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AUSIT National Mini-Conference - Call for Papers

Translation and Interpreting: Ethics and Professionalism
Submission deadline: 31 July 2017

Bridging the gaps between languages and cultures as we do, it can sometimes be difficult for those of us in the interpreting and translation industry to balance expectations.  Particularly when working with sensitive information or in tricky situations, our errors in judgement can have far-reaching consequences.  In these circumstances, our professional ethics can help us make informed judgements to navigate tricky situations and guide us through ethical dilemmas.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of AUSIT’s ongoing commitment to raising professional standards and awareness of the translation and interpreting industry, this year’s mini-conference serves as the best opportunity to reflect on our professional and ethical values, converge our thinking and discuss. 

The Organising Committee is now inviting translation and interpreting scholars as well as practising translators and interpreters to submit proposals for papers addressing the conference theme, Translation and Interpreting: Ethics and Professionalism.  Presentations on all related aspects are welcome including, but not limited to, practice, theory, research and pedagogy.


Proposals for individual papers should be submitted as abstracts of 250 words via the submission page by 31 July 2017.


Papers will be allocated 20 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for discussion.


31 July 2017: Submission deadline

1 – 31 August 2017: Committee appraises abstracts and notifies presenters of acceptance

22 September 2017: Registration deadline for presenters.  Presenters need to register for the Mini-conference on or before this date.

17 – 18 November 2017: Mini-conference, NAGM & Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture 

Conference Details


Please ensure that you meet all or most of the following appraisal criteria.

• You clearly state thepurposeof the presentation.

  • You focus the content of your presentation, pacing it so that it fits into your allocated time slot (timekeepers will stop presentations at the advertised times).
  • You contribute a presentation of goodquality.

• You clearly reflect the conference theme in your presentation


- You define the method/approach,data and results (if applicable) in clear terms.

- You note the implications/relevance of the findings.


- You clearly identify the issues discussed as issues arising from particular professional situations.

- You clearly identify the implications/relevance.

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ALERT: Public Briefings on new NAATI certification scheme; video recording.

Public Information Briefing sessions on the new NAATI certification system which will take effect in January 2018, were held in three cities: Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane from May 30 - June 7 2017.  

A captioned recording of the Melbourne event is now available via our YouTube channel, for people who were unable to attend the face-to-face meetings.  

A copy of the presentation slides can be downloaded from our website.

More detailed information about the NAATI certification system can be found in the projects section of the NAATI website.

Should you have any further questions regarding the INT information session, please email them to INTproject@naati.com.au.

Our INT project team publishes a monthly e-newsletter to provide the latest project news and results.

 If you would like the latest information from NAATI Sign up for regular news or read through our past newsletter issues

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Review: The Confident Communicator

By De Brown, (Adelaide)

“The aim of life is not to be perfect but to be progressively less stupid.” Marshell Rosenberg

This quote has become part of a new mental mantra that I have been learning to embrace. Coming back to the interpreting profession after many years away has taken more personal fortitude that I believed I had. Being sidelined due to health and caring roles, not due to a personal sabbatical, I knew that my confidence had taken a beating. My priorities have dramatically changed while away, as has my-self-identity and skill sets. I was doubting my skills and knowledge. 

Did I have what it takes to come back into a field (that I loved) but I knew was very personally demanding? My negative self-talk was high and I needed to re-learn and remember how to have confidence in my abilities again. Auslan Services gave me the opportunity to attend Pip Cody’s “Confident Communicator Course”. I am so glad that I took this opportunity to re-establish networks both personally and professionally.

“Did I have what it takes to come back into a field (that I loved) but I knew was very personally demanding?”

I started the self-paced course with some scepticism. It was my respect for Pip that got me to enrol, not my faith in communication courses. Previous communication modules I had studied only reinforced strategies I knew or I felt were tokenistic in content. It took me about 6 weeks to complete the course (mostly at night when I was mentally free to engage well.) It included four modules and a practical ethics group teleconference, which helped consolidate skills learnt in the modules. The practical nature of the course encourages you to implement the communication strategies taught, which build on each other as the course progressed. There were strategies I personally struggled with including “dealing with conflict” and “welcoming discomfort as if you invited it.” Two concepts I don’t naturally engage with but I am so glad I took the time to investigate my motivations and strategies around them.

In our people orientated lives and careers, “The Confident Communicator Course” offered by Dare Wellness, challenges my-self talk and a lifetime of previous approaches to communication. I honestly believe if “Non Violent Communication strategies” were implemented across the field it would revolutionise our profession. Imagine every interpreter was able to communicate without the psychological barriers that inhibit our ability to define our needs clearly. I think, most importantly, the Confident Communicator course provides practitioners with skills to give and receive quality feedback, equally. This gives the potential for professionals to both be mentored and to act in a mentoring role. Everyone has feedback that is worthy of our attention, whether you have been working for 1 year or 25 years!

