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Steve Fawkner (Wayne Jarratt)

Thanks to Sam Butler for writing this profile.

Arrives in (245) as the handsome, jovial new male prison officer, no doubt to take the role of token male screw with the imminent departure of Jim Fletcher. He is in the job purely to make enough money to finance a boat that he can sail around the world – apparently overlooking the fact that he could probably earn the money far more quickly in a much less stressful job than working in a prison (Acting? Escorting? Stripper?) His initial appearance in the shower block causes quite a ruckus amongst the inmates, and soon he finds himself caught up in the 1981 cliffhanger – Sandy Edwards' riot. He and Janet Conway are doing night patrol when Sandy gives the order for the riot to begin (246) and they both go into hiding, but later he is captured and stripped by the women in Erica's office (247). He escapes by knocking out Sandy while the prison is being tear-gassed (249), but even in the brief time he has spent as her hostage, the sexual tension is obvious. By (250), he is making after-hours visits to her in solitary and their affair begins. He is stunned to learn she has a husband in Pentridge, but nevertheless agrees to get a letter out to him from her (254).

He is the unintentional catalyst in the break up of Meg's marriage to Bob Morris: he tells Bob the “good news” about her being promoted to Deputy Governor despite Meg's decision to decline the position so that she can live with Bob in Jakarta (260).

Steve's affair with Sandy is brought to an end by her sudden disappearance (and presumable murder by Kate) in (264). Colleen gets wind of rumours of the affair (265) and promises she'll have him thrown out of the service if she finds it's true, but she is unable to come up with any proof and reverts to frequent snide and smart-arsed comments about him wherever possible. Meanwhile, Steve is determined to solve the mystery of Sandy's disappearance and puts pressure on Kate to confess, almost to the point of hitting her (269). He tries again (270), and is deadlegged by her (273) when he pulls her off strangling Judy after she has snapped completely.

Steve's desire to help the women is shown in (273) when he suggests the women take on small printing jobs to help pay for The “Stir”, the new prison newspaper, and he even offers to buy the first edition (which Bea refuses). He convinces Bea to write an article on Susie Driscoll for the first edition, which he passes onto his journalist friend, Matt Thomas, while out on a drink with Wendy, the receptionist (275). The article is deemed good enough to be published in the mainstream newspaper, the Dispatch (276), and Bea convinces Steve to smuggle out a letter about censorship to the newspaper, though Colleen thwarts this plan (277). However, he indirectly allows another article of Bea's to reach the Dispatch (279). His crusading nature is again revealed when he tries to prove that Helen Smart has been set-up and sent to Wentworth to cover up her connections to politically aspiring businessman Harry Stanfield (283).

In (284), Steve is the unlucky victim of an exploding fire extinguisher filled with spirits, and he is blown face first into a wall and rendered unconscious.

There is a fleeting suggestion of romance between Steve and Meg when she visits him at home with a casserole and he invites her to come sailing with him once he has finished working on his boat (you'd think Meg would've learnt her lesson about chasing after younger men with Greg Miller!) (286) He returns to work relatively non-resentful towards the women, although it does seem to be the beginning of Steve becoming a lot more hard-line and unwilling to bend the rules as he has done previously.

He has a brief and fairly uninteresting affair with Wendy, which ends in (291) when she learns of his affair with Sandy Edwards. Meanwhile, recently returned Chrissie Latham has been trying and failing to seduce Steve (288), so, with a little push from Colleen, she lays a charge of sexual harassment against him (289). However, new prison officer Joan Ferguson gives Steve a false alibi, claiming he was never out of her sight on the night he supposedly raped Chrissie (289). Joan threatens Chrissie into denying the rape ever took place at all (291).

As Joan asserts herself further in the second half of 1982, the role of Steve was obviously considered increasingly superfluous and for several episodes he is given little to do other than be a background speaking officer. However, in (303) he stands up to Joan over her callous disregard for Lizzie's life during a protest sit-in, and loses any respect he had for her in the past. He begins a crusade for his latest prisoner love interest, Barbara Fields, by trying to disprove George Logan's alibi and therefore clear her of the arson (and murder charges) for which he has framed her (305). Barbara manipulates Steve into contacting Phillip Langdon, her lawyer and lover (310), but he does not take heed of Phillip's accurate warning that Barbara's only concern is money and that she is using him.

Steve's final attempt at helping the women also proves to be his downfall: his involvement in trying to expose Joan Ferguson's corruption. He pretends to be working a book with Bea so that Joan may be lured into colluding with him (311). At first, it seems to work: Joan confronts Bea in front of the other women and accuses her of dealing with Steve, but Bea denies this and challenges her to prove it (313). She approaches him with a proposal to split his "profits": he tells Bea the next morning, and she gives him a payoff to pass on to Joan to cement the deal (314). However, Joan uses incriminating papers she has against Barbara to blackmail her into revealing the plot against her. She goes to Erica and reports Steve (and Colleen) for stealing goods from the buy-up and selling them back to the women (314). To avoid Meg, Colleen and even Erica losing their jobs over the failed set-up, Steve hands Erica his resignation and a statement admitting full responsibility (315). Before he leaves, he manages to deduce that Neil Murray is the “black-gloved killer” just in time for Chrissie to be saved, and leaves Wentworth forever (316) with his trademark big grin.

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Updated 07 July 2001