President’s Newsletter May 2023

Dear Colleagues,

May just flew by! Here are some of the things AUSIT and its members have been working on:

Sustainability of the language services sector

Following our engagement with the Department of Home Affairs on issues surrounding the sustainability of the language services sector, the Director of the Department’s Language Policy Section (LPS, which sits within the Migrant English and Language Services Branch, Refugee, Humanitarian and Settlement Division, Immigration Group) has flagged that it’s now looking to take the necessary steps to establish and chair a Language Services Sustainability Action Forum (the Forum). The aim of the Forum will be ‘to strengthen relationships and resolve issues of mutual concern relating to interpreting and translation language services in Australia’. I will keep you updated in relation to developments on this front.

Assessing career pathways and the viability of the Translator and Interpreter professions

Researchers at RMIT have completed a survey on the experiences of recent T&I graduates with the help of funding from by the union Translators and Interpreters Australia (TIA, a division of Professionals Australia). The resulting report supports TIA’s case for reform of our industry which is characterised by precarious working conditions and not sustainable. This is detrimental to our communities in the long-term. You can read the report here. A summary of the research will also be published in the upcoming issue of In Touch magazine.

Victorian juries to become more inclusive

During my predecessor Erika’s tenure as National President, both she and Auslan member Meredith Bartlett were interviewed by the Victorian Law Reform Commission as part of their Inclusive Juries review. The resulting report has recommended ‘ways to remove barriers from current law and practice that prevent people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have low vision from serving on juries.’

You can download the Inclusive Juries report here, and an Auslan version of the Executive Summary here, plus look out for Meredith’s article on the campaign in the next issue of In Touch.

Linguists and the Law

My tour of the country to present ‘Linguists and the Law’ to T&I practitioners and to speak to the various Law Societies about working with interpreters in court and tribunal settings continues to go well. This month, I met with SA and NSW practitioners – see the Branch News section below.

In Touch magazine returns to quarterly publication

With our ever-increasing membership of T&I practitioners, educators and researchers doing such diverse and interesting stuff, AUSIT’s award-winning magazine In Touch has been struggling to fit it all into 24 pages every four months, so I’m pleased to report that the magazine will return to quarterly publication. The second (Winter) issue of 2023 – packed with articles, interviews, reports and tips from your colleagues and other stakeholders in the T&I industry – is due out in the first week of July, with Spring and Summer issues to follow in October and December.

AUSIT motto competition

Lastly, don’t forget to enter AUSIT’s competition to create a catchy, optimistic motto that expresses the organisation’s principles, aims and underlying spirit. Can you encapsulate ‘AUSIT’ in a few words? The author of the winning motto will receive a half-day PD (4hrs) voucher, and the new motto will be announced at the AUSIT National Conference 2023. Email your proposed motto(s) to AUSIT’s Communications Committee by 31 August 2023 (number of entries per person unlimited).

(And if you translate Chinese>English, check out the CSAA/AALITRA comp listed below.)

Branch News

SA Branch

… as reported by Joe van Dalen

A total of 73 interpreters and translators attended Angelo’s seminar ‘Linguists and the Law’ on Tuesday 16 May at TAFE SA’s theatre on its Adelaide City Campus.

We think this is a fine attendance from 100 or so registrations, and perhaps 40% or so were non-members. The audience was very responsive and interactive.

The event was sponsored by ABC Multilingua Pty Ltd, a T&I service based here in Adelaide.

QLD Branch

… as reported by Carina Mackenzie

On 25 May, Carina Mackenzie and Patricia Ávila represented AUSIT at the Multicultural Health Symposium in Brisbane, alongside Danielle Ferndale from ASLIAQ and Rob Aurbach from Uncommon Approach.

The results of the Interpreter Satisfaction Survey were presented to a room full of attendees whose common goal was improving the health outcomes of our multicultural communities. Nearly every session prior to ours mentioned the important role T&I plays in each of the different areas of multicultural health. Naturally, it came as a surprise to many of the attendees to hear how many interpreters are intending to leave the profession due to rates of pay and working conditions that are not commensurate with our role and responsibilities. ‘This was the most refreshing session of the day’, ‘I had no idea’, ‘This needs to change. What can we do?’ ‘Why is there such a pay gap between spoken and sign language interpreters?’ was just some of the feedback we received. 

We would like to thank Angel Bogicevic from Queensland Health and Jim Duncan from NAATI for their unwavering support, as well as all Queensland interpreters who completed this survey to make this all possible. Your voice is being heard. Thank you.

