National Council

AUSIT is governed by the National Council which consists of elected national office bearers (the National Executive Council) and branch delegates from the branches. The National Council can be contacted through our office contacts.

National Executive Council

Sandra Hale


National President: Prof. Sandra Hale
Sandra Hale is a Fellow of AUSIT and Professor of Interpreting and Translation at the University of New South Wales. She joined AUSIT in 1987 as a student of the Bachelor of Arts in Interpreting and Translation at the old Macarthur Institute of Advanced Education. After completing her BA, she went back to her native Argentina to complete further tertiary studies in Translation. Her other qualifications include a Diploma of Education in Spanish and Italian from UWS, a Master of Applied Linguistics and a PhD in Linguistics (thesis on court interpreting) from Macquarie University and a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Antwerp. She has NAATI professional accreditation in Translation and Interpreting, as well as Conference Interpreter accreditation. She has practiced as translator and interpreter in community and international settings, and continues to practice on a casual basis. For the past twenty years, she’s been involved in the training of interpreters and translators, in researching different aspects of interpreting and translation, with an emphasis on court interpreting and in educating interpreting service users, especially the judiciary, and trying to improve interpreters’ working conditions.
   
Erika Gonzalez Vice-President (Events & Professional Development): Erika Gonzalez
Erika Gonzalez completed a BA in Translation and Interpreting and an MA in Specialised Translation at Universidad de Valladolid (Spain).  She also holds a certificate in Medical Interpreting from the University of Massachusetts.  She started her career as a conference interpreter in Europe, and then combined it with legal interpreting at community level.  To deepen her knowledge and understanding of this field, she completed an MA by research on community interpreting at Universidad del País Vasco.  In 2006, she was awarded an Endeavour Europe Award by the Department of Education, Science and Training, and came to Australia to do her PhD under Professor Sandra Hale’s supervision. She graduated with a PhD in professionalism and community interpreting in 2013.  She was the AUSIT National PD co-ordinator for two years, and is now a senior lecturer in Translation and Interpreting at RMIT.  She continues to work as a freelance translator and conference interpreter.  She joined the National Council inspired by her colleagues and the work they do in order to improve the situation of the profession in Australia.
   
Eirlys Chessa Vice-President (Communications and Public Relations): Eirlys Chessa
Eirlys Chessa, Grad.Dip. Trans & Interp., RMIT, is currently the Vice-President (Communications and Public Relations) of AUSIT. She obtained her first NAATI accreditation in 1990, and has been working in the public service translating and interpreting field since then. Her main areas of interest are medico-legal, workers’ compensation, and occupational health and safety. She serves on various regional and national Committees in both AUSIT and Professionals Australia.

   
Annamaria Arnall Immediate Past President: Annamaria Arnall
Annamaria Arnall has started translating into Hungarian in the last quarter of the last century, as a food technology graduate from the then Horticultural University of Budapest. Her knowledge of the Polish language was in great demand and soon she embarked on interpreting as well, learning the profession on the go, under the mentorship of some of the greatest practitioners of those days. After moving to the Antipodes in 1981, she soon gained her NAATI accreditation and continued translating and interpreting. She also completed a degree in linguistics and anthropology at the University of Western Australia. Annamaria became aware of AUSIT in 2002 and she found that volunteering for the professional association was a superbly rewarding way of spending her free time. The same way some people are devoted to playing tennis or bridge, Annamaria enjoys "doing ausit work" with the fantastic teams of like-minded colleagues and friends.
   
