A Connect PD event facilitated by Rachel Coppage

This three hour workshop was held on Saturday 30th November 2019. It was an invitation-only workshop as it had not been trialed before, and was therefore limited to 12 participants (including Rachel).

The intent was to explore the interpreter-Deaf client relationship, and to address psychological implications of interpreting in every day work life. Participants were encouraged to create an image to illustrate the interpreter’s experience as a mediator between an oppressed sociolinguistic minority and the dominant culture.


Connect is committed to a short practice or revision of an aspect of Te Reo or Tikanga Maori at the beginning of every PD event. This workshop began with a Karakia and a ten minute practice of numbers and how they are structured in Te Reo, from 1 – 1,000 (and more).

Rachel then invited participants to share a short reflection of their work-related and personal experiences of 2019, and of “where they were at right now”. She then explained the intent of the workshop and the materials available to work with. There was no expectation of ‘artistic merit’, and there was to be no judgment. The exercise was to encourage reflection and expression through a different medium to the usual spoken word or other modes of reflection.

Everyone was absorbed in creating images for the next one and a half hours, followed by a ‘round’ where each interpreter talked about their image. All agreed that it had been a very calming as well as a thought-provoking activity. The three hours passed very quickly – all participants would like the workshop to be repeated again!