Quinn Jackson (1995; 2017)
Danielle Spencer (1995); Lara Cox (2017)
Episodes: 1809–1825; 6785–6800
Parents: Alf Stewart & Mary Jackson (deceased)
Step-Parents: Frank; Ailsa Stewart (deceased)
Siblings: Ruth & Duncan Stewart, Owen Dalby & Clem (all half-siblings)
Step-Siblings: Shauna Bradley
Children: Ryder Jackson
Occupation: Economics student; Waitress; Disneyland Hot Dog vendor; Musician/Cruise Ship Singer
Having arrived in Summer Bay from Kansas, USA, Quinn was first seen entering the Bayside Diner with her backpack, asking Ailsa whether Alf Stewart lived in the area and where she could find him. On replying that she was his wife, Ailsa told Quinn that she’d find Alf at his store and gave her directions. On arriving at the Stewart Store she was witness to a row between Alf & Shannon over the amount of people he had hurt recently, what with the planned development next to the caravan park and his outburst at Irene after the Dodge saga. After Shannon stormed out announcing that she’d shop elsewhere, Alf briskly came over to Quinn and asked if he could help, and she simply asked him for a map of the local area. When a curious Ailsa later came in to find out what the American girl wanted, she was puzzled when Alf said she was just after a map. Alf was also perplexed after learning that she’d asked specifically for him.
Quinn returned to the diner where she bumped into Selina and asked her about the caravan park—being American she wasn’t sure if it was the same as a ‘trailer park’ and Selina offered to take her there herself. Shannon booked her into a van, and on being asked about the argument she’d witnessed in the store earlier, Shannon told Quinn that Alf was always like that. The next day, having seen what she came to see, Quinn settled up the payment for the caravan where she met Curtis. After being introduced, he asked her what she wanted to see Alf about. Whilst not going into detail she said that she had seen him, and asked Curtis what it was like to live with such a red-neck. Curtis replied that he was alright, but when she asked whether that was a nice way of saying Alf was an “arrogant know-it-all with an aggressive streak”, Sam piped up that she was spot on.
When Curtis filled Alf in later on, he was increasingly puzzled as to what Quinn was up to, she came looking for him but had apparently formed an opinion of him after barely speaking to him, like she wanted to think the worst of him from the start. When he then put two and two together, and figured that she’d be an American reporter trying to dig up some dirt on the development that he and US based Lou Abbot were funding, Alf barged into her caravan and gave her a piece of his mind. Despite protesting that she had never even heard of Lou, Alf aggressively demanded to know what she wanted with him. She said there was no point, she’d be gone in a couple of hours and he’d never see her again.
With Alf still stewing later in the store, Curtis wondered whether Alf was mistaken, but as far as Alf knew he had no other connections in the US other than Lou and Roo. After Alf realised that she never even told him her name, Curtis told him that it was Quinn Jackson. A little flicker of recognition came across Alf, and he rushed out. He found Quinn at the bus stop and commented that she’d never introduced herself, saying that they probably had a lot to talk about. She replied “I think we’ve already said it all… Dad.”
After apologising about the misunderstanding, Alf asked Quinn to give him a second chance and they went back to the diner to talk. It transpired that Alf had met Quinn’s mother, Mary, during the Vietnam War. Mary was working on an airbase further up the coast, and had come to Summer Bay on an R&R break. She had met Alf at a local dance at the pub, where he was working behind the bar. After talking for a while they found that they were both big Elvis fans, and Alf told Quinn that Mary was a great dancer. One thing led to another and a relationship developed, but Mary eventually left town without Alf knowing that she was pregnant.
Quinn didn’t learn of Alf’s existence until earlier that year, following Mary’s death from cancer. Her stepfather Frank had admitted to her that he wasn’t her biological father, which made sense to Quinn as she’d always felt something of a distance between them. After Alf brought Ailsa, Curtis and Duncan up to speed, Ailsa invited Quinn to stay in the house, though seemed a little uneasy. Quinn quickly won Duncan over by telling him that she made amazing chocolate brownies and had once worked at Disneyland, eating her lunch with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Alf expressed his regret to Ailsa about not being there for Mary, but he had no idea about the pregnancy.