Silvia Martinez


General Treasurer: Silvia Martinez
B. Bus (Employment Relations) | B. Arts Languages & Linguistics (Honours) | Grad. Dip. (Interpreting & Translation) NAATI Professional Interpreter & Translator (English <> Spanish) Silvia joined AUSIT’s National Council in November 2015 as our General Treasurer, bringing business administration qualifications and experience. She acquired NAATI accreditation in interpreting and translation in Spanish<>English in the late 90s, but did not start practising until she completed a Graduate Diploma in Interpreting and Translation at Western Sydney University in 2001. She believes it is essential for credentials to be accompanied by formal training and ongoing professional development and is proud that AUSIT plays such an important role in the latter. Within community settings, Silvia has specialised in legal interpreting and is looking forward to the availability of specialised credentials in the field. Silvia also works as a conference interpreter and loves the challenge presented by highly specialised contexts in these international settings. Translations have been a smaller portion of her professional practice, but she’s enjoying seeking greater opportunities in this area. Silvia combines her interpreting and translation work with general project management and administration, continuing her experience within the finance, tertiary education and manufacturing industries. As well as being actively involved in AUSIT, Silvia is a member of Professionals Australia and is proud to be involved in efforts to organise spoken, signed language and deaf interpreters in NSW with the objective of improving professional and working conditions in the community interpreting and translation setting.
   
David Deck

General Secretary: David Deck
Dave has practised as a translator and interpreter in Indonesian and Malay for about 21 years, has been an AUSIT member since 1994, and is chairman of NAATI’s Indonesian/Malay and English examining panels.  In addition, he ran workshops for both translating and interpreting candidates in NAATI’s Melbourne office from 1998 to 2014.  Formerly an education officer in the Air Force, he returned to the Defence Force School of Languages as a civilian instructor in Indonesian, and then became their Assessments Officer before retiring from Defence in 2009.  From 2006 to 2014 he taught T&I theory (plus Indonesian translating and interpreting) as a sessional lecturer on the Advanced Diploma and Masters programs at RMIT University.  After retiring from regular RMIT teaching, he joined the Vic/Tas branch committee in 2014 and accepted the position of branch delegate; in 2015 he became branch committee chair as well.  He has been able to use his experience gained from NAATI workshops and RMIT theory teaching to teach several short courses in these areas, particularly in helping the Tasmania part of the branch to catch up on a backlog of training for new practitioners.  Most recently he has handed over the branch delegate position on becoming General Secretary of NC.


Branch Delegates (as elected by the branches)

Claudia McQuillan
New South Wales Branch Delegate: Claudia McQuillan
Claudia studied translation and interpreting in her home town of Munich, Germany, and has been working as a freelance translator and conference interpreter for 30 years. Her client base is distributed evenly between Australia and Europe and between direct clients and agencies, mainly in the fields of legal and technical translation. However, Claudia also enjoys the more creative aspects of our profession in subtitling and translating travel guides. Claudia holds a Master in Translation and Interpreting Pedagogy from Macquarie University and has a passion for T&T education and training. She is a long-standing AUSIT member and chair of the Standards Australia mirror committee on Translation, Interpreting and Related Technology. She is a qualified (currently non-practising) yoga teacher, a keen traveller and a happy mother of two adult girls.
   
Sam Berner Queensland Branch Delegate: Sam Berner
B.Ed & Sc., M. A. (Inf. Mgmnt.) Sam is a Professional Arabic>English Translator with over 30 years of experience in the profession. She has been an active AUSIT member since 2003, and was made fellow of the Institute in 2014. A former National President, her current service stint on the National Council is her fourth. Sam is passionate about upskilling the profession and making it more visible by forging links with all stakeholders and promoting inclusiveness. To this end she initiated a number of projects through AUSIT, including the modernisation of the AUSIT website in 2009, and AUSIT’s social media presence on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Sam is also very active in professional development area, both as presenter and organiser, working on various committees from local CPD delivery to FIT2017 Congress in Brisbane. In the coming year, Sam will support the continuing growth of AUSIT membership in QLD and the strengthening of the professional image of it’s members, as well as working with colleagues from other states to achieve AUSIT National strategic plan. When not busy with AUSIT, Sam runs a highly successful translation practice from the cool city of Toowoomba, servicing clients from all over the English-speaking world. She enjoys the interaction with her team of colleagues and gets a real buzz from mentoring newly minted translators. Her other interests include technology, online-learning, world music, photography and reading non-fiction in three languages. Sam is also a member of Professionals Australia.
   
