SLIANZ Committee

Micky Vale - President

Term: 2/2

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. 

Tote Hemehema

Tote Hemehema - Secretary

Term: 1 / 2

Based in: Auckland

I was born in West Auckland and grew up in Helensville, a small town in the country and have always lived around the West Auckland region. I am part Tongan, part English and my Nana is from Nottingham in England (like Robin Hood).

I graduated in 2013 (the last breed of the Diploma students) and enjoy working in all areas especially medical and education. 

I studied for four years at Auckland University (Medical School) many years ago when I wanted to be a Paediatrician. I didn’t complete it because I got pregnant with my son Rhythm. I also have a daughter, Baylie.

My years of experience at University and in medicine have been great assets in education and medical interpreting. 

I’m learning more Te Reo and would like to eventually look at trilingual and legal interpreting too.

I’m looking forward to using my skills and experience to help build on the foundation set by the previous Committee’s. I’m excited to learn more about SLIANZ and where I can support my Team and the SLIANZ members. 

Cheryl Astley

Cheryl Astley - Treasurer

Term: 1 / 2

Based in: Auckland

I am from Wellington originally where I attended Victoria University. That was where I discovered NZSL and met my first Deaf friend. I love languages and have a degree in Linguistics and Modern Language Studies from Vic. I have studied Mandarin, French, and Te Reo Māori. 

I graduated in 2018 and am still exploring which are my preferred settings/areas of interest. 

My goals include learning the ropes and understanding how SLIANZ works. 

Sarah Billing - Committee Member

Term: 1 / 1

Based in: Palmerston North

I am a born and bred Wellingtonian but have since lived in Auckland and Sydney. I’m now happily settled in Palmerston North. I have 2 children, my eldest is Deaf and an amazing young woman.

I graduated in 2002.  I work in all areas. A lot of my recent work has been for System Transformation (EGL). Interesting times!

My aim for the coming term is to provide good PD and supervision opportunities for our members.

Felicity Crowe

Felicity Crowe - Committee Member

Term: 1 / 1

Based in: Auckland

I am born in bred in Auckland. I attended Auckland University after I left school and completed a BA in English, also dabbling in Law and Town Planning degrees.  After a variety of jobs I ended up working at Television New Zealand in production and stayed there for the next 10 years off and on while we had our 3 children. I went back to AUT to train as a Sign Language Interpreter as I was drawn to NZ Sign Language. Those 3 children we had are now all adults. 

I graduated in 2004 and since that time I have worked for Kelston Deaf Education Centre as an educational interpreter. I also enjoy community interpreting and I have a special interest in interpreting for the Auckland Catholic Deaf Community. 

While I am on the committee for the coming year I want to provide support to the committee and SLIANZ members. I will be involved in developing a mentoring and supervision strategy, providing support for our Tuakana/Teina programme and keeping an eye on membership registration. 

Reb Guy

Reb Guy - Committee Member

Term: 1 / 1 

Based in: Auckland

 I could yak on, but briefly: I call myself an Aucklander, even though I was born in Wellington. I grew up in Mt Roskill, went to uni for the first time at UofA (linguistics and art history), lived overseas in Japan then Greece then London, came back home and worked in a music store then for Stuff as a web editor, then went to uni for the second time at AUT and graduated as an interpreter in 2015. And now I live in Mt Roskill again!

 I’m currently splitting my time between educational and community interpreting, with a view to building up my skills to be able to take on legal interpreting.

 I love feeling collegiality, that’s why I’ve taken on the newsletter and communications for the committee – I’d like to promote a feeling of unity among us.

 I’m keen to start doing some project work! And I’d really love to finally put to use the Microsoft Office suite that’s been sitting on my computer for ages…

Phoebe Leyten - Committee Member

Term: 1 / 2

Based in: Christchurch

Kia Ora, I am from Christchurch born and bred. My parents are originally from Holland and immigrated to Aotearoa before my siblings and I were born; we grew up communicating in Dutch and NZSL as my mother, Josje is Deaf. I became interested in the interpreting course after completing a Bachelor of Musical Arts in 2014 where I worked on a research project that looked at the science behind making sound visual. My objective was to produce music in a creative way accessible to the Deaf community. However, at that stage in life, my NZSL skills were very minimal and I was keen to improve and learn more about the Deaf world in order to communicate and gauge effectively. This inspired my journey to Auckland. It was during interpreting studies at AUT that I began to understand the value and beauty of NZSL and Deaf culture in more depth. 

 I graduated from the interpreting course in 2018 and currently work as a community based interpreter in Christchurch. I especially love working with Deaf youth and feel passionate about Deaf Education. I’m learning a lot of new ropes as a recent graduand and look forward to developing these skills and experiences. 

During my term as a SLIANZ committee member, I will be involved with the Tuakana-Teina programme, conference liaisons and fundraising projects. I’m very excited and grateful to be part of this team and wider profession. 

Kerry Locker-Lampson

Kerry Locker-Lampson - Committee Member

Term: 1 / 1

Based in: Central North Island

I am originally from Wellington and started my NZSL journey at Victoria University in 2002 where I completed Deaf Studies.  After a year abroad I returned to NZ and enrolled at AUT in 2005.

I graduated from the Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting at AUT in 2007 and spent 18 months working in Auckland before moving to a small town in Hawkes Bay where I have been ever since.  My work is primarily community based and covers a very broad geographical region within the Central North Island.

I am looking forward to providing Professional Development around some pertinent issues facing interpreters throughout New Zealand.  I would also like to make sure that interpreters in smaller regions have access to these events.