Queensland’s Auslan interpreters have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to Queensland’s deaf and hearing impaired community at an awards ceremony tonight.

Presenting the Australian Sign Language Interpreters’ Association (ASLIA) Interpreter of the Year Awards, Disability Services Minister Curtis Pitt the awards were a wonderful opportunity to recognise the professionalism and expertise of Auslan interpreters.

“Auslan interpreters are dedicated professionals who often work in demanding and challenging environments–as we saw last summer during rolling press conferences about the floods and cyclone Yasi,” Mr Pitt said.

“Tonight’s winners are from a team of people who gave their time and expertise when Queenslanders needed them most – and without a doubt they saved lives,” he said.

“I congratulate all award winners for their outstanding service and commitment to Queenslanders from the deaf and hearing impaired community.”

The 2010 ASLIA Queensland Interpreter of the Year award winners include:

  • Bernie Chapman – winner of the Interpreter of the Year, Para-professional Interpreter of the Year and Interpreter Advocate of the Year awards– for her commitment, passion and tenacity in advocating for access for deaf people.
  • Leanne Beer – winner of the Professional Interpreter of the Year Award for her work interpreting comedian Adam Hills’ performances. Leanne also provided translations for televised disaster briefings by the Premier.
  • Paula Ambrose – winner of the Educational Interpreter of the Year for her commitment to on-going professional development and her dedication to the work of interpreting for the young deaf children at Miami Primary School.
  • Griffith University’s Deaf Student Support Program (DSSP)– winner of the Organisation of the Year – for coordinating the provision of interpreting and note-taking support for students at Griffith University, QUT, UQ and Southbank Institute of TAFE.

Mr Pitt said the award ceremony formed part of ASLIA Queensland’s first ever Professional Development Workshop Series for Auslan interpreters.

“This professional development workshop demonstrates the interpreters’ collective commitment to professionalism and developing their expertise, and the Queensland Government is delighted to be a sponsor of the workshop” he said.

Queensland set a new benchmark internationally with the Auslan interpreting of the Premier’s media conferences during our summer of disaster, due to our great partnership with Deaf Services Queensland.

“The recent State Budget demonstrated the Queensland Government’s commitment to ensuring Queensland supports caring, safe and inclusive communities with a $1.181 billion funding boost for disability services,” he said.

People with a disability, their families and carers can find information on government supports and services at www.qld.gov.au/disability