Issa He Australian Capital Territory Branch Delegate: Issa He
Postgrad. Dip. In Translating & Interpreting; Master of Conference Interpreting; NAATI Professional Interpreter (Mandarin <> English), Professional Translator (Chinese<> English) Issa is an experienced interpreter and translator in the legal and medical fields. She studied at Macquarie University from 2011 to 2013, and obtained her degrees and NAATI accreditations. In 2013, she started her own T&I practice in Sydney, to provide quality services to law firms, government agencies, hospitals and various firms seeking business opportunities in China. When Issa followed her work to Canberra in 2015, she participated in various AUSIT events and applied to become an AUSIT member. She joined the ACT Branch Committee and was elected as branch delegate in 2016. Issa loves T&I and how it helps communities of different cultural/language backgrounds to co-exist and collaborate. She is very excited about the opportunity to work with so many inspiring colleagues to promote AUSIT and help improve the profession.
   
Ludmila Berkis
South Australia & Northern Territory Branch Delegate: Ludmila Berkis
I am an Adelaidean by birth and have been a Russian translator and interpreter for 20 years. Prior to this, I spent 15 years working as a research biochemist at Flinders and Adelaide universities. I also studied Russian at university and unexpectedly became an interpreter and translator at the instigation of my Russian lecturer. Jobs in science became scarce due to economic circumstances and, having gained accreditation, I slipped into translating and interpreting without giving it much thought. In 2009, I joined AUSIT and, shortly after, the branch committee. I soon found myself representing AUSIT on the SA NAATI Regional Advisory committee and then, a couple of years later, the position of SA/NT Branch Delegate was added to my duties. In 2013, I became General Secretary of AUSIT, before reverting to the position of SA/NT Branch Delegate in 2016. The motivation for my work within AUSIT is driven by a deep concern in the way the profession has been treated for a long time with regards to the erosion of standards, status and work conditions. I believe that we must take charge of our own destiny and that we can only do this collectively. To this end, I participate in lobbying, standing up for our rights and representing our interests whenever possible at the Branch level and, of course, supporting AUSIT as an organisation.
   
Jonathan Beagley

Victoria & Tasmania Branch Delegate: Jonathan Beagley

Jonathan Beagley is a French-English translator and interpreter based in Melbourne, Australia. Originally hailing from the USA, Jonathan graduated from Michigan State University in 2011 with a BA in Arts and Humanities and a BA in French. He left the USA to work as an English language assistant in France before postgraduate study in theoretical and computational linguistics at the Université de Bordeaux 3. While teaching English and studying at university, friends and colleagues began to approach him to review their original writing and self-translations of articles they had written. It was at that point that he became interested in translation and revision and sought out opportunities to translate part-time online before moving to Australia, where he undertook Monash University’s Master in Translation and Interpreting Studies. He has worked as a casual research assistant at Monash University in addition to practising as a translator and interpreter ever since graduation in 2015. He first joined AUSIT while a student at Monash and has been an active participant at the local branch level and serves on the Ethics and Professional Practice Committee.
He has a strong interest in ethics and translation and interpreting research. He mainly translates medical, pharmaceutical and technical texts when he is not researching or interpreting. He is a proud advocate of the profession and is a member of Professionals Australia in addition to AUSIT. Jonathan works towards improved professionalisation of the industry by encouraging dialogue among all industry stakeholders.
   
Yutaka Kawasaki Western Australia Branch Delegate: Yutaka Kawasaki
Shortly after migrating to Australia from Japan, Yutaka Kawasaki started translating while studying law at the University of Western Australia. After completing a doctorate degree, he became full-time professional English to Japanese translator and joined AUSIT in 2002. He became WA Branch Secretary in 2003 and subsequently held various offices in the Branch committee including the chair and branch delegate. He was also on the National Council for more than four years, serving as the General Secretary from 2010 to 2013. He also served as a member of the Constitutional Review Committee which oversaw the constitutional amendments adopted in 2010, 2012 and 2013. He has translated several books including Towards An Enduring Friendship: Japan and Western Australia: Past, Present and Future that have subsequently been published in Japan.