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Lynx: October 2019

standingOn 15th October 2019 I had the privilege of giving an 80 minute guest lecture about my work as an NZSL-English Interpreter to a cohort of interdisciplinary senior students at The University of British Columbia (UBC). The students had enrolled in an elective course called Living Language: Science & Society, using “language science as a model for examining the knowledge they have gained in their respective disciplines and how to apply it beyond their graduation, in work and life.”

I have a great deal of admiration and respect for the co-designers and lecturers of the course, Professor Mark Turin and Professor Janet Werker, and I was honoured to be invited.

If you are interested in reading the lecture notes, please contact Lynx:


On Friday 27th September Connect hosted a two-hour Te Reo Māori PD session, taught by Mātua Arapeta Whaanga (Araz). The session aimed to provide an introduction to Te Reo for some, a refresher for others; however, the primary purpose was to encourage interpreters to seek further training in Te Reo. This is long overdue. The response was overwhelmingly positive, as illustrated by the following feedback:

I thoroughly enjoyed the “Te Reo Māori Professional Development Evening” organised and hosted by Connect Interpreting on Friday 29th September. It was a great success because the matua/kaiako delivered his workshop in an engaging and authentic way. We were introduced to both te reo and te ao Māori….I was blown away with how well [he] gauged our needs and pitched to a level that everyone could benefit from.  Inga

This session was great! Practical, pitched at the right level for age and linguistic understanding of participants, non-apologetic about insisting on correct pronunciation, and tutor was skilled and able to change direction to cover needs as they arose. Great tutor, useful content, friendly and supportive environment.  Janet

I really enjoyed this session! It was the first Te Reo Maori lesson I have had and I feel like I learned a lot. Not just about the language, but about te ao Maori as well. And the tutor was great, very knowledgeable and funny! If there is another session I will definitely be there. Taria

I was excited when Connect organised some Te Reo Maori PD for us…I arrived to a Connect warm welcome (as always) and a lovely full room of interpreters. Our teacher was…skilled at putting us all at ease. His pace was excellent. I loved how he explained why and how a person shares their pepeha. It made so much sense. Thank you so much Araz and  Connect Interpreting for a fantastic PD sessionJulie

The tutor was engaging, funny and created a lovely safe learning space for us. This is so vital now to our profession… I had already decided to learn Te Reo after i graduate and this PD cemented that goal and also exercised some language skills I forgot I had. On a more general note, I’d like to thank the Connect team for your commitment to ongoing PD….Thank you so very much.  Taryn

img_4632On Saturday 19th January 2019 Lynx presented two separate sessions on Professional Supervision in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the invitation of WAVLI (Westcoast Association of Visual Language Interpreters).
The sessions were held in the lovely Aboriginal Gathering Place at Douglas College, New Westminster.  Each session was for two hours, incorporating a brief overview of the rationale and theory of Professional Supervision as well as the experience of a practical group supervision. This gave the Canadian participants (both hearing and Deaf interpreters) a taste of what supervision has to offer, and gave some extra impetus to those interpreters who are keen to undertake some training in this field. The sessions were very well received and will be repeated in June 2019, as there is a waiting list of 52 interpreters wanting to know more about this vital form of professional development.

Some comments from participants, in response to the question “Most useful learning from the sessions?”:

“That supervision is for all levels of experience”

“Made me realize that we really need this kind of support here – so many interpreters would benefit from this”

“Great ‘taste’ of what supervision is: impressive in such a short time frame”

“Nice blend of overview, context and practical”

“What supervision is, how it can be done, why it is important.”

Lynx has received a further invitation to present in Victoria, BC, in October 2019.

Saturday November 3rd 2018

Five Christchurch interpreters attended this all day Professional Development offered by Connect Interpreting, with another interpreter attending for the morning session on ‘Self Care’ and one more for the afternoon supervision session.

Julia Freeman, building on the very successful ‘Self Care for Interpreters’ PD held in Auckland in August 2018 (presented by Julia, and Kimberley Olivecrona), facilitated the morning session. This very comprehensive presentation included identifying the various aspects of self care; emotional, mental, physical, social, spiritual and practical. These aspects were further expanded upon to highlight what sorts of activities fall into each category, informed in part by interpreters’ own self care preferences. Julia also presented information about resources which can assist in identifying one’s personality and/or disposition, an important factor when considering one’s own individual self care needs. There was also a discussion about possible barriers to self care; again, important to identify what may be preventing an interpreter from using self care strategies. Finally Julia offered a comprehensive list of tools and resources for self care.


