Making the Rules
They’re like an Australian version of the Kardashians — a big family of feisty women, led by a fearless matriarch and followed around by a TV crew. But behind the noisy laughter of NITV’s new fly-on-the-wall series Family Rules is a tale of loss and perseverance.
Daniella Borg was 16 when she met the love of her life, Kevin Rule,Rule and was pregnant a year later withw Angela, now 30. Eight more daughters followed, resulting in onef of Perth’s busiest hou households.
“It just kindk of happened,” Daniella, 4 47, laughs. “I think I was one of thoset women who had really g good pregnancies so it wasn’t hard for me to imagi imagine having another. It w was never the plan bu but I feel very blessed.”
Tragically, Kevin was kill killed in a one-punch attack whe when the youngest, Hannah, wasw five weeks old. Daniella ta talks about her family and why th they agreed to share themselves with the country.
It must be h hard to keep track of everyone. C Can you name all
nine girls and their ages without thinking too long?
We played a game recently, who could run through everyone from oldest to youngest the quickest. I’ll give it a go. Angela is 30, Shenika is 28, Helen is... oh, hang on. She’s 25. I get confused when it’s close to their birthdays. I need time to think about it. Can I start from youngest up?
Tell me about the aftermath of the loss of Kevin in 2004.
It was incredibly hard for all of us. Hannah had just been born, my eldest was in her first year of uni, I had one starting high school, a young one who didn’t understand where dad was … They were all at important stages of their lives and very vulnerable. It was important to continue being there for them, despite my grief. It was draining but my family, friends and the eldest girls were very supportive.
How did that event change you as a family?
I look back on it now and I’m thankful we had the strength to come together to survive. We were there for each other.
What made you want to do this show?
My eldest, Angela, is a singer and she was in a documentary. The (producers) came back after and said they thought we were fascinating and should do our own show. As well as being a bit of fun, I hoped by doing it that maybe attitudes and assumptions could change in regard to Aboriginal people and single parents.
It’s a very entertaining show, with lots of noisy, funny moments. Is this what your house is like all the time?
Absolutely, it’s always busy. I’m used to the loudness — so much so that I miss it when it’s not there. Laughter is something we love. There’s no point being miserable, we just try to enjoy life. We get on each other’s nerves but we’re family at the end of the day.
WATCH FAMILY RULES, 7.30PM, MONDAY ON NITV
“We had the strength to come together to survive. We were there for each other”
DANIELLA RULE ON FAMILY
Daniella Rule (top left) and her nine daughters.