Stephanie was interested in horse riding when she was 10. Thus, she wanted to be a professional equestrian. Later on, she considered a career as a veterinarian before becoming involved with a theater group at university.
Stephanie added "Chaves" to her name when she was working on Home & Away. It is her mother's maiden name. Her maternal grandmother lives in England and watches the show.
Stephanie's father is half Chinese, a quarter English and approximately a quarter Norwegian. Her mother's family is primarily Portuguese.
Her film appearances include The Price (2002) (playing Tasa), Fated Tryst (2004) (playing Blazey), and The Sound of Shadows (2006) (playing Jenna).
Stephanie's portrayal of Kendra Shaw in "Battlestar Galactica: Razor" is her first starring role in an American television series. Her previous television roles involved Australian shows. She also guest starred on an episode of Farscape, but that was filmed in Australia as well.
Stephanie received positive reviews from Variety and E! Online for her performance as Kendra Shaw in "Battlestar Galactica: Razor." Jennifer Godwin, the E! Online reviewer, went as far as to say that Stephanie is "a star of tomorrow." The reviewer for Wired Magazine stated that Stephanie gave the "breakout performance" of the movie.
In 2004, Stephanie played The Pearl Concubine in the play Empress of China at the East Coast Theatre Company in Redfern, near Sydney, Australia.
In 2002, Stephanie starred as Kate in a production of the Sam Shepard play Savage/Love with Sam Atwell, a fellow star from the Australian TV show Home and Away.
Stephanie was nominated for a 2002 Logie Award in the category of Most Popular New Talent for her role in the Australian soap Home and Away. The Logie Awards are the annual Australian television industry awards. Many of the categories (including Most Popular New Talent) are voted on by readers of TV Week magazine using coupons and online forms.
On May 24, 2002, at the Home and Away reunion party and accompanying chat on AOL Live (Australia), Stephanie said that she first decided she wanted to act at the age of three. However, she finished university first. She made the formal decision to become an actor when she was about 23 years old.
(about Kendra Shaw, her character in "Battlestar Galactica: Razor")
Stephanie: She's a reluctant "Cain 2." She doesn't really like people. She either respects people or she doesn't, and I think that she's just in awe of Cain.
Stephanie: Because I mean, how I am -- like how you are or what you are I guess is different to each individual person who knows you. But I'm definitely not a girly girl. You definitely won't see me running around in, you know, pink floral dresses and ribbons in my hair.
Stephanie: (on the introduction of her character in "Battlestar Galactica: Razor") I think that the introduction of Kendra was really, I guess, an act of boldness and an act of ingenuity. ... [To] throw someone into the mix who's never been alluded to or otherwise seen ... so many years into an established series is a very, very courageous thing to do.
Stephanie: (describing her approach to dark scenes, particularly in "Battlestar Galactica: Razor") I think that you just approach them without comment. I mean, I think that it's more just about doing what is done in the scene and then maybe reflecting on or analyzing it later. That's what I do anyways because otherwise I guess you do sort of risk falling into that trap of fretting over how people are going to perceive you vicariously through your character or what your character is doing.