By Tony Atkinson

On a warm sunny Friday in Brisbane, the events started with attendance by four JAT members and friends at an interpreting forum held in the University of Queensland’s state of the art interpreter-training facility. Dr Libby Flynn gave a presentation on music therapy for counselling bereaved parents, with simultaneous and consecutive interpreting provided by students from the Masters Course in Japanese Interpreting and Translation.

A pizza lunch for 16 followed in one the University’s many food outlets, where reunions and new introductions were the order of the day. At this stage, the group was beginning to take on an even more diverse look, with members hailing from Japan, Australian states including Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia, and from Brisbane, Bribie Island, and the Gold Coast in Queensland.

Between 2-00 pm and 4-30 pm, 21 participants gathered in a UQ seminar room, where they tackled some knotty and not-so-knotty translation problems posed by the facilitator Tony Atkinson. The workshop used the Poll Everywhere application, which TAC meeting attendees might remember Helen Iwata using earlier in 2015. Poll Everywhere allows the facilitator to pose questions and either accept responses in multiple-choice or free response format. Participants can respond using a specific web page, or via Twitter or text, although this time we used only the web option. After a couple of multiple-choice questions to establish the background of the participants, the focus swung to group-based translations of Japanese texts and real-time audience review of the anonymously-submitted translations on the screen, a powerful and enjoyable learning tool. The two hours allotted to the translation worship flew by, and was followed by a short presentation on Google searching tips and tricks, and a spreading of the JAT message by our MC for the day, Victoria Oyama.

The next item on the agenda was a networking dinner at the Boatshed restaurant, a short car journey or ferry ride from the university. Fourteen attendees enjoyed the shared plates of pork belly, pizza toast, fried squid, steak, and roast vegetables, and the dessert of ice cream and coffee. We all went our separate ways at around nine, tired after a long day, but vowing to do it again some time. Thanks to the JAT Board for supporting this event and Yuki Sayeg and her staff at the University of Queensland for allowing us to attend the interpreting forum and making the room and facilities available, to Hideaki Maruoka and Victoria Oyama, who did the ground work to make the day a success, to the facilitator Tony Atkinson, and to the attendees, some of whom traveled long distances, and who all enthusiastically participated in the activities.