Honestly, it has changed my life. The Confident Communicator course is one of the hardest I have ever studied, because I can’t unlearn it. The course has made me re-learn how to communicate, changing strategies I have used for many years, into helpful building blocks that facilitate a clearer communication path. Understanding why I respond and how I communicate is a vital life skill, not just for interpreting. Skills I thought would support my professional practice have overflowed and impacted how I communicate with family and friends. Thank you Pip Cody and Auslan Services for giving me to opportunity to learn how to communicate an improved me…a process that will be lifelong I know! 

Find out more about the Confident Communicator course with Pip Cody 

De Brown has been a NAATI Auslan/English Paraprofessional interpreter since 2002. Studying in Melbourne and Adelaide, she developed language and interpreting skills under the guidance of wise mentors both deaf and hearing. Her passion for advocacy, equal education and universal access drives her study and professional practice. De calls Adelaide home.

Reproduced with permission: ASLIA June 2017 e-Update

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Translators and Interpreters get UN recognition for their work in promoting understanding and diversity

The United Nations General Assembly has officially adopted a new resolution which recognises the role of professional translation in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development. Resolution A/71/L.68 was approved without a vote, at the General Assembly’s 82nd plenary meeting of the 71st session. [1]

In the same resolution, the United Nations General Assembly also declared 30 September to be UN International Translation Day which will be celebrated across the entire UN network.

International Translation Day (ITD), celebrated on 30 September every year, is commemorated as the feast of Saint Jerome. Saint Jerome was a Roman priest and historian, who is recognised for his original translation of the bible from Hebrew into Latin. 

Official recognition of ITD has been one of longstanding missions of the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs/International Federation of Translators (FIT) since it was founded in 1953.

Many attempts have been made to seek official recognition of ITD especially from FIT’s partner, UNESCO. As recently as early 2015, a delegation attended the inaugural launch of the International Mother Language Day, with a letter signed by the FIT President, to the Secretary General of UNESCO.

Multilingualism was recognised by the UN General Assembly in 2015, for its importance in contributing to the achievement of goals of the United Nations.

This earlier resolution states that; “Multilingualism promotes unity in diversity and international understanding, and recognizing the importance of the capacity to communicate to the peoples of the world in their own languages, including in formats accessible to persons with disabilities.”[2].

The latest resolution complements the Nairobi Recommendation of 1976 by UNESCO, [3] by citing the value of translation of literary, scientific and technical works, as is referenced in the Nairobi recommendation, but also widens the scope to acknowledge the practical contribution language professionals make in furthering the cause of the United Nations, in maintaining peace and security, promoting human rights and the rule of law, and operational activities for sustainable development.[4] It recognises the role of professional translators and interpreters “in preserving clarity, a positive climate and productiveness in international discourse and interpersonal communication”.[1]

The resolution makes a point that; “respect for the world’s cultural and linguistic diversity is an essential prerequisite for the promotion, in the United Nations, of the spirit of openness, equity and dialogue.” [1]

FIT hopes that the celebration of ITD in the context of the UN resolution will highlight the “importance and the irreplaceability of professional translation in international human endeavours.”[5]

The resolution will also promote “the critical need for training the next generation of professional translators, interpreters and terminologists to meet this ever increasing demand as international interaction, cooperation and collaboration continue to grow”, FIT notes in an official statement.

FIT would like to remind us all in the profession, that the European Commission and the wider European Union will be observing and celebrating the ITD for the first time in conjunction with European Day of Languages (EDL). This was initiated following last year’s successful meeting between the DirectorGeneral for Translation (DGT) and Director General for Interpretation (DGI) and FIT President at the European Commission.

The theme for #ITD2017 is Translation and Diversity.

For more about FIT’s response to the UN GA Assembly announcement on the FIT website



[1] United Nations General Assembly. (2017, May 24). Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 24 May 2017. Retrieved from United Nations: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/71/288

[2] United Nations General Assembly. (2015, Sept 11). Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 19 (A/69/19), chap. V. Retrieved from United Nations: https://undocs.org/A/RES/69/324

[3] United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (1976, November 22). Recommendation on the Legal Protection of Translators and Translations and the Practical Means to improve the Status of Translators. Retrieved from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=13089&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

[4] United Nations. (n.d.). The 4 pillars of the United Nations. Retrieved from United Nations: https://outreach.un.org/mun/content/4-pillars-united-nations

 [5] Federation Internationale des Traducteurs. (2017, May 25). ITD Adopted! United Nations recognises role of professional translation. Retrieved from Federation Internationale des Traducteurs/International Federation of Translators: http://www.fit-ift.org/itd-adopted/

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