East West 101 The Major Crime Squad
The Major Crime Squad
Zane MalikZane Malik is a warrior, a thinker, a man of passion, an ambitious detective with the Major Crime Squad.
Malik is also an Arab and proud of it; a devout Muslim with a spiritual drive.  They are issues he’s had to deal with all his life, school, university and now the Police Force.
They have shaped who he is.

At 32, Malik is one of the finest detectives in the NSW Police Force.  Inspector Wright fought to have him on the Major Crime Squad.  There are times, when Malik is hot-headed and challenging, that she wonders why she did, but Wright has never regretted that decision.

Malik has an impressive track record in investigative and undercover work.  His results are stunning.  He gets those results because he treats people with respect.  His word, given, is kept.

Malik is driven to find the man who shot his father twenty years ago when Zane was a twelve year old boy.  The shooting left a brain damaged father, and a son who had to shoulder responsibility far too early.  The police never caught the man responsible… or did they? 

Malik felt that his family did not receive the justice they were entitled to.  Was it because they were Arabs?  Or because the system just let them down?

Malik is determined to find out, and to track down and punish the man responsible.  But will he be able to confront his darkest fear…that he himself was responsible?

Don HanyDON HANY identifies with many aspects of the character of the Arab detective, struggling to find out the truth.  Like Malik, Don Hany is a first generation Australian whose father comes from the Middle East.  ‘You’re very conflicted growing up – your parents yearn for their homeland, but for us, Australia is our home.’

Don’s father, Taffy Hany, was born into a Muslim family.  They came from Babylon, an ancient city of Iraq.  Don is sensitive to the complexities of being an immigrant.  He sees his father enjoying the freedom of life in the West yet watching the news, suffering as Iraq is bombed.

Don spent many hours working on the character with the Detective Consultant, who advised Don on detective work, also taking Don into his family and to various mosques to help him understand the detective’s relationship with the Islamic community.  Don has enormous respect for Elbatoory and says he has been a great inspiration to him.

‘Detective Zane Malik is a conflicted man’ says Don, ‘he’s a father, a son, a husband and a detective and is also a Muslim working for an Anglo establishment. All of these things pull him in different directions.’

This is not Don’s first portrayal of a detective – he played Detective Theo Rahme in the Knapman Wyld Television crime series, ‘White Collar Blue’.  Top

Detective Sgt Ray CrowleyCrowley is a tough, taciturn man, a cop who worked up the hard way.  At 45, the lines on his face show experience and maybe just a hint of dissatisfaction. 

The thing about Crowley, with him it’s all Us and Them.  And the club of Us is a very small pool.  And Them is oceanic. When did his Us and Them mentality start?  Maybe as far back as his teenage years, working class and wanting more.  Joining the cops was his best option and he took it. 

Ray’s the longest serving member of this outfit.  He knows he has muscle here and is not afraid to flex it.
Crowley has given priority to work over family.  Wright knows him for a detective with some good briefs behind him.  She values his experience and reputation. She may be a chick boss, but they understand one another.  Patricia relies on him and Crowley is happy to be her hard arse right hand man.  And he is surprised when he feels he maybe wants to be more than that. 

Ray is a lonely man and a troubled one.  His son, Paul, is on drugs.  Ray blames everyone but him self.  He pushes away the moments of doubt, when he wonders if he’d been a better father, the kid would’ve been a better son, a better survivor. All he knows is, something went wrong.  In Paul’s life… and his.  Life isn’t as sweet as it used to be.  Life isn’t sweet at all.  Despair kills.  It is easier to be angry.  In a quiet way, Crowley is an angry man.

Crowley holds the respect of the crew but not their love.  Not that he cares.  He has a job to do, they have a job to do.  That’s all that matters.

Nominated for numerous acting awards on stage, film and television, William McInnes grew up in Queensland.  He lives with his film maker wife, Sarah Watt and their two children in Melbourne.  Sarah and William worked together on the critically acclaimed film ‘Look Both Ways’ which Sarah wrote and directed.William McInnes

In EAST WEST 101 William plays the role of the troubled Detective Sergeant Ray Crowley. 

William thinks ‘Crowley is the bridge between two Australias - between the idea of multi culturalism and its implementation in the institutionalised segment of Australia – the Police Force.   While younger Australians are more able to deal with context, Crowley represents an older Australia – diversity is a challenge.  It is hard for him to make the jump into accepting difference, but in the end he does because he judges Malik for his work as a police officer and comes to respect him.  People might think the show is a bleeding heart, but it’s not.’ Top

Detective Inspector Patricia Wright Loved, loathed, feared and fantasised about, most often damned, Patricia Wright is the Commander of this Squad. 

