Translators and Interpreters have been acknowledged by the Federal Government on the 21st of June, with the members of Hindmarsh, Cowan and Bruce voicing their support for the professions and the need for appropriate training, professional development, regulation, recognition and remuneration.
Of particular note were the comments of Member for Cowan, Dr Anne Aly, who began by acknowledging a PA delegate, as well as NAATI (the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters) and WAITI (Western Australian Institute for Translators and Interpreters) for the work they do for Translators and Interpreters in WA.
Mr Georganas, Dr Aly and Mr Hill all commented on the need for improved services, citing examples of failings of the current system on the wellbeing of Australians.
Both Mr Georganas and Dr Aly told of women in hospitals suffering because an appropriate interpreter was not available, Dr Aly continuing that in the past a lot of interpreting was performed by family members and children. Mr Hill noted the importance of translators and interpreters in business deals, to ensure International agreements were accurately facilitated to help the economy and business in Australia.
Dr Aly also noted that under current ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) classifications there is no distinction between languages, leading to a low number of languages offered through accredited training, and no action taken to keep up with actual demand. Currently of the 74 courses available approved by NAATI, 67 are delivering training in Chinese and Mandarin.
Dr Aly urged for the government to look into the provision of a quality framework for translating and interpreting that is responsive to domestic need, as the existing system is failing to meet demand.
Full copies of the speeches can be found in the Hansard documents here (pages 145-147).