Many Languages - One Voice

Our campaign, Many Languages - One Voice, represents the voice of the multilingual workforce who are translators and interpreters.

The campaign aims to improve the working conditions of translators and interpreters also known as language services professionals. In addition to training and qualification, translators and interpreters in Australia are required to achieve a credential from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) which they must renew every three years by demonstrating Continuing Professional Development and work practice.

  • Their job is to accurately transfer information from one language to another in either written (translating) or spoken (interpreting) form.
  • Their job is to facilitate effective communication between organisations and communities who do not share a common language.
  • Their job is to ensure that all parties are linguistically present in order to wholly participate in society.
  • Their job often carries enormous responsibility because miscommunication can impact a non-English speaker’s life and it can expose professionals, services providers, governments and their agencies to risk in their service delivery.

Yet, scant regard is afforded to the job that they do every single day. Translators and interpreters, particularly the latter who deal with consumers of language services every single day, are subjected to insecure work, low pay, high costs and most significantly a lack of understanding and respect for their role.

TIA members are working together to fix this. Language services are an important part of a multicultural and inclusive society. We call on your support.

Why is your support important?
Your support is important the job of translators and interpreters can affect you, your clients, your organisation and even your family. You want services that you can count on, but due to the state of the industry, this profession is characterised by poor pay and conditions leading to an ageing workforce and high attrition rates. This is not a sustainable industry.

If we don’t raise standards for interpreter, we don’t raise standards for you. We call on you to support our campaign for a sustainable language services industry to serve our communities into the future.

Read more about how this campaign impacts you?

Translators and Interpreters

Family Members

Community Organisations and Advocatess

Professionals and Service Providers

Translators and Interpreters
TIA is advocating for you and your profession. Our voice is only as strong as our membership. If you’re not yet a member, it’s time to join the union fighting for your rights.

Join now!

If you have any questions regarding the Many Languages - One Voice campaign or about union membership, contact your TIA organiser,

Family Members
Individuals who have family members or friends who can care for their wellbeing and advocate for them are indeed fortunate. Irrespective, they should never be denied the opportunity to speak for themselves; we wouldn’t deny an English speaker that same opportunity. Everyone is entitled to their autonomy in decision-making and their independence. Family and friends have an important role in the wellbeing and healthcare of their friend or family member, but it should not be expected that they could or should perform the role of interpreter.

Often the most constructive and valuable interactions, involve family member/s who engage in discussions as advocates, AND professional interpreters who serve a very different purpose: that of facilitating impartial and accurate communication across two languages.

Your support for our campaign gives your loved one independence and a voice in their wellbeing and healthcare and frees you up to provide the care, support and advocacy that your loved one needs.

Community organisations and advocates
As representatives of communities, you work to support the rights of those people. Language services provide the access to those rights. Your support for our campaign is integral to building quality and sustainable language services.

Professionals and Service Providers
The pandemic has delivered many of us to remote work. While translation remains a relatively solitary vocation, interpreters’ working lives changed dramatically. Remote interpreting by either phone or video, particularly telephone, has become commonplace in settings where it didn’t exist before. And it pays less. Who else experienced a pay cut to work from home?

There is no question that remote interpreting is here to stay, leading to increasing on-demand services that rely upon an on-demand workforce in insecure work and without entitlements.

We also know, anecdotally, that many non-English speakers, particularly the elderly, cannot communicate effectively with services over the phone and they don’t have autonomous access to the technology for video interpreting. We also know that professionals, such as healthcare workers and doctors, don’t always find Telehealth services convenient, preferring to rely on family members to communicate with their patients. This is not only a breach of policy and can have implications where informed consent or legal documents are involved, but also denies people a voice and command of their healthcare.

Family and friends play an important role and it is not a given that just because they may be bilingual, they have the skills, contextual knowledge and importantly, impartiality, to perform this role. Your clients or patients should have a choice about how they wish to communicate with you.

Your support for our campaign is integral to building quality and sustainable language services to enable you to appropriately and effectively care for your clients and patients.