to see Richard and explained the situation, but he wasn’t interested in seeing Jett. She reluctantly told Jett about the meeting but the two eventually met after Jett had gone to Richard’s house in a huff although Richard disappeared again afterwards. She worried that Jett wasn’t dealing with it but John advised her they’d deal with a problem if it arose. Instead, she invited Natalie to join them at Angelo’s, hoping to set her and Jett up for an impromptu counselling session, a move which annoyed everyone and left Gina having to apologise.
After John interrupted a meeting with Jett’s case worker, Molly Brenner, he suggested that he and Gina foster Jett permanently. Since DOCS had to investigate whether Richard wanted custody first, Gina advised they keep the news from Jett. However, this resulted in Jett, realising they were hiding something, thinking they didn’t want him so they told him the truth. Gina and John met with Molly with Jett in attendance but she told them that Richard had requested a DNA test to see if he was Jett’s father and, on the day of Gina’s birthday, they received the news that, with the test being positive, Richard had applied for custody. John and Gina made Jett’s last day memorable, at which point he announced he wanted to stay with them. Gina failed to convince Richard to let Jett stay in Summer Bay and visit him irregularly, since Richard was moving away and wanted to build a relationship with Jett, and they had to watch him being taken away. Gina became distant from John in the aftermath and obsessed with making contact with Jett, ignoring Natalie’s warning about getting too close and going to the city to see Molly. Molly suggested John’s aggressive behaviour towards Richard might be making Jett keep his distance but Gina went to a restaurant with John when he turned up. She was worried when Casey quit school, thinking it meant he was suicidal.
Just as things were improving between her and John, Richard brought Jett back to live with them. Gina instantly focused all her attention on Jett, alienating John. She discovered that John had lied to her about being at a meeting when he had actually got drunk with Marilyn and spoken to her about their marital problems and told him she didn’t trust him. Although she tried to move past the feeling, she was concerned when John asked Marilyn to handle the catering of the surf carnival. When they went out to dinner after John saved Romeo from drowning, they ended up arguing about Harvey cheating on Roo and Gina again brought up the subject of Marilyn. Their arguments resulted in Jett branding Marilyn a marriage wrecker. Gina had the family apologise to her but remained jealous of the pair and John moved out to the caravan park. When John joined her and Jett for breakfast at the Diner, she walked out when she learned Marilyn had told him they were there. Jett then told her that John and Marilyn had kissed. She angrily confronted Marilyn but Alf told her that it was John who had made a move.
She was annoyed when John went to see Marilyn before her after being away from town and took her temper out on a student, Alistair, resulting in him getting into a fight with Jett. Jett then told her he wanted to stay with John. He later fed her and John different stories to get money off them, then he and VJ stole some fireworks intended for the surf carnival and set them off. She let him off with a telling off after he complained she and John were never there for him but after Marilyn told her that he’d been bragging about getting away with it, she and John sentenced him to clean the surf club. When Jett told her that Marilyn hadn’t been visiting John, she apologised to her. She and John arranged to have lunch together but she got caught up dealing with a fight at school and when she suspended the perpetrators their parents turned up to complain, while John ran out of petrol. They ended up rearranging it for dinner. She asked John to move back in but he told her to ask again in a few days.
Bianca asked to return to work after Rocco’s death and Gina agreed to let her supervise exams. When she found Bianca asleep in a classroom, she sent her on indefinite leave. When John suffered a minor injury while spending the day at their house doing some DIY and she sat with him in hospital, Gina invited him to move back in again and this time he agreed. When Jett played her a recording of John making pleasurable noises while alone with Marilyn, Gina quickly realised he was merely tasting cake icing.
Like John, Gina was concerned when Natalie warned them that Jamie Sharpe, who had become obsessed with Leah and driven her and VJ out of town, was trying to use Jett to find out where they had gone. However, she warned John not to try to deal with the matter himself and to leave it to the police. She intervened when Jamie started quizzing Colleen and worried when Jett’s mobile phone was stolen.
Sasha asked her for advice on how to get back on track at school, which resulted in Gina suggesting she repeat Year 11. When John announced he was taking her out for dinner and acted as though it was a special occasion, Gina was convinced she’d forgotten something. It wasn’t until halfway through the meal that she discovered John also thought he’d forgotten something as a result of Jett manipulating them so he’d be left alone with Indi, who he had a crush on. She and John encouraged Jett to go to an underage disco to meet girls his own age.
Maddy Osborne spoke to her about enrolling at the school and Casey asked her about work but she couldn’t employ him because of his criminal record, although she did point him in the direction of a handyman job at the surf club. When she saw Jett avoiding Tilda Hogan, she mistakenly believed Jett fancied her. John found out that Tilda was actually bullying Jett but he refused to discuss it with them so Gina asked Sasha to speak to him. She warned Tilda about her behaviour but Tilda claimed she was only doing it because she liked Jett. When Tilda claimed Jett had pushed her into a locker, Gina told them that they were to stay away from each other and whoever broke the rule would be considered the bully. Tilda turned up with a black eye claiming Jett had hit her but when she started crying the “black eye” was revealed to be make-up. Gina put her on detention and assured Jett that deep down she’d never doubted him. When Tilda refused to let up, Gina called her mother Maureen in only for Maureen to refuse to accept Tilda was at fault and blame the whole thing on Jett. She read out an essay supposedly written by Tilda but in fact done by Jett, where she supposedly admitted to the bullying and claimed she fancied Jett. Gina suspended her.
Tamara approached her about returning to school but Gina insisted she wear the regulation uniform rather than her own clothes or boys’ uniform. However, she was impressed by Sasha starting up a campaign to change the rules and agreed to present it to the board. She and John began making moves to adopt Jett and, although he initially reacted badly to the suggestion, he eventually agreeing it was what he wanted. They got in touch with Molly but Richard also had to be contacted and expressed his reservations about the idea. However, an impassioned speech from Jett won him over. They signed the adoption papers together but it still had to go through court. When Zac MacGuire applied for a teaching job at the school, Gina agreed to give him a chance despite his criminal record. She suggested he state that he regretted what had happened but he replied that he didn’t since the experience had made him who he was. She tried to handle things when Alexander Mullens was allowed back to school after raping Rosie Prichard, telling all involved to stay away from each other, but had to suspend Sasha when she punched Mullens. On hearing the adoption had been approved, the family headed to the city to see it through court. However, on the way, Gina realised something was wrong and managed to bring the car to a stop, preventing injury to John and Jett, before dying of an aneurysm.