|First Appearance||7 March 1988|
|Portrayed by||Lyn Collingwood|
In the early days of the show Colleen was often seen popping in and out to check on son Lance. Even then she had a reputation for being something of a gossip. On her first appearance she discussed the news of Carly’s rape with her partner in crime Celia and in typical Colleen fashion she told Pippa what had happened before Carly even had chance to.
When Lance won half a million dollars on the lottery he was conned into giving his father Stan half of the money only for him to promptly run off with a ‘floozy’ leaving Colleen devastated. Selling her house because she was broke, she moved in with Lance into his new mobile home in the caravan park and scared away his love interest Rhonda who had been planning to move in with him.
A feud that still lingers to this day was first witnessed in 1988 when Morag tried to get Colleen, who was working in the store for Ailsa, to serve her. In typical Colleen fashion she instead bought up the fact that they had been in the same class in school and reminded Morag that her nickname had been “pudgy”. Dissing Roo and bringing up her the subject of Alan’s recent death further enraged Morag who eventually lost her rag and demanded to be served.
In one memorable episode she met Floss in the general store and quizzed her on the accuracy of horoscopes. With Floss convincing her that they were real, Colleen became convinced that her horoscope meant she and Donald Fisher were meant to be. Her attempts at romance didn’t go well though, when her gift of home baked scones were declared as ‘rock hard’ and Donald slammed the door in her face.
Colleen wasn’t about to give up though and recruited Floss and Neville to help her win him over. Floss set up a dinner for them but Neville let slip to Fisher that Colleen would be there and he attempted to get out of the meal. Whilst gossiping to Floss about ‘her date’ Colleen was overheard by Lance who determined to do everything in his power to stop Colleen and Fisher becoming an item. He and Martin spiked Fisher’s drink in an attempt to make him appear to be an alcoholic like Lance’s father but their trick backfired when Celia drank the drink instead.
Interrogating Lance and Martin, Fisher was horrified to hear that Colleen fancied him and tore strips off Floss for her involvement. She replied that Colleen was merely lonely and that Donald was a fool if he thought he was too good for them. Reluctantly Donald agreed to go to dinner and despite Colleen being well and truly overdressed the two got on really well and a new friendship was formed.
The next morning though Colleen gushed to Donald about how wonderful he was and sent him flowers leaving Donald furious with Floss for lying about Colleen’s intentions. He insisted that Floss set Colleen straight. A gutted Colleen wasn’t down for too long though and returned to her old favourite pastime of interfering in Lance’s life. Finding out that he wanted to buy the General Store she decided she wanted to run it for them but was horrified to realise that Lance didn’t want her there. Upset she moved out of his house and was not seen on screen for over a year.
On her return she was upset to discover that Lance was broke but she took an instant liking to his new girlfriend Marilyn and the two quickly became firm friends. Colleen’s gossiping struck again though when she commented on Roo having an affair with Frank behind Bobby’s back and was overheard by Sally, causing Roo to be scorned as the town scarlet woman. Her fondness for Marilyn caused her upset when Lance broke things off with her, and he asked Marilyn to tell Colleen that she was the one who had ended it in order to stop Colleen giving him too hard a time. When she finally found out the truth she was so upset with Lance that she headed off to stay with her sister in Cairns and didn’t return for several years.
Indeed, it was a one-off appearance in 1997 that she returned to say that she was going to clean out Lance’s old mobile home and do some baby-sitting for Jesse. Though she was talked about, she wasn’t seen again until the end of 1999, when her home living in the caravan park came under threat when Diana Fraser set about buying the caravan park and redeveloping it, potentially leaving her homeless. She also got in contact with one of her cousins in America to help Marilyn and Donald when they were in America getting treatment for Byron. Thanks to Justine’s ingenuity, Colleen teamed up with the Stewart’s and the Nashes to provide enough funds to save the caravan park from Diana.
