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Played: Rick Alessi
Maltese Australian actor Dan Falzon had had very little television experience when he shot to fame in 1992, winning the role of Rick Alessi, the cousin of twins, Caroline and Christina, in Neighbours. Born in 1972, Dan, had appeared as Paul in a handful of episodes of Kelly prior to joining Neighbours in the same year. He stole the hearts of many a viewer as loveable Rick, a character he played until 1995. During his time on Neighbours, Rick's stories revolved a lot around romance, with Cody Willis ultimately being 'the one'. Dan's exit story was bittersweet, with Rick landing a job at Lassiter's in Darwin, working with Cody's older sister, Gaby. He and Cody attempted to continue their relationship long distance but they couldnŐt make it work. Rick sent words to be read out at Cody's memorial when she was shot and killed in 1996.
After leaving Neighbours, a decision which Dan told Inside Soap was huge for him to make, Dan kept himself very busy. Coming over to the UK, he presented The Big Breakfast and upon returning to Australia, put together his own production. Ahead of the curve and before they were as common as they are now, he also published his autobiography. He then took a shot at a pop career, forming a group called Milk with his brother Tom. They put out a single called 'Seventeen'.
Taking on his biggest project yet, Dan got together with his brothers in 1999 to start an eco-tourism business, Milikom, known as the Earth Sanctuary in Alice Springs. Still going strong today, they provide education in astronomy, as well as eco and climate tours. They provide team-building days, events and even weddings and pride themselves on being one of the first carbon neutral venues in the Northern Territories.
With so many projects on the go, there was hardly any time left for acting but Dan did manage to play the role of a Park Ranger in Channel Nine film, The Alice in 2004. He more recently appeared as Shane the Copper in Robbie Hood in 2019.
Also in 2019, Dan and his brothers were interviewed by British television presenter, Julia Bradbury, all about the Earth Sanctuary. She was very impressed with how Dan has built his own house out of sustainable eco-domes. The house is solar powered, he harvests his own water and he and his brothers spend their lives 'teaching children about sustainable living and the wonders of the night sky.'
As well as this incredible work for the planet, Dan and his brothers work as paramedics for St. John's Ambulance. They took part in the documentary, Outback Paramedics for Australia's Channel Nine. The brothers said, "The show has already had an audience of a million and the network has a contract for more screenings. We were rapt that, apart from showing some of the issues in the town, the documentary also highlighted the beauty of the area and gave it the respect that it deserves."
Profile by Tess