Willow Harris (2017-present)
Parents: Russell & Alice Harris (née Lawson, deceased*)
Siblings: Unnamed sister
Occupation: Gym co-manager
Willow first appeared when she arrived at the garage on a motorbike, beat Justin up with her helmet and asked where her money was: Her grandmother Judy Lawson had brought her car in for a service unaware Willow had stashed $30,000 in it. Justin explained he had handed the money over to the police. Willow left him tied up in the garage overnight and took his bank cards but found little in his account. She left quickly when Ash and Ziggy turned up.
However, Willow then kidnapped the Morgans’ dog Buddy and held him to ransom. Justin tracked them down in Mangrove River and found Willow dealing with Boyd Easton, who she had been looking after the money for. Justin scared Boyd off by threatening to phone the police but Willow was unimpressed, although she did let him take Buddy. Justin later found her sleeping in her car to hide from Boyd. When he was threatened, Willow agreed to do a job for Boyd in order to buy another week and keep him out of it. Justin convinced her to stay in the Morgans’ outhouse. He suggested she do up her car, a Triumph, and sell it to raise the money but Willow refused. On her way to meet Boyd, she was pulled over by Constable Murray, since her bike wasn’t roadworthy. Justin paid her fines but they ended up hiding in a car boot while Boyd’s gang trashed the garage, spending the night there. She explained her mother walked out on her when she was young, taking her sister with her, and her father Russell was in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s; they used to go for drives in the Triumph. Willow gave the car to Justin to restore to pay off the insurance excessn for the damage to the garage.
When Boyd pushed Russell down some stairs at the nursing home and he ended up in hospital, Justin let him beat him up in order to report him to the police, convincing Willow to also make a statement about the attack on Russell. Boyd was jailed and Willow decided to move to Summer Bay for a fresh start. She convinced Justin to act as guarantor when she rented a caravan off Alf and applied for a job managing the gym, competing against Mason. After giving them both a trial, John told them to share the role. Willow spent the night with Justin, but kicked him out the next morning. After Mason told her Justin didn’t do casual, Willow agreed to try his way. Their attempt at spending an evening together was derailed by Tori coming home upset so Willow gave them some space.
Justin found a gym client, Mark, sleazing onto Willow and punched him, only for Willow to reveal she’d been paid by Mark’s wife Odette to honey trap him. With Brody planning to buy back Salt, Willow got the new owner, Felicity, to sell at the price she originally paid by uncovering the fact she was falsifying financial records. She and Justin continued to be at odds for a while until she admitted she cared about him and agreed to get out of the honey traps. Soon after, she was reunited with Dean Thompson, an old childhood friend turned ex-boyfriend. Justin asked her to help him smuggle Robbo out of town and she agreed even though Dean was helping Ash search for him. She provided Justin with false plates for a car he had stolen and ended up taking Robbo to a motel to wait for Tori when he ended up in a catatonic state on finding a photo of himself and his family.
While visiting Justin in hospital after he had been in a car accident, she encountered Colby Thorne, another old friend from Mangrove River, and greeted him with a slap: She was resentful that he had disappeared years earlier, leaving her to nurse Dean through months of rehab after he had crashed a stolen car. She was further annoyed when Colby admitted he was the one who had stolen the car and been driving, running off and leaving Dean and another friend, Jay, who died, behind. Colby asked her not to tell anyone he used to be a River Boy. She and Justin returned home from a night out to find Dean in her bed, with Willow quickly throwing him out. Justin returned the Triumph to her but soon after it went missing. They suspected Dean, who Justin had just sacked, but it turned out Russell had taken it in a confused state and Willow agreed to go for a drive with him.
Shortly after her return, she was thrown to find out about Justin’s daughter Ava when the girl turned up for a surprise visit. She joined Dean and Colby for a bonfire on the beach where Dean suffered a fit from dodgy home brew. She remained unhappy about the fact Colby had let Dean go to jail for something he did and threatened to report him but Dean convinced her to drop it. She offered to look after Ava for Justin and left her to make a snack on her own while she gave Buddy a bath. Justin was furious when he came home and found Ava using sharp knives unsupervised, ordering Willow out. Justin eventually apologised to her. Willow explained that she was self-sufficient when she was Ava’s age but said it was good that Justin looked out for her.
When Dean made a threat against Ava, Willow immediately knew he was bluffing. However, Ava did go missing not long after. When she heard a description of the kidnapper, Willow realised it was Hazel, Boyd’s mother, and learned Boyd was out on parole. She agreed to take the ransom money to Boyd but Justin and Dean insisted on involving the police. Boyd attacked her during the handover but Dean came to her rescue and Boyd was shot dead by Colby. When the incident left Ava’s mother Nina reluctant to let Justin spend time with her, Willow tried to talk to her but instead Nina said Justin wouldn’t see Ava while Willow was in his life. Willow obliged by breaking up with him.
