Indigenous Interpreting Project to expand: NAATI delighted

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, has confirmed the Australian Government will allocate a further $1.6 million dollars towards extending the NAATI Indigenous Interpreter Project. This funding will continue the objective of increasing the number of accredited Indigenous Interpreters approved to act in legal, medical, government and community service settings.

The Indigenous Interpreting Project (IIP) was initiated in 2012 in response to the need identified among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to be able to access language services.

Based on data gathered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15, it is estimated that 11% of First Australians speak an Australian Indigenous language as their main language at home.

In remote communities, people who report that they do not speak English well, or at all, are much more prevalent. The IIP seeks to address issues of access to interpreter services for languages spoken by Australia’s first peoples.

NAATI CEO, Mark Painting said: “This is fantastic news and NAATI thanks the Federal Government for this continued investment. This funding will enable the continuation and expansion of the Indigenous Interpreters Project that will increase both the number of Indigenous languages available for testing and the number of certified interpreters in those languages.

It will also ensure the effective transition of existing interpreters into the new NAATI Certification scheme. NAATI looks forward to engaging with Indigenous communities and respective State and Territory governments to assist in identifying and developing capacity in the priority communities.”

As the national body credentialing interpreters, NAATI designed and delivers the IIP and collaborates with Indigenous organisations to identify languages where there is a demand for effective interpreters. This collaboration also presents an opportunity and a means to establish standards, guidelines, testing and examiner training.                             

The IIP supports NAATI’s overall mission to enable the existence of a pool of translators and interpreters who are responsive to the changing needs and demography of the Australian community.Using interpreter services, when required, bridges gaps in understanding and upholds cross-cultural understanding.


Read Minister Scullion's statement here.

More information about the NAATI Indigenous Interpreting Project.

Published: 22/06/2017