NZSL Board members

The ten members of the NZSL Board include founding board members, appointed on 2 June 2015, and new appointments effective 1 August 2018.

The current NZSL Board members are:

  • Victoria Manning – (Chair) Ms Manning has been an active member of the Deaf community in various leadership roles in the Deaf community and promoting NZSL for over 20 years. She became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to the disabled and Deaf communities in January 2015. (Founding member; term ends 1 June 2019)
  • Rhian Yates – Mr Yates, as a parent of two Deaf children currently in the education sector, Rhian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Deaf community. Rhian, based in Huntly, is actively involved in the Deaf community, and has been closely involved with Kelston Deaf Education Centre, Northern Marlins Deaf Rugby Union, Auckland Aces Deaf Poker, and previously played a part in New Zealand Sign Language Week. (Appointment effective from 1 August 2018 for a three-year term)
  • Daniel Hanks – Twice President of the Sign Language Interpreter Association of New Zealand, Mr Hanks has been part of the New Zealand Deaf community for almost 30 years. After graduating as a NZSL interpreter, Daniel later became a lecturer on the NZSL Interpreting programme, going on to become programme leader and further developed the programme. Leaving to work with the Deaf Mental Health Services to establish a specialist interpreting provision, Daniel went on to further develop that concept into a standalone, nationwide interpreting service. (Appointment effective from 1 August 2018 for a three-year term)
  • David Brown – Growing up in mainstream education, it was not until later in life that Mr Brown begun his involvement with the Deaf community through a multitude of Deaf sport groups, both as an athlete and committee member. David is an active member of the Deaf community, and also brings knowledge of the business world, having previously owned a business. (Appointment effective from 1 August 2018 for a three-year term)
  • Josje Lelijveld - Ms Lelijveld, based in Dunedin, has over 25 years of NZSL teaching expertise, and brings a wealth of NZSL teaching knowledge to the NZSL Board. Josje currently teaches NZSL at the University of Canterbury to students of Specialist Teaching (Deaf and Hearing Impaired). Josje was also awarded the NZSL Champion in the 2018 NZSL Award for her work teaching NZSL to families with deaf children in the Otago region. (Founding member; reappointed August  2018 for a further three-year term)
  • Chris Blum - Mr Blum has experience ranging across the Deaf community, including teaching NZSL at Auckland University of Technology, involvement in Deaf Mental Health Services, and the Friend for the Young Deaf leadership training. (Founding member; reappointed August  2018 for a further one-year term)
  • Richard Peri - Mr Peri is a teacher of New Zealand Sign Language and Te Reo sign, who has strong skills in leadership and communication. He has affiliations with Ngati Porou and Te Rarawa. (Founding member; term ends 1 June 2019)
  • Bridget Ferguson - Ms Ferguson has been involved in the Deaf community and using New Zealand Sign Language for over 24 years as a professional sign language interpreter, a resource teacher of the Deaf, advisor on Deaf children and as a mother of a Deaf child. Ms Ferguson is the Board representative for Deaf Aoteroa New Zealand. (Founding member; term ends 1 June 2019)
  • Dr Rachel McKee - Dr McKee has 30 years of involvement in the New Zealand Sign Language community, in the roles of interpreter, Deaf Studies researcher and lecturer, and social participant in the community. (Founding member; term ends 1 June 2019)
  • Lee Bullivant - Mr Bullivant has wide experience in the deaf community, and brings to the NZSL Board an understanding of the issues facing New Zealand Sign Language users who are in regional towns or isolated communities. (Founding member; term ends 1 June 2019)

Questions and Answers about the NZSL Board

NZSL Board meeting summaries

 Past NZSL Board members:

  • Sara Pivac Alexander – Mrs Pivac Alexander is a New Zealand Sign Language lecturer and a member of the Deaf Studies Research Unit at Victoria University of Wellington. (Stepped down February 2018)
  • Shona Jones - (Deputy Chair) Ms Jones has worked at the Kelston Deaf Education Centre (KDEC) for 14 years, initially as a teacher and more recently as the Pre-school Manager for the Centre. Shona has been involved in the deaf community all her life. (Term ends mid-2018)
  • Dr Kirsten Smiler - Dr Smiler is a Senior Māori Research Fellow at the Health Services Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington. She has worked on numerous research projects around the area of Māori health and disability. (Term ends mid-2018)
  • Note: Karen Pointon was also appointed to the NZSL Board as a founding member, but subsequently was unable to take up her membership.

NZSL Board members

Top row: Shona Jones, Bridget Ferguson, Dr Rachel McKee, Lee Bullivant, Dr Kirsten Smiler. Bottom row: Chris Blum, Richard Peri, Victoria Manning (Chair), Sara Pivac Alexander, Josje Lelijveld

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