Kate Manfredi (Michala Banas)
The eldest of three daughters, Kate always felt the pressure to succeed. While her parents worked hard to provide for their children, she found they could not offer the emotional support she needed. She only received attention when she was achieving at school or through extra-curricular activities.
When Kate met Jodi at boarding school, she was happy to have a friend she didn't have to compete with. Jodi could not have cared less about school marks and achievements, and it was a welcome relief for Kate to have a comic side-kick to help put things in perspective.
The Manfredis were delighted when Kate received a scholarship to Roseworthy Agricultural College. She was the first Manfredi to go to university and her whole family was depending on her to succeed. Although Kate's parents have tremendous expectations of her, they are nothing compared to her own. With a list of short and long term goals, Kate pressures herself to achieve more and sooner. Pedantic, exacting and over-achieving, Kate is a control freak. But life, particularly on a farm, is way beyond Kate's control. Try as she might, Kate can't plan everything.
Kate arrived on Drovers Run brimming with confidence, eager to realise her five-year plan which would see her managing a cattle station by age 25. In 2004, stalkers, Sandra Kinsella and unrequited love with the local vet proved that no matter how prepared you are to achieve your dreams, there are just some dramas you can't plan for. In 2005 she will be forced even further into the realisation that life happens to you you don't happen to it. She will have to learn to roll with the punches.
Michala was already a popular television personality due to her work as Marrisa Taylor on Channel 7's Always Greener. This role earned her a 2002 Logie nomination for Most Popular New Female Talent.
Michala is loving her time with McLeod's Daughters. "It's the hardest job I've ever had," she says, "but I love that it's hard. I still pinch myself it really is a dream role. The scripts are great, the crew's great, the cast is wonderful."
She chuckles when asked about her character, Kate Manfredi. "Kate is so smart and so sensitive, but a bit, well, socially challenged. People seem to respond to that, and love her for it. She's different to any character I've ever played, so I'm really enjoying myself."
Michala has also appeared on other popular television dramas Something in the Air, The Saddle Club, Blue Heelers, Round the Twist, Home and Away, GP and Flipper and in the films Ned and Scooby Doo.