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Neighbours: Deborra-lee Furness Is Heading To Ramsay Street To Direct Adoption Storyline

Deborra-lee Furness is making her way to Ramsay Street to slip into the Neighbours director's chair from late February.

Given that the actress, director, and producer is also the founder of child advocacy non-profit Adopt Change, what better way to showcase her knowledge on the subject than in a new adoption storyline set to take place on Neighbours?

With her work advocating for vulnerable and displaced children bringing attention to an important cause, Neighbours saw an opportunity to tell an important story, with two of our Erinsborough faves set to begin the life-changing process of becoming permanent carers.

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Working closely with Furness, the production team on Australia's longest-running drama put their heads together to create a sweet and inspiring storyline that highlights the challenges -- as well as triumphs -- that children, families, and carers face within the often difficult process.

“I am thrilled to be collaborating with the team at Neighbours to direct these episodes and tell a story that is not often represented in mainstream media," Furness said.

“There are almost 50,000 Australian children currently in temporary out-of-home care. We only get glimpses into their reality, and unfortunately, that is usually when there are catastrophic outcomes.

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She continued, “To have an iconic television institution like Neighbours joining the conversation and reflecting the lives of so many Australian children is extremely powerful. Awareness is the essential first step in creating a positive shift in both culture and policy towards permanent solutions.”

Founded a decade ago by Furness -- who shares two adopted children, Oscar and Ava, with husband Hugh Jackman -- Adopt Change aims to provide support, research and advocacy for adoption law reform in Australia.

Husband Hugh Jackman has previously spoken out about the pair's decision to adopt, saying:

“Because of her age, we started [trying] straight away when we were together,” the actor, who wed Furness in 1996 when he was 27 and she was 40, said.

“We struggled, a couple miscarriages, [in vitro fertilisation] -- it was not easy. It was difficult, obviously particularly on Deb.

“I remember saying to her, ‘We were always going to adopt -- let’s just adopt now,’ ” he recalled.

Executive Producer of Neighbours, Jason Herbison said of Furness' collaboration, “To have a director who is so personally committed and emotionally invested in telling such an important story, lifts the bar for all us and we’re just thrilled to have Deborra-lee join us on Ramsay Street.”

Neighbours airs 6:30pm weeknights on 10 Peach.

Image: Getty