Matt Bashir (The Principal)
Matt (Alex Dimitriades) is a second generation Lebanese Christian, history teacher and former Deputy Principal at a highly regarded public girls' school in Sydney's northwest. He's a likeable but intensely private man with a passion for history and a strong belief that every kid deserves a chance. Bashir's energy, sharp intellect and determination can at times come across as arrogance, but he actually believes more in his ideals than he does himself. He has the ability to meet teenagers on their own level and the courage to say what needs to be said.
Matt’s personal life is carefully guarded from his colleagues. This is a source of intrigue and frustration for staff, particularly the single females. He never mentions family and rarely refers to friends. This mysterious, dark side is part of what Kellie – the police liaison officer at Boxdale Boys High – is attracted to. She and Bashir share common ground in many ways but despite their rapport, she senses he is hiding something.
Adam Bilic (Detective)
Adam (Aden Young) was born in Australia to Polish parents. His wife, a real estate agent, is pregnant after years of IVF treatment, and is due in a matter of weeks. In between his job and anxiety about becoming a father, he doesn’t get much sleep. He’s extremely competitive and unwinds playing Medal of Honour late at night with his older brother (who lives in Perth). He dotes on his wife and loves his job. He stopped drinking while his wife was pregnant and misses it.
Kellie Norton (Police Liaison Officer)
Kellie (Mirrah Foulkes) is a police officer whose first posting after graduating from the academy is Boxdale, and she is the first in her family to go on to study after school. Her dad’s a builder and her uncles, brothers and cousins all work in trades. She still lives at home with her mum and dad. Her older siblings are married with kids and think it’s weird she’s single and working in such a male-dominated profession. Everyone she knows hates the idea of her working in Boxdale, which they see as a dangerous place that is full of gangs.
Tarek Ahmad (Student)
Tarek (Rahel Romahn) is the younger brother of Karim Ahmad, and he’s had to fight all his life to get out of his brother’s shadow. He worked out early on that the best way to get attention is to muck up, whether at school or at home. The two were separated in refugee camps – Tarek with his mother and Karim with his father. Tarek resents his father for favouring Karim but his father just doesn’t know him, having lost him at that crucial time in his son’s development. Since his mother died, Tarek feels more isolated in his own family than ever.
Karim Ahmad (Student)
Karim (Tyler De Nawi) is clever and manipulative. Life in a refugee camp taught him that only the strong survive. Life is like the video games he loves, charging ever forward - doing what you have to do in order to get to the next level. Education is not the way out for him, nor is driving a cab like his dad. Gang life appeals, but only if he can rise to the top. He knows what to say to get what he wants from adults - they want to believe that you want what they do.
Francis ‘Sisi’ Parata (Student)
Francis (Aliki Matangi) – or 'Sisi' (as in Francis of Assisi) as he's known – is a Polynesian kid from a large family, who wears a wooden cross and rosary beads around his neck. He and his mates are a forceful presence around the school and are not to be messed with. But Tarek has done just that. He loathes Sisi and believes that he stole his deceased mother’s necklace from Karim’s car. Clashes frequently erupt between Sisi and Tarek despite the teachers' efforts to stop them.
Kenny Mavondo (Student)
Kenny (Thuso Lekwape) is a recent arrival in Australia. He speaks very little English and lives with distant relatives near the school in a two-bedroom house. Before he arrived in Australia Kenny saw his mother and father killed in front of him. He would have been killed too but he was forced to become a child soldier, so he has not just witnessed violence but perpetrated it as well. An American aid organisation rescued him and, after a period in a refugee camp, he was sent to Australia.
The Principal airs over two weeks, starting Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 October at 8:30pm on SBS.