Martha Mackenzie Holden
Jodi Gordon as Martha Mackenzie
Portrayed by Jodi Gordon
Burcin Kapkin
Duration 1988-1989, 2005-
First appearance 8 September 1988
Episode 169
Nickname(s) Mac (by Tasha Andrews)
Gender Female
Occupation Farmer
Residence The Pad

Martha Jane Mackenzie Holden (née Stewart) is a fictional character in the Australian soap opera Home and Away, portrayed by actress Jodi Gordon[1] since her return in 2005 but was originally played by Burcin Kapkin from 1988 until 1989.


The Age reports that the character was named "after Martha Stewart - of the Summer Bay Stewarts, not the American domestic goddess and former jail inmate..."[2]


In an interview, Jodi Gordon said of her role, "I think she'll figure out who she is and where she wants to go and all that kind of stuff over the next few months. You have to hit rock bottom before you can get up again and she's pretty much down there, but she doesn't realise it so I think the next few months will be interesting for her....The dancing story line was definitely challenging physically and trying to get into shape, doing pole dancing lessons and things like that. It was challenging, but also having to dance and do all of that in front of the crew. There's even one scene when all of the boys turn up at the club and they're looking at me - it's like having your mates seeing you half naked. It's not very nice, a bit intimidating but it's always exciting to have a challenging story line like that. It's worth while in the end knowing that you've put everything into it."[3]

The character is one of only three who wears the Chinese made "Summer Bay line of women's clothing, inspired by the show Home & Away."[4]


Martha is the product of an affair between Roo Stewart and Brett Macklin. She was born in the show's first year (1988) and named after Roo's mother, Martha Stewart. Roo, a teenager at the time, knew she could not give her baby the upbringing she deserved, and Brett's family refused to acknowledge her because she was not the boy they had been hoping for. Roo gave her up for adoption. 17 years later she returned to the bay, having tracked down her birth mother and meeting her grandfather, Alf Stewart, in New York inspired her to move back to Summer Bay with him. In earlier episodes, she was cast as a trained electrician. For much of the character's time on the show, she was either in a relationship with or married to Jack Holden. Following Jack's death in a shooting in late 2008, she formed a relationship with Hugo Austin.

Reaction and controversy[]

The character's depiction has met with some controvsery and cultural impact. As Stephen Downie reports, "The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) ruled that the pole-dancing scenes" featuring MacKenzi "contained 'visual depictions of sexual behaviour' and that the episodes should have been rated PG, rather than G," while "many young Sydneysiders had taken up pole dancing as a sport."[5]


  1. CARA LEE, "Soap star's stripper scandal," The Sun (06 Jul 2009).
  2. "Soapie Life," The Age (April 12, 2009).
  3. As quoted in Kimberley Dadds and Kris Green, "Jodi Gordon," digital spy (July 27 2007).
  4. Andrew Hornery with Ben Cubby, "Fashion vistas," The Sydney Morning Herald (April 21, 2005).
  5. Stephen Downie, "Steamy Martha's summer trouble," The Daily Telegraph (November 07, 2007).