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." Obviously 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 15, 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 little 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 bush. We have the best of both
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 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,
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".
In fact 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!"