Georgie Stone is set to make history when she enrolls in Erinsborough High
The 19-year-old actress and transgender rights advocate will play Neighbours' first transgender character Mackenzie Hargraves, a "sweet, compassionate and lovely" student who will be debuting this Friday.
It was actually Georgie who approached Neighbours' Executive Producer Jason Herbison about creating the character, with the desire to portray some of her own experiences on screen.
She has a special connection to the long-running soap, as both of her parents have appeared in roles. Her father Greg Stone recently played Walter Mitchell, Sonya Rebecchi's father, and her mother Rebekah Robertson played Karl and Susan's divorce lawyer Rhonda del Rubio back in 2004.
We caught up with Georgie ahead of her debut to find out more about her character and why she thinks Neighbours is ahead of the curve.
How did you get involved in the show?
Both my parents have been on the show, so obviously I have always known about it and had an appreciation for it. Watching my dad on it a few years ago playing Sonya's dad, Walter, I thought it would be really awesome to have a transgender character on the show. I wrote a letter to executive producer, Jason, with the idea for the character, how she would be introduced and why it was important to have the representation on our screens. And I got an enthusiastic reply two hours later! Which was amazing.
Did you always want to get into acting?
I absolutely loved acting while I was growing up but it wasn't something I considered I would do professionally until I started taking drama classes when I was 16-years-old.
Tell us a bit about Mackenzie…
I absolutely love Mackenzie. She's a really good person who's not just led by her heart but is also very smart and empathetic.
What's it been like joining Neighbours?
I am so proud to be a part of the show. They're leading the way by telling stories that aren't often told on our screens. They're pioneers in Australian television in terms of representing our diversity. They not only value these storylines but are proud to be doing them.
Neighbours airs weeknights, 6:30pm, on 10 Peach.