Art often imitates life, but when it comes to Home and Away's Kate Garven and Christie Hayes, it's
the other way around.The talented teenagers play twin sisters Jade and Kirsty Sutherland in the long-running soap and,away
from the cameras, fate has also brought them together. In a scenario that would not be out of place in a Summer Bay script,
Christie has moved in with Kate's family. "I suppose it would seem a bit strange to other people, but it's not to us", Kate
says. "We're used to it now and it works really well. Christie is like a sister to me, so I think it was all meant to be".
Unlike some Summer Bay teens who have troubled relationships with their folks, Christie's real-life journey has been somewhat
happier."I had my final audition for Home and Away at the same time as my parents moved to Mungindi [in northern New South
Wales]," Christie explains. "Obvisiously I can't live with them because it's too far to travel. Kate's family offered to take
me in, so it's all turned out really well". Kate 15 and Christie 14, share the scenic property on Sydney's outskirts with
the rest of the Garven family.
"There's my mum and dad-Jeanette and Ian- as well as my older sister Lisa, and my litlle foster
brother Marlon", Kate explains. "We've lived here for around seven years. It's technically just outside the city, but it feels
like you're in the country because of the fresh air and the bush. We have the best of both worlds".
All of which means
that life for Kate and Christie is spookily like their on-screen alter egos! However, Christie is quick to point out that
life with the Garvens is without the ups and downs viewers are used to seeing on the show. "The Garvens are so sweet", she
says. "They're cool to talk to and very supportive. They're like a second family to me. Mrs Garven will come and give me a
big hug, and Mr Garven is so cute-he likes to know what's going on, and he has a little diary". "My family love Christie to
death", Kate adds. "Every night, we watch the show, and they scream and clap when Christie and I come on the credits. It's
embarrassing, but nice!"
Living in such parallel universes, it's easy to imagine the girls confusing reel life with real
life. But they say it's not the case. "We can switch off", Kate says. "When we've both had a long day at work we go into our
own spaces and chill out. We know when we need our personal space, which is why we haven't fought or anything".
there are times when the pair can't keep away from each other. "Kate sleeps in my room every night, even though she's got
a room of her own", Christie laughs. "Living together is like a constant slumber party!"