AUSIT members can find a copy of the key findings of the report here and non-members can email Carina to request a copy.

VIC Branch

… as reported by Henry Lam

The Victorian Branch met for an after-work drink on 25 May at the Oxford Scholar pub on Swanston St in central Melbourne to celebrate their professional solidarity as translators and interpreters. The Branch is organising a monthly social to offer a platform for practitioners to meet and network. The next after-work drink will be in late June.

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NSW Branch

… as reported by Echo Zhang

There were 98 attendees at Angelo’s ‘Linguists and the Law’ seminar on Saturday 27 May.

Angelo illustrated the link between the Code of Ethics and situations that have had negative legal consequences for third parties due to a practitioner’s lapse of judgment. Professionals in the T&I industry need to be proactive and courageous and form communities. AUSIT provides a community that enables the identification and mitigation of unethical behaviours, encourages practitioners to seek improvement through PD events, and fosters a collaborative environment for finding better solutions. Work in this area can lead to the development of industry standards, guidelines and professional support networks, ultimately benefiting both practitioners and their clients.

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AUSIT National Conference 2023

Please read about the conference here.

Early bird registration (prices will increase after 31 July): AUSIT/ASLIA/NZSTI/FIT members $190 / non-members $290 / student members $100 / student non-members $200.

Important Social Dates

Join your colleagues at the Welcome Cocktail event on Thursday 23 November, after the opening. AUSIT/ASLIA/NZSTI/FIT members $55 / non-members $95.

Gala Dinner: Friday 24 November, 6:30 pm. Members $145, non-members $240. More details to be announced soon.

Registration and booking for the social events will open in June, keep a lookout on the conference webpage.

Call for papers: look out for the call for presentations soon.

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact the Organising Committee.

We are securing more sponsors weekly now, so far we’ve signed up the following:

Ruby sponsor

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Platinum sponsors

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Venue sponsor

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Bronze sponsors

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  • AUSIT VIC Branch – Monthly Social Event – After-Work Drink – 22 June 2023.

  • AUSIT WA Branch  Business Skills Webinar Series (1 of 2) – 17 June 2023.

  • AUSIT VIC Branch  Understanding Police Interviewing for Interpreters  13 June 2023.

  • AUSIT NAT  NAT Presents: Search Engine Optimisation for Translators  3 June 2023.
  • AUSIT NAT  NAT Presents Lost In Translation: LGBTIQ+ Inclusion and Safety Training for Translators and Interpreters  Multiple sessions: 31 May 2023; 7 June 2023; 8 June 2023; 14 June 2023 and 15 June 2013.
CLICK ON THE BUTTON below for more information and the registration links:


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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Semmelweis Medical Linguistics Conference 2023: Impact of Sociocultural Factors on Health Communication Hybrid Conference

When: 2–3 June

Where: Budapest, Hungary

Click here for more information and to register.

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Effectively using it: How good grammar contributes to clearer writing (online presentation by IPED/Editors NSW)

When: Tuesday 6 June, 6:45 pm for registration; 7 pm start (AEST)

Cost: $15 IPEd members; $20 non members

Grammar is a key tool in communication, being less a set of prescriptive rules than an aid to conveying meaning. Dr Linda Nix AE explains common grammar errors that even experienced writers make and good editors miss. She uses real examples to show how to identify and fix misplaced modifiers, dangling participles, pronoun ambiguity, non-parallel structure and punctuation issues that obscure meaning, as well as when to boldly split that infinitive. In other words, this presentation is about using grammar effectively.

Linda Nix BA (Hons) Grad Dip (Computing) PhD (Cantab) is an editor, designer and writer. She worked in-house at law publishers before setting up her freelance business, Golden Orb Creative, in 2010. An IPEd Accredited Editor since 2016, Linda was chair of IPEd’s Accreditation Board from 2019 through 2022. Her presentations and workshops have covered various aspects of writing, editing, publishing and technology for both editors and writers.

Click here for more details and to book. (bookings close 5pm AEST, Friday 2 June)


Dr Antoni Esteve Foundation: Developing skills in scientific writing (seminar)

Developing skills in scientific writing – Next edition: Salamanca, 8–9 June.

Click here to find out more and to register.

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Conference: La traduction en espagnol de spécialité : pratique, enseignement et recherche

When: 9–10 June

Where: Université Paris Cité, France

Click here to find out more and to register.

