Tammin Sursok was a teenager when she landed a role on Home and Away and became a household name.

Since Summer Bay, Tammin has spent the past 15 years in Los Angeles where she has landed roles in television shows including Young & Restless, Pretty Little Liars, Flicka and more.

While in the States, Tammin met and married film director Sean McEwan and the couple shares two daughters, Phoenix, eight and Lennon, three.

Returning to Australia earlier this year for filming commitments, including a role in the upcoming drama series The Good Hustle, the actress and her daughters also recently featured in a stunning campaign for May Gibbs’ new clothing and apparel collection.

“I’ve always adored the May Gibbs books and love reading them with my girls, introducing them to tales about the Australian bush,” says the 38-year-old, from her current base in Brisbane.

“Sharing that part of my heritage and upbringing with them is really important. So, being a part of this new campaign is very special to me personally and this new collection is just gorgeous.”

May Gibbs wrote her first book more than 100 years ago, and her enduring legacy has continued to captivate generations ever since.

“The illustrations as so sweet, recognisable and really enhance the vivid tales,” says the former Home and Away star.

“Plus, I love how the stories are all about friendship and resilience whilst showing kids just how beautiful Australia’s native flora and fauna really is.”

To launch the May Gibbs clothing line which also includes a limited family apparel range featuring a Christmas theme, Tammin spoke to Bounty Parents about life back in Australia.

Tammin and her daughters, Phoenix and Lennon appear in a campaign for May Gibbs.

Welcome back to Australia, are you enjoying being here?

It’s been amazing. We were originally supposed to come for a few months and because my work projects have been on hold because of border closures we’ve ended up being here for six months now. I believe that everything happens for a reason and it’s why it all happened the way it did, because we have fallen in love with Queensland. I grew up in Sydney so I didn’t know Queensland that well but it’s been a magical couple of months.

We haven’t seen my parents yet. I haven’t seen them in two and a half years, which is wild. We get to see them on 17th of December, I feel like a lot of people are counting down to that day.

Will you head back to the States next year?

My husband is directing a feature film in America in 2022 so we will all go back. Once he shoots that, we will sort of go from there. Being in the film business, you never can really plan what’s going to happen next, because if one of my TV shows is picked up we could be shooting in Queensland for the next five years.

What we lose a bit in stability, we gain so much in experienced and meeting new people and learning about different cultures and seeing the world. My eight-year-old is the most empathetic and compassionate, little girl because she’s seen so much. It’s been a really wonderful adventure.

Tammin and her three-year-old daughter, Lennon.

What tips or tricks do you have for being on the road and moving a lot with young kids?

We’ve been on the road for a year now. We sold everything in October 2020 as we really wanted to see what else was out there in America. Then, my husband wasn’t well with COVID for a few months. So we in Texas for quite a while and then I got the job in Queensland. Before COVID, my daughter had been to nine countries before she was six.

My tip would be, don’t sweat the small stuff. When you’re on a plane or in the car, just give them what they want as we’re all in survival mode. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re giving them too many packets of Tiny Teddy’s or too much screen time.

Tammin’s husband Sean was diagnosed with COVID-19 in January, 2021.

Can you describe what it was seeing your husband battling COVID and how you and your daughters stayed safe?

I’d definitely say it was one of the worst times of my life. There was still so much unknown about the virus, it was way before any of the vaccines came out and it was even before the Delta variant, which seems to be a lot more contagious and a lot more dangerous.

We had been so careful. We hadn’t gone to any restaurants and seen any people from March to December, so for 10 months. Then on New Year’s Eve restaurants opened up and you were allowed to eat at a restaurant, eat outside and be socially distanced. And so we did, we went to a restaurant and the next day, my husband started to feel ill. We didn’t want to jump to conclusions but we had a we had a five-hour drive back to where we were staying and so we said, we’re all going wear masks in the car – even the kids – and we drove for hours and we got home and he went to get tested and it was COVID.  He was COVID positive and the crazy thing about it is that we never got sick. I believe it was because we protected ourselves in the car.

In the beginning, in the first eight days, he was kind of okay. He was sick but it wasn’t nasty. Then, on day eight he went downhill. He had a fever over 40 for two-and-a-half weeks. We couldn’t get it down. I called hospitals and they were full and only accepting patients who had breathing issues and my husband’s lungs were fine.

The virus had inflamed other parts of his body. It was inflaming his brain and his joints but his lungs were fine and so we couldn’t get him into the hospital. I felt really out of control. I don’t really know how he got better. He was really sick and it was touch and go for a couple of weeks and then his temperature started to come down. But he had a temperature for almost a month. He was hallucinating. He texted his friends saying, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to make it’ and he didn’t tell me that until you know after the ordeal. It was definitely a lot for our family and you do appreciate what you do have.

He still has long COVID effects. He has joint paint and he’s intolerant to a lot of foods now so his stomach is in severe pain. There’s a lot of long-term COVID effects that we don’t know about yet. Seeing my husband go through that, it definitely made it very real.