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New Interpreting Graduates Ready to Help the State’s Diverse Communities

New Interpreting Graduates Ready to Help the State’s Diverse Communities

More than 40 multilingual students are set to bolster the NSW Government’s interpreting ranks after successfully completing its Interpreting Scholarship program.

Facilitated by the University of NSW, 42 students have graduated from the NSW Government Interpreting Scholarship program and will now be able to put their new qualifications into practice through Multicultural NSW, where they will also be given additional mentoring and professional development.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the new graduates will be welcome additions among the state’s interpreting professionals.

“Multicultural NSW is Australia’s leading provider of interpreting services, and each of these graduates has a chance to join its ranks and fill shortages in key languages,” Mr Coure said.

Among the key languages the new interpreters will be covering include Filipino, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Macedonian, Nepali, Portuguese, Serbian, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Mr Coure said with a growing number of people in NSW speaking a language other than English, interpreters are more important than ever.

“The latest census data shows us that more NSW residents are speaking a language other than English at home. Those numbers will continue to grow as more of the world’s citizens choose to find a brighter future in our great state,” Mr Coure said.

“This scholarship program is about tapping into the availability of these languages in NSW, where we can create job opportunities for people to use their language skills and in turn help their communities.”

Turkish-Australian student Sena Uzun said she felt the course had prepared her well for community interpreting after completing a bachelor’s degree in translating and interpreting in her former homeland of Turkey.

“I think what Australia is doing in terms of providing support, and services to multicultural and linguistically diverse communities is very important,” Ms Uzun said.

Thai-born Lydia Armour said she felt she was better equipped to support her Wollongong Thai community after the course.

“The level of support from Multicultural NSW and the depth of knowledge from lecturers, tutors and the Thai tutor was amazing,” Ms Armour said.

“I’m very invested in my Thai community and this is an important way that I can ensure everyone has fairer and more equitable access to services and information.”

“Interpreting is a very difficult and demanding profession that requires high-level training of competent bilinguals, UNSW is pleased to work in collaboration with Multicultural NSW to extend its course offerings to include more languages as needed in the community,” Professor Sandra Hale said.

“Training opportunities for many community languages have been limited in Australia. UNSW is very excited to work with Multicultural NSW to fill this critical gap.”

Multicultural NSW and the University of New South Wales worked together to develop the 20-week micro credential to help fill language shortages.

Each of the 42 scholarship graduates will now be able to sit a Certified Provisional Interpreter test allowing them to work as interpreters for Multicultural NSW.

Through the 2022-23 NSW Budget, $8 million per year for two years has been committed to boosting the NSW Government’s languages services, including an expansion of its Interpreter Scholarship Program.