A tribute to Dean and Ziggy as they leave Home and Away

Tonight’s Home and Away in Australia saw Dean and Ziggy leave Summer Bay for a new life in Queensland, bringing to a close their time on the show.

Read on for a full tribute to the pair’s time on Home and Away.

It was the final episode for real-life couple Sophie Dillman and Patrick O’Connor, who have played Ziggy and Dean on Home and Away since 2017 and 2018 respectively.

As we discussed in a previous article, their exit came about when Amber (Maddy Jevic), the mother of Dean’s son, Jai (River Jarvis), got a new job in Northern Queensland.

Calling Dean, Amber told him that she’d already found accommodation and that she and Jai would soon be making the move there, meaning that Dean would suddenly find himself thousands of miles away from his son.

Dean and Ziggy concluded that they wouldn’t be able to make the trip up to Queensland on a regular basis, meaning Dean faced the prospect of only seeing his son a few times a year.

In Monday’s episode, Dean spoke to Jai on the phone, where he learnt that his son was struggling to get used to the idea of moving states.

Ziggy suggested that Dean go visit him and make the most of the little time he has left, and Dean jumped on the next bus.

When he returned later that day, he showed Ziggy a heartbreaking drawing that Jai had produced, counting down the number of ‘days til we leave Dad.’

While Dean was away, Ziggy had a number of heart-to-hearts with Tane (Ethan Browne), who is currently going through his own emotional distress after Felicity called off their engagement.

While Tane felt for Dean, he mainly sided with Amber, telling Ziggy that sometimes people have to do what’s best for them.

Tane’s words of wisdom gave Ziggy an idea. When Dean returned, she proposed that they follow Amber and move up to the northeastern state themselves.

Not only would it allow Dean to see his son as often as he wanted, but Queensland is conveniently where Ziggy’s sister Coco (Anna Cocquerel), moved to a number of years ago.

Ziggy recognises that being close to her sister could come in handy now that they’ve got a baby daughter to look after.

In Thursday’s triple bill of episodes, and just one week after we bid farewell to Nikau Parata (Kawakawa Fox-Reo), we bid goodbye to Dean Thompson, Ziggy Astoni and baby Izzy.

At breakneck speed, Mac (Emily Weir) took over the lease of the farmhouse, Ben approved Dean’s plan for Mali (Kyle Shilling) to take over the board shop, and the pair were ready to say goodbye.

The only holdup was Mac’s reservations. She faces the prospect of being Gabe’s carer, and Dean didn’t think he could face leaving his sister in her time of need, but Mac eventually assured him that she could look after herself.

After one final trip to the beach – in which Ziggy declared “I’m gonna miss the bay, but I’m so excited for what happens next” – all that was left to do was leave.

Their final scene saw Irene (Lynne McGranger), Justin (James Stewart), Mac, Gabe (Akos Armont), and Mali (Kyle Shilling) all gather outside the surf club where Dean and Ziggy had parked up ready to leave town.

Mali promised to do Dean proud, before handing him the framed copy of Dean and Ziggy’s coastal news front cover, which has been hanging up in the board shop since they won the Summer Bay surf competition back in 2021.

Patrick recently spoke to TV Week about the emotions he felt filming the final scenes last year.

The final scene is in the car, and we drive off into the sunset – it felt like a really nice way to say goodbye to them,” Patrick revealed. “The last day was so emotional.

“We finished filming around 4pm and it was normal – until my last scene, where Dean was handing the board shop to Mali. I had to turn away from the camera because I was quite upset.

As their final scenes air, we take a look back at their time on Home and Away, from 2017 until the present day.


Ziggy first arrived in Summer Bay back in June 2017, alongside her father Ben (Rohan Nichol), mum Maggie (Kestie Morassi) and younger sister Coco (Anna Cocquerel). We had first met the family whilst they were still living in the city, as Ziggy was sought by the police for joyriding in a neighbour’s car with boyfriend Jarrod (Joel Davies).

Whilst running from Ben, Ziggy had bumped into Brody Morgan (Jackson Heywood) in the toilets of a local community centre, who hid her in his car when Ben came looking.

Ziggy was forced to face the music on her return home, and with Coco having been suspended from school for online bullying, Ben and Maggie figured the family needed a break, and so decided to head on a trip to visit Maggie’s mother Diana (Sarah Chadwick).

En-route, Ben followed his nose to Summer Bay, with the hope of a quick surf whilst having a break from driving. But when the car then broke down, a series of calamities ensured the family would spend a lot longer in the bay than first anticipated.

