President’s Newsletter January 2023

Above: Handover meeting between Immediate Past President Erika Gonzalez and Incoming President Angelo Berbotto on 9 January 2023, assisted by our respective associates.

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you have had a great start to 2023!

I used my festive season downtime to reflect on how we can grow as an association. It’s time for us to become representative of Australian translators and interpreters not just nominally, but also numerically. This will invest us with authority as we meet stakeholders such as state and federal governments, LSPs and other professional organisations.

I’ve had the benefit of ongoing counsel from Immediate Past President (IPP) Erika Gonzalez. I’m very grateful for this support from Erika, who made time to discuss AUSIT business during her holidays in Sydney.

Earlier this year I invited each branch’s Executive Committee to set growth goals, and to tell the National Council how we can help to make these achievable! The branches will report back in early March.

My work for AUSIT is not in isolation. National Council members have been active reviewing draft policies and proposals. I would like to mention what is in the pipeline.


Industry Affiliate Proposal

You have already received an email invitation to participate in the consultation process in relation to the new AUSIT  ‘Industry Affiliates’ proposal.

I’m grateful to the Ethics and Professional Practice Committee members for their work on drafting the documents, which they will assist in finalising later in the year, after reviewing the consultation responses.

You can read the proposals in the following documents:
Proposal and Description of ‘Industry Affiliate’ Category
Proposed Best Practices for ‘Industry Affiliate’ LSPs.

Thank you to those of you who have already typed up your thoughts and sent them through. Remember, the deadline for feedback is 15 March. Please send it to: or  

Language-specific translation masterclasses

By now, you have probably read the article about translation masterclasses in the December 2022 issue of AUSIT’s In Touch magazine (page 16). We want to help overcome the isolation in which most of us work.  Newcomers to AUSIT note this as well!  So we are planning to help connect each group of practitioners who share a language pair. Practitioners in some language pairs have already built communities, and we want to help other groups to do so by providing a bit of structure. We will share the details once the policy is finalised.

Student Membership

Again in the spirit of connecting practitioners, we would like to make it easier for each individual who attends a T&I training program (even a short one) to have the opportunity to join AUSIT as a student member, and to remain in that category either until they achieve a NAATI credential, or for 2 years from the completion of the program – whichever happens first. This would give early career T&Is more opportunities to interact with seasoned practitioners and discover the full range of benefits provided by AUSIT.

Interpreters who work at courts and tribunals

You may have seen the Interpreter feedback form on experiences in courts & tribunals that is now on the AUSIT website. The form – which aims to collect anonymous information on the experience of interpreters who work in these settings, and is for AUSIT members and non-members alike – asks about a particular court attendance on a specific date, not your overall experience across the years.

Why is AUSIT doing this? The reason is simple. The Recommended National Standards for Working with Interpreters in Courts and Tribunals  (RNS) were launched in 2017 and re-launched in 2022, but their implementation has been faster in some areas than others, and more training of judicial officers may be required. Collecting information via the form will help us understand which parts of the country and/or jurisdictions (magistrates, tribunals, registries, etc.) need to do better. With the evidence we gather, AUSIT will be able to make a case for better working conditions, and for more training in certain courts or locations. (Without evidence, we remain in the realm of anecdote.)

The RNS are a tool that each interpreter working in courts and tribunals should know well and use to make their work easier and better! In order for change to take place, it’s important that practitioners act consistently. If lawyers and judicial officers see one interpreter working in an RNS-consistent manner one day, but the next they see another ‘doing their own thing’, change will not happen. To use an image from the world of music, we need to become like a disciplined choir with members singing in harmony, rather than prima donnas each singing our own tune!

I’ll be supporting AUSIT’s members in achieving this aim by visiting each branch at least once in 2023. I’ve written to the Law Societies of the various jurisdictions, to arrange to deliver a seminar to lawyers across the country on how to work effectively with interpreters in the context of the RNS, and I’ll combine this with a PD event for T&I practitioners in each location.

