SLIANZ Committee


Mireille (Micky) Vale
I’m originally Dutch and got involved with the Deaf community as a 13-year-old when a foster family with six deaf children moved in next door. This led to night classes in Sign Language of the Netherlands, and eventually a move to the UK in 1989 to study part-time for an M.A. in Sign Linguistics. In my final year at uni I met my husband and when his parents moved to New Zealand, we followed suit. We moved to Wellington in 2004 and can’t imagine ever living anywhere else now. 

After completing my M.A. and working as a note-taker, electronic note-taker and Communication Support Worker in primary, secondary and tertiary education, I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in BSL/English Interpreting in 2004. In New Zealand I have mainly interpreted in tertiary education settings but I also work as a community interpreter. Since 2008 I have worked intermittently in the Deaf Studies Research Unit as the Database Manager for the NZSL Online Dictionary.  I occasionally teach on the NZSL courses at Victoria University and taught on the Postgraduate Diploma in sign language interpreting. I completed my PhD in 2017.

My goal for the coming term is to continue to nurture the relationships SLIANZ has built with other organisations as we navigate through a changing environment: different funding mechanisms, developments around standards and registration, and interpreting for remote audiences amongst other issues. Regular professional development opportunities and information sharing are also high on my priority list.


Louise Hackshaw
Born and bred in Auckland, I graduated with the DipSLI in 2000 and interpreted predominantly in Tertiary Education, with minor stints in the community. I completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting through Macquarie University / VUW in 2012. I also spent about 5 years teaching part-time on the DipSLI / BA at AUT.

In my previous life I worked as a travel consultant and a reservations/ticketing agent for Thai Airways.

I am currently working for Connect Interpreting as Regional Scheduling Manager.

My goal for the NZSL interpreting profession would be to see more member involvement in SLIANZ, particularly from those in the regions, and increased opportunities for all our members to further education after graduating. I also hope to see the inclusion of Deaf interpreters in the profession in the not too distant future.

Tarsha Cutelli - Treasurer


Tarsha Cutelli
Originally I’m from Whanganui, but started learning NZSL after a move to Lower Hutt when I was 24. I have previously trained, and worked, as a secretary. I have also completed Level 4 and 5 computing. I am currently studying Māori.

I graduated in July 2012. I completed the Medical Interpreting and Legal Interpreting Certificates in 2013. I have mostly worked in compulsory education settings, but have been working in tertiary and doing more community work recently. I have a special interest in medical interpreting as I grew up quite sick and know what it’s like to not understand the doctor!

I am a twin, and my twin sister B is also an NZSL Interpreter.

My goals for the next term are for SLIANZ to really get our heads around the Standards / Registry and to support the committee in whatever way I can!

General Committee

Kimberley Olivecrona
Originally born and bred in Wellington, I moved to Auckland in 2014 to study at AUT. Having completed my degree I decided that Auckland is where I would stay. I have done previous studies at both Victoria University and Massey University which has lead me to be currently part way through a Bachelor in Business Studies, this was put on hold when I decided to pursue a career as a New Zealand Sign Language Interpreter.

I completed the Bachelor of Arts NZSL – English Interpreting in 2016 and have been working interpreting as one of the Connect Interpreting Interns. I’ve been enjoying interpreting in the community as well as some Tertiary interpreting.

One of my goals for the next term is, with the launch of the new website, I am looking forward to working with this platform to make the SLIANZ website an even more useful resource for Interpreters, Deaf community members and the wider community in general.

Shizue (Shiz) Sameshima

I’m originally from Japan but I came to New Zealand when I was 7. I graduated as an interpreter in 1996 and now work booking interpreters for one of the agencies. For the next term, I would like to contribute something back to SLIANZ as it has been a long time since I last served on the committee.

Ruth Sullivan-Whyte

I first started learning NZSL way back in 2005 while doing my primary teachers degree in Otago.  After graduating I became a communicator for 2 years then decided to move to Brisbane, Australia with my partner and become a qualified interpreter over there.  I completed my diploma of interpreting in Auslan in 2010 and became qualified under NAATI.  I worked throughout Brisbane, first as a University interpreter then I was lucky enough to get a job with Deaf Services Queensland and travelled throughout Queensland working with widely varying businesses and clients.  At the end of 2013 we decided to move back to my home on the West Coast and now we live in Hokitika where we run 2 butcher shops (my partner is a butcher), I work for Van Asch Deaf Education Centre as a NZSL tutor, teach night classes and work occassionally as an interpreter.  I look forward to meeting you all throughout my time with the committee.

Dale Thomas

I’m a young buck from the mighty town of Hamilton (Go Chiefs!). For those who do not know who I am, I am a CODA of two parents and so naturally, NZSL was my first language and eventually picked up English through my time at primary school. As for me personally, I like to catch up with mates and and throw down with a board/card game or three. Right now I Auckland is where I live but Hamilton will always be home for me.

As the eldest child in my family, I had the delight/privilege/curse of being the family interpreter. Little did young Dale know that all of those years being family interpreter help lead him to becoming a professional interpreter! Completing my time at university in 2016, where some of my rough edges were smoothed out, I have been working as an NZSL interpreter since that time. Another area of interest that I had was actually economics and business management. It was a field I was always interested in, and if I was not interpreting, it’s where I’d be.

My role on the SLIANZ committee is to continue being a strong supporting member, providing a youthful perspective that may come in handy when tackling some of the issues that may arise.

Co-Opted Support: Tuakana-Teina

Rose Buttler-Stoney
I live in the Franklin district; graduated  AUT in the year 2000 and then completed the Postgraduate studies with Macquarie/Victoria University in 2011.

I have had the opportunity to work as an interpreter locally and abroad, spending 4 years in the UK. I am currently serving my fourth year with the SLIANZ committee, at present in a co-opted role as the Tuakana/Teina programme leader and I am dedicated to continuing to work towards implementing this programme.

I currently divide my time between the Video Interpreting Service and tertiary.

Co-opted Support: WASLI Regional Representative

Angela Murray

I have served as the Oceania representative for the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) for a number of years, and have led much of the work in organising the first Regional WASLI Oceania Conference in Fiji. In July 2019, the  Oceania representative role will pass to another interpreter association in the region.