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Character Profiles > Lee Maloney Maree Ackehurst

Leanne 'Lee' Maloney 1989-1990
Lived: 30 Ramsay Street
Born: c. 1972
Parents: Patrick and Evelyn
Occupation: Coffee Shop Assistant

17-year-old Leanne ‘Lee’ Maloney was the only child of Patrick and Evelyn Maloney and found herself in the difficult position of being forced to choose sides when they filed for divorce. Unable to handle their possessiveness and constant demands for support from her, Lee opted to run away and stayed in the vacant home of her aunt and uncle, who were on an extended trip overseas.

One day, Lee befriended local childminder Kerry Bishop who was with her daughter, Sky, stepson Toby and charge Lochy, in the park. When Kerry asked Lee if she was new around town, Lee concocted a story about how she moves around quite a lot owing to her father’s important job – even spending time overseas on occasion. But she aroused Kerry’s suspicions when she claimed to have a high powered job of her own, in public relations, while simultaneously eyeing up Kerry’s picnic basket, clearly hungry. Kerry, knowing there was more to Lee’s story than she was letting on, invited her to join them for their picnic, and Lee happily agreed. But as they talked more, Lee’s story continued to rip apart, with Lee offering her services as a babysitter to Kerry, only for Kerry to remind her of her big job in PR. Lee backtracked by claiming she hadn’t started her job yet before making a move, and rejecting Kerry’s offer of leaving her number with her in case any babysitting jobs came up or of taking more food with her.

Later that day, Matt Robinson, a 17-year-old neighbour of Kerry’s on Ramsay Street, offered to walk little Lochy home to her parents house. But on the way, Lochy persuaded Matt to stop off at a house that she and Toby had recently been convinced was haunted. The two kids had seen a figure in a long jacket scaring them away when they had come across the idle, imposing house a few days previously and ever since had talked non stop about the ghost that lived there. Matt humoured Lochy by stopping at the house en route, and was surprised when it turned out Lochy was onto something as the pair spotted a figure in a long coat at the door of the house. Lochy raced up to confront the ‘ghost’ only to realise it was actually Lee. Disappointed not to have found a ghoul, Lochy demanded to know what Lee was doing there, and was met with a defensive response. Lee explained that it was her parents’ place but they were away. Matt, however, wasn’t buying her excuse and probed a little further with Lee, and she admitted that the house actually belonged to her aunt and uncle. Lee had gone to stay at the house to get away from her parents, who were separating and constantly at each other’s throats. Forcing her to pick sides, Lee opted to get away from them and had found herself at the vacant house for the last few weeks. As Matt and Lochy left, Lee pleaded with them not to tell anyone she was here, and they agreed.

The following morning, Matt called into the house again to visit Lee, and brought her some food and supplies. Although initially sceptical, Lee’s hunger got the better of her and she accepted Matt’s gesture – even inviting him to join her for breakfast. As they introduced themselves officially, a flicker of attraction was evident and they ended up spending the whole day together, hanging out at the house and getting to know each other better. However, as darkness fell, they were disturbed by some visitors and hid upstairs. When Matt realised it was actually young Toby and his father, Joe, on a mission to see if the house was truly haunted, he urged Lee to come downstairs because he knew them. But Lee refused, insisting she didn’t want anyone else to know she was there. But everything came out into the open when the whole house was suddenly lit up by the arrival of her aunt and uncle, Jean and Rod. Shocked to find their niece squatting in their house, they immediately let Lee’s parents know of her whereabouts. But Lee insisted that she wasn’t returning home.

With nowhere else to go, Matt insisted Lee come back to Ramsay Street with him and he managed to convince his stern mother Hilary to allow her stay at their house for a while. But Hilary was adamant that the arrangement would only work with the approval of Lee’s parents and she engineered a meeting between Lee, Evelyn and Patrick, at No.30. After a tense afternoon of recriminations, Lee, Evelyn and Patrick eventually came to an understanding and the couple agreed to let Lee stay with Hilary and Matt for the short-term.

Top of Lee’s list of things to do as she settled into Ramsay Street was to find a job, and Matt, who was in his final year of high school, tried to help her as best he could. When Joe Mangel mentioned he was looking for someone to help him with his landscape gardening business, Matt put Lee’s name forward but Joe balked at the suggestion. Kerry intervened and accused Joe of being a male chauvinist but Lee didn’t want the job anyway and was relieved when Joe refused to budge on his view that he needed a strong pair of male hands for the gig. Matt continued to help Lee with her job-hunting but she started to feel he was suffocating her a bit and snapped at him one day, accusing him of trying to control her life. Matt was taken aback by Lee’s outburst and explained he only did it because he cared so much for her, before kissing her. Lee pulled away from his embrace and fled to her room. Relations were strained between the pair the following morning but luckily they had a distraction. Matt and his schoolmates had organised a sit-in in the year 12 common room to prevent it being turned into a staff room and he was busy focusing on that for the day. But when Lee came down to Erinsborough High to lend her support, she and Matt talked about what had happened the night before and when Matt asked her if she wanted to be more than friends, she said she did and they kissed. Knowing how Hilary would react to the prospect of the two teenagers having a relationship and living under the same roof, Lee and Matt decided to keep things under wraps and made Sharon Davies, Matt’s schoolmate who also lived under the guardianship of Hilary at No.30; promise not to tell her anything.

