Rebecca Gibney remembers her late father in bittersweet tribute

"I choose to remember the good times."
Loading the player...

This article discusses alcoholism and domestic violence which may be triggering for some readers.

Rebecca Gibney has shared a touching yet bittersweet tribute to her late father Austin on the 40th anniversary of his death.

WATCH: The Back To The Rafters cast get emotional reflecting on the show

Taking to Instagram, the Back to the Rafters actress reflected on her sometimes rocky relationship with her dad.

“40 years ago today we said goodbye to you Dad. If only you had known how loved you were – how we all desperately wanted you to be the Dad we knew you could have been,” she penned.


Rebecca shared a throwback photo of her father Austin and mother Shirley. (Credit: Instagram)

“I choose to remember the good times. The Sunday roasts, the music and the laughter. As Irish as they come. ☘️ And I can feel that in my bones.

“Love you Dad. And still miss you even after all this time,” she continued her post alongside a photo of her mother Shirley gazing adoringly at her father.

Rebecca has long been candid about her bittersweet relationship with her father and his struggles with alcoholism,

In 2009, the mother-of-one bravely admitted that she spent years in a downward spiral of depression, after growing up with a Austin, who was violent and unstable.

Rebecca and her mother Shirley share an inseparable bond. (Credit: Instagram)

“My father was an alcoholic. It scarred all of us,” Rebecca told ABC reporter Andrew Denton at the time, adding that her childhood was so traumatic that she has blocked many memories from her mind.

“My mother shielded us a lot from it. I could remember her putting us to bed and I, quite often, would hear Dad come home but she’d always shut all the doors, so you’d hear the yelling and the shouting and the slapping but you’d never actually see it.”

“When I was older, she said that, on the odd occasion, he beat her so badly she had bruises for six months.”

WATCH: Rebecca Gibney Opens Up On Tackling Anxiety (Article continues after video)

Loading the player...

In February this year, the Under the Vines star made an impassioned plea for greater domestic violence awareness after reflecting on her late father’s “angry” side.

“Having grown up in that environment I always prayed that with time we would find ways to solve this problem,” she penned.

“Unfortunately it’s still as bad in NZ as it is everywhere else and it’s vital we keep talking about this MAJOR issue. It’s not as simple as locking people up.

“Yes we need harsher penalties and yes the laws must change but we also have to find other solutions to this hidden pandemic.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now To Love.

Related stories