Practitioner Spotlight: Maho Fukuno

I originally learned English as part of the standard Japanese high school curriculum and first visited Australia for a one-month English program at university. Being immersed in a new culture, even for a very short time, was eye opening for me, particularly the cultural diversity and free expression of that diversity – I felt as if I could breathe more easily in Australia. After this experience, I decided to return to Australia as an exchange student at ANU. While studying, I took a course on cross cultural communication, and I think that it was the first spark of my interest […]

Practitioner Spotlight: Peter Bonser

Born in Sydney, I am the eldest child of deaf parents who used Auslan (Australian Sign Language). I had normal hearing and lived with my parents together with hearing relatives in an extended family situation for the first 10 years of my life. Growing up in this environment meant that I acquired fluency in both Auslan and English. I have always been comfortable switching between languages depending if I was communicating with either hearing or deaf people. My parents were very social and I remember many of their deaf friends visiting our home and my parents taking me to visit […]

Practitioner Spotlight: Thad Patradoon

When I was a university student in Thailand, my lecturer at the Architectural School always used Australian cities as our case study. Being a new country with one of the most advanced planning systems in the modern world, I was intrigued by the idea of seeing the ‘real’ Australia. My dream came true when my application to extend my degree was accepted by the School of Architecture at Melbourne University. I decided to stay on working as an apprentice with numerous design studios in Melbourne after my study. Then one day, an opportunity came knocking on my door. I was […]

Practitioner Spotlight: Juliana Frantz

My passion for travelling and curiosity for other cultures started very early in life. From the ages of 10 to 14, I was part of a dance group that performed in different towns in the southern region of Brazil almost every weekend. We travelled without our parents and were hosted by local families who opened their homes to us. I remember being deeply interested in their different lifestyles, accents and food. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of my travelling adventures. By the age of 20 I had already lived in Chicago for one year, finishing […]

Practitioner Spotlight: Jennifer Plaistowe

My first love in life was not languages – it was music. Being surrounded by different languages and cultures was as normal to me as breathing in Zimbabwe and in South Africa, and I did not make the effort to learn Shona, Zulu, or Xhosa. It was not until I moved to Australia at the age of 15 that I saw the benefits of expanding my worldview and developing skills that could enable exciting travel and career opportunities.  When I moved to Australia, I had English as my mother tongue and textbook Afrikaans as my second language. Afrikaans is related to Dutch and I did not realise that it would actually give me […]

Practitioner Spotlight: Yahya Kilic

I arrived in Australia in 1968 as a 3 year old with my family who had left Turkey in pursuit of a better life. While my parents worked in factories as non-skilled laborers with zero English, my siblings and I did our best to bring home impressive report cards to please them. From about the age of 10, I would occasionally interpret for my parents and neighbouring Turks needing their letters read. I felt special performing these duties, even though the only remuneration was a pat on the back or a treat. I recall difficult words such as deny, remote […]

Practitioner Spotlight: Ruining Ma

When I was a kid, I realised that language is something with great charm: it is mystery. People who can speak multiple languages are magicians who fill the gap between different countries. I was born and raised in China, where most school-aged kids are given opportunities to study English. This is a good thing because, generally speaking, kids learn a foreign language faster than adults; and it had a big impact on both my education and my career as a translator and interpreter. I spent my teenage years in a foreign language school, where students are required to learn a […]

Practitioner Spotlight: Camille Lapierre

Camille Lapierre is a NAATI Certified Conference Interpreter in French, AUSIT NSW Branch Chair and a tutor for interpreting courses at University of New South Wales (UNSW). Becoming an interpreter was something I dreamt of since the age of 12. I was born and raised in the western part of France and had the opportunity to learn a few languages at school and then later on at university. I truly enjoyed being able to communicate with more people across the globe and started to search for a career path that would allow me to use those languages on a daily […]

Practitioner Spotlight: Shiyi Ye

Shiyi Ye is a NAATI Certified Conference Interpreter and Translator; has been a freelance interpreter and translator in Sydney since 2007; and has been teaching the Translation and Interpreting program at Macquarie University in Sydney since 2008. My sincere appreciation goes to NAATI for this opportunity. I think I should share my experience as a student, a practitioner and later a teacher, as I have been wearing these hats for a while, and what I experienced might be a helpful reference for colleagues. It was after the scorching Summer of 2003 that I embarked on the journey in this fascinating […]

Practitioner Spotlight: Dae Young Kim

Early Days My fascination with languages started just before I went to high school while learning the English alphabet during the last winter of my primary school days. My love affair with the English language would continue for the rest of my life. My first encounter with an English-speaking person was probably as a young university student back in the 80s.  I was asked to interpret for an elderly American missionary at our small church near Seoul.  I somehow enjoyed the novel experience, beginner’s luck I suppose. The old gentleman ended up marrying me and my wife a few years later, on […]