Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Ray Harding completed a degree in English literature at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), before travelling to the United Kingdom, where he joined the British army. He studied acting in London, lived in Israel, and taught the English language and American history at the University of South Vietnam until 1975, when Saigon fell to North Vietnam forces.
Settling to Australia, Harding wrote his first film script, which became the 1985 film I Can't Get Started (directed by Rodney Fisher), about a writer whose wife thinks his lack of output is down to laziness, while he believes he suffers from writers' block. The film was not produced until some years after it was written: Harding and his Australian wife first spent some six months in the UK, before returning to Australia, where Harding taught English to Vietnamese refugees, before starting a job with Crawford Productions in 1979, writing for programs such as Holiday Island.
Harding's next film script was the 1988 telemovie Sisterly Love (co-written with Jeremy Higgins and directed by Mark DeFriest), about two sisters who have reconcile after living apart for twenty years.
In the same period, he began writing extensively for television dramas and soap operas, including A Country Practice (for which he wrote at least eleven episodes between 1985 and 1994), Neighbours (for which he wrote at least twenty-one episodes between 1986 and 2003), and Home and Away (for which he wrote at least sixty-six episodes between 1988 and 1999, as well as working as script editor on the series in 1989 and script producer in 2001).
'Enter the world of Medical Defence Australia, a medico-legal organisation that exists to defend doctors and where necessary compensate patients. All cases at MDA combine elements of law and medicine so each case is managed by a doctor and a lawyer who agree on how to proceed. It's a unique organisation that delves into morally complex and emotion filled relationships between doctors and patients.'
Source: Australian Television Information Archive (http://www.australiantelevision.net/mda/mda.html). (Sighted: 22/2/2013)
Water Rats is an Australian police television series which was broadcast on the Nine Network between 1996 and 2001. The series was based around the men and women of the Sydney Water Police who fight crime across Sydney Harbour and surrounding locales. The show was set on and around Goat Island in Sydney Harbour.
A character-based television drama series about the lives of police officers in the fictitious Australian country town of Mt Thomas, this series began with the arrival of Constable Maggie Doyle (Lisa McCune) to the Mt Thomas station in the episode 'A Woman's Place'. Doyle and avuncular station boss Senior Sergeant Tom Croydon (John Wood) were the core characters of the series until the departure of Lisa McCune.
Immensely popular for a decade, Blue Heelers was cancelled in 2006 after thirteen seasons. The announcement was front-page news in Australia's major newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney's Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Age in Melbourne, and Brisbane's Courier Mail.
On June 8, 2006 Ross Warneke wrote in The Age:
'It's over and, to be perfectly blunt, there's no use lamenting the demise of Blue Heelers any more. When the final movie-length episode aired on Channel Seven on Sunday night, 1.5 million Australians tuned in, a figure that was big enough to give the show a win in its timeslot but nowhere near big enough to pay the sort of tribute that this writer believes Heelers deserved after more than 500 episodes.It is unlikely there will be anything like it again. At almost $500,000 an hour, shows such as Blue Heelers are quickly becoming the dinosaurs of Australian TV.'