New members appointed to the NZSL Board

The search is over in this 2018 NZSL Board appointments process. In this round, five appointments have been made, effective 1 August 2018.

View NZSL video: New members appointed to the NZSL Board 

In this round, five appointments have been made, effective 1 August 2018: three have been awarded to new members; while two existing members have been reappointed. There will be another opportunity for people to put themselves forward for six board positions in 2019.

These appointments have been made following a well-publicised appointments and selection process, resulting in recommendations for appointment that received final approval by the Minister of Disability Issues.

Office for Disability Issues Director, Brian Coffey, says, “Congratulations to new members Rhian Yates, Daniel Hanks and David Brown, all of whom will serve a three-year term. We’re also fortunate to be able to welcome back Josje Lelijveld, for a three-year term, and Chris Blum, for a one-year term.

“Along with the other five existing members (Victoria Manning, Bridget Ferguson, Lee Bullivant, Richard Peri, Rachel McKee), they will provide some continuity during this period of transition.

“The NZSL Board continues to be a ten-strong team of NZSL users, with the majority being Deaf. We believe that the new appointees add to the diversity of the Board in terms of gender balance, and in bringing perspectives of youth, families, older people, and people who use NZSL as their primary language, but who don’t identify as being Deaf.

“Richard Peri remains on the Board, with his strong Māori perspective. But looking to the 2019 appointments, we will want to maintain and strengthen Māori representation and a Pacific perspective. We strongly urge anyone who can bring a Māori or Pacific perspective to the Board, now or in the future, to get in touch.

“Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank outgoing board members - Shona Jones, Sara Pivac Alexander and Kirsten Smiler - for their contribution to establishing the Board.”

NZSL Board Chair, Victoria Manning, says, “I’m proud of the Board’s achievements to date, in building the strong foundations that we have for NZSL today.

“There is still much more work to be done. The new board members will help provide new thinking in our challenge to promote NZSL to the status it deserves, as an official language of New Zealand.

“The NZSL Board will continue to work at the forefront of promoting NZSL in New Zealand, providing expert advice to government and others on what needs to be done to make NZSL thrive,” says Ms Manning.

If you have any questions about the NZSL Board appointments process, visit Questions and Answers, which includes NZSL video translation.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 a founding member of the NZSL Board, and will be standing for her second term. 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.
  • Chris Blum - Mr Blum was a founding member of the NZSL Board, and has contributed for the last three years, with his term extending for another year, ending August 2019. His experience ranges 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.

Full list of NZSL Board members, past and present

NZSL video: New members appointed to the NZSL Board


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