After opting to remain for the rest of the school holidays, Ben and Maggie eventually realised that fate was trying to tell them something, as they noted that a principal job was available at Summer Bay High, and both the Pier complex and farmhouse were up for sale…

Ziggy was unhappy with the move, but soon changed her mind when she learned that Jarrod was cheating on her.

After settling in the bay, Ziggy set her sights on Brody, who unbeknownst to her was going through rehabilitation for drug addiction. Brody tried to tell Ziggy but she didn’t want to know about his past, and the two shared a kiss. When Ben and Maggie told Ziggy the truth about Brody being an ice addict, she agreed to take a step back.

Despite this, she was there for Brody as a friend, and soon gained a part-time admin job at the garage. Ziggy struggled after being kidnapped by Brody’s drug dealer Zannis, who was using her to draw out Brody, and when she and Brody bonded over their shared experience, they slept together in her car.

A huge row ensued when Ben and Maggie found out that Ziggy and Brody were seeing each other, and Ziggy left the house determined not to return until her parents accepted their relationship. However, not wishing to split up the family, Brody took it upon himself to put a stop to his romance with Ziggy.

Towards the end of the year, Ben and Maggie began to warm to Brody as he got over his issues, whilst Justin offered Ziggy an apprenticeship at the garage. When Ziggy realised that she had fallen in love with Brody, disappointing Jarrod who had come to the bay in the hope of winning her back, her parents finally gave their blessing at the re-opening of Salt.


Dean made his first appearance in Summer Bay on 1st February 2018, as the new leader of the local River Boy surfing gang. The boys had been summoned back to Summer Bay by Ash (George Mason), who was on the hunt for an on-the-run Robbo Shaw (Jake Ryan), who he blamed for the death of Kat Chapman (Pia Miller) and his own unborn son in a car accident).

When the gang finally tracked down Robbo, Ash chased him up to the lighthouse whilst the boys delayed the police. Dean was shocked when he was pinned to the ground by another recent arrival who was a new recruit to the force, former River Boy Colby Thorne (Tim Franklin).

Colby and Dean had been best mates growing up, but hadn’t seen each other since the pair were involved in a car accident in 2012, after they’d given chase to Colby’s stepfather Ross (Justin Rosniak) who was fleeing Mangrove River with Colby’s mum Michelle and half-sister Bella (Courtney Miller). Not realising how seriously Dean was injured, or that their friend Jai had been killed, Colby had fled the scene, leaving Dean to face jail time.

Sticking around in the bay, Dean was given a shortlived job at the garage before Justin fired him for sleeping on the job. Dean proceeded to get under Justin’s skin as he reconnected with old friend, and ex, Willow (Sarah Roberts), who was Justin’s girlfriend at the time.

Dean eventually came around to forgiving Colby, after the copper shot and killed Boyd Easton to prevent him running over Dean with his car, and managed to get back with Willow after her split from Justin.

The year began as a stressful one for the Astonis when Maggie was diagnosed with an aggressive lymphoma. Ziggy put herself forward for stem cell donation, but felt guilty when it turned out that the transplant hadn’t worked. As Maggie began looking at the possibility of not being around to see her children get married, Ziggy proposed to Brody.

The pair married, but their honeymoon was cut short when Maggie took a turn for the worse. Ziggy managed to convince her mum to resume treatment, and later moved with Brody into a granny flat in the Morgans’ back garden.

Dean soon learnt that Willow had a gambling addiction, and after becoming involved with a loan shark, the pair set up a card skimmer at Salt in desperation. When the loan shark forced Dean to assist in a robbery of Salt, his subsequent arrest saw Dean admit everything and take the fall for Willow, who he had by now split up with.

As Dean’s friendship with Ziggy developed, she convinced him to take a job at the garage.

When she and Brody went through some issues, she spent an afternoon getting drunk with Dean at the garage, during which time she persuaded him to accept the offer of an apprenticeship.

Dean’s mother Karen arrived in town, and soon began causing mayhem, including nearly running down John Palmer. Realising his mother had serious mental health issues, he tried and failed to convince her to seek help.

When Karen later knocked Dean out with a frying pan, before leaving the gas on in the caravan, the close call saw Dean forced to have his mother sectioned.

When clearing out Karen’s house, Dean found out the identity of his father, a former AFL player named Rick Booth (Mark Lee). However, on seeking out Rick, Rick wanted nothing to do with him and offered Dean $50,000 to stay away from his family.

