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How interpreters are helping power the 2016 census

Some of NAATI's industry partners, including TIS National and VicDeaf, are working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to provide accessible information and interpreting services to assist culturally and linguistically diverse Australians to complete the Census.

The Census of Population and Housing (Census) is Australia’s largest statistical collection undertaken by the ABS. For more than 100 years, the Census has provided a snapshot of Australia, showing how our nation has changed over time, allowing us to plan for the future.

The next Census is happening very soon on August 9. It’s a moment for everyone to play a role in shaping the future of Australia.

This Census will be Australia’s first Census where more than two thirds of Australia’s population, more than 15 million people, are expected to complete the Census online on August 9.

The online Census form has received certification by internationally recognised industry leader, Vision Australia (VA), to ensure people who are blind or have low vision have a smooth experience when completing the Census.

For other non-English speakers, TIS National interpreters can assist you calling the Census Inquiry Service with general enquiries. The Census Inquiry Service will be available from 22 July —30 September 7 days a week.

However, due to the confidential nature of the information collected, the ABS won’t be offering a dedicated over-the-phone assistance service to complete the Census.

Learn more on the Census website or watch the ‘Making Sense of the Census’ video series translated into six languages.

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Meet Drisana Levitzke-Gray, interpreter and Australian of the year

By Megan Beasley

Interpreting runs in the family for Drisana Levitzke-Gray, the Young Australian of the Year for 2015.  It is believed that this is the first time that Deaf interpreting has run in a family for three generations, and this isn’t the only first in the family. 

Drisana is among the first Deaf students to graduate from the Diploma of Interpreting (Auslan) at North Metropolitan TAFE, which is a NAATI approved course.

Her mother, Patricia Levitzke-Gray, is one of the first two Deaf interpreters to be awarded NAATI Deaf Interpreter Recognition, in December 2013. 

Drisana is delighted with NAATI’s introduction of Deaf Interpreter Recognition is 2013, saying that NAATI’s recognition of the status of Deaf Interpreting is the first step towards showing that Deaf Interpreting is just as valuable as interpreting in the spoken languages. 

She points out that NAATI is a leader in many areas, and also benefits from international advances, with the USA having certified Deaf Interpreters for many years.  Once she has gained her NAATI credentials, Drisana plans to work officially as a Deaf Interpreter.

2015 was a busy year for Drisana.  Not only did she tirelessly fulfil duties all over the world as a Deaf advocate and Young Australian of the Year, she also studied for and was awarded her Diploma of Interpreting (Auslan) at the end of the year, being the top student in her cohort. 

Drisana expressed her gratitude towards her lecturers, who were very supportive and gracious about her frequent comings and goings. She found that her presence benefitted the hearing students as well, since they needed to use their interpreting and language skills all the time.  

Drisana is full of passion for the Deaf community.  A Deaf person herself, and the child of Deaf parents, she is acutely aware of the different roles played by Deaf and hearing interpreters, and the way in which all interpreters work together for the good of the client. 

The different skills possessed by Deaf interpreters, who may interpret multiple sign languages, work in harmony with the skills of the hearing Auslan/English interpreter.

The Deaf community is varied, with members coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, upbringings and languages. Drisana herself knows six languages.

She has always pushed for Australian languages other than English to be more fully included in school curricula and Australian communities, envisioning a world where children in Perth schools learn the Noongar language and the Australian Sign Language. 

Shenton College, where Drisana went to school, has offered Auslan as a LOTE for three years, and she has noticed that Deaf and hearing students there communicate freely with each other, with Deaf students feeling fully part of the school community. 

With Auslan added as a LOTE to the new National Curriculum, Drisana sees a fantastic opportunity for children of all ages, both Deaf and hearing. 

“Not only is it likely to be a major influence increasing the pool of accredited Auslan interpreters in the future, but it will also increase the number of bilingual professionals.” 

