Based in: Wellington
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. We have a teenage daughter.
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.
I am currently in the second year of my term as President. My main aim this year is to bring the all-new committee up to speed and to channel their considerable energy and enthusiasm into strategic directions.