The next morning Quinn prepared an all-American breakfast for the family, and commented on how lucky Duncan and Curtis were to grow up in a place like Summer Bay, not like her own remote home in dry and dusty Kansas. She later went to look at the development site after learning of Alf & Michael’s falling out, where she met Michael. Though he and Pippa told Quinn all the details about Alf’s proposal, Michael did reiterate that Alf was a good man and he missed their friendship.
When Alf asked her how long she planned to stay, he said that she was welcome to stay as long as she liked and he’d be able to help out with some money if necessary. After Quinn left the room, Ailsa told Alf that he should think carefully before diving into the deep end with Quinn, and to not neglect the family he already has by rushing into getting to know her. When Angel later commented in the diner that Ailsa seemed a little uncomfortable around Quinn, Ailsa pointed out that whilst she may be Alf’s flesh and blood, she’s still a perfect stranger. Meanwhile, Steven Matheson introduced himself to Quinn with what she described as a lousy pick-up line, but the two got talking.
Steven told Quinn about his failed bid to study in the US, whilst Quinn lamented that the scholarship that led to her studying for her own Economics degree didn’t lead to anything other than waiting tables and serving hot dogs in Disneyland. She’s sure it would have been much easier in Australia. Steven gave her a tour of the bay and she continued to comment on how she wished she could have grown up next to the beach (she hadn’t seen the ocean until she was 19), before asking Steven out on a date. When Quinn later told Alf that she’d probably have to move on soon due to her tourist visa expiring, Alf was determined to sort things out so she could stay longer, and she gave a wry smile as he left the house to ask Donald for advice.
After a meal with Steven at the diner, Steven invited her back to his place and they quickly ended up in the bedroom where she stayed the night.
When Alf reminisced about Mary in the diner, and how Quinn reminded him of her, Ailsa was visibly uncomfortable which led to Irene berating Alf for being inconsiderate to her feelings. Alf later apologised to Ailsa, but she did voice her concern that something didn’t quite sit right with Quinn.
After not seeing her for a couple of days and wondering whether she was avoiding him, Steven finally caught up with Quinn and they spent the afternoon riding a horse on the beach. That evening, Quinn told him that she was applying for residency with Alf’s help. The next day, Steven made an off-cuff remark about Alf for which he apologised, but Quinn told him he could say what he liked—as far as she was concerned, Alf had ruined her life and she’d never forgive him.
Quinn explained to Steven about the relationship with her stepfather, Frank. Whilst he was never abusive in any way, she never felt that closeness that Frank obviously shared with her younger brother Clem, who would frequently get into trouble and still be the apple of his eye. When Mary died, Frank dropped the pretence of having any affection for Quinn and bluntly said that she was the “bastard child of some Australian guy”—who’d ditched Mary when he found out she was pregnant—and that he’d only married Mary himself out of pity. Feeling there was nothing keeping her in Kansas, Quinn resolved to travel to Australia to see for herself the sort of man who’d do that to her mother.
Later in the diner, becoming increasingly concerned about the lengths Alf was going to in order to help Quinn stay in Australia permanently, Ailsa asked Quinn straight out about whether she really was Alf’s daughter. Quinn admitted she couldn’t provide any concrete evidence, her stepfather had been named on her birth certificate to protect her, but everything she had been told by Frank and Alf all tallied up. Alf later confirmed that after speaking to the Immigration department, there was only a couple of forms for him to sign before Quinn would be allowed to stay in Australia. On telling Steven the news, he wondered how she could put on such a big front for Alf, but she stated that she was genuinely excited on being to stay in Australia, irrespective of her hatred of Alf, and tried to reassure Steven that her feelings for him were in fact real.
