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Abstract

In 2007, the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association [Victoria; ASLIA (VIC)] and the Victorian Deaf Society (Vicdeaf) ran a twelve-month pilot mentoring program for new graduate sign language interpreters who lived in the state of Victoria, in collaboration with Macquarie University and the Centre of Excellence for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing at the Northern Melbourne Institute of Technical and Further Education (NMIT). Fourteen mentees and matching mentors participated in the program. Both ASLIA (VIC) as a professional body, and Vicdeaf as an employer, shared a commitment to professional development for practitioners and also a keen desire to stem the attrition of experienced interpreters from the industry. This article details the evaluation of the program and the key outcomes for the participants. The evaluation was based on qualitative action research principles and involved formative and summative evaluation. The mentoring program, guided by the principle of lifelong learning, resulted in significant personal and professional gains for the participants. As a result of the pilot program and the evaluation, an ongoing program is planned for 2011.

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