Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Improved accreditation for Indigenous interpreters

The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) will receive $286,000 from the Australian Government to improve access to the national accreditation system for Indigenous interpreters.

NAATI is Australia’s only agency responsible for testing and accrediting translators and interpreters.

This funding will be used to develop appropriate testing materials in Indigenous languages where there is a demand for interpreting, focusing on languages spoken in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

This will help more of the 500 Indigenous interpreters in Australia, many of whom are studying to further develop their skills, to gain NAATI accreditation.

NAATI will work with the Indigenous interpreting sector, Indigenous language speakers and linguists to develop the testing material.

This funding builds on a similar project between NAATI and the Northern Territory Aboriginal Interpreter Service, which will increase the number of Northern Territory interpreters with NAATI credentials at all levels, particularly accrediting more interpreters at the professional level.

Interpreters play an important role in overcoming language barriers for Indigenous people with English as a second, third or even fourth language.

Interpreters are trained in professional ethics and confidentiality to assist people with their communication and in the court process.

They help people to receive appropriate care and understand their rights and responsibilities, and make sure voices are heard in the development and delivery of government policies.

We want to ensure that qualified and accredited Indigenous interpreters are available to improve communication between government, service delivery agencies and Indigenous people.

This funding is in addition to the Government’s investment of $427 million over 10 years under the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory package to improve the way governments and communities work together, including support for the Northern Territory Aboriginal Interpreter Service to recruit, train and mentor interpreters.