A connected community without language barriers

Success in the Torres Strait

The stunning Thursday Island in the Torres Strait provided an amazing setting for the first Community Language Aide (CLA) assessments in an Indigenous language.

This July, NAATI travelled to the Torres Strait to test 10 Border Movement Officers, who work for the Department of Home Affairs throughout the area, in Yumplatok which they use in their daily interactions and duties.

The purpose of the CLA assessment is to allow candidates to demonstrate their ability to interact in a language other than English and successfully perform a range of customer service tasks, similar to those that they would undertake in their normal workday. Although not a professional Interpreting qualification, in many Government department Enterprise Agreements employees are paid a weekly allowance for using their language skills in the provision of Government services.

The assessments took place over two days, and despite some of the challenges of testing in a remote location such as losing all communications for a day and a half, everything went exceptionally well with some fantastic performances in the role-plays.

It was a fantastic opportunity for NAATI to deliver the CLA product in a new language.  We are looking forward to offering more Indigenous language assessments in the regions where they’re spoken as part of our commitment to Indigenous languages in the coming months and year.

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