She does a good job.  Most of the time.  No, all of the time.  She’s not afraid to speak her mind.  To the crew…and to her bosses.  If Patricia gets handed a mandate – new ‘guidelines’ that she doesn’t agree with, she’ll fight it.  When she loses, as she often does, she has to execute the bloody thing, like she loves it, like she dreamed it up. 

There are some days when Patricia wakes up and wonders, how the hell did she score the job she’s got.  The job she loves.  The job she lives for - would die for, if necessary.  If she thought about it, Patricia would recognise that she’s smart.  She’s been successful as an investigative detective because she’s picked up on detail.

Wright is smart about people.  She knows that Crowley is a committed detective, experienced and loyal to her and she will always be able to depend on him.  If she was completely honest, Patricia would admit she finds this masculine man very attractive.

Malik is a hot head, but he’s a brilliant detective.  Resourceful, educated and intelligent; he’s a gem.  She would die rather than lose him from her crew.  But she also fears that he will take unnecessary risks.

And she is afraid, that the day will come when she has to choose which man she can continue to work with…

Susie was born and bred in Newcastle. After completing her BA at Newcastle University, she went to NIDA where she graduated in 1995.Susie Porter

Since then she has tackled varied roles, starring on both stage and screen.  She is no stranger to SBS, winning an award for her role in the critically acclaimed RAN (Remote Area Nurse).  ‘I’m glad that we have SBS.  They are always willing to make programs that present a different view on the world and offer our industry the opportunity for true creativity and truth.  They show society the way it is, like having a Muslim detective as a hero.’

In EAST WEST 101 Susie plays Inspector Patricia Wright, who heads the Major Crime Squad.  Wright is a woman in power, isolated through her position, and yet able to approach the problems of management in a confident and feminine way. 

In preparing for the role, Susie spoke with women of position and authority in the police force.  The passion and dedication shown by these women will inform Susie’s approach to the role of Wright  ‘It’s not a nine to five job.  It’s a way of life.  These women are serving the community.’ Top

Detective Sonny KoaSonny Koa has the impassive majesty of a Pacific King, the humility of a saint and the mischievousness of a comedian.

At first glance, wearing cargo pants and an athletic singlet, you might take Sonny for a cool dude hip hop gangster but Sonny is a detective in the Major Crime Squad.

Sonny Koa fought hard for his place in the police force, even harder to win a place as a detective on EAST WEST 101.  His family connections didn’t really help.  Koa has cousins who play on the other side of the law.  Sonny worries that somehow, someday, this will bite him on the bum.

Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.  Everyone who works with him, likes Sonny.  He lives up to his name.  He is warm, kind, humorous, thoughtful and easy going.  That’s if he’s on your side. 

Crooks have trembled when they gazed into Sonny’s hard dark eyes, not to mention his huge muscled frame.  Sonny works out.  He knows that to do his job well, he has to be able to command respect - physically, mentally and emotionally.

Sonny is proud of being a detective.  His aim is to change the world for the better.  He hates the stereotyped image of the Islander people as the musclemen of the criminal fraternity.  But of course, it’s the very thing that makes him effective working undercover.  Crims never suspect he is a cop. 

He’s a natural performer which helps him play crooks.  He’s canny.  And he was born under a lucky star – either that or a benevolent Pacific spirit is watching over him.

Born into the Kheodal (Crocodile) and Samu (Emu) clans, Aaron’s family originally came from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait.  But in 1947 a water shortage caused the Islanders to move to the Mainland.  Aaron grew up in Bamaga, in the Cape York Community, and later in Cairns.

He was working as a Health Worker when he heard about the auditions for R.A.N. which were taking place on near by Thursday island.  He grabbed a mate’s dingy, rowed out, did the audition, and the rest is history.  He won the part of Eddie Gaibai.Aaron Fa'Aoso

Since coming to Sydney he has been in theatre in such works as ‘Back Home’ produced by Urban Theatre and ‘Howard the Rookie’, directed by Leah Purcell.

In EAST WEST 101 Aaron plays the part of Detective Sonny Koa, Malik’s partner.  Koa is the wise, sometimes humorous, side kick.  ‘Because of their ethnic background both Koa and Malik can build a better rapport with the community.’

Aaron relates to the character of Detective Sonny Koa.  ‘I grew up with strong Islander values and culture.  Koa and Malik relate to a world that is not black and white, but grey. Even Crowley is not who you think he is at the start and you come to like him.  The scripts take you on a journey.  I feel honoured and privileged to play the part of Koa and think it’s great that we have two ethnics playing the hero detectives.  Ten years ago that wouldn’t have happened.’ Top

Detective Helen CallasHelen is brisk, smart and capable.  One of the boys. 

