Victoria is well-known for its multiculturalism. People from all over the world have come together to make Victoria their home.
Every day, there are people who rely on the vital work provided by qualified translators and interpreters – Professionals Australia members - who help them access essential government services in times of sickness, difficulties, and crisis.
Their work means that people don't miss out on important medical appointments, legal services, and many other services.
Yet translators and interpreters are taken for granted. During the past decade, there has been a relentless push to outsource this vital work to drive down costs: putting a squeeze on quality, reliability, and professionalism.
Rather than improving services, it's led to inefficient practices, poor quality, and it hasn't reduced costs. And because of increased risks, it's an approach which has shifted costs onto primary health and legal services.
You have been telling us that you feel as though you can’t continue in this industry if things don’t change. Professionals Australia members – led by a dedicated volunteer committee – have been fighting to change the current crisis.
The language you speak should be no barrier at medical appointments, in court proceedings, and or when accessing other government services. Yet Victoria's language services industry has problems that put vulnerable people at risk of not accessing these things.
And while translators and interpreters are doing the very best job they can, and after countless reviews confirming there are problems in the language services sector, it's the government who can act to lift standards and service quality.
Professionals Australia has been campaigning to transform language services in Victoria, and in the lead up to the Victorian State Budget, we’re encouraging Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Robin Scott, to commit the government in its May budget to:
- higher quality language services
- fairer wages for practitioners,
- and better access for more Victorians
Members can help by contacting the Minister’s office (03 9651 1044) or a message on his Facebook page urging him to fix the problems in language services: https://www.facebook.com/robinscottmp/