According to the latest Australian Census (2016), more than 6 million Australians, or over 27 per cent of the population, speak a language other than English at home. Without quality translation and interpreting services, many of these people would not be able to do the things most of us take for granted, such as seeing a doctor, accessing government services, or simply going to the bank.

Many people have an idealised image of translators (who deal with written words) and interpreters (who work with spoken or signed languages). The popular image of an interpreter is of someone in a booth at the United Nations or at a global summit or conference.

In reality, though, most interpreting work occurs in in the community, at hospitals, government offices, schools and courtrooms. Not all interpreting is done face to face. Much of it in Australia is done over the phone, via video conference or other technology.

Similarly, the idealised image of a translator is of the literary translator, rendering great works of literature from one language into another. However, much of the work in Australia consists of the translation of marketing communications, government documents or official documents, such as birth or marriage certificates or documents proving identity.