Quinn later confronted Ailsa over the vibes she’d been receiving from her since her arrival, and Ailsa admitted that whilst she did initially have some issues about learning something new about Alf’s past, she had a hunch that there’s something more behind Quinn’s arrival that she’s not letting on. Quinn protested against this, but Ailsa replied that she didn’t know her well enough to have more to go on than her own intuition. Quinn started letting on to Alf that Ailsa had not been too supportive of her, and when Alf brought it up with her, she then accused Quinn of trying to undermine her. Quinn went straight back to Alf to say that she was considering moving out due to her issues with Ailsa, and the situation started to strain Alf & Ailsa’s relationship, much to Quinn’s amusement.
When Steven told Quinn that he’d seen Ailsa and Pippa chatting over a cuppa, Quinn was quick to let this slip to Alf to further stir trouble. An unapologetic Quinn later admitted to Steven that she felt that Ailsa was undermining the development. Quinn wanted to ensure that it would go ahead, despite the issues it could cause for the Ross family, so she could one day get a share of the money. Steven decided that he couldn’t become involved with someone who was carrying around so much hatred and bitterness, so called things off between them.
Quinn later changed her stance and admitted to Steven that her agenda against Alf had blinkered her, and knowing that the development would hurt Steven’s family, decided that she no longer wanted anything to do with it and promised to not further complicate things between Alf & Ailsa. But by that point it was too late and after a blazing row over putting friends over family loyalties, Alf announced he’d be moving out. Steven saw this as Quinn manipulating the situation again, and called it quits with Quinn for good.
In an effort to make things up to Steven, Quinn made a copy of a report Alf had asked her to pick up from home, which proved that the results of the development would have a far bigger negative effect on the town that had been made public. She handed it over, knowing that its release would pretty much obliterate support for the project, and hurt Alf more than anything else.
When Quinn saw Alf again later that day, he explained his regret at not being there for her whilst growing up and offered to give a share of the development profits. Quinn was thrown by this offer and said that she didn’t want his money, but he insisted that it was the right thing to do. If he had actually known about Mary’s pregnancy he may have been able give her a better life. Alf explained that when Mary’s commanding officer had learnt that she had started a serious relationship with a local, she was shipped off on the first plane back to the US. Alf wrote to her every week for two months, but didn’t hear back until he one day received a letter to say Mary had met someone else and they were getting married.
Quinn was devastated to realise that Alf was genuine all along—he had never known about the pregnancy and it was her stepfather who had lied to her. Quinn rushed back to Steven to beg him not to leak the report, but he had no choice but to help his family.
The next day the damage was done. When Donald showed Alf a copy of the report, he realised where it must have come from. Confronting Quinn on the beach, Quinn admitted everything and said that she wanted to make him pay for what he had done to her mother—before she realised the truth. She explained that she was truly sorry but a clearly upset Alf didn’t want to hear it, it was too late.
Quinn paid one last visit to Steven to say that she was leaving town and to apologise for messing things up between them. She again reiterated that her feelings for him were real, but her obsession with wanting to make Alf pay made her lose sight of what was really important.
After talking with Ailsa, who was very sympathetic of what Quinn had been through, Alf realised that they should give her a second chance. But when he enquired with Steven as to Quinn’s whereabouts, he told him that she had just left and was heading back to the city on the seaplane before heading home. Alf rushed down to the wharf but was too late, arriving just in time to see Quinn’s plane take off.
Over the course of the next twenty-two years, Quinn was only mentioned in passing a couple of times, and had no contact with Alf at all.
