Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Celebrating 40 Years of Translator and Interpreter Training at RMIT

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services with special responsibilities for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells today congratulated the RMIT as it marked 40 years of language translator and interpreter training.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells delivered the closing speech at the Translating and Interpreting in Social Inclusion symposium at RMIT.

“In my role I spend a lot of time talking to multicultural community leaders and settlement service providers who work closely with migrants, and migrants themselves,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“A key issue that is raised by these groups is the importance of learning English; for parents wanting to communicate with their children’s teachers at school, for those seeking language skills to find a job, and for isolated migrants who’d like to get to know their neighbours and participate fully in the community, among other things.

“This Symposium has provided a great opportunity to share expertise within the translating and interpreting field and to consider how these services support social participation and cohesion.”

“When one in four of us was not born in Australia, one in five of us speaks a language other than English at home it is clear that language learning and language services play a huge role in the Australian community,” she said.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the Australian Government remains committed to maintaining and building a prosperous and cohesive multicultural Australia and assisting migrants to become self-reliant and active members of our community.