President’s Newsletter March 2023

Dear Colleagues,

We are coming to the end of the first quarter of 2023! I’ve had a hectic beginning to the year with the consultation on Industry Affiliates, travelling around the country to meet AUSIT members, and supporting reforms that will ensure our sustainability as a professional association. You can read more about all this below. Thank you for your ongoing support, comments, questions and ideas. They are always welcome!

It’s been four months since I took office, so I’d like to run a Q&A session with members. In preparation for this event, I would like to ask you: What topics would you like to hear about? What would you like to know? Please submit your questions here.

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National President Angelo Berbotto speaking at the Law Society of Tasmania

On 17 March I presented a seminar to Tasmanian solicitors and interpreters (both on site and online) who work with them, hosted by the Law Society of Tasmania. We discussed the Recommended National Standards (RNS), and the interpreters gave examples of good collaboration plus other instances when things could have been better. It was a good opportunity to dispel myths about the work interpreters do. The feedback has been very positive, and we will continue to train lawyers around the country.

Restructuring of the various committees: come and join in!

By now, you may have realised that my vision for AUSIT is growth. We must grow numerically to represent the majority of practitioners in Australia in order to become relevant to stakeholders. We need to earn a place at the negotiation table for better working conditions for T/Is. We need to develop the ability to clearly communicate the interests of T/Is to stakeholders, to engage with them and persuade them to adopt practices that support practitioners. We need to turn this entire industry into a practitioner-centred industry – because as practitioners, we want to offer the best possible service to the community. We will not achieve this goal if we remain a peripheral group. We currently only represent one fifth of practitioners in Australia, so there is a lot of work to do!

1.       We need to induct and prepare the next generation of leaders within AUSIT.
          This needs to be a gradual process. I believe the most natural way to achieve
          it is through AUSIT’s committees.

2.       To work towards this, we need new volunteers to work with established
          committee members so that institutional memory is transferred. There is a
          particular ‘style’ to the way we do things in AUSIT, and the best way to maintain
          this is by having new people working alongside those who have been
          volunteering for a while and already embody the values of AUSIT.

3.       Each committee needs a succession plan, so that if there is something going on
          in a committee member’s life and they need to take leave of absence for a while,
          we can face that situation with confidence and without affecting the committee’s 
          ability to function.

I invite you to join our volunteer ranks and participate in one of our new or established committees. You can see the areas where we need more volunteers in the attached annex. We will soon send out more information about how you can express your interest in joining a new committee.

AUSIT Membership: New Student Category

AUSIT has created a new Student membership category to encourage our future T/Is to join us while they are studying, then progress onto Ordinary Member status once they have completed their studies.

This membership category is now available to students who are enrolled “… full time or part time in formal trans­lating and/or interpreting coursework at a recognised Australian TAFE college or university, including a Skill Sets course that meets the requirements set by NAATI.”

It enables students to rub shoulders with practitioners while they work towards gaining their NAATI credentials.

The benefits that student members will enjoy include:

1.       Discounted AUSIT membership fee
2.       Discounted fees for professional development

If you are a student, or if you know a T&I student, please send them this Welcome to AUSIT video.

You can read the full wording of this new category in the AUSIT Bylaws under section 2.5 Student Member (page 7).

You asked, I found out ….

Since becoming National President back in November 2022, I have received expressions of concern from some AUSIT members in relation to interpreters who have recently been granted NAATI Recognised Interpreter credentials in Tier A languages. The concern stemmed from the fact that Tier A languages practitioners have plenty of opportunities to obtain a credential through a NAATI examination at CPI and CI levels.

I approached NAATI, and the response I received is that credentials in the Recognised Interpreter category are only awarded on a case-by-case basis after being put forward to NAATI. Also, this is done as a one-off – so practitioners who are granted Recognised Interpreter status cannot re-certify as a Recognised Practitioner in a Tier A language or any other Tier if a credential by examination is available.

Therefore, the Recognised Interpreter in a Tier A language needs to upgrade to a CPI or CI credential within the space of three years from the original date of recognition, when the Recognised Interpreter status will lapse.

Thank you to those members who brought this issue to my attention, and also to NAATI for clarifying when special consideration is given to Tier A languages.

Calling a spade a spade

Language Service Providers (LSPs) have a responsibility not to mislead the population by correctly identifying those working for them. In Australia, an interpreter is someone with the necessary credentials.

I have been informed that some LSPs are issuing all their contractors with ID cards identifying them as interpreters, regardless of whether an individual holds a current NAATI credential. These ID cards often include a photo and a number that identify the bearer with the LSP. Because they look official, these ID cards mislead language service users into believing that everyone with an ID card has the same level of expertise. Apparently, the practice is so institutionalised that those using T&I services often do not bother to verify if the interpreter is qualified.