In 2017, Hunter and VJ caught a boy outside the surf club who had attempted to steal money from them. Frog-marching him inside to face Alf, the boy told Alf that he was his grandson, and introduced himself as Quinn’s son, Ryder Jackson. With Ryder apparently having no contact details for his mother, who had shipped him off to a bootcamp whilst she was working as a singer on a cruise ship, Alf and Roo agreed to let Ryder stay with them whilst they tried to verify his story. Quinn eventually rang Alf when she spotted that Ryder had posted a photo of Summer Bay on social media, confirming he was who he said he was. She asked Alf to send him back to the boot camp, but abruptly hung up as Alf started to make small talk. After talking with Roo, Alf agreed to let Ryder stay on and it was arranged for Quinn to come and collect him at a later date.
A few weeks later, Quinn arrived in the bay two weeks earlier than expected, the cruise ship having docked in the city. She was greeted by Roo on her arrival at Summer Bay House—who, having never met her half-sister, failed to recognise her—and when Ryder walked in he then introduced Roo and Quinn to each other. With tension apparent between Quinn and Ryder, they soon started bickering, which was only interrupted by Alf’s arrival. After father and daughter awkwardly greeted each other, the four went for a drink at the diner. Over coffee, Quinn explained that she and Ryder had been living in Brisbane. She had met Ryder’s father on a cruise ship and he had wanted to settle on the Gold Coast, before eventually leaving Quinn to bring Ryder up on her own. After speaking of her plans to leave with Ryder later that day, Ryder stormed out. Whilst Alf went after him, Quinn told Roo about the troubles she’d had with Ryder. When Roo suggested he may have some form of learning difficulty or behavioural issue, Quinn replied that she was being too generous and that Ryder was simply hard work. As Quinn continued, Roo eventually pointed out that she’d done nothing but criticise Ryder since she arrived, and perhaps he is crying out for some support from his mother, which Quinn took as a criticism of her parenting skills. When Alf arrived back with Ryder, Quinn told him to start packing his things together. Back at the house, Alf and Quinn spoke alone for the first time, and he convinced her to stick around for a couple of days so they could get to know each other again.
Whilst in town, Quinn performed at the local pub, and Alf complimented her on her music when he overheard her practicing with her guitar on the back patio the night before her departure. He again reiterated that he’d like to keep in touch with both her and Ryder when they left, and though hesitant, Quinn said she’ll see. Later that night, Ryder had a night terror as he slept on the sofa and smashed a plate on the coffee table. When Alf and Roo came downstairs and started trying to wake him, Quinn warned them not to, and that he has them all the time. The next morning Roo tried to convince Quinn that they should stay a bit longer to try and sort out Ryder’s sleep issues—noting that they only started after Quinn arrived—but Quinn wasn’t concerned and berated Roo for her judgement of her. Talking to Alf, she explained that Ryder had always had sleeping issues, even when he was a baby, and despite taking him to several specialists, their continued diagnoses of ADHD and the associated medications did nothing to help. When Ryder overheard the tail-end of Quinn saying that his troubles had ruined her life, Ryder confronted her and angrily stormed out—taking Alf’s car and accidentally knocking down Roo on the road near the diner.
When Ryder eventually came home, Quinn apologised for what she had said but told Ryder he needed to face up to what he had done and come inside to apologise to Roo. When Alf blew his top at Ryder saying he could have killed Roo, a concerned Quinn could only watch as a terrified Ryder ran from the house. Though he returned home after a talk with Alf, he ran away when Roo later collapsed in pain. The next morning, Quinn realised that Ryder’s bed hadn’t been slept in and went to the hospital to ask Alf and Roo if they knew where he was. After a fruitless search, Quinn was forced to cancel a planned gig. Alf asked whether she needed any money but Quinn refused, saying she’d never taken a handout. Asked whether she’d ever considered picking up the phone during her struggles, Quinn said she couldn’t do that with a father she barely knew. She lamented that Alf wouldn’t have been able to fix things between her and Ryder anyway, Ryder doesn’t trust her. Alf points out that she and Ryder still got time, and to look how far they’d come themselves in the short time they’d been reunited.