However the relationship was fraught from the start. Despite being the minor partner, having contributed the least amount of funds towards the project, Colleen started coming up with outlandish ideas like swimming pools and tennis courts. With Alf getting pushed further towards the edge by Ailsa, Colleen arrived at the diner one morning to find it shut. After ranting and raving at him, Alf gave Colleen a job at the diner, unable to cope with the demands himself, which gave Ailsa surprise when she got better and arrived at the diner to find Colleen controlling things.
Into the new millennium and Colleen got a shock when Lance turned up, having went AWOL from the army after running someone’s car over in his tank. A further shock came when Colleen met Lance’s wife and she announced that she was pregnant. Colleen and Debbie didn’t get on, but they all eventually came together in the end as Lance was taken away by the military policemen to be discharged.
Ailsa then took on a new cook at the diner. Colleen was at first unsure due to Leah’s foreign roots, but she soon came round and have a friendship that lasts to this day. Colleen then played an important role in saving Sally from marrying Kieran Fletcher. She had seen Kieran harassing Gypsy and when Gypsy stood up at the wedding to say that she couldn’t marry him, Colleen and Hayley stood up and supported Colleen. Soon after, Colleen got friendly with the new owners of Summer Bay House, the Sutherland’s, are friendship that despite occasional hitches lasted until the Sutherland’s left the bay four years later.
Colleen’s ex-husband turned up, now called Les, turned up as a derro. Colleen took him in, to give him a wash and a new set of clothes. It progressed so much as him saying that he would get a job at the council and that they could renew their vows, but all along he was just playing Colleen, and ran off with some of her savings and busty blonde named Rhonda. Colleen became a grandmother soon after when Lance and Debbie gave birth to Maggie. One day at the diner, Debbie phoned asking Colleen about what to do on the phone. Whilst Colleen was chatting away to her on the phone and Leah was saving her relationship with Vinnie, the chip pan caught fire. Thinking it would help calm the flames, Colleen through some water over it, leading to the same blaze turning it into an inferno. Luckily Vinnie turned up and managed to control the fire, but ultimately it was decided that the building was too badly damaged.
Leah covered for Colleen, taking blame for the fire, the reason being that a 20-something like Leah would find work again quicker than Leah. However the guilt began to nag away at Colleen and she sent a note of confession to Ailsa saying that she had caused the fire. However Leah was there talking to Ailsa at the time about a new building she had found that would provide both a house and a business for the Stewart’s, recognised Colleen’s handwriting and put the note in her handbag. Before she died, Ailsa admitted that she knew it was Colleen’s fault.
Throughout 2001, Colleen found herself torn between the frequently at loggerheads co-owners of the diner, Alf and Leah who had different views on the way the diner should be ran and used Colleen as a bargaining tool. Colleen was also a maid of honour at Leah’s wedding, a role which she was unsure to take at first due to being unsure about Greek traditions. Colleen briefly fell for Alf after he saved her when she choked on some food in the diner. Alf was forced to tell her liked her as a friend, but not in a romantic way. Later in the year after getting together with Dani and Alex to put some romance back into Leah and Vinnie’s relationship, Leah and Vinnie repaid the favour by getting Lance down with Maggie to visit Colleen.
Unfortunately, Debbie didn’t want Maggie to come into contact with Colleen’s “small-town ways”, and Lance was forced to lie to both his wife and his mother. Eventually Debbie found out and came to Summer Bay to collect Maggie and gave Lance the choice of his mother or his wife. Leah managed to talk Debbie around into what a great person Colleen was and she soon relented and Debbie, Maggie and Lance soon left for Queensland, but on good terms.
Colleen’s caravan was robbed by a recovering Ashley Saunders around this time. Into 2002 and Colleen had to move into Leah’s for a short while when the roof was blown off her mobile home. After this, she start gambling on the pokies at the Woman’s Institute leading to her needing her wages brought forward to cover her bills. When money went missing from the diner both Colleen and kleptomaniac, June Reynolds, who was working at the diner at the time were both accused by Alf. The money was eventually found by Alf and Alex in a black bin bag as Alf began to sink into madness due to the onset of a brain tumour. She considered after the shame of being accused of stealing moving up to Queensland and selling her mobile home to Angie Russell.