She began gambling to cheer herself up and, with Dean unemployed, started covering his rent at the caravan park. With Justin refusing to accept the break-up, she kissed Dean in front of him and ended up spending the night with him. She was extremely uncomfortable about it the next morning, confiding in Jasmine, but with Justin having washed his hands of her she agreed to keep seeing Dean. She told Tori the truth about the break-up while racking up hundreds of dollars in gambling debts and tried to talk Justin round when he fired Dean after an argument over her. She was sympathetic towards Colby when he was outed as a River Boy and suspended from the police, having been made aware he had been searching for his sister Bella, and explained the situation to Justin. Justin found out the reason she had broken up with him and told her they should have fought it.
Losing another bet and owing rent money, when John asked her to pay a supplier at the surf club, she ended up stealing $200 from the juice bar, only to be seen by Jasmine. She returned the money when John nearly blamed Ryder and Jasmine lent her the money for her rent. However, faced with the next week’s rent and having to pay back Jasmine, she bet both her last $20 and all her pay unsuccessfully, then stole and sold some equipment from the gym. Jasmine again found her out and, when Jasmine told Dean about her and accused her of having a gambling addiction, Willow slapped her in front of several residents. She later apologised and Leah convinced her to own up to John and give him the money, but this resulted in her being sacked.
Willow next stole over $3,000 from Brody and Ziggy’s wedding fund, losing it all on a bet. She confessed to Dean and went to tell the couple the truth but Dean stopped her, explaining that he’d replaced the money. Colby blamed her for reporting him to the police after a burner phone was found in her caravan but Dean defended her. She convinced Dean they should go and see Colby, where they found him in a critical condition after Ebony Harding had injected him with a potentially fatal dose of muscle relaxant and rushed him to hospital. Dean got them kicked out of the caravan park after smashing his van in a rage so, with Colby in hospital and Robbo under arrest on suspicion of murdering Hazel, they ended up squatting in the Diner flat.
With Dean owing money to loan shark Brett Dwyer from paying off her debt, Willow agreed to help him set up a credit card skimmer at Salt, but was disturbed when first Irene was one of the ones who used it and then Dean knocked over and injured Alf while they were retrieving it. She called an ambulance for Alf and binned the skimmer, trying to sell the Triumph. However, Dean stopped her and, when she overheard Irene discussing odd transactions on her credit card, she realised Dean had retrieved and used the skimmer. She tried to raise the money by placing bets and was comforted by Justin. Dean broke up with her and she confided in Justin about her problems. He put her up in a motel but she sneaked away and tried to place a bet online. Justin stopped her and she was furious when her horse came in, telling Justin the addiction started because he broke up with her. She told Tori how she used to hang around the track with her dad and agreed to see a counsellor. She moved in with the Morgans and waited with Jasmine for news when Robbo and Colby went to confront Ebony. Afterwards, Justin told her he loved her, then told her to forget about it. She made things up with Dean, convincing him to stay in town, and they repaired their friendship after she helped him and Colby with a sting to catch Brett robbing Salt.
She asked Alf about getting her job back at the gym, only to be taken in for questioning over the surf club break-in when Colby recognised her voice on a recording calling for the ambulance. However, Dean turned up and said he had done the break-in on his own and Willow had called the ambulance when he got home. When she learned Dean had left town and was in danger of missing his bail check-in, she left a voicemail saying if he didn’t turn up she’d turn herself in. He came back as requested but told her to stay out of it. She returned to work at the gym after which she kissed Justin. However, she was reluctant to rush into living with him so decided to visit Russell and then go stay with friends.
She returned, staying on friends’ couches, and, with Robbo having bought the gym, clashed with Jasmine, who thought she should tell Robbo about her stealing. She arranged to move in with Irene, forgetting that Jasmine lived there, and apologised to Jasmine ,who made it clear she had no objections to her moving in. They were soon getting on well but she had more difficulty with Irene, who objected to her mess. She then learned Dean could get ten years and was given a subpoena to testify against him. She admitted to Irene that she had been involved but when Irene tried to get her to face up to it she moved out. However, after visiting Russell, she went to the police and made a full confession, being charged as an accessory. She explained to Dean that she couldn’t let him take all the blame and Irene allowed her to move back in.
On the morning of the court hearing, she found Dean passed out drunk and refused to go to court without him, although it was some straight-talking from Justin that got him to go. They were both given community service but Dean refused to speak to her afterwards, saying what he did from now on was none of her business. She realised he was upset over the fact she had convinced him to cut ties with his mother Karen, who had refused to visit him in prison and threatened him with a knife when he got out. Willow tried to make things up by offering to go to see her with him. Instead, Karen turned up at the Morgan house, having followed Willow there thinking she’d be with Dean. Willow tried to control the situation as Karen became more erratic and ended up crashing her car after trying to run over John. She tried to support Dean during the following events, culminating in her and Chelsea having to rescue him and Karen from a gas-filled caravan as a result of one of Karen’s outbursts and Karen being scheduled. She also pleaded Colby’s case to Chelsea when she found out the truth about the accident Dean had served jail time for.
