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Engaging Interpreters for domestic and family violence civil proceedings in Magistrates Court

People requiring interpreters services for  Domestic and Family Violence matters will now be able to access interpreters more quickly at all Magistrates Courts in Queensland. The new process was formally endorsed by the Chief Magistrate and announced on 5 June 2017 by way of a Practice Direction (6/2017) which you can access at the Queensland Courts website.

When receiving applications from people for Domestic Violence Protection Orders, counter staff at the court registries will determine the need for an interpreter, and arrange for an interpreter to be present at the first court appearance for domestic and family violence matters.  Importantly the courts will pay for the interpreter services for private applications.  Police will continue to arrange and pay for interpreters for the first court appearance for police applications.

Previously, registry staff could generally only engage an interpreter once the presiding Magistrate had made an order that an interpreter be engaged.In some cases this led to difficulty for people to understand the court proceedings in those early stages and delays in domestic and family violence matters being heard by the courts and finalised. The new process builds on a successful trial that was undertaken at the specialist Domestic and Family Violence court at Southport over the previous 18 months.  Staff and court users found this to be a much more efficient way of engaging interpreters when parties to DV matters required this additional support.  

Magistrates Court counter staff have been trained and as well as the Practice Direction, can refer to a new  written court procedure and other tools to assist them follow the process. 

NAATI anticipates that earlier access to interpreters in the court setting, will improve the experience and outcomes for people involved in family violence situations. Prompt access to a credentialed interpreter, will ensure everyone understands the court processes and what is being said, from the very outset. This is expected to reduce confusion and stress on both parties, with an increased likelihood that respondents follow court orders. It will also ensure that each party has a fair opportunity to be heard, and can be informed about opportunities available in the community for ongoing support.

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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.

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AUSIT National Mini-Conference - Call for Papers

Translation and Interpreting: Ethics and Professionalism
Submission deadline: 31 July 2017

Bridging the gaps between languages and cultures as we do, it can sometimes be difficult for those of us in the interpreting and translation industry to balance expectations.  Particularly when working with sensitive information or in tricky situations, our errors in judgement can have far-reaching consequences.  In these circumstances, our professional ethics can help us make informed judgements to navigate tricky situations and guide us through ethical dilemmas.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of AUSIT’s ongoing commitment to raising professional standards and awareness of the translation and interpreting industry, this year’s mini-conference serves as the best opportunity to reflect on our professional and ethical values, converge our thinking and discuss. 

The Organising Committee is now inviting translation and interpreting scholars as well as practising translators and interpreters to submit proposals for papers addressing the conference theme, Translation and Interpreting: Ethics and Professionalism.  Presentations on all related aspects are welcome including, but not limited to, practice, theory, research and pedagogy.


Proposals for individual papers should be submitted as abstracts of 250 words via the submission page by 31 July 2017.


Papers will be allocated 20 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for discussion.


31 July 2017: Submission deadline

1 – 31 August 2017: Committee appraises abstracts and notifies presenters of acceptance

22 September 2017: Registration deadline for presenters.  Presenters need to register for the Mini-conference on or before this date.

17 – 18 November 2017: Mini-conference, NAGM & Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture 

Conference Details


Please ensure that you meet all or most of the following appraisal criteria.

• You clearly state thepurposeof the presentation.

  • You focus the content of your presentation, pacing it so that it fits into your allocated time slot (timekeepers will stop presentations at the advertised times).
  • You contribute a presentation of goodquality.

• You clearly reflect the conference theme in your presentation


- You define the method/approach,data and results (if applicable) in clear terms.

- You note the implications/relevance of the findings.


- You clearly identify the issues discussed as issues arising from particular professional situations.

- You clearly identify the implications/relevance.

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ALERT: Public Briefings on new NAATI certification scheme; video recording.

Public Information Briefing sessions on the new NAATI certification system which will take effect in January 2018, were held in three cities: Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane from May 30 - June 7 2017.  

A captioned recording of the Melbourne event is now available via our YouTube channel, for people who were unable to attend the face-to-face meetings.  

A copy of the presentation slides can be downloaded from our website.

More detailed information about the NAATI certification system can be found in the projects section of the NAATI website.

Should you have any further questions regarding the INT information session, please email them to INTproject@naati.com.au.

Our INT project team publishes a monthly e-newsletter to provide the latest project news and results.

 If you would like the latest information from NAATI Sign up for regular news or read through our past newsletter issues

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