However, around this time she started a friendship with the Sutherland’s young nephew Max Sutherland who convinced her to stay in the Bay. Colleen also overheard Rhys and Shelley arguing over what to do after the recent (but ultimately wrong)discovery that Dylan Russell was Rhys’ son, Colleen revealed that when she was young, she had had a child out of wedlock, something that was frowned upon in those days, and she had given up for adoption.
Max then opened up a bank account using Colleen’s details in which the funds raised from the proceeds of the novel he had written would go. He revealed to Colleen what he had been doing and they decided that it would be their secret. However, it all came out when Colleen got a letter saying that legal action was going to be taken against her after due to the fact that she had apparently lifted whole passages out of other books. Josh bought the Caravan Park as the Sutherland’s faced financial problems after Shelley and Rhys’ split and set about renovating the Caravan Park. Due to a misunderstanding, Colleen’s mobile home was destroyed whilst she was out playing bowls and left homeless, she moved in with the Sutherland’s.
In early 2003 a woman named Maureen Evans turned up at the diner and on meeting Colleen, revealed that she was the long-lost daughter that Colleen had given up for adoption in 1955. Maureen had managed to track down Colleen through an organisation after hearing about her book exploits. Colleen explained that she wasn’t even allowed to hold her after she was born, but she did see her and she’d named her Rosemary, after Rosemary Clooney. Every year for 21 years, Colleen baked a cake on Rosemary’s birthday, March 17th. Maureen then revealed that she was now a mother herself, and that Colleen has two grown up grandchildren named Mike and Avril – and Mike now has children of his own, making Colleen a great-grandma. When Maureen mentioned the book, Colleen briefly thought that she had just turned up to try and get her hands on some wealth due to Colleen’s fame, however they soon got to know each other. Maureen had a brief relationship with Alf. Colleen and Maureen’s ways of life were much different, but despite this, they promised to keep in touch.
With Josh not forthcoming with a new mobile home, Colleen decided to move up to Queensland with Lance after Sally and Flynn’s wedding . However on the road out of Summer Bay, they passed a lorry carrying a mobile home and after checking with the driver where he was heading, Colleen jumped into the lorry beside him and headed back to Summer Bay. When Flynn returned from his honeymoon, he set about opening his surgery and Colleen applied for the role as receptionist. Flynn offered her the job, however Colleen was shocked when she discovered that it would require the use of computers and she required the Sutherland kids to give her a few lessons on how to use.
Taking advantage of a check-up given to her by Flynn, Flynn discovered a lump on one of her breasts and she was soon diagnosed with breast cancer. Colleen didn’t take well to this, scared of what might happen to her and it took fellow cancer sufferer Sally to talk her around and go through treatment. After losing her hair throughout the treatment, she was given a wig to wear, shooting her self-confidence. At the launch of Max’s second book, a local bookstore owner, Norman Shadbolt, came up to her. Thinking she was being set up by Max, she turned him away. However when Max came over and said that he had nothing to do with it, Norman was long gone and Colleen thought she had lost a chance at love. However, their paths soon crossed again and they started a relationship, which soon led to Norman proposing to her.
Colleen was involved in a humorous mix-up after the birth of baby Pippa when she believed that Sally and Flynn were going to name their baby after her, when in actual fact they were going to name her after Sally’s foster mother, Pippa. Colleen had been involved in a similar situation after Leah had announced she was pregnant in 2001 and that it would be called Vinnie if it were a boy and Colleen if it were a girl, leading to Vinnie praying he had a son. At Hayley and Noah’s wedding reception, Norman gave a couple of kids a note to give to Colleen, telling her that he was calling the engagement off. Colleen was distraught at this and threw her engagement ring into the sea.
With Rhys and Beth’s marriage breaking up soon after, Max was left distraught when he was the last to find out and went for refuge in Colleen’s caravan. Faced with the choice of who he wanted to live with, Colleen believed that he was going to choose her, but he actually decided to go to boarding school instead.
