Liz Donnelly is a writer, media producer and teacher. After a decade in the TV industry Liz founded The Eardrops Company and created the ''Eardrops'' audio stories for children. Liz was the recipient of an AMP Scholarship in 2016. Liz is based in Auckland with her family.
Liz Donnelly was born in Waiuku. She studied English at the University of Auckland between 1990 and 1992. In 1998, she returned to Auckland University to complete a Master of Arts in Film, Television and Media Studies. Her Masters studies included research into how preschoolers understand media at different stages and a thesis on drama for 8-12 year olds. Liz also completed a Diploma of Teaching in 2018.
During her time in broadcasting Liz worked at TVNZ in Children’s Media roles, including Programmer for Children’s time on TV2, and Kids Media Analyst. She then worked in production on some of New Zealand’s most iconic TV shows, including Let’s Get Inventing and for nine seasons of Piha Rescue.
Liz has also worked as a freelance writer, with articles published in Littlies Parenting Magazine, where she was a contributing writer, as well as BUMP & Baby, About Kids, Her Business, and Idealog.
Liz’s son had glue ear as a preschooler. Once this was remedied, Liz wanted to help him learn proper sounds, rather than the muffled sounds he had been hearing. Realising that there were no stories that focused on the clarity of words and listening to sounds, Liz says, “This was the seed—a simple idea to record real world sounds and create stories with them so that young children could hear what things actually sound like and learn the language to describe what they were hearing.”
Liz created a series of “radio play” style audio stories for children about a curious rabbit called Eardrop, who listens to sounds. She worked with a team of educators to create a style that helps develop language and listening skills, first producing Sounds of the Country, then Sounds of the City and Sounds of the Home. Parents throughout New Zealand credit Eardrops for new words, extra sleep and peaceful car journeys.
In 2016 Liz was the recipient of an AMP Scholarship. As a result she chose to produce the Eardrops stories in Te Reo Māori, releasing Ngā Tangi o Te Tuawhenua, Ngā Tangi o Te Taone and Ngā Tangi o Te Kāinga during Māori Language Week in 2017. In addition, Liz created a new bilingual set of Eardrops stories, designed to teach sets of te reo Māori words to English speakers. Sounds of the Tuawhenua, Sounds of the Tāone and Sounds of the Kāinga have been widely embraced and the entire Eardrops te reo Māori series is in use in homes and schools throughout New Zealand.
Updated July 2022.