Jack first arrived in Summer Bay in 1994 to be fostered by Michael and Pippa Ross, and caused no end of trouble within his first week in town. He frequently wound up Shane Parrish by making a pass at his girlfriend, Angel Brooks. One night, Shane had set Jack up with some false directions to Angel's bedroom and Jack climbed in through the window, only to find he had broken into the bedroom of Donald Fisher, who Shane and Angel were living with at the time.
Jack later began dating Selina Cook, and at the same time Frankie Brooks, and another girl, Sonia, who had previously dated Tug O'Neale. The girls later wised up and got their own back on Jack by stripping him.
In Late 1995, while trying to drive to Western Australia to see his new girlfriend, Chloe Richards, Jack crashed his car in the bush and caused a massive bushfire which cost several residents their homes and left Nelson McFarlane, Irene Roberts' nephew, permanently scarred.
Feeling at his lowest, Jack began trying to make amends with the town.
In 1996, Jack began dating foster sister, Sally Fletcher for a while. Michael stood in their way and things ultimately came to a head.
Later that year, during a flood, Jack and Michael went out to look for Sam Marshall who had been late home. Sam slipped into the stream and Jack went to help Sam. Michael dived in and Jack desperately tried to save him, but Michael was pulled away by the strong current and drowned as a result.
After a visit from a careers officer to Summer Bay High, Jack decided to join the navy and promptly left town. Pippa attended his induction parade and took a photo, which she kept on the mantle.
Jack returned to Summer Bay in June 2000 on the eve of Sally's wedding to Keiran Fletcher. In the four years away from the bay, Jack was no longer the troublemaker he was, but a teetotal, Christian sailor. A stark contrast to the boy had been several years earlier.