Men like her.  They understand her, the bragging, the boyish energy, even the cover-ups.  In many ways, Helen’s quite a direct person.  If your kebab has too much onion in it and she’s sharing a car, she’ll tell you.

Women don’t warm to her as much.  She’s more competitive with them for a start.  She’ll willingly help the guys finish their briefs of evidence, and they run to her because she’s so damn good at it.  But if you’re a woman, forget it.  You’re on your own.  Unless you’re a gorgeous new recruit.

That’s another thing that Helen is hiding; she is a lesbian.  She just hasn’t come out and if asked, she’d deny it.  She wonders if the boss bats for the same side.  Not that she’s attracted to her.  She likes younger versions of herself.

As a woman, Helen understands victims.  Her first job was an undercover operative on a serial rape case.  She displays unusual sensitivity when dealing with the victims of violence and rape. 

She is capable of empathy but hides her softer side, feeling safest when she comes across as tough, blunt and brutal.
As a detective, she’s excellent at chasing paper trails, she’s done some pretty good investigations, and is regarded as someone who will kick on to head her own Squad one day.

Award winning actress, Daniela Farinacci, plays the character of Detective Constable Helen Callas.

Based in Melbourne, Daniela’s career spans film, theatre and television.  Recent highlights include ‘Lantana’, ‘Look Both Ways’, ‘Little Fish’.Daniella Farinacci

In EAST WEST 101, Daniela plays a hardworking detective with a secret.  Callas is ambitious, with an ability to track down complicated paper trails.  But whose side is she on?  No-one knows.  She’s a character who keeps her personal life private.

Daniela can identify with Callas’ desire to keep her personal life to herself.  Daniela’s parents immigrated separately from Italy to Australia, where they met and fell in love.  Seven of her father’s siblings, and four of her mother’s, also came out so Daniela grew up in an extensive and very connected Italian family.  ‘As a teenager, it didn’t seem cool to be Italian, but as an adult you come back to the family culture, and value it.’

Daniela has worked with real detectives in gaining insights into some of the challenges her character faces.  ‘Although EAST WEST 101 does explore some elements of racial tension, it is wonderful to be part of a multicultural cast, where that is not the central issue.’ Top

Plain Clothes Constable Jung LimConstable Jung Lim, is a hard-nosed, hard-edged, danger-loving, detective in training.  Lim is fun to work with.  She’s warm, witty, and a great tease.  She is also intelligent and sensitive.

But don’t get her on a bad day.  She’s a perfectionist and can get frustrated when nothing is going right.  At her worst, Jung Lim is temperamental and over sensitive, and colleagues tiptoe around her.  But then it’s over and Jung is all smiles again. She’s a natural born detective who does whatever it takes to get the job done. 

After graduation, Lim’s desire was to specialise in forensics.  She has moved into this area and is experienced beyond her years in the Force. Because of her formidable knowledge of crime scene science, investigating detectives always make sure she is on the invite list.  Lim’s life took a major upswing recently, when she made plain clothes.  But she knows that one false step and it’s back to uniform.

On EAST WEST 101 Renee Lim plays Jung Lim a junior plain clothes Detective with a specialised interest in Forensics.  Renee says she is thrilled to be a part of a show that pushes racial stereotypes.Renee Lim

Renee is from Western Australia.  An Australian, whose parents immigrated from Malaysia in the 70’s, Renee grew up in Perth and after completing her high school education, moved to Sydney to undertake Medicine at Sydney University. 

Now a doctor, as well as an actress, Renee combines two careers by working as a locum in Emergency and Palliative Care around acting commitments. 

Just like her character Jung Lim, Renee has a love of forensic medicine.  Her acting career spans film, theatre and television.  ‘Over the years I have seen a change in the kind of characters I have been asked to play.  From the classic, non English speaking immigrant, to characters who are not defined by race.’ Top

John HuntJohn Hunt is the dark figure of death in Zane Malik’s dreams.

John Brumpton has had an extensive career in acting in film, television and theatre.  Some highlights include ‘Romper Stomper’, ‘Angel Baby’, ‘Getting Square’, and ‘Dance Me to my Song’.  He has previously worked with Director, Peter Andrikidis, on ‘Blackjack’ and ‘Grass Roots’.  He lives in Melbourne. Top

Rahman MalikAlthough born in Iraq, Rahman studied in Cairo, where he became a scientist and university lecturer.  He and his wife, Mariam, came out to Australia but were unable to get jobs in their chosen fields.  Rahman was requalifying, working his corner shop, when any chances of a professional life were blown away by an armed robber.  He was shot in the head, resulting in brain injury.  His son is Zane Malik but Rahman does not approve of the career he has chosen as a detective. 

