Dr. Henry Liu is a champion for translators, interpreters, and terminologists worldwide. He was first elected National Secretary of the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (Te Rōpū Kaiwhakamāori āwaha, ā-tuhi o Aotearoa) in 1995. He also served as its president in 2003.
Dr. Liu was instrumental in bringing together sign language interpreters and indigenous language translators in his native New Zealand where he played a key part in the passing of the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006 and the reestablishment of Māori translators and interpreters training and licensing examination for Te Toi Reo Māori through the Māori Language Act 2016.
An advocate of professorial organizations and a strong believer in trans-national and multidisciplinary cooperation, he was elected as the 13th President of the International Federation of Translators (FIT) with consultative status with UNESCO, ECOSOC, and WIPO. He played a key role in the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution 71/288 in recognition of the role of professional translation in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development as well as the global recognition of 30th September as International Translation Day (ITD).
Moreover, a highly respected consultant interpreter for heads of states, trade and diplomatic missions, Dr. Liu is also a seasoned keynote speaker in Oceania, North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He became the first New Zealander to give the Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture in 2014 and gave the opening keynote at JIAMCATT in Geneva. He also delivered the inaugural ITD lecture at the UNHQ in New York in 2017.
He is often associated with the slogan “translators give voice to the voiceless”, which he said during the 2019 celebration of the UN International Year of Indigenous Languages. He was invited to give the keynote address - Game of Two Halves where he highlighted how indigenous language preservation, revitalization, normalisation, and dissemination are key to solving global issues like climate change, SDGs goals and women’s empowerment.