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Celebrating 40 years of upholding the Translating and Interpreting profession

Nearly 80 people attended a cocktail party celebrating NAATI’s 40th Anniversary in Canberra on the 21st of September.  It was an exciting time, with the intention to have as many of NAATI’s friends and supporters together to celebrate NAATI’s 40 years in Australia’s interpreting and translating community.

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja, in his role as Commonwealth Minister, announced the appointment of NAATI’s newest Director, Dr Michael Cooke.

NAATI CEO Mark Painting, with Commonwealth Minister Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja and NAATI Chair, Ms Kerry StubbsDr Cooke has been a member of various working groups related to the Improvements to NAATI Testing (INT) Project, and has extensive cross-cultural experience teaching and researching indigenous languages.  

Senator Seselja thanked retiring Chair, Ms Kerry Stubbs, and congratulated Voula Messimeri, who will take up the position as the newly appointed Chair from 1 December 2017.  Mr Giuseppe (Pino) Migliorino will serve as Deputy Chair.

In speaking to guests, Senator Seselja said that Ms Stubbs had “overseen significant developments, which have contributed to increasing the professional standing of both NAATI and the sector.”

“NAATI’s contribution to ensuring standards have developed considerably over the past 40 years and continues to command respect from the community and Australian governments alike.”

The Minister also announced a grant of $150,000 from the Australian Government, which will go towards work by NAATI, RMIT University and TAFE South Australia to develop a non-language specific online training course in basic competencies for interpreters.   

The focus of the project is addressing shortages of credentialed interpreters in new and emerging community languages. It will also be of particular benefit for people in regional, rural and remote areas, where people do not have the same access to interpreters, as they do in cities.

Senator Seselja went on to recognise, “NAATI’s role in ensuring the quality and standards of translators and interpreters is exceptionally valuable”.

 “It is essential that people in any community can communicate with each other”.

Senator Seselja also acknowledged the work of Professor Sandra Hale in leading the development of the new certification system, which will open in January 2018. 

NAATI CEO, Mark Painting welcomed the guests, paying respect to the traditional owners of the land, the Ngunnawal people.

“We are honoured by everyone who has been able to join us, particularly those who have contributed to, and shaped the organisation over the years,” he said.

Mark Painting credited the work of Ms Kerry Stubbs, saying that Ms Stubbs “took over the role of Chair in challenging times and steered the organisation through troubled waters. NAATI is in a much stronger position now as a result of her leadership.” 

Adolfo Gentile gave a short talk on the history of NAATI.

NAATI would like to thank all guests who were able attend the event, and made it such a memorable evening. We hope everyone had an enjoyable time and were able to revisit previous connections and make some new ones. We look forward to the next stages in NAATI’s exciting future.