RAHMAN MALIK is played by TOFFEEK ‘Taffy’ HANY
Taffy was born in Babylon in 1946, one of nine children, and studied music – violin and singing - at the Baghdad Conservatorium. ‘In Baghdad there are tea houses, where people sing – some of the older singers taught me the old songs.  It is Maqam music – very hard to master.’

Taffy left Iraq in 1967 to study music in Hungary, where he met his wife, an engineer at the time.

He hasn’t been back to Iraq since as it is very difficult to get in and out but he still has siblings and his mother living there.  Like most from Iraq, his family have known much suffering.  The Hany family lost two sons in the Iraq/Iran war and recently his older brother was wounded by an anti tank missile and is now bed ridden.  Taffy says with a sigh, ‘It is hard, very hard, for people living in Iraq and it is going to get harder.  My mother is a wreck.  They never know when they will be bombed.’  Taffy recently met up with his mother in Tehran, an emotional reunion, as they hadn’t been together since 1967.

While performing is part of Taffy’s life, acting is new for him.  Taffy says - ‘Working with Don is easy, he’s my son.’ Top

Amina MalikAmina is a contemporary Muslim woman, who balances a solid career in store management with the hectic demands of being Zane’s wife, mother of Amir and Yasmeen, and daughter in law to Rahman and Mariam Malik.

Although not a Muslim herself, Tasneem has spent much time with Muslim women researching the character of Amina. She has learned some Arab, learned prayers from the Koran, visited mosques and talked to people from refugee camps.

Tasneem can sympathise with people who have been forced to leave their countries because of conflict.  Her mother is Scottish but her father is from Burma.  Tasneem recently went to Burma with her family to visit her relatives.  ‘Despite the military presence, it is a beautiful country and the people are friendly.  I felt a real connection.’  She hopes that international pressure will help bring peace to Burma.

Growing up in Sydney, Tasneem studied at Sydney University, in English and Art History.  She became interested in acting, winning a part on ‘Heartbreak High’. ‘It was a real roller coaster ride.  I didn’t sleep for six months, I was so nervous.  But I loved it.’  She also has played guest roles on ‘Headstart’ an ABC drama and ‘Dream Team’ a Sky TV British cable series. Top

Mariam is the hard working matriarch of the Malik family.  Educated at Cairo University, she has not found life since she and Rahman left the Middle East to be easy.  They came to Australia looking for a more secure environment to raise children.  Mariam MalikBut they were unable to fulfil their dreams.  While retraining, her husband was shot.  Mariam had to work full time in a low paid job to support the family. 

Although, she now only works part time, she must keep a constant eye on her husband, Rahman, who leads them all a merry dance. Mariam blames the armed robber for the Malik’s hardships.  Her bitterness fuels her son’s desire to find the criminal who inflicted this on his family. 

Irini Pappas was born and raised in Melbourne where she lives to this day.  Her parents were Greek, and determined that she would not lose her Greek heritage, made sure she was bi-lingual. Irini has worked in both Greece and Australia.  She writes, acts, sings, translates and teaches.  She also loves her work with talking books ‘I am the director, the whole cast, playing all sorts of characters and I get feedback from the audience which I love.’ 

Irini says ‘I empathise with Mariam, with her feeling of despair and frustration, because like her, I have been looking after seriously ill people for a long time.’  Irini’s mother suffered from Alzheimers Disease.  Her husband died from Parkinson’s and her son is ill.  Right now Irini is reading up on Islam and other religions.  ‘Comparative religion is an interesting study, when you realise how much these religions are alike in the basic fundamentals.  They change over time but if you go back to the basics, they’re all giving the same message.’ Top

Yasmeen MalikYasmeen is Detective Malik’s youngest child.  At seven, Yasmeen is affectionate, but fears her father’s work takes him into danger. Over the series Yasmeen is confronted with many learning experiences.  Her father is on a quest to find the man who shot his father and this inadvertently brings anxiety and stress into her young life.  This is not helped when her father himself is investigated.

This role is the first for Lucy Abroon.  Lucy’s mother is an Auzzi, but her father is originally from Iran, so there’s plenty of personal experience Lucy brings to the part. Top

Amir MalikAmir is the feisty twelve year old son of Detective Malik.  Amir is hot headed – like his Dad, stubborn – like his Dad, and loyal.  Amir has to learn to think before he acts.

Although George goes to a Christian High School, his best friend is a Muslim.  ‘Everyone at school thinks it’s pretty cool that I got this part on EAST WEST 101, but especially my Islamic friend because he’s had anti Islamic taunts thrown at him just like Amir.’  Learning Arab was no problem as George’s parents are Lebanese and he already spoke Arab. Top


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