Judith Kuring (born 23 November 1948) known as Jude Kuring is an Australian actress who appeared in film and television during the late 1970s and early 80s. She remains best known for her role as petty criminal Noeline Bourke in the soap opera Prisoner.

Jude Kuring
Judith Kuring

23 November 1948
Windsor, New South Wales
Years active1975–83; 2003-2017
AwardsAustralian Film Institute
1980 Maybe This Time Best Actress in a Supporting Role (nominated)

Her film roles include The Singer and the Dancer, Journey Among Women, Newsfront, The Journalist, ...Maybe This Time and Prisoner Queen.


Kuring joined the Australian Performing Group (APG) in Melbourne during the early 1970s and starred alongside Max Gillies, Graeme Blundell, Bruce Spence and others in a number of plays, variety shows and other stage productions written by David Williamson and Jack Hibberd.[1]

She continued performing with the APG and, in 1972, she became involved in an oppositional subgroup of the APG which also included, among others, Micky Allen, Claire Dobbin, Kerry Dwyer, Laurel Frank, Evelyn Krape and Yvonne Marini. The group held its first show, Betty Can Jump, later that year.[2]

Although making her first appearance on the police drama Homicide in 1971, Kuring would not begin television acting for another four years until being cast in a minor role in the 1975 television movie They Don't Clap Losers. During the next few years, she was seen on the television series Alvin Purple as well as playing various characters on comedy shows including Wollongong the Brave.

In 1977, Kuring made her film debut in The Singer and the Dancer as Mrs Herbert, the nagging daughter of Mrs Bilson (Ruth Cracknell).[3] Later that year, she appeared in her breakout role as Grace in the cult film Journey Among Women. She had supporting roles in Newsfront and The Journalist before being cast as Noeline Bourke in the soap opera Prisoner.[4]

Largely portrayed as a lower class thief and the head of a small family of petty thieves, Noeline Bourke was introduced to the series as an inmate emerging to fight Monica Ferguson (Lesley Baker) for position of "top dog" while Bea Smith (Val Lehman) is recovering in hospital. One of the subplots during the first and second seasons of the series focused on her criminal family, and in one episode, her brother Col is killed by police during a hostage situation. Her character was released shortly after, however she was again caught breaking into a warehouse with her daughter Leanne and returned to Wentworth where she served another brief stint.[5]

Taking time off from the series, Kuring appeared in the 1980 film Maybe This Time for which she was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role by the Australian Film Institute.[6]

Kuring reappeared on the series, her character being reintroduced shortly after the death of her daughter Leanne, who had been killed during a protest at the prison. After being accepted into the prison's work release program, she is coerced to help one of the employees, Kay White (Sandy Gore), by using her family to steal fabric from the factory. She is set up by White however and, with the work release canceled, she is transferred to Barnhurst (another prison) for her own protection.[5]

In 1981, she and Chris Westwood formed a women's subgroup in the APG. The two had been discussing the lack of women's roles in Australian theater, often relegated to the stereotypical "hooker with a heart of gold", or as a mother, and began organizing members at Nimrod Theatre. They were also given a $110,000 Limited Life Project grant from the Theatre Board of the Australian Council, which they used for a variety of projects including two sets of play readings, a series of acting workshops and included hosting a seminar on women, comedy and music.[7]

After guest appearing on Waterloo Station in 1983, Kuring subsequently moved away from acting. However, she once more returned to her former career to play a prominent role in the movie Prisoner Queen, which centered on an obsessed fan of the Prisoner television series.[4]

In 1995, Jude featured in the pilot of an LGBTQI+ sitcom called Buck House, playing the lead role of Phyllis Buck. Originally filmed before a live studio audience at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, Buck House underwent considerable rewrites following its initial popularity. A new 8 episode series was created for streaming on the internet in 1997. That series and the 1995 pilot starring Jude Kuring can be viewed on https://aussiegaysitcom.com


  1. ^ Ingleton, Suzanne (2006). "Australian Theatre History. The Australian Performing Group at the Pram Factory". PramFactory.com.
  2. ^ Milne, Geoffrey. Theatre Australia (un)limited: Australian Theatre Since the 1950s. Amsterdam: Rodopi B.V., 2004 (pg. 281); ISBN 90-420-0930-6
  3. ^ Reade, Eric. History and Heartburn: The Saga of Australian Film, 1896–1978. Rutherford, New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1979. (pg. 251); ISBN 0-8386-3082-0
  4. ^ a b "ACMI tributes Jude Kuring". 12 January 2009. if.com.au. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b "PCBH Characters: Noeline Bourke (Jude Kuring)". wwwentworth.co.uk. 3 March 2001. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  6. ^ "The woes of Women in Theatre". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 September 1980. p. 16. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  7. ^ Watson, Sophie. Playing the State: Australian Feminist Interventions. London: Verso, 1990. (pg. 219); ISBN 0-86091-970-6

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