Looking forward, Drisana believes the future is looking very bright indeed.

Author Megan Beasley is NAATI’s State Manager for Western Australia. 

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See you at the AUSIT Mini Conference 2016!

The AUSIT National Mini-conference, to be held in conjunction with the AUSIT National AGM, aims to provide a forum for practitioners and scholars to explore important issues in translation and interpreting.

The theme for 2016 is Translation and Interpreting: Practice, Research and Publics.

This year, AUSIT is focussing efforts on raising public awareness of the translating and interpreting profession. The theme of this mini-conference offers participants a forum to present on issues related to practice, research and translation and interpreting in the public space.

It is also a wonderful forum developing professional relationships with fellow translators & interpreters, agencies and language service users, government departments, tertiary institutions and other industry stakeholders.

NAATI is proud to announce that we will be the gold sponsor this year's mini-conference. 

Call for abstracts

You now have until Sunday 31 July to submit your abstract for a presentation at the AUSIT National Mini-conference.

Proposals for individual papers should be submitted as abstracts of 250 words. Papers will be allocated 20 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for discussion.

Presentations on all aspects of translation and interpreting are welcome. However, priority will be given to papers that address the following topics:

  • T&I practice and the public sphere
  • Interactions between T&I practitioners/researchers and their publics (i.e., dissemination of (mis)information, feedback mechanisms, knowledge and know-how transfer, partnerships between practitioners and academics, etc.).
  • Politics and ethics of T&I Studies
  • T&I Studies and migration
  • Transcreation, new media and the ‘medial turn’ in T&I Studies
  • Demands in the workplace and alternative T&I practices (e.g., translation into a second language, relay and/or collaborative translation, intralingual translation, nonstandard career pathways, etc.)
  • Problems and prospects in T&I education and training
  • T&I technologies

To submit a proposal for the AUSIT 2016 Mini-conference, please click here

Key Details

  • Date: Friday 18 - Saturday 19 November 2016
  • Venue: Room 14, Level 2, Building B, Monash University, Caulfield Campus.
  • Early bird prices: AUSIT/ASLIA member $75, Non-member $112, AUSIT student member $37, Non member student $56
  • Early bird registration closes July 31st.

Click here for more details or to register.

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PD opportunity: introduction to localization workshop

One of the biggest markets for freelance translators currently is that of localisation. The industry is expected to reach $38.16 billion this year, and increase to $49.8 billion by 2019. The term Localisation refers to the cultural and non-textual components as well as linguistic issues when adapting a product or service for another country or locale.

This presentation aims to introduce the basic concepts involved in localisation, provide examples of how it is used and explore the opportunities the sector provides to translators.

It will also touch on the translation theory underlying the process, and some contemporary criticism of its effects on our profession. Attendees are expected to have some knowledge/interest in information technology, technical translation and/or cultural transfer. The ability to code is a plus, but not mandatory.

Short biography of presenter

Sam Berner is currently the principal partner of Arabic Communication Experts, one of Australia’s leading translation services and cross cultural training specializing in the Middle East. Born in Europe and raised by her archaeologist father in and around archaeological digs in North Africa and the Middle East, Sam can fluently speak 3 languages and stutter in three others.

She worked as an interpreter for the UN in a conflict zone and one of the first female publishers in the North Africa. Sam’s excitingly diverse background no doubt contributes to her ability to engage her audience. An active AUSIT member and a former National President, Sam continues to mentor and motivate many aspiring translators to expand their vision globally.

Key Details

  • Date: Saturday 30 July 2016
  • Time: 1pm to 5pm
  • Venue: Queensland Multicultural Centre, 102 Main Street, Kangaroo Point QLD 4169
  • Cost: AUSIT/ASLIA member $80, Non-member $120, AUSIT student member $40, Non member student $45
  • There will be refreshments (tea/coffee/juice/water, biscuits) provided for afternoon tea.

Click here for more details or to register. 

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