HAL PhD student takes out second place in Arts and Social Sciences 3 minute thesis competition

12 Aug 2016

Interpreting and Translation PhD student Han Xu has placed second in the Faculty 3 minute thesis competition which was held on Thursday 28th July 2016, in the John B Reid Theatre. Her topic was Lawyers working with interpreters in Australia. Her supervisors are Associate Professor Ludmila Stern and Professor Sandra Hale. Congratulations Han!

Read her abstract and bio below:


An inherent aspect of the interpreting profession is that interpreters often need to work with other groups of professionals, be it lawyers, doctors or policemen. This makes inter-professional relations between interpreters and other groups of professionals an important component of the interpreting activity. A lack of sound inter-professional relations refrains interpreters and the other professionals from performing to the best of their abilities, hence impinging adversely on the outcome of the interpreted activity. Concentrating on the lawyer-client interviews at Legal Aid NSW, this research project examines the current status of inter-professional relations between interpreters and lawyers in Australia. Lawyer-client interview is a particularly important stage throughout the legal process. It is where the client’s legal rights are discussed and enforced. However, little knowledge is known of how interpreting is practiced there. An investigation of the ways of interaction between lawyers and interpreters at Legal Aid serves as a way to find out the current status of inter-professional relations, how interpreters manage to maintain their professional role boundaries and explore its implications for a higher level of professionalism for Australian legal interpreting.

About Han Xu

Han Xu is a second-year PhD student at UNSW. Her research focuses on the professional development of community interpreting. She has a MA on translation and interpreting. She is also a CATTI Level 2 interpreter (Chinese-English) and has worked as a part-time interpreter in China for three years.