Sonia (Yee) Sly is a 3rd generation Chinese-New Zealander.
Born in Christchurch, she has a BA in film, media and literature (Canterbury University), and is also a graduate actor of the prestigious Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. After graduating as an actor, she created a NZ Chinese solo show The Wholly Grain, where she plays eleven characters, and the story moves between a modern day Kiwi fish n’chip shop to the world of an ancient Chinese legend. Following her debut in the theatre industry, Sonia was nominated Most Promising Newcomer Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards (2004). Sonia continued to pursue theatre-based research and travelled to Beijing in 2005 to work with The National Centre for Peking Opera company towards the development of further work.
With a love of writing and plans to move into documentary making, Sonia dreamt of finding a place where she could 'perform behind the curtain,' and eventually found herself at Radio New Zealand in 2008 where she took it upon herself to produce an ambitious 5-part series as her first project, (having never made any radio in her life!). Working on gut instinct and her theatre devising background, her series came to life – The Golden Tide looked into the evolution of the Chinese community in New Zealand and was soon after picked up for broadcast in Hong Kong and China.
Since her time at Radio New Zealand, Sonia has produced documentaries across the board including stories for Spectrum, Asian Report, Southern Stories for Afternoons, One in Five, This Way Up, Music 101, and social history stories for The Vault. Her documentary Here and Now has also been broadcast by international networks including ABC, CBC and RTHK.
Sonia was awarded the RBA New Zealand Radio Award for Best New Broadcaster-Journalist (2010) and looks forward to returning from parental leave in 2014 to produce weekly feature stories and documentaries.