More good fortune was on the horizon for Lee when Harold Bishop offered her a job at the Coffee Shop. Lee was delighted with the job as she was finally able to be financially independent and loved being in the thick of the community serving coffee and cakes to the residents of Erinsborough every day. Not long after starting, however, she and Matt faced the prospect of separation for Christmas as Matt made plans to visit his adoptive parents in his hometown of Adelaide for the holidays. But Lee worried Matt might not come back at all when he and Hilary had a massive falling out in the lead-up to his departure and he claimed he might not return. But Lee argued that when Matt got back, they could look at getting a place of their own now that she was working and a delighted Matt kissed her – just as Hilary walked into the room. However, Hilary calmly pointed out that she was well aware they were more than just good friends and surprised them both by assuring Lee she could continue to live at No.30.

Sharon also went home to her family farm for the school break, leaving Lee pretty much alone on Ramsay Street. Only Nick Page, Matt’s best mate, was around for company and the pair spent most of the holidays together at the beach. When Matt returned to Erinsborough, he quickly picked up on the new found friendship between Lee and Nick and became jealous. While they were at the beach one afternoon, Matt called Lee aside and confronted her about her relationship with Nick. Shocked by the insinuation that she was cheating on him with Nick while he was away, Lee stormed off and gave Matt the cold shoulder when he later tried to make amends. Lee eventually explained to Matt that he was acting possessively towards her – something she was determined not to go through again after her experiences with her warring parents. Matt apologised and Lee agreed to forgive and forget.

The couple experienced another bust-up when Matt refused to take no for answer from Lee when he tried to encourage her to join him for a swim in the pool. Lee insisted she was happy to sit on the edge, but Matt wouldn’t hear of it. But when he pretended to be drowning in the hope of prompting Lee to jump in and save him, he was shocked when she stormed off in fury. Lee explained that she had got into difficulty while swimming in the sea a few years back and although she had been saved; her boyfriend – who had swam out to rescue her – had drowned. Matt felt terrible for raking up such a bad memory from her past and comforted her as she broke down.

Lee found herself at loggerheads with Gloria Lewis, when Harold gave the brash former barmaid a job at the Coffee Shop. With Harold leaving Gloria in charge ahead of his impending trip overseas with his wife, Madge, Lee found herself having to adapt to a new boss, and Gloria wasted no time in imposing her way of doing things on Lee. There were further tensions between the pair when Lee told Gloria her casserole tasted bland, and a full-scale argument broke out after Lee gave Sharon a fruit salad on the house and Gloria accused her of theft. Harold was horrified to walk in on the row and threatened them both with the sack unless they changed their behaviour. This led to Lee and Gloria putting their differences behind them, and they agreed to start afresh.

When Hilary left Erinsborough and put No.30 on the market, Lee and Matt were forced to find somewhere else to live. While Matt was delighted at the prospect of them getting their own place together, Lee wasn’t as keen but didn’t want to disappoint him and they pressed ahead with their plans. Although the house they found was a little rundown and required a lot of alterations and repairs, they both got stuck in to try and make it look nice. But Lee wasn’t happy there due to a creepy neighbour who gave her bad feeling. Her worst fears came true when he tried it on with her, and she told Matt she couldn’t possibly stay there. With nowhere else to go, Lee and Matt were forced to return as squatters to the now vacant No.30. But Lee, who had been feeling under pressure from Matt to have sex, for some time, reacted badly on their first night there when Matt tried to take things to the next level. After talking things through, Lee explained to Matt that she wasn’t ready for sex yet and he reluctantly accepted her decision. A few days later, when they were caught squatting at No.30, the neighbours came to their rescue, with Des Clarke offering Lee a room at No.28 and Matt receiving an invite to stay with his relatives at the Robinson house next door. Matt was against the idea of them separating, but Lee jumped at the chance, feeling increasingly under pressure from Matt to get physical. Lee sought Kerry’s advice on the matter, and Kerry told her that when she had once experienced something similar, what worked for her was getting away from the person heaping the pressure on her. Subsequently, Lee resolved to get away from Matt for good and made plans to leave Ramsay Street.

On the same day that Lee was moving her stuff into Des’ house, a farewell party was taking place next door at the Robinson house for Nick, who had won an art scholarship to London . With everybody, including Matt, busy at the party, Lee packed up her things and fled Ramsay Street . New boy Ryan McLachlan witnessed her leaving and tried to talk her round, but Lee wasn’t for turning. She gave Ryan a note to pass onto Matt, in which she thanked him for everything he had done for her but pointed out that they both wanted different things from the relationship, before leaving him – and Ramsay Street – behind.


Biography by Moe