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9 TV mums for Mother's Day

To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, we shine a spotlight on some of the unique Aussie mums who have graced our TV screens.

Whether they’ve made you laugh, cry, roll your eyes or jump for joy, our on-screen mums hold a special place in our hearts.

Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article may mention and/or contain images of deceased persons.

1. Audrey, The Letdown

Alison Bell in the Letdown.

Audrey (Alison Bell) is a struggling new mum determined not to be defined by her new role. This comedy follows the adventures of Audrey as she navigates the steep learning curve of motherhood and tries to fit in to her quirky parent’s group. She adores and loves her baby Stevie but is tested by her well-meaning and at times oblivious partner Jeremy and her own mother. It’s a rollercoaster of a ride as Audrey experiences the highs, lows and wonders of parenting.

Watch The Letdown on Netflix here

2. Chilli Heeler, Bluey

Bluey and Chilli at the beach in Bluey.

Known by her catchphrase “Wackadoo”, Chilli Heeler is the matriarch of television’s most lovable dog family, from fan-favourite kids animated series Bluey. Voiced by Melanie Zanetti, Chilli along with her husband Bandit are parents of six-year-old Bluey and four-year-old Bingo. She juggles work at airport security with raising her two pups, often driving them to gymnastics or making yummy dinners. While Chilli is always there to offer kind advice and sometimes pull the little ones into line, she’s also no stranger to throwing herself into fun and games and having a laugh. The two parents are role models to their girls, always showing them and each other love, respect and humour.

Watch Bluey on ABC iview here

3. Janet King, Janet King/Crownies

Marta Dusseldorp as Janet King.

Janet King debuted on screen in legal drama Crownies as a Senior Crown Prosecutor and returned to the titular role in spin-off Janet King. Mum to twins Emma and Liam with partner Ash, season one begins with Janet returning to the world of complex legal cases after a year of maternity leave. Marta Dusseldorp, who plays Janet King, describes her as “complicated, competent, risky, vicious and loving”. She’s the mum you want in your corner with her steely resolve, piercing gaze and quick-witted nature.

Watch Janet King on Netflix here

4. Jenny Law, The Family Law

Jenny Law in The Family Law

For nearly two decades, Jenny has been a professional full time mum, raising five children, cooking endless meals and breaking up fights in the chaotic home of the dysfunctional Law family. Born in Malaysia and raised in Hong Kong, she now calls the Sunshine Coast home. As depicted in The Family Law, Jenny is trying to navigate life and redefine herself as she begins to separate from her husband Danny. She is happily inappropriate and never one to shy away from an embarrassing moment. But she’s also fearless, a force to be reckoned with, devoted to her family and fiercely supportive. Despite her complete honesty, over-sharing and at times no-filter approach, the Law children know she’ll always have their back. What’s even better is that she exists in real life: her character being based on Jenny Phang, the mother of The Family Law writer Benjamin Law.

Watch The Family Law on SBS On Demand here

5. Julie Rafter, Packed to the Rafters

The Rafter family in Packed To The Rafters.

The matriarch of the Rafter family, Julie Rafter (Rebecca Gibney) is wife to Dave, daughter of Ted and mother to Nathan, Ben, Rachel and Ruby. She’s the backbone of the household and always there for her grown-up children as they fumble their way into adulthood. When she unexpectedly gives birth to Ruby in her 40s, she gets to experience the highs and lows of having a newborn baby all over again. It’s never an empty nest for long! The door is always open at the Rafters, a house full of love, chaos, drama and laughter.

Watch Packed to the Rafters on 7plus here

Keep an eye out for the reboot Back to the Rafters, set to air later this year on Amazon Prime.

6. Kath Day-Knight, Kath and Kim

Kath and Kim.

We couldn’t put a Mother’s Day list together without including Jane Turner’s Kath Day-Knight of comedy Kath and Kim. The foxy lady of Fountain Lakes, with her signature blonde perm, is extremely proud of her trim figure and flamboyant 80s fashion style. She has a positive outlook on life, is a loving, dedicated wife to Kel, and exasperated mum to her unemployed, live-at-home daughter Kim. Despite their contrasting personalities, Kath and Kim have a close relationship, most apparent at the end of each episode during “wine time”, their regular backyard gossip session.

Watch Kath and Kim on Netflix here

7. Maggie Beare, Mother and Son

The incredibly popular sitcom Mother and Son ran for six seasons between 1984-1994, and gave audiences the exasperating yet endearing Maggie Beare. Played by Ruth Cracknell, the character was a friendly face on television screens for many years. Maggie was the widow of World War II veteran Leo, mother to Robert and Arthur (Gary McDonald), sister to Lorna and grandmother to Damien and Teonie. In the series, she lives with her separated son Arthur who moves in to take care of her when it becomes apparent she’s in the early stages of a form of dementia. But while increasingly forgetful, Maggie is still lucid enough to manipulate Arthur and so hilarity and bickering ensues.

You can watch all episodes of the cheeky and devious Maggie and her long-suffering son Arthur on Stan here

8. Manju K. Sethi, Five Bedrooms

Manju and Harry hold hands in Five Bedrooms.

Mother to Harry, Manju has spent most of her life putting other’s needs before her own. She emigrated to Australia for her family, nursed her sick husband and raised and cared for her son. She is proud of Harry’s career as a doctor and his kind and polite nature but she’s on a mission to find him a wife, unaware that women are not who he’s interested in. Her happy place is in the kitchen cooking all manner of delicious food, especially for loved ones who should never make the mistake of refusing a home-cooked meal from Manju.

Watch Five Bedrooms on 10 play here

9. Nanna, Little J and Big Cuz

Nana in Little J and Big Cuz

Played by Ningali Lawford-Wolf, Nanna is generous, warm and knowledgeable. Her grandchildren Little J and Big Cuz are very special to her and she is fiercely loyal to them, though never spoils them and lets them learn from their own mistakes. She works part-time at the local council while mothering the kids. Nanna has a strong sense of self, is a great tracker and knows where to find all the good bush tucker. Little J and Big Cuz also reckon Nanna makes the best spaghetti bolognese. 

Watch Little J and Big Cuz on SBS On Demand here,  ABC here or on the website here