In the 2016 Census, 63,754 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians reported speaking one of 150 different Indigenous languages at home. This is 10% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia.
language interpreters in Australia play a vital role in ensuring Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people can participate equitably in Australian society.
Indigenous language interpreters are highly skilled professionals that have
demonstrated they have the skills needed to practice as an interpreter in
Since 2012, NAATI has been working with Australian governments and Indigenous organisations to develop the Indigenous interpreting industry so it can meet the need that exists for highly skilled Indigenous language interpreters. The objectives of the project are to:
- Increase the number of certified Indigenous interpreters and examiners.
- Increase the range of Indigenous languages for which there are certified Indigenous interpreters.
- Increase the accessibility of interpreting resources for Indigenous interpreters and organisations.
Developing and maintaining a pool of NAATI-certified Indigenous language interpreters improves the quality and accessibility of interpreting services when they are required. This results in improved communication and engagement, better service delivery and ultimately, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights being upheld.
The National Indigenous Languages Interpreting Advisory Committee, also known as the NILIAC, was established in 2016 to provide advice to NAATI on issues relating to the Indigenous interpreting sector.
There are currently 193 NAATI-certified interpreters and translators practising in 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages across Australia.
If you are seeking the services of an Indigenous language interpreter, please contact the relevant organisation:
Preparation Training & Resources
View the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages preparation training days here.
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Interpreting Newsletter
In 2021 NAATI launched its quarterly publication, the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Interpreting Newsletter.