Max and his sister Izzy did most of their growing up at boarding school, displaced by their flighty parents Rosie and Bobby. As the elder of the two, Max always looked out for his little sister and cultivated a stern sense of responsibility.
He married Claire and had two children, but when Claire died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition he found it hard to cope. Max has never been good at expressing his emotions, a fact which later saw him in anger management therapy.
He sent Boyd and Summer to live with their grandma, and went to work on the oil rigs. The isolation allowed him to deal privately with his grief while he thrived on the hard, manual work and uncomplicated all-male company. He joined his kids in Erinsborough when Summer was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome (the same affliction that killed Claire) and Rosie persuaded him to stay. He occasionally goes back for stints on the rig, particularly when the family needs some extra money.
Max has a difficult relationship with both of his parents. He and his mother are too much alike to ever get along. Both headstrong and idealistic, they rub up against tradition and authority the wrong way and frequently find themselves taking opposite stances on big issues. Meanwhile he despises Bobby for constantly promising the world but consistently failing to deliver. When Bobby turned on their doorstep, Max gloomily predicted that he would get everyone's hopes up and then just disappear. Sadly, he was right.
Max's relationship with wife Steph has now survived the disapproval of his son, the interference of his in-laws, the meddling of his sister, infertility, a failed adoption bid and two bouts of cancer. When Steph was recently diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer, she refused treatment for fear that it would harm their unborn baby. Desperate not to lose his wife, Max had her committed. It was the biggest test of their relationship to date, but the birth of baby Charlie has bought them closer than ever. They have also recently celebrated the fact that Steph is cancer-free again.
These days, Max's biggest concern is his son Boyd. Just like Max and his mother, Boyd is very much like his dad and the stubborn pair frequently butt heads. Max strongly disapproves of Boyd's marriage to Janae Timmins, believing that marrying so young is a big mistake. He threw Boyd and Janae out of his home, hoping to dissuade them from going ahead. However, they seem to be happily settled next door and seem determined to prove him wrong.
Indeed, Max should save his energy. He's about to have some serious problems of his own to contend with...