Max Simmons played by Bruce Samazan
Episodes 114 - 404
Max Simmons posting to Westside was the best thing that ever happened to him. Working as a Constable at Newbridge had been hard for Max and he felt he had never fit in. So arriving on the doorstep of the Westside Police Station was like a true homecoming. Teamed with Sergeant George Sullivan and fellow Constable Paul Berry, Max finally felt like he had arrived. But his naivety, good intentions and common mistake to see things in black and white made him a hard person to understand and in his early days he was often misunderstood and sometimes viewed as a comic.
Max was from a large family. He was the eldest child, desperately close to his Mother and suffered a bad relationship with his father. So when his mother was killed in a car crash his whole world fell apart. Determined to do his late mother proud, Max joined the police force in a bid to turn wrong into right.
On arrival in Westside he stayed with Bob and Harley. His clumsiness and tactlessness, often prompted by the need to do good, didn’t make him the easiest person to live with and there was happiness all around when a room at the pub became available for him. Auntie Vi took Max under her wing and it was to her that he confided his loneliness. From then on they vowed to look out for each other. Max also made a big impression on Claire Fielding – she was smitten with him and wanted him as her boyfriend. When Max explained that he was way too old to be her boyfriend she was shattered. But she still liked him enough to help him out with his road safety campaign and on the day of the church fete Max became ‘Constable Care’, a sensible police officer who sang safety first rhymes. Ultimately it was his good nature and morals that made him so well respected and he became a valued and loved member of the community.
It sometimes took Max a while to catch onto things and often this made him a comedy centrepiece, but no one was laughing when Sonny Bennett’s dastardly ways were revealed. With Westside on alert and Bob and George out looking for Lisa’s revenge driven brother, Max and Paul were left at the station where Max found the missing piece of the jigsaw. He realised that Kim was in danger and when he and Paul raced to her home they found Sonny holding a gun to her head. With Paul struggling to use a gun after the murder of his wife, Max stepped in and prepared to shoot Sonny to free Kim. But Sonny pulled the trigger first and wounded Max fell straight into the freezing pool. Rushed to hospital Max to be treated, Max was found to have received an arm wound. It wasn’t life threatening but he was ordered to stay in hospital, much to his annoyance. He was desperate to get back on the street and help clear up the Sonny case, and in a twist of fate he saved the day once again when he found one of Sonny’s enemies injecting a lethal drug into Sonny’s drip. He knocked the culprit out with his cast but elongated his hospital stay!
Max continues to shock people when he turns out to be an incredible soccer player. He joins ‘The Kookas’ – the pubs team and becomes their star player. His sporting ways attract the attention of Toni, who has recently split up with Harley. Max is overwhelmed and he and Toni start dating each other. There’s no room for late night or nightclubs as Max wines and dines Toni in the old fashioned way. With Harley raging with jealousy and heartbroken from having his pride dented, he challenges Max to a boxing fight where the winner wins Toni. Despite Toni’s disapproval the fight goes ahead and no one is more surprised than Harley when Max knocks him out and wins. However he doesn’t get to claim his prize when he realises that Toni is still in love with Harley and that he was only ever a mask for her true feelings. Putting on a brave face he steps aside and lets the couple reunite, hiding his loneliness and heartbreak.
Max’s next challenge is that of Nikki Spencer – George’s rebellious niece who seems intent on teasing and riling Max. He falls for it every time and does his best to get Nikki on the straight of narrow. Despite the games the pair actually forge a friendship and when Max faces his worst nightmare Nikki is the one that pulls him through. Whilst out on duty Max runs into Laurel, a local girl with a drug problem. Max tries to help Laurel but he gets caught up in her troubles and in a rage she stabs him with a needle. Laurel is known to have HIV and Max faces an agonising wait to see whether or not he has contracted the disease. During this time Max assesses his life and sees the weaknesses he has. He becomes a stronger person, less afraid of saying what he thinks or feels. Nikki is a great support to him and thanks to she and Toni the needle is found and tested and it is revealed that the blood in the needle was actually animal blood – meaning Max is in the clear. The shock makes Max live a little and he asks Nikki out on a date. It’s definitely a case of opposites attract and to the surprise of everyone they make a very good couple.
With his job usually making him the hero of the piece, Max is devastated when he has to act on something he is not in full agreement with. When best mate CJ finds out he has a young child, Squirt, he does his best to turn himself into a decent young man. He takes on more shifts at the pub and does his best to provide for Squirt. But when a new police officer arrives in town and does not approve of a baby being raised in a pub, Max is ordered to remove Squirt from CJ’s care. His actions set him adrift from his friends and he is cast aside by CJ. Desperate to make amends Max testifies to the child welfare department that Squirt should not have been separated from CJ, and father and son are reunited.
Having been going steady for months, Max and Nikki are rocked when her mother returns from New Zealand wanting to start up a new home with she and Zac. Nikki can’t miss the opportunity to get to know her mother and she leaves Westside. Both Max and Nikki vow to stay loyal to each other and maintain their relationship despite the distance between them.
Max misses Nikki terribly and is grateful to be living with Toni and CJ in their new house. He throws himself into his friendships and gets involved in the latest community projects. But one project he isn’t prepared for is that of Bonnie Tate. The schoolgirl daughter of a rich aristocrat, Bonnie is entrusted into Max’s care to see that she passes her HSC. With her father away Bonnie feels neglected and Max finds it hard to keep her on the straight and narrow. When he sees that her tough exterior is crying out for some family love, Max introduces Bonnie into Martha and George’s care in the hope they can give Bonnie some of the unconditional care that they have shown to him. They do so and with Max’s help Bonnie sails through her HSC.
When it looks like romance could be on the cards between Max and Bonnie, he receives a blast from the past in the shape of Nikki. She is unhappy and missing Westside so Max travels to New Zealand to bring her home. They do not rekindle their romance and unbeknown to Max he is the subject of Nikki and Bonnie’s rivalry. The love triangle takes an unexpected twist when Max seriously injures Bonnie. He is on patrol and involved in a car chase when he accidentally knocks Bonnie over. She is taken to hospital and when she awakes she has no feeling in her legs. After many tests the doctors are unsure that she will ever user her legs again. Max is devastated and racked with guilt. Although he is cleared of any wrong doing, he finds it hard to be around Bonnie and to see her in the state she is in. Nikki talks him round and tells him that Bonnie needs him. Max starts to look after Bonnie and Nikki notices there is a spark between the two. Just as things begin to look up, Bonnie collapses and is taken to hospital where she lies in a coma. Max finds it hard to keep his faith and asks the late Reverend Bob for help. Finding the strength he needs, Max gathers everyone around Bonnie’s bedside and proposes to her. She wakes up and Max’s declaration of love is where E Street ends.
A lovable, funny, devoted friend, Max touched the hearts of everyone who walked into Westside and no doubt he’s still there upholding the law.