Karen was later diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, and provided Dean with evidence that Ross had killed both Colby’s mother and father. With new information, Dean accompanied Colby to find Bella, where they were forced to take her from Ross’s property against her will. They spent several days together in an old River Boy hideout until they convinced Bella that Ross was no good.

When Dean quit the garage after Justin asked Willow to stop hanging round with Dean, Ziggy organised for him to work for Ben at the board shop, where it seemed he’d finally found his calling.


After Ross kidnapped the bride, Willow and Bella following Colby and Chelsea’s (Ashleigh Brewer) wedding, Colby and Dean took off after him, and Colby killed Ross in cold blood. Dean helped Colby bury the body, but suffered with nightmares for many weeks afterwards, and became addicted to dodgy sleeping pills provided by an acquaintance.

The issue became even more serious when Dean began sleepwalking, finding himself returning to the grave to attempt to dig up Ross’s body, and posting a letter with a confession to Sergeant McCarthy (which he later retrieved with Ziggy’s help). Colby took Dean to a motel and forced him to go cold turkey.

Ziggy was devastated when she discovered that Brody was having an affair with Simone Bedford (Emily Eskell), and moved back to the farm when Brody chose to remain with Simone. Dean was there to support Ziggy, though rejected her advances when she kissed him in his caravan.

Dean defended Ziggy when some guys got heavy with her one evening in the caravan park, and after returning Ziggy home, was beaten by the men after returning to his van. As a distraction, Dean acquired a clapped-out old car for Ziggy, with the intention of her doing it up.

Ziggy and Dean entered the car into a charity rally in the South Australian outback, which resulted in them sleeping together.

Whilst they initially avoided each other on their return to Summer Bay, they eventually gave way to their feelings and started a relationship.

Dean was shocked to learn that the new Salt owner, Mackenzie, was in fact his half-sister, Rick’s daughter from his first marriage. Mackenzie’s attempts to bring down her father, who was running for parliament, briefly brought Rick back into their lives as they all faced off against each other. In the end, it was Rick who won out yet again, after blackmailing Dean.

Ziggy found herself with the opportunity of a lifetime when she was offered a position on race track pit crew. Having accepted a job offer after a trial, she found it hard to tell Dean. In the end, he learned that she was planning to leave town, and so ended things between them. Ziggy quickly returned to Summer Bay after kissing someone else on the pit crew and regretting it.


After Dean was involved with the rescue of hostages from the hospital siege, he and Ziggy worked out their differences.

Ziggy was stunned when Ben’s brother Marco (Tim Walters) came back into their lives, as it was subsequently revealed after Marco’s attempt to blackmail Maggie that the pair had had a one-night-stand around 9 months before Ziggy was born.

Although a DNA test did prove that Ben was Ziggy’s father after all, the strain caused Ben and Maggie to separate. It was only when Maggie was planning on leaving town that the two got back together, choosing to move to Italy for a fresh start. Ben was happy to leave the board shop in Dean’s capable hands.

Dean had a family shock of his own when his ex-friends-with-benefits from Mangrove River, Amber (Maddy Jevic), turned up in Summer Bay. She eventually admitted to Dean that they had a 5-year-old son, Jai (River Jarvis).

As Dean got to know his son, Ziggy became uncomfortable and moved out of the pier apartment back to the farmhouse to give them space. Dean was pleased to attend Jai’s 6th birthday party, but had to deal with Amber’s disapproving mother Francesca, whilst Amber forbade Dean from allowing Karen to meet her grandson.

When Ross’s body was discovered, Dean eventually admitted to Ziggy that he’d helped Colby hide the body, resulting in Ziggy breaking up with him. Dean kept quiet throughout weeks of police investigation, only for Willow to eventually come forward and testify against Colby, worrying that his actions were going to bring down everyone with him. Colby was jailed, and Willow left town.


After sleeping with him towards the end of the previous season, Ziggy eventually embarked on a new relationship with Tane. Dean eventually came to forgive Willow for her betrayal on her return to Summer Bay, and was saddened when she left town permanently.

Dean renewed his relationship with Amber, though she was unsure of how committed he was. When Dean and Ziggy were crowned champions of the Summer Bay Surf Comp, Amber accused Dean of still being in love with Ziggy, which he admitted. The pair parted on good terms, with Amber promising that Dean would always have access to Jai.

