NABS interprets for Obama
US President Barack Obama’s visit to a Darwin RAAF Base on the 17th November 2011 proved to be both a privilege and a challenge for NABS Interpreter Liz Temple.
With three and a half hours notice and NABS call centre staff providing as much up to date information and preparation material as was available, Liz found herself positioned behind the podium in amongst a throng of uniformed defence force personnel. She was about to interpret the President’s speech.
Security was of upmost importance with Secret Service men patrolling the area in dark suits and wearing ear pieces.
While Liz and the others waited expectantly for the President and the Australian political entourage, which included the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, entertainment was provided by Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Jess Mauboy and the army band.
The speeches went by in a whirlwind with Liz concentrating so hard on the task at hand that she barely remembers the finer details. With only one moment of nervousness, a large degree of fortitude and a great deal of professionalism Liz completed her role as Interpreter to the President of the United States of America.
This was a wonderful opportunity for a NABS interpreter to generate greater awareness of deafness and access for the deaf community.
Story by Deborah Howcroft-Mills