Foxtel today announced acclaimed Australian actors Leah Purcell and Susie Porter along with one of Australia’s rising stars Rarriwuy Hick will join the cast of Wentworth for Season 6, which premieres on Tuesday June 19 – streamed on Foxtel Now and seen on Foxtel’s showcase.

Leah Purcell plays Rita Connors who presents as a spirited, independent indigenous woman, closely affiliated with the Conqueror biker gang. Rita arrives at Wentworth on remand with her trial and sentence pending for Robbery Armed with an offensive weapon.

Leah Purcell said “When I was approached to be part of the Wentworth family, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve watched the show from the very first series, not just to support Australian drama but also because of all the amazing, talented, beautiful and strong female actors that make up this show. I love it!

“Being able to collaborate on Rita and help with her storyline was a privilege. You dream of this type of role; it’s normally the blokes that get all the kick-arse characters, the physical aspect to her was a big plus. Developing her with all the talented and supportive people behind and in front of the camera, with the whole Wentworth team; what an honour.”

Susie Porter enters Wentworth as powerful and feared criminal matriarch Marie Winter. Marie is a seducer and the lynch pin behind a diverse sex trafficking and prostitution industry. But despite controlling a criminal empire, she has never been to jail, always managing to cleverly remain at arm’s length from the law until now with her sentence pending for Assault – Reckless infliction of grievous bodily harm.

Susie Porter said “I absolutely loved working on Wentworth season 6. It’s amazing to be part of such female driven show. The storylines are full of twists and turns and the stakes are always high. It’s just so much fun to be part of it.”

Rarriwuy Hick is fit young boxer Ruby Mitchell who finds herself at Wentworth for assault and resisting arrest, putting her promising boxing career on hold. She’s hot-headed, smart-mouthed, funny and loyal. Frustrated by her inability to box, Ruby’s intense flashes of uncontrollable anger see her transferred to H Block during a riot.

Rarriwuy Hick said “For a young actor, the role of Ruby is one you dream of coming your way. She’s feisty, funny and incredibly complex which makes playing her challenging and so satisfying. To be part of such a respected ensemble is a real privilege.”

Following season five’s jaw-dropping finale, season six resumes with almost all of Wentworth’s inmates and officers stunned by the apparent joint escape of Franky Doyle (Nicole da Silva) and Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe).

As Sonia Steven’s (Sigrid Thornton) life and Vera Bennett’s (Kate Atkinson) career hang in the balance, Kaz Proctor (Tammy MacIntosh) steels herself for Top Dog duties again and the truth surrounding the Freak’s demise weighs heavily on Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva) and Jake Stewart (Bernard Curry). Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) pieces together the events of Sonia’s now apparent poisoning and Liz (Celia Ireland) is targeted, while Allie (Kate Jenkinson) finds solice for a short moment in avenging Bea’s death – however, peace is only fleeting behind the walls of Wentworth.

Wentworth is a FremantleMedia Australia production for Foxtel with FremantleMedia Australia Director of Drama Jo Porter and Foxtel’s Head of Drama Penny Win as executive producers. Pino Amenta is series producer for season six. The directors are Kevin Carlin, Fiona Banks, Roger Hodgman and Sian Davies. The writers are John Ridley, Pete McTighe, Andrew Anastasios and Marcia Gardner, who is both script producer and writer.

Wentworth boast numerous awards and nominations locally and internationally including most recently the fifth season was nominated for two AACTA Awards for Best Television Drama and Best Actress in a Drama Series – Pamela Rabe and won Subscription Television Award for Best New Talent – Zahra Newman.

Wentworth is distributed by FremantleMedia International and has been sold to 141 international territories.