This practice is wrong and should cease immediately. LSPs have a responsibility not to pass off an unqualified individual as an interpreter. LSPs with clients in Australia should only use the designation Interpreter for individuals who have NAATI Certification or Recognition. NAATI is the standard in Australia, and bilinguals who wish to work in Australia as interpreters must engage with NAATI in order to get certified, recognised and so on. Individuals with no NAATI credential have not demonstrated that they can act competently or ethically. LSPs should be hearing alarm bells because if these individuals engage in unethical behaviour the LSP could be found vicariously liable! By the same token, users of interpreting services such as hospital and school staff, courts and lawyers should be informed when the person they are dealing with is not qualified/certified/recognised, so that they can take extra precaution when talking to a client through them.

This is not a light matter, LSPs! Do the right thing and ensure that non-qualified persons are identified as Bilingual Assistant or a similar designation, but not Interpreter.  

If you are an AUSIT member and you are concerned about practices in the industry, contact me: Your anonymity will be protected.

Announcing the 2023 AUSIT National Conference

This year’s National Conference:

Venue: UNSW in Sydney

Dates: Thursday to Saturday, 23–25 November.

In the coming months, our Organising Committee will share information on the Call for Papers, Program and ticketing information. Watch this space!

Mentoring program applications open

What is the mentoring program?

It is a structured program in which a mentor (an experienced and trusted advisor) is matched to a mentee (a person seeking guidance and support to grow personally or professionally). It is offered once a year and the time commitment is 20 hours over six months.


To check that you are eligible as a Mentee, please read the full guidance here, fill out the online Mentee Application Form and provide a Character Reference.

Mentor applications are accepted all year round. To express interest, fill out the online Mentor application form and provide a Character Reference.

Mentors and mentees who successfully complete the AUSIT MP will receive a certificate and may claim 20 PD points towards recertification. In addition, mentors will receive a voucher to enrol in 3 AUSIT webinars from the AUSIT media library free of charge (one voucher per mentee, maximum of two mentees per year).

Click here to find out more about the mentoring program or write to

Call for volunteers - AUSIT representative at Standards Australia

AUSIT is seeking a representative to be appointed to Standards Australia’s national committee, to provide input on international standards (ISO) on translation, interpreting and related technology.

The committee includes other key industry stakeholders. The time commitment involves participating in quarterly meetings (online), providing input at meetings, and also voting when necessary.


1.       Expertise in translation and interpreting (preferred) – 5+ years’ experience as
          a T/I in Australia.
2.       Availability for quarterly meetings (decided by the committee using polls a few
          months prior).

3.       Knowledge of ISO standards structure and of the language services industry. 
4.       Excellent drafting/writing skills.

If you are interested, please write to

Learnbook videos

Learnbook is an underutilised AUSIT resource. Communications VP Vesna Cvjeticanin has produced tutorials to help members enrol and use Learnbook. Please find the short videos here:

1.       Introduction to Learnbook
2.       Signing up and logging in
3.       Discussion Points
4.       Professional Development
5.       Cohorts
6.       Customising Learnbook 

Comradely greetings from AALITRA

The Australian Association for Literary Translation (AALITRA) shares with AUSIT the common objective of improving the visibility, status and sense of community of translators and interpreters working in Australia. Members of AUSIT are invited to check out our website and follow our in-house journal, the AALITRA Review. We hold regular events, including symposiums, talks from guest speakers, and panel discussions. We organise the biennial AALITRA/PEN Translation Awards, in which a committee of expert judges evaluates submitted translations of short literary texts taken from a different source language each time. We also host a database of experienced Australian literary translators that is shared with the major Australian publishers. And, of course, we are always delighted to welcome new members!

Please email if you would like to know more.

Branch News

QLD Branch News

… as reported by Carina Mackenzie

On 16 MarchAUSIT joined ASLIA, NAATI, Professionals Australia and Multicultural Australia for a very collaborative and positive workshop with Queensland Health, Multicultural Affairs Queensland and the Commonwealth to discuss the sustainability of interpreting in Queensland. Thank you to all Queensland interpreters who completed the Interpreter Satisfaction Survey as we now have some empirical information to help inform decision making.

In other news, the QLD Branch is planning its next social event on the Sunshine Coast and will set the date at our next branch meeting. Watch this space!


ACT Branch News

… as reported by Dave Deck 

On 28 February, the ACT Branch ran a PD session on ‘Meaning-based Translating & Interpreting’. It was part 3 of a series, this one concentrating on equivalence at the phrase level, including how to deal with translation challenges arising because of collocations, idioms and fixed expressions. This two-hour event was run in hybrid mode, with over a dozen people attending in person at the YWCA in Canberra (and enjoying some networking time and light refreshments beforehand), and about 100 registered to join them online, including one participant from another FIT-affiliated association in Germany. The branch hopes to present part 4 of the series – the grammatical level – sometime later this year.



