Cronulla actress Kat Hoyos hopes that her new comedy series on Channel Nine, Here Come the Habibs will not only entertain but will be an instigator for change on television.
The show has been billed as Australia’s boldest comedy in decades, the story of a Lebanese-Australian family who win the lottery and move to Sydney’s richest suburb only to clash with their old-money neighbours.
Kat plays Habib daughter Layla, a social media obsessed high school student.
She describes the show as a “fish out of water story” where two cultures collide.
Kat has brought some of her own experiences to the role.
Her mother, Natalie came to Australia from Colombia more than 25 years ago. Kat grew up in a diverse neighbourhood and went to school with students of Middle Eastern background.
But there was no clash of cultures when they moved to Cronulla.
“We were very welcomed into the neighbourhood,” Kat said.
“My mother just loves it here.
‘’There’s a real neighbourhood camaraderie.”
Kat has a considerable stage CV, touring in Jersey Boys, Hairspray the Musical and taking the lead role of Danielle in Bring it On the Musical.
She has also appeared in television commercials for Bonds, Pepsi Max, and McDonalds .
She completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Theatre) from the University of Wollongong.
“Mum is my biggest fan,” Kat said. “She thinks whatever I do is good. It is very exciting for her.”
Here Come the Habibs has given her career a whole new commercial platform.
“Australia hasn’t seen something like this in a long time,” Kat said.
“I hope that in a few years time it will be seen to have created more diversity of television. I hope that we will be the instigator of change on television.
“And I hope Australians can keep enjoying it and support Australian content. It’s their views that reflect what they see on Australian TV.”
Natalie is proud of her daughter’s achievements.
“When I watch her perform I know she is in the place she is supposed to be,” Natalie said.
“When Kat was born my father, Posidio, said she should be in the spotlight, shining like a star.
“Coming to Australia and not having any family here we never had any support.
“It was very hard to be on my own. I had to support Kat. I decided to send her to the best schools.
“I told her you have to give to this country what it has given us.
“This country has given us a lot of happiness and you have to give that happiness back.”