I can confirm my visits to Hobart on 18 March and Adelaide on 16 May 2023, and I’m looking forward to meeting AUSIT members across the country!  Educational Affiliates, LSPs and other organisations interested in sponsoring the events in Hobart and/or Adelaide, please contact me at

Branch News

QLD Branch News ... as reported by Carina Mackenzie

Social Breakfast Event

The QLD Branch will host a social breakfast and coffee event to welcome in the New Year on Saturday 4 February 2023 at 10 am at the Gardens Club Café in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. We encourage QLD members to attend so we can chat about what AUSIT can and will do for you this year. It is a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and chat about our future in the industry.

Please register online by Wednesday 1 February to ensure you don’t miss out. We’d love to see you there!

2022 AUSIT-ASLIAQ Interpreter Satisfaction Survey Update

The QLD Branch have been working hard with our state government to bring about much needed changes, and we hope to start seeing these being implemented throughout this year and next.

A big thank you to all those interpreters who completed the AUSIT-ASLIAQ Interpreter Satisfaction Survey at the end of last year. The report has now been finalised and was presented to Multicultural Affairs Queensland and Queensland Health by Rob Aurbach (the independent consultant who drafted the report) at NAATI’s Regional Advisory Committee meeting in December. Attendees were very happy to see this empirical data, and expressed excitement about how it will help to shape the new language services policy in Queensland.

We would love to see both translators and interpreters attend the Social Breakfast (see above) so we can discuss how we can all work together to improve our industry and shape our state’s language services policy. Please join us to make your voice heard.

WA Branch News: End of year celebration ... as reported by Mary Street
Wa Nye Party


  • ACT Branch – Start of year Get-together4 February 2023 – 10.00am AEDT
  • QLD Branch – Chat Breakfast: Let’s Talk about Adding Value4 February 2023 – 10.00am AEST
  • NAT National Community Translation Protocols17 February 2023 – 4.00pm AEDT
  • VIC Branch Linguists and the Law – a practical seminar for Victorian T/I practitioners – 18 February 2023 – 11.00am AEDT
  • TAS Branch – 18 March 2023
  • SANT Branch – 16 May 2023

CLICK ON THE BUTTON to be diverted to the registration links and more information:



The 10th Asian-Pacific Forum on Translation and Intercultural Studies

When: 5 – 7 February 2023

Where: Kensington Campus, UNSW

The 10th Asia-Pacific Forum on Translation and Intercultural Studies aims to gather scholars, educators and practitioners in the fields of translation, interpreting and intercultural studies to exchange perspectives on new trends across disciplines. Translation and interpreting studies are developing vigorously and new approaches and methodologies are emerging. The interrelations between translation and literature have the potential to inspire interdisciplinary studies including intercultural studies, comparative literature studies and globalization studies. Besides, this new era of globalization has witnessed the burgeoning translation and interpreting technology and services in various fields: business and commerce, medicine, law, community services, etc. It is our hope that this forum will provide a platform for dialogues and discussions that will facilitate further interdisciplinary studies in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

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Launch of the Quality Assurance Framework for Community Translation

Australia is a multicultural and multilingual nation. Over 300 languages are spoken in the community, including Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and Indigenous languages. The Covid-19 global pandemic highlighted the complexities of disseminating multilingual messages for culturally and linguistically diverse populations. During the early stages of the pandemic, the quality of translations and also the efficiency and timing of message delivery were scrutinised by both the media and the public.

governments, and became a vital ingredient in the communication strategy for health messaging to the population. The Federal Department of Health established the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities Covid-19 Health Advisory Group with the aim of coordinating an evidence-based response to the pandemic.

As the peak professional organisation in Australia’s T&I industry, AUSIT has been a key participant in this Group, and as a result, we partnered with the Federation of Ethnic Communities of Australia (FECCA) and the Department of Health to develop a Quality Assurance Framework for Community Translation. This led to AUSIT drafting National Protocols for Community Translation that set out guidelines for good practice, and will be pivotal in future health and environmental crises.

The launch will take place at RMIT University on 17 February from 4 to 5.15 pm.

