The 2022 AUSIT National Conference

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report by Dylan J Hartmann

I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t really excited about the lineup of talks for the 2022 AUSIT National Conference but I was honestly surprised by how enjoyable and fruitful the event was. Sure, the majority of talks weren’t in my area of interest or specialisation but the value gained by listening and participating far outweighed any chance of missing out. AUSIT QLD and the organising committee did an incredible job! Worthy of acclaim.
Why wasn’t I exited? Well, the content was either very academic or interpreter-focused. Some of the translator-specific topics that were chosen lacked any kind of inspiration (‘Best Practices for the translation of official and legal documents’#yawn) and there was a notable lack of anything around building freelancer business acumen and skills.

I had submitted an abstract titled ‘The easy way to $100k’ which was sadly turned down. I wanted to talk about tech-stack for translators…missing out most likely caused 95% of my initial cynicism 😛

Funny thing is, the only reason I renewed my AUSIT membership was to try get a speaking gig at the conference LOL… but I think my interest in the association has now been rekindled, not by a change of the executive guard, but after seeing the motivation, excitement, drive and inspiration of many ‘ordinary’ AUSIT members, old and new. I think we can, together, make positive changes to this rapidly changing industry.
The conference gala dinner was spectacular!!! I had to drive home, so that prevented me from drinking too much or making a fool of myself on the dance floor! (The ‘DJ’ in my business name is for Dylan Jan, I’m not a DJ!!!). It certainly was one fine night. They took special attention to dietary requirements and gluten was nowhere near any of my plates…Thank Goodness! AUSIT did wonderful organising this event as part of the conference… Be sure to check out here in ‘The Australian Translators and Interpreters Space’ for more social T&I get-togethers.
I actually tried to skip the AGM but the uni bar was closed. I walked towards the meeting room then turned away from the door at the last minute and found myself being led along, up some stairs, and into a smaller conference room where there was a huge buzz around a sign language interpreter/teacher/mentor called Zane Hema – and that’s how one of the most random, unplanned sessions for me to attend ended up being the highlight of the entire conference! (a discussion on the importance of ‘small talk’, thank you Zane).
Being part of the startup community has taught me a few little tricks – be active on the conference’s app, ask challenging questions in every session, and most importantly introduce myself when asking questions. ‘Hi, I’m Dylan Hartmann, a Thai to English translator and the co-founder of AcudocX’. Everyone was able to then put a (masked) face to a name and by introducing myself, I was able to make fantastic business connections (who I’ll follow up with next after writing this). 
There were numerous opportunities for networking at the event, networking amongst peers, amongst LSPs, and the various AUSIT and AUSLAN members. It was, however, noteworthy how few people I met had a Linkedin! I tell you now, scanning Linkedin QR codes is a lot easier and more likely to lead to better things than handing out business cards will. If you don’t have a Linkedin yet, get one and add me here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/djhartmann/
I want to thank everyone who came up and introduced themselves to me. I really look forward to us staying in touch!
I want to thank all the other presenters, too numerous to name. My personal favourite speakers (apart from Zane above) included Prof. Felicity Meakins (what a star!), Sam Berner, Issa He, Mark Painting, Tea Dietterich and Ismail Akinci. Thank you all for your words of wisdom.
 
I mentioned above about being active on the conference app. Well, this conference also had a prize worth $1365, kindly donated by 2M Language Services and Trados. I’m already a Trados Studio Freelance user and would like to take this opportunity to reward the most active and involved new graduate member of the Australian Translators and Interpreters Space: Japanese to English translator Zoe Womack, who is never afraid to ask questions, always attends Word Café meetups and has also been assisting as a AUS T&I SPACE moderator. When 2M sends me the licence, I’ll send it straight to you Zoe, congratulations! I would also like to thank Cal Lamb for his participation in our group, who was also in the running. We all look forward to witnessing both of your growth as you start your professional freelance careers! Don’t be afraid to reach out if you have any questions!
To all Australian T&I Practitioners, I recommend everyone utilise the AUS T&I Space group to its fullest as a place to share and interact with each other, post about events and share experiences! There are many great options to be involved, ask questions, hold your own meetups or have specialist chat rooms, and you can also earn PD points! Stay active, keep informed, ask questions and let’s all grow together.
 
If you got this far, thanks! 😃 and see you again soon!

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