In 2005, Colleen invested in the ill-fated Macklin investment programme, initially losing money, though she later got it back.
When Flynn announced that he had cancer, Colleen managed to keep quiet about and helped Sally through the trauma of it all. She took refuge at Summer Bay House in the Cyclone that hit Summer Bay. Flynn died soon after, after a fall down the stairs robbed him of whatever energy he had left. At the funeral Cassie broke down whilst reading a poem, leading to Colleen getting up and completing it for her. With a trip to Italy that Flynn had never been well enough to take still to be used, Sally decided to take it. In another of the mix-up’s the Colleen frequently got herself into she believed that Colleen believed that she was going to be offered to take the trip along with Sally and baby Pippa. However Sally was planning to offer the tickets to Leah. However Leah was unable to go and Sally realised that Colleen had been there for her and Flynn during Flynn’s cancer and said she would be delighted to take Colleen along with her.
When she returned, she entertained Summer Bay with her trips from abroad and got into a muddle when some love potion that was intended to bring Irene and Barry together, but led to Robbie chasing Colleen around the diner. Towards the end of the year, she got involved in the Christmas pageant. Just as that was getting up and running, she got a phone call from Queensland that Debbie was suffering from an in-growing toenail that “had gone sceptic”. Unfortunately, despite delegating everyone jobs in her absence, nobody was quite as enthusiastic about the pageant as Colleen was and it disappeared off everyone’s radar. However Colleen was to return a few days before the pageant and was determined it would take place, with a new star actor, Lance. The show pulled the whole community together.
She competed with Madge Wilkins for the role of historian on the local paper and Madge was the successful applicant, leaving Colleen devastated. On reading her submission though Alf pointed out that Madge had got some of her facts wrong and the editor agreed that it was unforgivable for a historian to get her research wrong and awarded the role to a delighted Colleen.
In true Colleen fashion she messed things up spectacularly when she overheard Jack and Martha discussing Lucas’s relationship with Naomi. he outed the scandal in the paper without getting the full facts correct causing Naomi and Brad trouble with the Department and Lucas and Tony a lot of heartache.
Betty Allsop kicked Madge off the bowls team just in time for the regional for the coveted Reg Salter trophy competition and she was so depressed that Leah suggested she start her own team up. Using a combination of railroading and guilt tripping, Colleen managed to get most of the bay onto the team but despite some surprisingly good players, their team was losing until Drew cheated to help them win. Betty sussed the cheat though and Colleen was banned from the team permanently, causing her to faint and Rachel and Hugh had to go to her aid.
When she thought that Hugh might come between Rachel and her beloved Kim, she tried to set Hugh up with Nurse Julie but her plan backfired when the date was a disaster and Hugh promptly declared his love to Rachel. She was the host at the Hospital Charity Ball to raise funds for the paediatric ward and involved in a number of other charitable and social events in the Bay.
In 2008, Colleen was the first to hear about Sally’s brother Miles, but it was soon to be Colleen that was discovering new members of her family. After an earth tremor had opened up a time capsule up in the ground, a diary of the Stewart siblings mother was uncovered, revealing that their father had an affair with Colleen’s mother and that Colleen was actually Alf, Morag, Celia, Barbara and Debra’s half sister. There was another humorous misunderstanding when Ric believed that Alf and Colleen were getting engaged after he saw them cuddling on the beach and knowing that they were planning to make an announcement later that day.
Soon after, Martha fell victim to cancer, and as a fellow victim, helped her through this. Her disputes with Morag still continued, with Morag feeling that Colleen was barging in on her position as Martha’s aunt and was also annoyed by her interference in her wedding to Ross Buckton. However, as Colleen pointed out, she didn’t see any of Morag’s other sisters there. She later played matchmaker again between Alf and Bridget, negotiating a romantic meal for them. Luckily it was a success.
She was devastated when Bridget turned out to be a fraud and tried her best to support Martha after Jack’s death and her breast reconstruction. She continued to work in The Diner but she found herself with her work cut out when Irene and Alf took off on trips whilst Roman was in hospital and new girlfriend Leah was at his bedside. She was delighted when Alf enlisted Pippa Ross to come to town and help out in the rush.
