Jackie Woodburne

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Jackie Woodburne
Jackie Woodburne.png
Woodburne at the Meet and Greet event for the Neighbours Celebration tour
Jacqueline Ann Woodburne

(1956-02-05) 5 February 1956 (age 67)
Years active1980–present

Jacqueline Anne Woodburne (born 5 February 1956)[1] is a Northern Irish-born Australian actress, who is notable for her roles in TV soap operas.

Since 1994, Woodburne has played teacher Susan Kennedy in Neighbours. She first became notable for her role in cult serial Prisoner as Julie "Chook" Egbert and also has featured in roles in soap operas including The Young Doctors, Sons and Daughters, Cop Shop and The Flying Doctors.

Early life[edit]

Woodburne was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland.[2] Her father was a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. She has two older siblings: John and Stephen. At the age of three, she emigrated with her family to Australia. The family assumed that her father would be able to join the Australian police on arrival, but, owing to various rules and regulations, he was unable to do so.[3] Woodburne grew up in Frankston, Victoria and attended Forest Hill Primary School, Monterey Secondary College, and Karingal High School.[4]


Alongside future Neighbours castmate Janet Andrewartha, Woodburne attended the National Theatre Drama School and graduated in 1980.[4] Woodburne played Josie in the television miniseries Outbreak of Love.[5] Woodburne starred in the ABC Film 1915 as Dianne, alongside Sigrid Thornton, Scott McGregor and Scott Burgess.[5] Woodburne said the fighting is not the only focus of the miniseries, as it shows how the lives of the women were also affected by World War I.[5]

In 1990, she auditioned for the role of Pippa Fletcher in TV soap Home and Away, the producers looking for a recast after original portrayer Vanessa Downing left the series, but she lost out the role to Debra Lawrance.[6]

Woodburne is best known for two long-running soap opera roles. The first was Julie "Chook" Egbert in Prisoner, a role she played from 1985 to 1986. A poem read by Julie in episode 582 of Prisoner was penned by Woodburne herself. This was followed by the role of Susan Kennedy in Neighbours, a role she has played since 1994.[7]

Woodburne previously played the sister of Alan Fletcher's character in Cop Shop in 1982–1983, before they were cast as husband and wife Karl and Susan in Neighbours.[8]

Other soap opera roles include a brief appearance in the very first episode of Sons and Daughters (playing the iconic Pat the Rat character - Patricia Dunne in flashbacks), a couple of episodes of A Country Practice, and a larger role in The Young Doctors where she played Nurse Maggie Gordon from 1980 to 1981.[8]

In 2005, she was nominated for the Best Female Performance in a Soap Opera award at the international Rose d'Or television festival, but was beaten by fellow British actress Lesley-Anne Down.

In 2014 she became the lead in Night Terrace, a narrative comedy audio series in which she told TVTonight she plays "basically a female Doctor Who".[9] The series was produced by Splendid Chaps Productions, with the first season released at the end of 2014. It won the Convenors' Award for Excellence in the 2014 Aurealis Awards.[10] A second season was released in February 2016, also starring Woodburne. Both seasons have been licensed for broadcast, with the first commencing on BBC Radio 4 Extra on Sunday 21 April 2019 as part of The 7th Dimension programming block.[11]

Woodburne appeared in a documentary special celebrating Neighbours' 30th anniversary titled Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015.[12][13]


Year Title Role Notes
1979 Skyways Marie Newman Episode: "Tahitian Roulette"
1980–1981 The Young Doctors Maggie Gordon Main role
1981 The Patchwork Hero Marie
1981 Outbreak of Love Josie Von Flugel Miniseries
1982 Sons and Daughters Patricia Dunne Pilot
1982 Sara Dane Elizabeth Miniseries; 1 episode
1982 1915 Dianna Bendetto Miniseries
1982–1983 Cop Shop Gina Rossi
1983 A Country Practice Deborah Koonig 2 episodes
1984 Carson's Law Episode: "Hideous Nights"
1984 A Country Practice Sarah Biggs 2 episodes
1985 Special Squad Sharon Episode: "Mates"
1985 The Fast Lane Ruth Episode: "The Below Average Samaritan"
1985–1986 Prisoner Julie Egbert
1987 The Flying Doctors Elaine Dermody Episode: "Keeping Up Appearances"
1991 A Country Practice Kate Bartlett Episode: "Flying High: Part 1"
1993 The Flood: Who Will Save Our Children? Lavonda Uncredited
1994 Law of the Land Meg Porter Episode: "Death Before Dying"
1994–present Neighbours Susan Kennedy Main cast
2003 Ain't Got No Jazz Prostitute Short film
2014 Neighbours vs Zombies Susan Kennedy Web series
2016 Summer Stories Susan Kennedy Web series
2017 Neighbours vs Time Travel Susan Kennedy Web series


  1. ^ Neighbours: The Perfect Blend | Jackie Woodburne
  2. ^ Archer, Neil (3 January 2009). "Dawn rider". Goldcoast.com.au. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  3. ^ "Jackie hasn't found Mr Right in real life". The Weekly News. 21 February 1998.
  4. ^ a b "Jackie Woodburne". Frankston City. Archived from the original on 23 February 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  5. ^ a b c Legge, Kate (11 February 1982). "1915 – shooting starts again". The Age. Retrieved 2 March 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Molloy, Shannon (15 September 2014). "Neighbours star Jackie Woodburne went for part of Pippa on Home And Away". news.com.au. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  7. ^ Rowe, Darren (14 July 2009). "Woodburne talks 'Neighbours' anniversary". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  8. ^ a b Gadd, Michael (4 June 2004). "The woman next door". The Newcastle Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  9. ^ Jackie Woodburne, time travelling, zombies and Erinsborough | TV Tonight
  10. ^ "Announcing the 2014 Aurealis Award winners!". tor.com. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  11. ^ "BBC buys Australian sci-fi comedy". chortle.co.uk. 24 March 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  12. ^ Knox, David (28 February 2015). "Airdate: Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  13. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (4 March 2015). "Neighbours 30th anniversary schedule confirmed by Channel 5". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 March 2015.

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