Calls for Proposals


The Israel Translators Association (ITA) is calling for papers for its 2023 hybrid conference with the theme Weathering the Changes.

The ITA 2023 Conference will be held on February 27 – March 1, 2023.
27 February – In-person/hybrid day
28 February – 1 March – Online days

Deadline for proposals: 15 January 2023
The landscape of the translation industry is constantly changing. The market currently offers an array of new tools as well as more advanced developments of existing ones that support translation. Artificial intelligence (AI) and neural machine translation (NMT) have entered the world of CAT and MT tools and can change the way we work.

Rather than letting them marginalize us, we should learn to leverage them to enhance the way we work and diversify the kinds of services we offer. The perception of the translator’s role has also been changing, not just in relation to technology, but also in how we address our audiences. Those things affect our core concerns as well – marketing, networking, quality translation, and continuing our professional education.

Job Kiosk

AUSIT Interim National PD Coordinator

DEADLINE TO APPLY: 6 February 2023
at 12 noon Sydney time

AUSIT invites expressions of interest for the position from February to August 2023 (8 months). There is possibility for extension and further hours for extra tasks for the right candidate after the interim period.

Job description
1.      Act as Secretary to the National PD Committee or as Chair in the absence of the
         Vice-President Events & VP;
2.      Organise, under the direction of the Vice-President PD, monthly meetings with the
         members of the National PD Committee;
3.      Attend the meetings with the National PD Committee;
4.      Report to the VP Events & PD with minutes of each meeting after every meeting;
5.      Ascertain, compile and analyse the PD needs of AUSIT members;
6.      Prepare a yearly work plan in consultation with the National PD Committee;
7.      Check regularly the email and respond promptly to enquiries;
8.      Liaise with Branch PD Coordinators for the organisation of state events and for
         the possibility of turning Branch events into national events;
9.      Source PD presenters and keep a register of presenters;
10.    Oversee the PD point system and consider members’ requirements to fulfil PD for
         continuing membership;
11.   Manage the events calendar;
12.   Liaise with the Secretariat pre- and post-event regarding registration queries,
        recordings, issuing certificates, and any other queries that may arise.

Payment Schedule
$60 per hour, plus GST if applicable. Time tracking logs are required to be provided on a monthly basis.

Anticipated workload
10 hours per week.

Please submit your CV and a cover letter explaining why you are the right candidate to

Reading Corner: Interesting Articles & Journals


Don’t forget to download your copy of the December issue of In Touch. This issue features:

Literary Translation Feature, part 1:

  • Co-translation: a ‘push-pull’ process
  • Celebrating less translated languages: a look back at our journey

Recent Research

  • The gift of the tongue: investigating spoken-voice intervention for interpreting students
  • Text complexity and its impact on the quality of translations in Australia
  • Translating informed consent in maternity care

AUSIT News and more …

You can also hear AUSIT Editorial Committee member, Cristina Savin, discuss the issue with Fatih Karakas in this interview.

If you have an idea for an article on a particular topic, a reflection from your own experience, some news, a sketch, a poem … get ‘in touch’ (*ahem*, but we love that pun). Check the Submission Guidelines and contact Editor Helen Sturgess ( or Chair of the Editorial Committee Hayley Armstrong ( to discuss your idea.

Deadline for submissions for the upcoming Autumn issue of In Touch has been extended to 8 February 2023.

As you can see, there is a lot happening in 2023! I thank the group of about 100 volunteers who give their time and talent in different AUSIT committees for the benefit of all of us. We will transform this industry.

If you are reading this and you are not a member, don’t stay behind, join us now!

J. Angelo Berbotto
AUSIT National President


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Submission form

for court interpreters to report incidents or issues that occur in court interpreting assignments.

Purpose and function of this information submission form.

This form enables you to report issues or problems that you encounter in the course of court interpreting assignments. These issues and problems will be collected by AUSIT to report to the JCCD (the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity) to monitor the implementation of the Recommended National Standards. The reporting of these issues and problems enables AUSIT to work with the JCCD to suggest steps to address these issues and to avoid the repetition of these problems in the future.

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