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ASLIAQ ethics PD weekend (F2F and online)

When: 10–11 June

Where: Cairns (face to face), plus sessions 1 and 2 can also be attended online via Zoom

Click here to find out more.

AUSIT members: for a member discount, email here (include your name, which session(s) you want to register for and whether you want to attend by Zoom / face to face).

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Free sexual and reproductive health training

When: Tuesday 13 June 

Where: Brisbane

For more information and to register click here.

True also offers online training options.


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International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB14)

When: 26–30 June

Where: Macquarie University, Sydney

Click here for more information.

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Launch of Australia's only Punjabi Translation & Interpreting Higher Education Course

Next intake: July

Click here to learn more.

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Post-graduate T&I Programs at UNSW - new languages

Languages offered from 2023: Cantonese, French, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish
The programs are Commonwealth supported (making them very affordable) and can be taken fully online. They include Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Master’s degrees.

Applications still open
For more information, please click 
For course-related queries, please contact Prof. Sandra Hale

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Diversity: better culture, better workplaces (three-day PD program)

Diversity can be seen as a buzzword – but how can individuals create inclusive workplaces that value diversity and also harness the potential of each person’s cultural identities to enable new ways of thinking and doing? (a three-day PD program)

When: 19, 20 and 21 July, 9 am to 4 pm

Where: Monash College, 750 Collins Street, Docklands, VIC 3008

Click here for more information and to register.

For further information please contact Alex Avella (PD Program Lead Monash Intercultural Lab).

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NAATI Interpreting in NDIS Settings program

Free program of 6 self-paced modules and 2 live webinars (24 July & 28 August).

To find out more about the program click here.

To take part, create a NAATI Learn account and enrol.

For questions or suggestions contact NEDA’s Project and policy officer Lyn Wu.

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NZSTI Conference 2023

When: 16–17 September 2023

Where: Christchurch, Aotearoa NZ

Theme: Overcoming Challenges ● Creating Harmony

Call for papers open now, registrations open soon.

Click here for more information.


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2023 CSAA/AALITRA Chinese-English Translation Competition

The CETC considers translations of Chinese texts of any genre or period into English. The length of submissions is 10–15 double-spaced pages of prose or 8–10 double-spaced pages of poetry translated into English. 

Submission will also include a commentary of 800 to 1200 words (not included in submission page count) explaining their choice of text and strategies of translation. For examples of commentaries, see AALITRA Review. 

Translations of previously translated texts are acceptable only if they are completely novel translations, and the commentary must justify the choice. 

The winning entry will receive 250 AUD and be strongly considered for publication in AALITRA Review

Deadline for entries: June 30, 2023.

Submit here



Callout for Submissions on 'Para-Literary Translation in Periodicals'

The journal Perspectives Studies in Translation Theory and Practice is calling for submissions for a special issue: ‘Turning the Page. Para-Literary Translation in Periodicals’

Deadline for submissions: 1 Sep 2023

Deadline for manuscripts: 1 Sep 2024

For more information and to submit a manuscript click here.



Kurdish Kurmanji, Portuguese, and Swahili)

This useful resource developed by Queensland University of Technology is aimed at interpreters of the languages listed above (the home languages of many recently-arrived families from CALD backgrounds whose children are attending schools in Queensland and across Australia).

The multilingual glossary includes words and definitions in the five languages and is designed to promote two-way communication between school personnel and multilingual families.

The English glossary with definitions may be of use to interpreters in other languages, and a there is also a list of online resources which will be useful for state Departments of Education, school systems, schools and community organisations in their communication with multilingual students and their families.

To access the glossary and/or read an overview of the research study and how it was developed, click here.


J. Angelo Berbotto
AUSIT National President

There is a lot going on in the world of translating and interpreting. It is encouraging to meet practitioners around the country.  The issues are very similar everywhere I go. I am hopeful that in the next couple of years we will start seeing the fruit of our work. In the meantime, we need to grow in numbers so that we can eventually have a CEO the same way other professional organisations have managed to do. I get a lot of inspiration from associations such as the Migration Institute of Australia which have grown a lot in the recent years.

Help us grow by inviting colleagues to join AUSIT.  You can also contribute with your talents to the expansion and consolidation of our association.

There is still the opportunity for you to get involved in the various new committees that will start operating in the new financial year. You can find information about the committee restructure here, and the form to express your interest here.

Thanks again to AUSIT members who continue to write to me about issues with LSPs. Please email me here. And remember that if you have had a good or bad experience as an interpreter working in courts and tribunals, let us know about this by filling out the feedback form.

Thank you,


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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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