Additional $1.6m for Indigenous language interpreters

Release Date: 
16 June 2017
Media release

The Coalition Government is providing the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) with an additional $1.6 million to expand its successful Indigenous Interpreting Project.

Indigenous language interpreters play an essential role in ensuring First Australians have access to a fair legal system, as well as government and community services.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said 11 per cent of First Australians spoke an Indigenous language as their main language at home.

“In some parts of Australia, English is the third or fourth language spoken, clearly demonstrating the need for widely available interpreting services,” Minister Scullion said.

“This $1.6 million investment will ensure the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters is able to meet the growing need for accredited Indigenous language interpreters in regional and remote Australia, particularly in the health and justice sectors.

“The authority’s Indigenous Interpreting Project has already enjoyed considerable success. Since 2012, it has led to 96 accreditations being awarded to Indigenous interpreters across 25 languages.

“This latest investment builds on the $800,000 the Coalition Government provided to the authority under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy from 2015 to 2017 and will enable it to increase the number of accredited interpreters across a broad range of Indigenous languages to meet community need.

“This will open up employment opportunities for First Australians as service providers and government agencies increasingly look to hire accredited Indigenous interpreters.

“The Indigenous Interpreting Project also enables the authority to provide interpreters with opportunities to access tests in 29 Indigenous languages – an increase of 14 languages since 2012.

“This includes subsidising the cost of testing, test preparation training and supporting the training of examiners for each Indigenous language.

“The Coalition Government is committed to Indigenous language maintenance and preservation. We will continue to work closely with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters to increase the number of accredited language interpreters across Australia.”