Interpreter profiles

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) periodically profiles interpreters who exemplify TIS National's mission and apply the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) Code of Ethics in their work.

Read about some of TIS National’s high performing interpreters.

Mayssa Powell

Mayssa Powell

Created: 27 November 2017

I regard myself as a bit of a ‘liquorice allsort': I am Turkish by descent, Lebanese by birth, Arab by race, Syrian by decree, British by marriage, and Aussie by choice. I was born in Lebanon to parents of Lebanese and Syrian descent. My native language is Arabic, and I also speak English and French. I spent most of my life in Syria and Lebanon and worked at an International Agricultural Centre where scientists from 32 different countries worked. This was my first real appreciation of different cultures, and... read more

Mercy Kyosiimye

Photo of Mercy Kyosiimye

Created: 06 November 2017

My name is Mercy Kyosiimye and, like many African people, I have a diverse history. I was born in Kenya to a mother who was a refugee from civil strife created by the Idi Amin regime in Uganda. I resided there until my parents passed away when I was eight years old. With the help of the UN my mother had made arrangements for my sister and I to return to Uganda. Once we arrived we were accepted by Watoto, an organisation that looks after orphaned children. I grew up under their care and was educated until I completed... read more

Jolanta Sieradzki

Photo of Jolanta

Created: 28 September 2017

I was born in Poland during the time of communism. The country was being rebuilt after the damages of the Second World War. There were many challenges and lack of opportunities, especially for young people. I was inspired as a child by the life of my father. He experienced a more peaceful and happy life while he worked and lived in England for 12 years, so when the opportunity presented itself to study while learning to become an accountant, I was very happy. A new language as well as experiencing another culture... read more

Susan Laval

Photo of Susan Laval

Created: 31 August 2017

I grew up in a country named Tanganyika, that technically no longer exits. It was part of the British share of the German territory of East Africa. In 1922 it came under a UN protectorate under British supervision, and then in 1964 formally became part of Tanzania. Swahili was the language spoken on the coast of Tanganyika where I was born. Since then the use of Swahili as the lingua franca of Eastern and Central Africa expanded into the whole of Tanzania and Kenya, parts of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, eastern... read more

Amuthan Vethanayagam

Amuthan Vethanayagam

Created: 07 August 2017

I’m a Professionally accredited interpreter in Tamil. I have been working as an interpreter for TIS National for almost five years. I migrated to Australia from Sri Lanka to pursue my education. After completing my degree at Swinburne University in Melbourne, I started working in the Information Technology and Digital Media industry. In my spare time I like: watching movies reading technology related articles photography adventure activities working on IT projects that have scope for user... read more

Hoa Nguyen

Created: 02 February 2017

Passion to help her community 'I started interpreting to help my Vietnamese community when I was about 20 years’ old. I am still doing it for the love of it, not for the money.’ Hoa used passion and persistence to achieve National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) accreditation. She is qualified to interpret and help her community as both an interpreter and a registered nurse. Journey to become a NAATI qualified interpreter Hoa started interpreting as an unofficial volunteer assistant... read more

Bojana Tatarevic

Photo of interpreter Bojana Tatarevic

Created: 18 October 2016

Using her language skills to help Bojana had just turned 17 when she volunteered to help fellow Serbian people when they first arrived in Australia. ‘As I was the only person in the group who could speak some English I became their unofficial interpreter. They were vulnerable and found it difficult in new environments when they first arrived. They felt terrible because they could not get their messages through to enable people to understand them. I guess the need and ability to speak English helped me start... read more

Maria Amore

Photo of interpreter Maria Amore

Created: 23 February 2016

Maria is a Tasmania based Italian interpreter who was born in Calabria, Italy and arrived in Australia on her second birthday. Maria learnt to speak Italian from her parents, ‘Children absorb language and that’s what happened to me’, Maria explains. When she is not interpreting, Maria loves to spend time with her grandchildren and read a wide variety of books in Italian to maintain the language.  Living in Italy Soon after she married her Italian husband Maria moved to Italy. They lived in Bologna where she... read more

Afaf Barakat

Photo of interpreter Afaf Barakat

Created: 09 December 2015

Meet one of TIS National’s Arabic interpreter’s Afaf Barakat. She completed her secondary schooling in French but today is one of TIS Nationals longest working Arabic interpreters. Afaf, originally from Zahle in Lebanon, arrived in Australia with her family in 1965.  ‘We arrived in Australia and were lucky enough to quickly get jobs as machinists in a factory.’ A business career while interpreting Soon after arriving in Australia, Afaf had a career of working as a sales consultant for Bessemer cookware... read more

Sanaa Nouseir

Photo of interpreter Sanaa Nouseir

Created: 14 August 2015

Learning languages is Sanaa’s passion Sanaa, an Arabic interpreter based in Sydney, was born in Syria into a household where languages and learning were prized as the pathways to lead a successful and happy life. Her passion for language was cultivated by her late father, who loved intellectual pursuits and worked as a teacher, poet and writer. Sanaa said, ‘because of my father I achieved where I am today. He was encouraging of all his children and wrote beautiful poems for them and my mother about our journey... read more