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360 Supervision is a UK-based partnership between Cathy Davey, a Psychotherapist, and Ali Hetherington, a Sign Language Interpreter. Both are experienced practitioners and Supervisors with a passion for supervision. They offer a bespoke Diploma in Supervision for Sign Language Interpreters to qualify as Supervisors.

The August 2020 edition of the 360 Supervision Blog features an invited reflection by Connect Interpreting interpreter and manager, Lynx, about her journey to becoming a qualified supervisor.

Read the article here.

pohutukawaEvery year we have a Christmas celebration for our Deaf clients, as a way to say thank you for the continued support of Connect. This is always a popular event, and the party on December 19 was again a lively and well attended evening. There was the usual fabulous finger food, drinks and cake…as well as a recap on the Connect year, and an acknowledgment and a minute’s silence for all the Deaf members of the community who sadly passed away during 2019.

We look forward to continuing to provide interpreting services to the community in 2020 and beyond.

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.

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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!

On 21st November 2019 Lynx travelled to Wellington to facilitate a Peer Supervision session for a small group of Wellington interpreters. Grateful thanks to Micky for hosting in her fabulous home.

Wellington

As some of the participants had not attended a Supervision session before, Lynx spoke briefly about the aims, approaches and models of supervision and a little about her recent study at the University of Auckland on stress, trauma and resilience. The rest of the evening was a practical group supervision session with participants who were willing to share some reflections on their work and with input and ‘curious questioning’ from listeners. Some feedback from the evening:

“Supervision was awesome and I really enjoyed it. Because the group was small, discussions were rich and meaningful and we all seemed in tune with one another. Interpreting can be really stressful, but having colleagues who support you in a constructive way and understand firsthand what its like, is reassuring. It was a well-structured and informative session and I found supervision invaluable.”
“Peer supervision sessions provide different experiences and learning each time whilst also being consistent in quality. Being able to discuss situations with structure and purpose leads to intentional growth and this in turn helps keep us reflective and safe in our practices. Highly recommend!”

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: lynx@connectinterpreting.co.nz

 

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.

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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

Nigel

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