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Guest Character Profiles > Jackson Bates Finn Woodlock

Jackson Bates 2013
Parents: Rhiannon

The put-upon nine-year-old son of the flamboyant Rhiannon Bates, Jackson came to Erinsborough with his mum, as they attempted to make a fresh start, away from Mount Isa, where Rhiannon's reputation preceded her. Having had to spend a lot of time fending for himself, Jackson had grown into a sensible and polite little boy, but was still very insecure, and lacked a male role model in many areas of his life. Back in Mount Isa, Rhiannon's ex-boyfriend Mason Turner had been close to Jackson, teaching him to play football amongst other things, and so Jackson was happy to be living a couple of doors away from Mason on Ramsay Street. Jackson also enjoyed the company of Karl and Susan Kennedy, with whom he and his mum were lodging, but it quickly became obvious to the Kennedys that, however much Rhiannon loved Jackson, she'd become very good at palming him off onto other people. When Susan was arranging to have a new mattress delivered, for Jackson's bed, she asked Rhiannon to pack up Jackson's things and put them to one side to make some space. Rhiannon then asked the Kennedys if they could drop of Jackson at his new school, as she had to get to her new job at the hotel. As Susan and Karl bickered over who was going to take Jackson, the boy overheard, then spotted his packed bag and assumed that his mum was having him thrown out, as she no longer had time for him in her life. He ran away, hiding out at Kyle Canning's builder's yard, and was later found by mechanic Chris Pappas, who took him back to the Kennedy house. Rhiannon, furious with the Kennedys for making her son feel so unwelcome, was alarmed when she realised that it was her that Jackson was upset with, and her fault that he'd run away.

As Rhiannon made it clear to Jackson that he would always be her top priority, but there was also room for Mason in their lives too, Jackson was happy to have a father figure around. Mason, however, was growing increasingly uncomfortable with the situation, and with the responsibility of looking after a nine-year-old. When Rhiannon realised that Mason was backing off and making excuses not to spend time with her and Mason, she confronted him about whether this instant family was what he really wanted, and he had to admit that things were moving a bit too quickly for him. Rhiannon was then forced to tell Jackson that they'd be seeing a bit less of Mason from now on. However, after Mason had a chat with his ex-girlfriend Kate, he realised how much Rhiannon meant to him and decided that he was going to try to make the relationship work - Rhiannon was delighted, though it was clear that they both still had their fair share of doubts about it.

After being called in for a last-minute shift at the hotel, and unable to find a babysitter, Rhiannon was forced to take Jackson with her, leaving him in the staff room. That evening, she was shocked when Cindy Tebbell, a representative from the Department of Human Services arrived for a chat, having received a complaint that Rhiannon was neglecting her son. After chatting to Jackson and Rhiannon, and learning that she was in a stable relationship with a full-time job, Cindy accepted that the allegations were unfounded, but Rhiannon was furious that someone had dobbed her in, immediately suspecting Mason's father, Matt, who'd made his feelings very clear. But after doing some digging around at work, Mason found out that it had actually been Rhiannon's senior Veronika Stephens who'd made the complaint, and Rhiannon was forced to apologise to Matt for wrongly accusing him.

Jackson was delighted when his mum then had the idea that they, and Mason, could move into the empty 24 Ramsay Street. However, as Mason realised what he was committing himself to, his old doubts resurfaced and, as Rhiannon made the application to least the house, he told her that he wasn't ready for it. Rhiannon admitted that she'd known, deep down, that he wasn't as happy with the idea as she was, but Jackson struggled to deal with what he saw as Mason rejecting him. When Rhiannon then announced that they were moving up north, to Darwin, where she'd been offered a job, Jackson felt that it was because Mason no longer wanted to spend time with him. As he and his mum prepared to leave Ramsay Street, Jackson was given an iPad by Mason, who explained that they could still Skype each other. Jackson was still very upset, but as the taxi was pulling away, he stopped it and ran back to hug Mason one last time, apologising for his behaviour and telling him how much he'd miss him.

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Biography by Steve