H&A don punk

Norman Coburn as Donald Fisher in 1989, dressed as a punk.

Norman Coburn is an Australian actor who played the role of grumpy, but later compassionate high school teacher, deputy principal and later principal Donald Fisher of Summer Bay High School to 2003 and again in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Coburn's character Don was originally a bit of a bad boy but soon mellowed. Coburn's daughter Nana Coburn also featured in the show in 2 roles, firstly as school bully Vicki Baxter in 1989-90, and Lisa Matthews in 1995. Fans have expressed an interest in Norman returning to the series for the 30th anniversary in 2018.

Pre Home And Away careerEdit

Norman Coburn was born on the 9th March 1937 in Earlwood, Sydney, NSW, Australia. He trained as an actor and moved to England in the late 1950s where he had many guest roles in Dixon Of Dock Green, and Coronation Street. Norman, in his younger years also was a successful businessman and land owner who ran a vineyard in Cornwall, England and also had 2 restaurants in London in the early 1960s and was married to a dancer named Tina, who was three year s younger. He appeared in numerous soap operas including A Country Practice and Sons and Daughters.

This 1970 Canberra Times article may be of interest

Home And Away 1988-2003, 2004, 2005, 2007Edit

In 1987, Norman got the role of Donald Fisher in upcoming soap, Home And Away. Whether Norman applied or was selected for the role is unknown. Norman began filming for the pilot episode in July 1987 and along with the rest of the cast began filming of the regular series in October that year.

Home And Away was Norman's big break. He instantly became a household name in Australia and across the world, especially in the UK where the show was getting 14 million viewers an episode.

In 2003 Norman decided to leave H&A after 15 years. His dog died and he realised his dog was as old as H&A so decided it was time to go. Donald retired and moved away from the bay.

Norman did return briefly in 2004 and 2005 and for a longer stint in 2007. It is unknown whether Norman Coburn, who was one of the popular characters as Donald is the early years is returning for a guest role for 30th anniversary in 2018.

After Home And AwayEdit

In 2008 Norman appeared as Jeff in the sitcom The Hollowmen. Since Home And Away Norman has done some theatre work but is semi retired.


It is widely reported that Norman Coburn played a labourer in the long running British soap opera Coronation Street sometime in the 1960s. The show begun in 1960 and Norman was based in England for many years from about 1958 to the 1970s. It may be that the episode he appeared in has not been repeated since its original broadcast because Granada Plus only started showing reruns of Coronation Street from April 1976 onwards. Over 900 episodes of Corrie were made during the 1960s. He may have been uncredited as it was probably a minor role.


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