The family quickly settled in to Erinsborough and it wasn’t long before a friendship with Neighbours’ stalwart and Ramsay Street local, Lou Carpenter was soon brewing. The two men bonded over their love for beer – a shared hobby and friendship the two still enjoy today.
Hearing of their families good fortune in Erinsborough, the other two Willis offspring, Gaby and Brad decided to joined the rest of their family
But things were never easy for the Willises with constant financial and family pressures providing a stressful burden for Doug.
A builder by trade, Doug was often privy to a new business venture here and there, which more often than not, didn’t end well for him. But where there’s a Willis there’s a way and this couldn’t be truer for the stoic family man, who refused to let his financial failings get the better of him, with the next get rich quick idea always a footstep away.
But despite Doug’s commitment to his family, there were times when Doug didn’t always act entirely inline with his inherent values. Well known for his flirtations and dalliances with women other than Pam, Doug put his marriage under serious strain when he embarked on a brief affair with mentally unstable Erinsborough local Jill Weir. Whist away on business and unsure of Pam’s fidelity, Doug succumbed to Jill’s relentless advances in a moment of weakness. This poorly thought out decision ultimately resulted in Pam kicking him out of their home.
Never one to give up, Doug’s charm and sincere remorse got the better of Pam who eventually let him move back into the marital pad.
The birth of Gaby’s son caused quite the controversy when she decided to name her child Shannon. Coincidentally, this is happened to be the same name Lou and Cheryl had just named their daughter. Always quick with an opinion, Doug thought it was best to name his grandchild Zachary instead and so he did. It took a while for Gabby to accept her son’s new name, but she eventually conceded the name Zachary did in fact suit him.
Despite a long and happy life in Erinsborough, Doug and Pam decided to pack up and head to Darwin for an entirely new business venture.
However no amount of financial hardship and marital woes could prepare Doug for the biggest struggle of all, which was when his daughter Cody was shot by drug dealers.
Unable to return to Erinsborough, Pam returned on her own to bury their daughter.
A recent visit to Erinsborough to spend time with their son Brad, his wife Terese and their two kids, Josh and Imogen lead to the heartbreaking discovery of Doug’s Alzheimer’s, signalling the beginning of what is undoubtedly to be a harrowing new chapter of his life.