VIC Branch News: Culture on a Plate Day

… as reported by Karine Bachelier 



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From left to right: Fatih Karakas, Nicola Thayil, Gabriela Iturrizaga, Dina Kerr, Elvira Bianchi, Hwee Ping, Arda Martin, Eva Doumanis, Henry Lam. Front row: Mikoto Araki, Sofia Gutkin, Karine Bachelier, Roksan Lasheen, Epperly Zhang

On 18 March, some VIC Branch members enjoyed a relaxing ‘Culture on a Plate’ get together. It was a beautiful day in the Alexandra Gardens, with a few non-AUSIT members also joining us. We were spoilt with homemade cornbread, onigiri, vegan dumplings, croissants and pains au chocolat, gougères au fromage (a Swiss savoury specialty) and more! The VIC Branch provided the drinks.

It was great to meet other colleagues and exchange on T&I-related topics. And a special thank you to Gabriela for bringing her speaker along, the music added that nice final touch!

TAS Branch News

… as reported by Zhang Echo



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From left: Angelo Berbotto (AUSIT National President), Zhang Echo (TAS Secretary), Miriam Chiu (TAS Chair) and Martin Blackwell (TAS PD Coordinator).

This month we were pleased to host the Linguists and the Law workshop given by our President, Angelo Berbotto. The content was quite practical and insightful. Using Kahoot to get people involved was a very interactive way to have people’s attention. Angelo also introduced some methods to deal with ethical dilemmas. The audience could implement them instantly and easily, without spending too much effort. We should always keep updated and be brave to ask for what we interpreters need.

  • AUSIT NSW Branch – Interpreting and Translation Pedagogy Webinar Series (1 of 2)03 April 2023
  • AUSIT NAT – Pronunciation and Speech Short Course 19 April 2023

  • AUSIT WA Branch Interpreters working with refugees and trauma survivors: an information session with ASeTTS 22 April 2023

  • AUSIT NSW Branch – Interpreting and Translation Pedagogy Webinar Series (2 of 2) 29 April 2023

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


All information below is provided by external organisations. Please register and direct any enquiries to the relevant contact outlined in each announcement, rather than to AUSIT.

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2023 Migration and Refugee Practice Direction information session

We are pleased to invite you to attend an online information session where you will be able to ask questions about the Administrative Appeals Tribunal’s (AAT) new Migration and Refugee Practice Direction which came into effect on 1 March 2023.

The information session will be held via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 5 April 2023from 3 pm to 4 pm (AEST) and will feature presentations from senior representatives of the AAT. Following the presentations, the panel will address questions and matters of interest from attendees.   

This is a good opportunity for professionals who support applicants in the Migration and Refugee Division to gain a clear understanding of how the new practice direction will impact your work.

Registrations are open until midnight on Sunday 2 April 2023.  

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FIT XIV Legal Translation and Interpreting International Forum

When:  8–9 July 2023
Where: Schweiz, Switzerland


You can find the program here.

Calls for Papers
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The Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (OTTIAQ) invites you to submit a proposal to present at its annual conference, to be held on Friday 3 November 2023 from 8 am to 8 pm (cocktail and entertainment included) at Hotel Bonaventure, in Montréal.

The annual conference is OTTIAQ’s flagship event. Year after year, it brings together hundreds of language professionals, students and other experts in the fields of translation, terminology and interpretation.

This year, we invite everyone curious about language to come and experience, together, the pleasure of being … Professionals in every sense of the word

To submit a proposal

• Fill out the call for proposals form in French or English

• Include a colour portrait photo (high resolution)

• Send the form to the attention of the Conference Program Committee by 4 pm Friday 5 May 2023

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Kein Kinderspiel! Workshop

From 30 July to 3 August 2023 Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur e.V. (IBBY Germany) will host an international workshop on the translation of German-language children’s and YA literature titled ‘Kein Kinderspiel!’ / ‘No Child’s Play’. It will take place in Berlin, Germany and be held in German. Professional translators into all languages are welcome. To enable active participation in the workshop, you should have a very good command of the German language.

The program, accommodation for the duration of the workshop and meals during the program will be free of charge.

Participants are responsible for travel expenses, but do receive a travel allowance.

Further details and application forms may be obtained from

Applications should be sent by email with corresponding enclosures to by 2 May 2023 at the latest.

Job Kiosk
Reading Corner: Interesting Articles & Journals

The Autumn issue of In Touch is due out in the first week of April!

Missed last month’s newsletter? You can now find the >January and February newsletters on our website.

NAATI introduces new digital stamps (see also an article on NAATI’s new Digital IDs and Stamps in the April issue of In Touch)

How you and your clients can benefit from investing in legal translation services


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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