Colleen was uncomfortable when Martha and Hugo told her about their relationship, feeling it hadn’t been long enough since Jack and that she couldn’t support them, despite both Alf and Martha telling her that Martha being happy was more important than her sense of propriety. She was left feeling bad when Hugo was hospitalised and apologised to Martha at the hospital, saying she was right that Jack would want her to be happy.
Colleen decided to organise a film festival for the town and was soon basking in the glow of what she believed would be a cultural event to be remembered. She was brought down to earth with a bump when Trey used it to show a video of him and Nicole having sex and ended up drowning her sorrows in the front room of the caravan park house and declaring she’d hereafter be known as Colleen Smut.
She was unimpressed when Leah and Kirsty told her about the Walkers, feeling Sid was a bad parent who let his children get away with murder…until she met him and learned he was a doctor, at which point her opinion of him seemed to improve a great deal. She chided Aden for his treatment of Morag but ended up being left out of his apology dinner. She gave Detective Robertson some information about Charlie’s history with Grant and later served as Martha’s campaign manager when she decided to run for council. She decided to organise a debate at the surf club but was left disappointed when they lost the election. Colleen offered some support to Kirsty after her miscarriage and inspired Miles to call Shelley for help. She correctly guessed that Miles’ depression during the Riley Radcliffe incident was the result of him missing Kirsty. She ended 2009 putting her foot in it once again, spreading the news that Miles and Leah were dating, including by e-mail to Sally, when in fact they weren’t doing anything of the sort.
Early in 2010, Colleen ended up trapped in the Diner kitchen along with Irene, Leah and Ruby as the place was firebombed but managed to get over the incident very quickly and comforted Leah when the events became too much for her, asking Miles to help her. She was disapproving of Martha’s relationship with Liam. She was concerned when Leah started dating Elijah, since her Catholic upbringing left her convinced that a priest should not be involved in a relationship and their actions were sinful. She changed her mind slightly after Miles saved them from a gas leak, partly because of her telling him about the school trip they were on, feeling it was a miracle and that perhaps God approved of their relationship after all. Afterwards, she provided catering for their “I Almost Died But I Didn’t” party and ended up being invited to stay herself after she nearly choked on a cupcake.
She was annoyed by the news that Marilyn had returned to town, having apparently not forgiven her for supposedly breaking Lance’s heart twenty years previous, and even more so at the news she was in Australia permanently rather than just there for a holiday and made several digs at her expense with even a talk with Elijah about forgiveness making little difference. She unknowingly gave Ruby advice about where to hide the money Hugo had left Xavier by discussing likely local hiding spots with her. She also tried to help Martha with her delayed grief over Hugo. She was annoyed when she was kept out of the loop over the Rabbit situation, claiming that since Sally had asked her to keep an eye on Miles Marilyn shouldn’t be keeping information about him from her. When Elijah’s colleagues stayed at the caravan park, she made it her mission to encourage the other residents to cover up more and also gave Romeo some advice on the school play, which she considered too modern. She acted as referee for John and Tony’s boxing match, only to leave when they failed to throw any punches.
When she heard Marilyn making a joke about Alf being “gorgeous”, she assumed she was after him and when she heard Irene and Leah discussing Elijah proposing to her, she thought they were talking about Alf and Marilyn and accused them of being engaged. Although they denied it at first, Marilyn then she claimed that they were engaged, which Colleen did her best to accept, and then that they were married. When Irene told her it was a joke, she got her own back on the pair by pretending to put down a huge deposit on a wedding party for them. She was also upset at Martha’s decision to go on the run, as well as warning Leah about family feuds during her run-ins with Lijuan. She objected to Alf lending Tony the farm for female boxing classes and, when Marilyn decided to set up a fortune telling service at the bait shop, she wrote a letter to the paper claiming it was pagan and immoral and began canvassing support for her point of view in the Diner. She refused to listen to Marilyn and Miles’ counter arguments until Miles let slip that Marilyn was dying. After that, Colleen mollified her behaviour, apologising to Marilyn and bringing her casseroles. She then summoned the police after coming across Angelo naked on the beach.
