Vale: Sonia Borg

Pioneering TV writer best known for the 1980s miniseries Women of the Sun, recently passed aged 85.

Pioneering TV writer Sonia Borg, best known for the 1980s miniseries Women of the Sun, has died, aged 85.

The Australian Writers’ Guild, of which she was an early member, yesterday acknowledged her passing in Apollo Bay last month.

Critics said the SBS miniseries Women of the Sun changed the way Australians looked at Aboriginal history. The mini series portrayed the lives of four Aboriginal women from 1820 to 1980. Co-written with Aboriginal rights campaigner, Hyllus Maris, the series won AWGIE Awards, the United Nations Media Peace Prize and the Banff Grand Prix.

In 2006, The Age’s Paul Kalina wrote: “Women of the Sun started conversations in indigenous and non-indigenous communities across the country. Through its fictionalised accounts of the stolen generation, of the dispossession of Aboriginal homelands, of challenges to white Australia’s laws and customs, it put the untold history of indigenous Australia on the agenda.

“It pre-empted a once-robust campaign for national reconciliation.”

AWG Vice President Roger Simpson said that despite the turmoil of her early life as a displaced person – or maybe because of it – Sonia Borg became a very Australian writer.

“Born in Vienna in 1931, Sonia was a trained actor who emigrated with her family from war-torn Europe to India, where her father found employment as an engineer. Joining Shakespeareana International, a theatre company that toured various countries including India, Singapore and Hong Kong, it was when her family made one final move – to Australia – that Sonia’s career really took flight,” he said.

Borg worked as a drama coach for Crawford Productions, and was soon writing scripts for the company’s first television drama series, Consider Your Verdict, eventually becoming the program’s producer. She worked variously as writer, actor, script editor or producer on titles such as Homicide, Division 4, Matlock Police, Young Ramsay and Solo One.

As a freelancer she joined writers Cliff Green, Howard Griffiths, and Roger Simpson to write the landmark adaptations, Power Without Glory and I Can Jump Puddles. Other credits included Mercury, Colour in the Creek, and Young Ramsay.

Feature credits included Storm Boy, Dusty, and Blue Fin.

She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1985 for her services to the industry.

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