When Ryder later returned after he and Raffy took a boat and found a body on a remote beach, Quinn brought Ryder to the hospital where he gave an emotional apology to Roo. Quinn watched on as she saw Roo embrace Ryder as he cried. Later that evening whilst having dinner with Alf and Quinn, Ryder told Alf that they wouldn’t be sticking around much longer as Quinn doesn’t like to see him happy, at which point Quinn walked out. Alf sent Ryder after her after telling him of the sacrifices Quinn has made for him. Ryder apologised and told Quinn that he didn’t mean to keep stuffing up, and when Quinn went back inside to talk to Alf, she said that she’d never seen Ryder respond to her the way he has to Alf and Roo. Alf told her she’s done a fantastic job with him under difficult circumstances.
A few days later after talking to her manager, Quinn told Ryder that they would unfortunately have to be leaving by the end of the week as she needed gigs to pay the bills. When Roo returned from hospital, Quinn was bittersweet to see how much Ryder was fussing over her, and she later turned down another offer by Roo for them to stay longer with the thought that they could try seeking more help for Ryder.
Quinn was further conflicted when Raffy and Tori arrived with a cake they’d made for Ryder, and she eventually pulled Roo to one side and told her to back off, asking whether she thought Quinn incapable of looking after her own son. She was less than impressed to then find Tori talking with Ryder about his night terrors, and stormed out after telling everyone that she doesn’t need anyone’s help.
Tori apologised to Quinn and stated that she was simply looking out for Ryder as she had been for Raffy, what with Raffy having nightmares after finding the body. She then brought up the night terrors again and Quinn explained how many doctors they’d seen and how she’d done everything she could for him. Tori explained that she knew someone who specialised in sleep disorders if they could stick around for a bit longer, but Quinn went back inside and told Ryder to pack as they’d be leaving in the morning.
When Roo and Alf talked about inviting Ryder to live with them, in order to give Ryder some stability and take the pressure off Quinn, Quinn overheard and reacted angrily, accusing Roo of trying to steal her kid off her. She explained again that she was more than capable of taking care of him. The next morning, Quinn and Alf had a chat by the beach and Quinn told him that she knew they were trying to help, but that she’d just felt confronted. Alf assured Quinn that Roo wasn’t trying to undermine her, and Quinn admitted that some of what Roo said was right. Alf explained that he’d like to do something to make up for all the time he wasn’t there for her, and Quinn thanked him for that, but Ryder was her responsibility.
When Ryder eventually returned to the house after ignoring Quinn’s calls in order to say goodbye to his friends, Quinn asked him what he wanted from her, and whether living with her was really such a bad thing. With Quinn telling him to be honest with her, Ryder admitted that it wasn’t bad, but he felt lonely. He knows that music is Quinn’s life and wouldn’t want her to have an ordinary job that she wouldn’t be happy in, but at the same time he craved for the family life that he’d been experiencing in Summer Bay. Quinn told him that she always wanted that too, but with them being on their own for so long, she’d never considered that Ryder would feel the same way, and she’s sorry for that. She then told Ryder that he was welcome to stay with Alf and Roo if he wanted to, but to not think for one second that she was abandoning him, all she wants is for Ryder to be settled and to be happy.
When Ryder and Coco came around to the house, Ryder excitedly introduced them to Quinn. Alf told Quinn that she’d still see Ryder and that it would only take a phone call for Alf to get Ryder onto a plane whenever she needed him, and Quinn was happy that it would also give her an excuse to see Alf more often. As Quinn prepared to leave, she told Alf that she’d been booked for another gig, and saw it as the universe telling her she’d made the right decision. They both told each other how happy they were at having reconnected, and Quinn made peace with Roo. After saying an emotional goodbye to Ryder, Quinn told Roo to look after him before leaving with Alf.
Given that Alf appeared to recognise Quinn’s name, we are presuming that Jackson was her mother’s maiden name and Quinn took the name following the fallout with her stepfather.