Vanessa Downing is best known for playing matriarch Pippa Fletcher on Home and Away in the 1980s – but she’s since left show showbiz behind and retrained as a lawyer
Vanessa Downing was one of the original cast members of Home and Away, discovered while performing with acapella group The Madrigals at Sydney’s historic Opera House.
Vanessa was cast as the Matriarch foster mother Pippa Fletcher, beating out more seasoned actresses for the role, and continued on the show for two years, from 1988 to 1990.
She had been working as an actor and singer since 1977, and had starred in a number of stage shows, including King Lear and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? before making her television debut.
Vanessa continued to work in television and theatre after leaving Home and Away in 1990.
She appeared in several programs, including the humor Packed To The Rafters, the medical drama All Saints, and the soap opera A Country Practice.
She was also studying to be a lawyer at the time, and she eventually qualified and began practicing in 2006.
She worked for Craddock Murray Neumann Law Firm in Sydney, where she had previously gained experience as a student.
She specialized in immigration law, according to their website, and specifically assisted international refugees with their visa applications to remain in Australia.
It also states that she worked “closely with experienced community interpreters” to enable her properly argue her cases before the Department of Immigration.
Vanessa also assured she had a “sound knowledge of the political situations of the countries from which our clients have originated,” according to the report.
Vanessa is a diligent and fully certified lawyer, but she had every intention of pursuing her acting career alongside her legal practice, according to the page.
Vanessa still appears on screen on occasion, despite the fact that she has reduced the number of projects she takes on.
In 2020, she appeared in one episode of Australian sketch comedy programme Black Comedy and in 2019 had a bit part in Mr. Inbetween, an American crime drama.
Vanessa can also be seen on reality television from time to time.
In 2006, she appeared on Where Are They Now? alongside numerous other former Home and Away stars, and in 2022, she featured on This Is Your Life with host Ray Meagher.
This Is Your Life astonishes celebrity guests with a look back at their lives and careers, as their friends, relatives, and previous coworkers appear and interact with the audience.
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