Christy’s Auslan Interpreting Story

Published on: 17th February 2022

Meet Christy. Christy is a Western Australia based interpreter and trainer for Deaf Connect. She will be one of the trainers working with students to complete the new PSP50916 – Diploma of Interpreting (LOTE-English) course in Perth. If you are interested in this course, to find out more, click here.

Christy is a self-confessed nerd and started learning Auslan between her Japanese classes, but after a year, she dropped the Japanese class to focus on Auslan. She started her career working in education during the week and working with the deafblind community on weekends. Twenty years on, Christy is a NAATI Certified Interpreter with a Postgraduate Diploma of Auslan-English Interpreting and a Master of Translation and Interpreting Studies.

Christy works three days a week in a primary school as an educational interpreter and does interpreting work in the evenings and throughout the week. Christy describes what she loves most about interpreting as “the variety, experiences and challenges of translation”. She also loves “working with young students, seeing them get that ‘aha’ moment of understanding a new concept or applying a new skill”.

Her work is constantly varied, whether it be interpreting, teaching, captioning, English proofing and editing or voice-overs in a multitude of different scenarios such as medical appointments, theatre performances or an exhibition launch, a radio interview, an engagement party, swimming lessons or sports training, filming, or captioning videos or interpreting lectures. In addition, Christy uses her time to prepare for upcoming interpreting jobs, do her studies, and from somewhere, finds the time to volunteer walking dogs for older people who are unable to do so.

Christy’s advice for anyone new to interpreting or considering a career in interpreting is to become as involved in the community as much as you can. Deaf community events can support you to form relationships that will help you grow as an interpreter. Christy was lucky enough to meet many mentors who graciously shared their language, culture, and experiences with her. Christy also emphasises the importance of “always remembering the privilege and responsibility in an interpreting role. You’ll be invited into some of the most personal moments of someone’s life, and the choices you make can have profound impacts on their lives”.

Ultimately Christy would recommend a career in interpreting. She says, “It will take you places you’ve never imagined, you’ll meet incredible people, and you’ll have a role that is incredibly important to the linguistic human rights of a community.”

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