She consoled Dean after his first meeting with his father Rick Booth and told him not to give up on having a relationship with him, but in the process stood up Justin for a lunch date. Justin told her she had to choose between them so Willow told Dean they couldn’t spend time together anymore. She had as little interaction with Dean as possible during community service, prompting Dean to decide to do his in Yabbie Creek and tell her he was out of her life. She and Justin went away for a bit but she was thrown on her return to find Dean working at the board shop and doing well without her. Chelsea asked her to be matron of honour at her and Colby’s wedding but she turned it down on learning Dean was best man. She admitted to Justin that she was struggling to stay away from Dean but insisted on sticking to the deal, believing their relationship depended on it, only for Justin to have to stop her from gambling.
She tried talking to Dean in secret but he wasn’t interested, then lost her temper with Justin. She felt bad when she learned he had been planning a road trip for them but Ziggy told her she was right to be angry with him. When she spoke to Justin, she told him she’d changed too much to be with him and they should take a step back. She threw herself into work, but when she made a mistake looking after Maggie in a session, she admitted she wasn’t qualified. Robbo arranged for her to take a course at Tafe, even lending her the fees.
She covered with Chelsea when Dean and Colby checked out Colby’s stepfather Ross’ address looking for Bella behind her back and, when Chelsea worked out what was going on, Willow convinced her to let the pair handle it. They then summoned her to help them when they ended up kidnapping Bella on learning she didn’t want to leave Ross. After Bella came round, they celebrated together at the flat and she helped find Bella when she ran away. Having agreed to be Chelsea’s matron of honour after all, she was left helping organise the wedding, roping in Dean. Dean challenged her about the fact that she hadn’t given Justin a definitive answer about whether or not they were together so she met and broke up with him. She attended Colby and Chelsea’s wedding and was meant to look after Bella while they were on a honeymoon. Chelsea offered her and Bella a lift in the wedding limo only for the driver to turn out to be Ross who kidnapped the three of them.
Willow was knocked out during an escape attempt and left tied up in the car while Ross marched Chelsea and Bella into the bush. She was freed by Colby and Dean but ended up being shot when Bella jogged Ross as he fired at Colby. She was rushed to hospital and spent several days lying unconscious, also having emergency surgery to drain fluid around her heart, before coming round. She was confused to learn Chelsea had broken up with Colby and left town until Dean explained that he had seen Colby kill Ross and Chelsea knew. She also learned Robbo had broken up with Jasmine after she kept quiet about Tori getting pregnant by IVF without his agreement and filled in Mason. She told Colby to keep an eye on Dean and arranged for Karen to visit him. She had to wake him when he overslept and he instinctively kissed her. He explained he had been taking sleeping pills. She was left running the gym with Mason when Robbo disappeared.
She wasn’t sure Dean was up to looking after Bella and ended up having to stop him dragging her off to see Ross’ body while sleepwalking. Dean admitted the sleeping pills had been home-made ones he’d got from a River Boy and Willow agreed to look after Bella while Colby helped him go cold turkey. She ended up having to help out when Dean needed rehydrating, leaving Bella with Irene. Colby then told her he was going to turn himself in. Desperate to stop him, she first tried to enlist Dean, then took Bella out of school to try and take her away but was stopped by Jasmine. She warned Bella not to romanticise Ross and Bella convinced Colby to change his mind.
She escorted Ziggy home after she’d got drunk with Dean and assumed the pair had slept together, only to learn from Ziggy that Dean had turned her down and worried it was because he liked her. When a group went out clubbing, partly to celebrate Willow qualifying as a personal trainer, Willow told Dean she wanted to be with him but he was annoyed that it was only because of him and Ziggy, telling her they were a mess together. Jealous again when she learned Ziggy had spent the night in Dean’s caravan, she waited for Dean in his bed but he rejected her. He later assured her that whether they were together or not she’d have a special place in his life. Despite this, Willow didn’t feel able to go and see Dean when he was beaten up and Ziggy looked after him.
She was further thrown when she learned Justin was now dating Leah, feeling everyone was getting on with their lives except her. She convinced Robbo to accompany Jasmine to a counselling session and put aside her personal feelings to help Ziggy and Dean get ready for a car rally together, making a point of telling Dean she wanted him to be happy before he left. She dodged Irene’s house rules to get drunk with Jasmine, where Jasmine explained her father had abandoned her after her mother died and Willow compared it to her mother dying and father getting Alzheimer’s. Shortly after Dean and Ziggy’s return, she overheard that they were now a couple. She attempted to reassure Colby over Bella going off the rails, which resulted in Bella going to live with her and Irene. Willow took Bella to task for breaking Irene’s plates to end an impasse over doing the dishes and got her to apologise.
She convinced Dean not to quit his job with Ben over Ben being suspicious of the money he had from Rick and was the first person he confided in about Mackenzie being his half-sister. Suspicious, she gatecrashed Robbo and Jasmine’s dinner at Salt to spy on Mackenzie and confront her. She offered to look after Bella while Irene went to Olivia’s fashion show in London and, when she learned Bella had changed her mind about moving back in with Colby, quizzed her and Raffy about it.
*In several early appearances, including her first episode, the character was mistakenly credited as Willow Ranger. The character’s name was originally planned to be Amber Ranger.
*The status of Willow’s mother is unclear. In 2017, Willow had said that her mother walked out on the family when she was ten years old, taking Willow’s sister with her. However in 2019, Willow stated that her mother had died when she was very young.