Colleen seemed to be very taken with Penn Graham when he arrived in the Bay. When she found several items not belonging to her in her mobile home, she worried she might have taken them without realising it and kept quiet, only for Charlie to find them and arrest her for theft. Despite a visit from Alf and Irene, she was afraid everyone would be talking about her and refused to go back to work at the Diner. The charges were dropped when Penn persuaded the victims to withdraw their complaints, although Colleen still wasn’t comfortable facing people, turning up to the Diner in disguise and asking to work in the kitchen. Sometime later, Colleen was shocked to hear rumours that Penn had set her up and even more shocked when he admitted it. She seemed taken with Daniel Lovallo on his arrival. She gave Irene the idea of asking April and Bianca to move in and, when Bianca tried to buy alcoholic Irene a bottle of champagne as a thank you, was quick to claim it herself. She tried to dissuade Leah from writing to Elijah, saying she didn’t want to look desperate.
When she heard there was a food critic in the Bay, she behaved in an over-attentive manner towards a new customer, who was actually Angelo’s brother Paulie, which resulted in Irene spilling a glass of water over him. They learned the truth just after Colleen had been rude to another customer, who she suspected was the real food critic. The pair managed to impress him with their cooking but he was less impressed when Colleen offered him dessert and dropped a chocolate mousse on his feet. She went along to the rally John Palmer was organising against bottled water as a concerned citizen to make sure order was kept but didn’t mind standing with the protestors if it meant having her photo in the paper. She later suggested April should try banning inappropriate piercings. She was also keen to voice her opinion when she found Mitzy reading a book on the occult.
She provided some background information for Robertson on Penn’s death and welcomed Roo back to town, even if she did insist on mentioning her past a bit too much until Alf told her to pull her head in. She considered herself an unofficial deputy on Robertson’s investigation but Roo told her he was just using her to get information about Alf. She sympathised with Marilyn over her near-death experience, until she came across a message Marilyn had recorded in which she admitted she and Lance had knocked over the urn containing Colleen’s mother’s ashes and replaced it with ashes from a dog home, at which point she told Marilyn she was dead to her.
Despite the experience with Penn, she went similarly doolally over the arrival of Vittorio in Summer Bay and, when he and Bianca became engaged, she began putting out the bunting for the town’s first royal wedding and gave Bianca her special wedding book. She tried to get Vittorio and April to invite her to the wedding, despite it being a small affair, until she finally managed to corner Bianca while they were chaperoning the students’ informal and get an invite. When it was called off, however, she was quick to put down the commemorative plate she’d had made and persuade Gina to make her maiden of honour when she married John.
She defended Alf when he was accused of Penn’s murder and held a celebration party when he was cleared, where she made her peace with Marilyn. She found April on the beach after she’d collapsed from toxic fumes but called Charlie thinking she was drunk. She objected to the presence in town of the River Boys, giving Dexter up for dead when they stranded him in the bush and then refusing to serve Brodie Upton. She objected when Brodie and Leo tried to steal some food from the Diner and Brodie followed her home. Brodie then stole her caravan with her inside. She was upset no charges could be laid, although Brodie did offer her unofficial compensation, and insisted on staying in the house because she was afraid to be alone in the caravan while her mobile home was renovated. She also welcomed Elijah and Grace to the bay and invited them to dinner. When the work on her home was finished, she admitted she was too scared to move back in despite the new security system Miles installed and Morag and Nicole encouraged her to seek counselling. Attending a victim support group on the subject, she made the acquaintance of Keith Irwin and accepted a date with him, although she was concerned to learn he had given Irene a massage. She took advice from Irene and Marilyn and was slightly disappointed when the date seemed to involve helping out at the homeless shelter, although Keith did take her to a restaurant afterwards.
