Ricky had her tribute to Brax tonight, so I thought it was a fitting time for me to pay tribute to my beloved all time favourite character. Darryl Braxton. Brax. Family man. River Boy. Leader. Surfer. A man of action. A man of few words. Stubborn and uncompromising. Streetwise and resourceful. Problem solver. Protector. Intensely passionate. Fiercely loyal. I think it was this intensity that drew me to him right from the beginning. He loved deeply and hurt deeply. There was no middle ground with Brax. He was very much ‘All or Nothing.’ I identified with his profound passion and he won my heart! I have always been a lover of stories and storytelling and Brax has been one of those rare characters that has managed to go beyond the story and get under my skin. A one in a million character. There was something about him that sparked my imagination and had me captivated. I grew up watching H&A, however I reached a point a few years ago where I genuinely thought I had outgrown the show. I hadn't watched Home and Away for years before Brax and his band of brothers generated enough curiosity to draw me back in. The River Boys had become a huge talking point within some of my friendship groups as well as sections of the media and I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. I could have never imagined that I would fall in love with these characters the way that I did or that I would develop a loyalty to Home and Away that I had never felt before. It completely took me by surprise. I started tuning in sporadically at the end of 2011 and Brax caught my attention enough that I found myself watching daily from the first episode of the 2012 season. His intensely passionate reaction to Charlie's death had me intrigued, as did Casey's decision to choose Brax over Ruby, and it all grew from there. But it was the Danny Braxton storyline in mid 2012 that took it to the next level for me. Watching Brax fight so desperately to protect Heath and Casey from their psychopathic father - at all costs - despite their attitude and protests, was when Brax really won my heart. And there was no looking back! I didn't go back and watch any of his early River Boy/Charlie days until after this point and maybe that is why I view Brax differently to some. Brax had long left behind his drug/gang days by the time I had fallen for him, so to me they were such a small part of his overall story. I've been reflecting back on Brax's journey and reminiscing. There have been so many highlights. The main highlight for me was unquestionably his relationship with his brothers. So many of the Braxton storylines centred around family loyalty and these were my favourite moments. Both the good times and the bad. So much of Brax's time on the show was spent dealing with family problems and that was how I liked it. The dynamic between the boys was natural, real and so authentic. They played off each other perfectly and I easily became invested in this unconventional family. I take my hat off to whoever made those casting decisions because they struck gold. I loved the relationship that all four of the brothers shared but it was the relationship between Brax and Casey that was by far the most special for me. It is fair to say that I would have never loved Brax the way I do if it wasn't for Casey. I enjoyed seeing Casey's protectiveness of Brax just as much as I enjoyed seeing Brax's protectiveness of Casey. They put the needs and safety of the other over their own time and time again. In the end Casey paid the ultimate price for this loyalty. It felt heartbreakingly inevitable when it finally ended this way. It has been hard for me to watch Brax living in a world without Casey these past few months. Part of Brax has been missing and he has been a shadow of his former self without his little brother by his side. Brax and Casey scenes were always my favourite and they are the ones I will always remember. His relationship with Ricky has also been a highlight. Steve and Bonnie had a very natural chemistry and it is hard to imagine Brax with anyone else. Ricky understood Brax in a way that none of his previous partners could and I think they were made for each other. My heart now aches for Ricky and their son terribly. It did not end the way I hoped it would and I'm not at all satisfied with Brax's exit. In my mind Brax could never put Ricky and Kyle (and Heath and Cheryl) through that grief if it could in any way be avoided. I don't think they did justice to his character but the end does not overshadow all that went before. The one thing they have got right is the selection of Conrad Sewell's beautiful song to be the theme song of Brax's departure. The song is gorgeous and the lyrics so apt. I think a big part of the reason that I have loved Brax so much is because of Stephen Peacocke’s exceptional portrayal of this complex character. He obviously understood Brax and he really brought the character to life. Steve was just as good at portraying the softer side of Brax as he was at portraying the angry, intimidating, hardened-criminal side of Brax. So much of Brax’s intense emotion had to be expressed through action and expression because of Brax’s reluctance to verbalise his feelings and Steve portrayed it all so authentically. I cannot imagine anyone else being able to play this role. And I have come to love Steve just as much as Brax. He comes across as humble and hard-working. A lover of the acting not the fame. He has not forgotten his roots and it is refreshing. The story of Steve's journey to get his first big acting role as Brax has really resonated with me. He spent years chasing his dream and he never gave up or lost heart despite not getting his break until he was nearly 30. His story has inspired me to reflect on my own life and my reluctance to be bold, follow my passions and take the path less travelled. For this I will be forever grateful. It is with a heavy heart that I farewell Brax. It is hard to say goodbye to a character who has brought me so much joy over the past few years. I'm extremely happy for Steve that he is moving on to the next chapter and fulfilling his dream to work in movies but I'm equally sad for myself that I will no longer get to enjoy watching Brax on my screen every week and reflect on his every move with like-minded fans on this board. Brax is irreplaceable for me and he has left a hole that can't be filled. Farewell Brax! I will miss you endlessly!