After lunch Lynx facilitated a two hour supervision session. This included a brief introduction to Professional Supervision, explaining the difference between supervision, mentoring, coaching and counseling. She outlined some of the approaches and models of Professional Supervision, explaining her preferred approach and model and why she believes supervision is a vital tool for interpreters’ ongoing reflection and learning. This was followed by a practical group supervision session, during which curious questions were asked by the group participants and which led to some insights and potential strategies.

The feedback from the day was overwhelmingly positive. Connect looks forward to offering more PD sessions outside the Auckland region.

Connect is delighted to have sponsored Nigel Howard’s Keynote at the WASLI Oceania conference in Fiji, reflecting our ongoing commitment to the development of Deaf Interpreting in NZ and internationally


In 2016, we had the privilege of being the recipients of Connect’s new graduate internships. It was the first year that Connect had decided to offer two internships instead of one, and since we had gone through the interpreting course as classmates and friends, it felt great to know that both of us would be experiencing the many benefits offered by the internship programme.

The first year of interpreting after graduation is full of challenges for any new grad. There is always a steep learning curve that comes when you finally start working as an interpreter, and there are many things that can only be learned by actually doing the job. Thankfully, the support offered by the internship meant that although we encountered plenty of challenges, we knew that there were always people with experience and expertise to guide us through them. Having a booking co-ordinator like Shiz (who was very familiar with us and our skills, having also taught us as students) meant that the jobs we were assigned to were challenging enough to stretch us, but not so hard that we were not competent to do them effectively. The huge range of contexts and clients we worked with gave us invaluable opportunities to develop our skills as professional interpreters.

Supervision has been a huge support for us in reflecting on 2016’s challenges and successes. Without the benefit of experienced hands guiding us through the process of self-analysis, we’d have found it difficult to accurately judge our ethical decision-making. Our supervisors offer fresh perspectives on the challenges we have faced, and, more crucially, help us to see more clearly where we might have put a foot wrong without realising it, or where we may have made a good decision when it didn’t feel like it at the time.

With solid and unfailing support behind us, we feel that 2017 will be a time of even more growth. We are looking forward to discovering new areas of strength by saying ‘yes’ to more challenging opportunities, and building up our strategic toolkits with tips and tricks gleaned from our colleagues. 

Julia & Reb

A huge thanks to Lynx of Connect Interpreting for the supervision workshop provided during the final weekend of October. Lynx very generously travelled to Palmerston North and ran the workshop at no cost for local interpreters. It was an excellent workshop and a rare PD opportunity for interpreters in the area. Unfortunately, Hawkes Bay had previous commitments, but Wairarapa, Manawatu and W(h)anganui were able to attend. A donation was accepted on behalf of DINZ.

Lynx began with an explanation of the difference between mentoring and supervision. This was very helpful, as only one member of the group had previous experience of formal Supervision. The benefits and aims of Supervision were also discussed and Lynx presented the What? / So What? / Now What? model.

At the request of one member of the group, the subject of vicarious trauma was also discussed. Lynx took us through the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale (this can be found on Wikipedia) – the scale rates a variety of life events with different values, up to 100. We were asked to tick all the life events that we had experienced in the past 12 months, then add up the corresponding values – the final score gives participants an indication of whether they have slight, moderate or high risk of illness. First this scale was applied to ourselves, and then it was applied to scenarios that we have experienced/witnessed in our roles as interpreters. The results were somewhat shocking for most of the interpreters in the group. Lynx recommended Tarsha Cutelli’s write-up of Rachel Coppage’s Vicarious Trauma workshop as helpful follow-on reading. This article can be found on the Connect Interpreting website.

A discussion was had around the “rules” for effective supervision – ask appropriate questions, avoid offering advice or answers, don’t moralize, etc. and then the group engaged in a session, guided by Lynx. Each participant was given the opportunity to discuss and to consider strategies for improvement around real-life interpreting scenarios that had raised challenges/demands of one kind of another – intrapersonal, interpersonal, environmental or linguistic.

As “outerpreters” we mostly work solo. Life can be busy. Without a decision to regularly participate in supervision, jobs follow jobs, and it can sometimes be difficult to carve out the time to stop and constructively reflect on the work we have done. Now, having a framework for peer supervision, we can more effectively focus on what we have experienced as interpreters (What?), analyse our feelings and think about why we did what we did (So What?), and consider how we might do things differently the next time (Now What?). Everybody wins.

As a group our intention is to meet together every second month for peer supervision.

Thank you Lynx and thank you Connect Interpreting for running such a valuable workshop for us.

Ruth Metcalf