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.


“We had the strength to come to­gether to sur­vive. We were there for each other”


Daniella Rule (top left) and her nine daugh­ters.

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