Ziggy was shocked when Justin briefly fired her from the garage, only for it to later transpire that he had become addicted to pain mediciation, and had simply wanted her out of the way so he could store more drugs there. Meanwhile, Dean struggled as he watched Mackenzie go off the rails after miscarrying Ari’s (Rob Kipa-Williams) baby, who had already dumped her for old love Mia (Anna Samson).

When Ziggy and Dean shared a kiss at the opening of Bella and Emmett’s photo exhibition, Ziggy assured him that they couldn’t get back together. She admitted what had happened to Tane, who asked for some space.

Dean was then involved in a serious car accident, alongside Mia and Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo). Ziggy kept vigil at Dean’s bedside, which gave Tane the wake-up call he needed as he split from her.

With the pair reunited, Ziggy did her best to support Dean through months of rehabilitation after shattering his pelvis in the accident, though he initially refused her help. Dean moved out to the farmhouse temporarily, due to its lack of stairs, but they soon decided to make it a permanent arrangement.

Dean was worried after learning he may never surf again, but overcame all obstacles with training from Logan (Harley Bonner).


Dean was concerned when he learned that Karen had gone missing, but after getting in touch with everyone she knew in order to track her down, she stormed into the surf club and asked him to stop stalking her. She eventually revealed that she was merely trying to avoid her boyfriend, Brett (Aaron Glenane) after he’d asked her to marry him. 

Forced to let Karen stay with them, Dean and Ziggy desperately tried to remove all trace of Jai from the farmhouse, but ultimately failed after Karen found a drawing of his.

Dean had no choice but to tell his mum that she had a grandson, and his heart broke as Karen explained she understood why Amber has forbidden her to have contact with him.

Knowing his mum had changed since the days that Amber knew her, Dean arranged to have Jai and Karen secretly meet on the beach.

Dean and Ziggy then asked Brett to the bay, where they were finally able to convince Karen that she deserved a chance at happiness… though Dean regretted the reunion somewhat after walking in on a naked Karen wrapped up in Jai’s duvet after a make-up session with Brett.

When Mackenzie found herself in dire financial straits at Salt, she confided in Dean who leant her money to pay the staff wages. When Ziggy agreed to help her at the restaurant one evening, she discovered Mac was actually running an illegal poker night. When Mac refused to take money again, instead opting for another poker night, Dean told her he’d having nothing more to do with it.

Ziggy was concerned when Mac somehow ended up indebted to PK King (Ryan Johnson) following one of the evenings, only to later learn that it was a scam. Dean and some River Boys kidnapped PK to warn him off Mac, and there was grave concern when PK later turned up dead.

Whilst Ziggy gave Dean a false alibi, the police saw through it and the murder weapon was later found in Ziggy’s car. She was angry when Dean then turned to the River Boys again to entrap the real killer, another poker player named Nathan (Ryan Panizza), whilst keeping her in the dark.

She went away for a few days as she reconsidered their relationship, but ultimately chose to stay with Dean after he explained that he’d always be a River Boy.

The pair were looking forward to planning a road trip when Justin asked Ziggy if she could mentor Theo (Matt Evans) at the garage. She reluctantly put off the trip, but was frustrated when Theo then joined local band Lyrik, worrying that he wouldn’t be as committed to the apprenticeship as she was.

Seeing Theo live his dream caused Ziggy to pine for her surfing days, but when a second planned trip with Dean was cut short due to Jai having a footy gala, she figured that there too many commitments in Summer Bay for her dream to be a reality.

When Dean and Mac convinced her to go for it, Ziggy set off on her first comp, returning early having smashed first place.

But little did Ziggy realise that her life was about to change forever, when she discovered that she had fallen pregnant…

Now, some five months later, and with baby Izzy in tow, the pair are set to start a new life together in far north Queensland.

Here’s the full spoilers for next week’s Home and Away episodes in Australia:

Monday 13th March (Episode 7992)

Felicity wants commitment, but does Tane? Bree deliberates motherhood without Remi. Eden comes to Remi’s defence.

Tuesday 14th March (Episode 7993)

Justin and Leah clash over parenting. Roo finds disturbing photos of Ava. Tane and Felicity have cause for celebration.

Wednesday 15th March (Episode 7994)

Ava’s seductive photos rattle Justin. Kirby puts Ava in her place. Is history repeating for Mackenzie?

Thursday 16th March (Episodes 7995-7997)

Mali is Mackenzie’s shoulder to cry on. Theo shatters Ava’s dreams. Justin goes into protective overdrive.