She joined Leah in investigating two boys left in a car outside the Diner. When Elijah was attacked at the shelter, she was reluctant to continue volunteering there but a talk from VJ made her change her mind. She panicked that Keith had gone off her but when she told him her fears they shared a kiss and joined Miles and Leah for a picnic, although the romantic mood was spoiled when they found what appeared to be a grave. It turned out to be buried asbestos and she was buoyed enough to let Keith take her away for a while. However, she was shocked when Charlie raided Keith’s house while he was giving her a massage and found a small quantity of marijuana. Although he said it was only for medicinal purposes, she broke up with him and was left mortified by the incident, saying she couldn’t forgive him for lying to her even after she’d heard him out. She was one of the few Summer Bay residents who got to say goodbye to Nicole and Angelo before they left. She later gossiped about Elijah’s relationship with Laura, spreading a rumour they’d broken up, only to get an electric shock during a thunder storm and become convinced God had struck her down with a lightning bolt. She insisted she needed to make things up to Elijah and decided to stop the centre being shut down but halfway through her drafting an inflammatory letter it was announced it was staying open anyway.
When Tegan Callahan arrived in town, Colleen recalled her of old and was quick to give her the gossip about Brax’s recent activities. She heard Morag and Marilyn discussing the possibility Sid had been seeing Roo at the same time as Marilyn, so confronted Sid in the Diner and accused him of ruining Roo’s reputation. She was nearly run over by Kelly O’Mara and threatened to report her but was talked out of it by April. She overheard Miles and Leah discussing the fact Leah was pregnant and was sworn to secrecy but let it slip to Marilyn and Elijah. When Alf lost his mooring license, she helped Roo with her scrapbook to write a newspaper article about all he’d done for the town
When Summer Bay was hit by a storm, she was among those who took refuge at the school and, when the roof collapsed, ended up trapped in the toilet until the rubble was cleared. She then set about getting the Diner up and running when it turned out Irene had breast cancer. She was reluctant to serve Heath and Darcy until Roo stepped in and annoyed when Sasha fixed it to get more tips than her. She also made a number of pointed remarks to old nemesis Gypsy during her visit. When Charlie’s relationship with Brax became common nowledhge., Roo told Colleen to keep quiet about it but when Charlie asked for er opinin she made it clear she disapproved. She then roped Harvey Ryan into helping her with an article about fishing history and asked him a few tactless questions about his losing his boat in the storm.
When April collapsed as a result of drug use, Colleen wrongfully told everyone that Heath was responsible. She unknowingly gave Harvey the information that allowed him to get John thrown off the council and briefly considered standing against Harvey in the election. She was there to say goodbye to Miles.
She continued to be a feature of Summer Bay life, trying to talk Leah out of helping Brax after Charlie’s death, attending Liam and Bianca’s wedding and worrying about Irene shutting herself away after a health scare. She was the one who made the news of Bianca’s pregnancy public and who realised Tyler Churchill had stolen a knife from the Diner. She also told Gina that John had moved in with Roo and Marilyn. She organised a leaving party for Elijah on the beach and tried to get Dexter and April back together but seemed to change her mind when Dexter started spending time with Lottie Ryan. She disapproved of Roo continuing to see Harvey after he was exposed as corrupt.
Colleen was upset when Lance revealed he was moving to Las Vegas, since she’d always assumed she’d go to live with his family in the extension to their house she’d paid for once she retired. Irene, Marilyn and Roo arranged for her to go to the Gold Coast to discuss it with him. Her mood was improved when her collection of toby jugs turned out to be worth thousands of dollars, only for Jett James to smash them while stealing the money she’d hidden inside before she’d had a chance to insure them. She then won the lottery and, after she began making plans for it including considering investing in the Diner, Marilyn prompted Lance to invite her to stay at a trailer park near his new home. She handed out presents to her friends before leaving, including her spoon collection to Marilyn, her casserole recipes to Irene and a collection of photographs to Leah. She complained about no-one being willing to spend time with her before she left only to be surprised by a party at the caravan park. She was left with some brief last minute doubts, with Roo talking her around, before she said goodbye to everyone and left.