Andrew Pooley, who had an interest in languages, learnt Auslan after he saw a friend communicating with people as a sign language interpreter.
It was a decision which would ultimately open doors, not just in terms of work, but help provide equity for clients in a range of settings.
Auslan is the language of the Australian deaf community.
Mr Pooley, a sign language interpreter from Port Macquarie with about 35 years' experience, interprets for people who use Auslan as their primary means of communication.
That involves a range of situations from medical appointments to legal settings and workplace training.
Legal interpreting, for example, takes Mr Pooley all over the state and he also works in the Sydney court system.
"When I go to interpret for somebody, I don't take the place of that person," Mr Pooley said.
"I'm just there as a facilitator of communication."
The National Disability Insurance Scheme has provided more ability for people to access sign language interpreting services.
Mr Pooley enjoys working in a different situation each day and thinking on his feet.
"I love working with new people all the time and I love the fact I don't have to take my work home with me," he said.
Sign language interpreting has become more of a professional role, with appropriate qualifications, since the early days when family members often stepped up to assist.
"There is a use for Auslan interpreters within the community that provides equity for many people," Mr Pooley said.
"Occasionally, we still see people reticent about using an interpreter.
"Sometimes people are a little bit closed-minded as far as just being able to accept that Auslan is a valid form of communication, just the same as every spoken language around."
He said increased awareness in the broader community that having an interpreter along was not unusual would assist.
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