JW Flynn Orator – Susan Emerson
ASLIA had the honour of reviewing submissions detailing the outstanding commitment of many high-calibre candidates for the J.W. Flynn Oration. It is a testament to the extraordinary work and dedication that the nominees have for both interpreting and Deaf communities. Thanks must go to the nominators and the nominees themselves.
It is with great pleasure that ASLIA and ANC2018 announce Susan Emerson (Victoria) as the 2018 J.W. Flynn Orator.
Susan Emerson has worked as a professional interpreter for 32 years and has completed the Post Graduate Diploma of Auslan-English Interpreting at Macquarie University and a Bachelor of Education (LOTE) at La Trobe University.
In Australia, she has achieved the highest interpreting credential as a NAATI Certified Conference Interpreter and is an Accredited International Sign (IS) Interpreter, awarded by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI). Her work as an International Sign interpreter has seen her work at global conferences, events, and as a designated interpreter at political, sporting and international development forums.
She has been heavily involved in establishing and delivering interpreter training programs and professional development workshops across Australia and the world. Under the Finnish Association of the Deaf (FAD) Susan was engaged as Interpreter / Interpreter Trainer (2005-2007), Susan worked in Kosovo to develop an interpreter training program. This role also took her to Albania, Serbia and Turkey. In 2008 Susan, again employed by FAD, worked in Cambodia in a similar capacity. Susan has also delivered interpreter training programs and workshops in Vietnam, Taipei, Macau, New Zealand and Fiji. She is passionately committed to supporting interpreters living and working in developing countries, and equally, to creating opportunities for younger up and coming interpreter practitioners and leaders.
Susan has held many roles in community and professional deaf and interpreting committees, including: President of ASLIA Victoria; co-founder and Convenor of the Creating Opportunities Fund (a scheme designed to provide training opportunities to interpreters living and working in developing countries); Chair of the Auslan Interpreting Industry Forum Victoria; and as Head Coach for the Australian Deaf Women’s Basketball team for numerous Deaflympics, and is currently Treasurer of WASLI and Convenor of the 2018 WASLI Oceania Conference in Fiji.
In 2012 she co-founded the arts-specific community organisation, Auslan Stage Left, ensuring that arts organisations understand their human rights obligations towards cultural participation, and increasing awareness amongst artists, producers and audiences of the importance and value of access in the creative industries.
Susan is a proud native Auslan user from an eight-generation deaf family and has learnt multiple signed languages. She lives and breathes the ASLIA National Conference theme of “Partners in Practise” by including, consulting with and working alongside deaf people in all she does.