Suzy Cato has been the friend of Kiwis, across NZ, for over 30 years; via radio, television and live performance. A household name, since the 90s with the award winning preschool programme You & Me, Suzy created her own production company, Treehut Limited, to create Suzy’s World, Bryan & Bobby and, more recently, her nationwide radio programme, Suzy & Friends.
The key to Suzy’s success as a television presenter, radio host, MC or keynote speaker, is the way she connects with her audience. Her passion for what she does and who she does it for has only grown over the years; as her young audience has grown.
Suzy was delighted in the opportunity to reconnect with her “young friends” when she danced as a contestant in Dancing with the Stars, in 2018. Since then she’s made history being the first ever Unmasked Masked Singer, in NZ’s first series, earlier this year; and she is relishing the chance to continue connecting with her not so young friends, through a variety of speaking engagements.
This mum of two has been inspired by her children to make her dreams come true and with her Kids Radio Show about to embark on its 15th season, she created a YouTube channel several years ago to support the show and to continue producing screen content for kiwi kids and families.
She is has just released her third book, Going on a Holiday. Her previous two, also with Shcolastic NZ, The Kauri Family and Christmas in Summer, were released last year and she has an EP of children’s music on the way and more titles in the pipeline.
As a founding member and Chair of the Kiwi Kids Music Trust, for 6 years, Suzy has worked to ensure the voices of kiwi artists reach the ears of their intended audience – kiwi kids and families – and in doing so has found her own voice; singing her own songs, not just the songs of others.
Suzy has worked closely with both the APO and NZSO on a variety of musical projects in recent years and this year her project, Sounds Fun, which she created with Spark Arena, saw nearly 800 tamariki, from low decile schools across Auckland attend a hands on, interactive music workshop and experience the wonder of the Van Gogh Exhibition and the SM experiment, Happy Place.
She’s already preparing for Sounds Fun 2022 and has also stepped into the role of Chair for Kaipatiki Sounds, a Mentor Programme and Showcase for Secondary School Students of the Auckland Kaipatiki (Birkenhead, Northcote and Glenfield.)
The trials of Covid 19 have provided an amazing learning curve for Suzy as she created over 45 episodes of Science and Maths discovery for Home Learning TV in 2020 and a further 20 eposides in 2021 and was reintroduced to a new generation of Kiwis.
With the many challenges that life has provided in her 53 years she’s learnt that when life throws you lemons you make Lemonade, Limoncello, Lemon Slice and a pretty good lemon fuelled battery, if you attach electrodes to enough of them.