Jill Blewett Memorial Lectures

Photo Jill Blewett

This photo of Jill Blewett, taken in 1980, is located in the State Library of South Australia (SLSA). As the SLSA has been unable to determine who holds the copyright, we are publishing it in good faith. If you are the copyright owner and are not happy with its use here, please do contact us here

The late Jill Blewett played an important role in the early development of the translating and interpreting (T&I) profession in Australia.

From 1976 to 1982 she was Senior Lecturer with the Community Language Programme at the Adelaide College of TAFE, later becoming Coordinator of the Level 3 Interpreting and Translating course at the SA College of Advanced Education. She was appointed to the SA State Accreditation Panel for Translators in 1979.

In 1983 Jill was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) to represent the education/training aspects of T&I. Her initial three-year term was extended in 1986 for a further three years.

Jill was also a member of the NAATI Steering Committee, set up to establish the criteria and format of the Level 4 (now Advanced Translator/Conference Interpreter) courses and tests, and to develop guidelines for the establishment of T&I courses in Australia. She served as Chair of NAATI’s Qualifications Assessment and Advisory Committee, which is responsible for approving T&I courses in this country and for the assessment of overseas qualifications in T&I held by applicants for accreditation in Australia.

An interpreter and translator herself, she fought for the establishment of high standards and for regulation of the profession, and it is largely as a result of her efforts that Australia has been recognised internationally as a leader in the field of community-based interpreting.

Jill was admired by all who knew her for her dedication to the profession, and for the concern she showed and the encouragement she gave to individuals.

The Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

Held since 1992

2023: Mr Rob Aurbach

This year’s JBML considered the sustainability of the industry through the lens of a recent  survey of practitioners in Queensland and a review of interpreter services procurement and working arrangements across Australia, providing a perspective on the current situation nationally.

Presented at the AUSIT National Conference in Sydney, NSW.

23 November 2023

2022: Dr Lucas de Toca PSM, First Assistant Secretary, Vaccine Policy, Implementation & Primary Care Response (National COVID Vaccine Taskforce)

‘Connecting with multicultural communities during the pandemic’

Presented at the AUSIT National Conference in Brisbane, QLD.

26 November 2022

2021: The Honourable Dr Toni Buti, WA Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

Presented at the AUSIT National Conference in Perth, WA.

November 2021

2020: Cross-cultural Psychologist and Diversity Trainer at NSW Police, Churchill Fellow Judy Saba

‘Resilience…is it ‘just a word’? The impact on interpreters and translators when working in a context of COVID, crisis, war, and unusual times’

Presented online before the AUSIT National AGM.

November 28 2020

2019: Cassy O'Connor MP, leader of the Tasmanian Greens

Translating Words Into Action On Climate For All Humanity

Presented at the AUSIT National Conference in Hobart, TAS.

19 October 2019

2018: The Honourable Jing Lee MLC, Assistant Minister to the Premier

Presented at the AUSIT National Conference in Adelaide, SA.

17 November 2018

2017: Translator Kevin Windle

‘The Unethical Illusionist: reflections of a jobbing translator’

Presented at the AUSIT mini-Conference in Canberra, ACT.

18 November 2017

2016: The Honourable Robin Scott MP, Minister for Finance and Minister for Multicultural Affairs in the Victorian Government

‘Bridge between People: Translators, Interpreters, and Multiculturalism in a Challenging World’

Presented at the AUSIT mini-Conference in Melbourne, VIC.

19 November 2016

2015: Mark Painting, CEO of NAATI (the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters)

‘NAATI, Where to from here?’

Presented at the AUSIT mini-Conference in Sydney, NSW.

November 2015

2014: Dr Henry Liu, President of the International Federation of Translators (FIT)

‘From global to local and back again. A biased view on the global translation and interpreting scene and how is this relevant to Australia and Australians?’ 

Presented at the AUSIT National Conference and AGM in Brisbane, QLD.

2 November 2014

2013: Cynthia Cave, Auslan interpreter and ASLIA member

‘A Day in the Life of an Interpreter working with the European Union Institutions (Parliament and Commission)’

Presented at the AUSIT Excellence Awards 2013 and Gala Dinner in Melbourne, VIC.

2012: Sandra Hale, Professor of Interpreting & Translation, University of New South Wales

‘Are we there yet? Taking stock of where we are and where we are heading’

Presented during the AUSIT Silver Jubilee National Conference ‘JubilaTIon 25’ and National AGM weekend in Sydney, NSW.

2 November 2012

2011: Senator The Honourable Kate Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

‘The translating and interpreting industry: a pillar of multiculturalism’

Presented at the AUSIT National AGM and AUSIT Excellence Awards 2011 in Canberra, ACT.

12 November 2011

2010: Maria Osman, Executive Director of the Office of Multicultural Interests, Government of Western Australia

‘The Language of Empowerment’

Presented at the AUSIT National Conference ‘Synergise!’ in Fremantle, WA.

6 November 2010

2009: Mr Peter Goldsworthy, award-winning writer and medical practitioner

‘Lost or Found in Translation’

Presented at AUSIT’s D-Day in Adelaide, SA.

2008: Adolfo Gentile, Adjunct Professor in Interpreting and Translating at the University of Queensland

‘Interpreters, Translators and Human Rights’ 

Presented at the AUSIT National Conference ‘Get Connected’ in Brisbane, QLD.

15 November 2008

2007: Dr Lindsay Heywood, Chief Executive Officer, NAATI

‘Translation of a Profession: An Interpretation’

Presented at the AUSIT National AGM in Sydney.

2006: Mr Arnold Zable, writer and lecturer

Presented during an AUSIT Gala Dinner in Melbourne.

2005: No JBML occurred

2004: The Honourable Dr Barry Jones AO, Chair, Victorian Schools Innovation Commission and former politician, writer and broadcaster

‘Translating, Interpreting and Understanding ‘the Other’’

Presented in conjunction with the AUSIT ‘Power to the Profession’ Conference and National AGM in Melbourne, VIC.

2003: Dr George Quinn, Head of Southeast Asia Centre, Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University

‘On translating Indonesia’

Presented at the AUSIT National AGM in Canberra, ACT.

2002: Mr Kim Collard, Coordinator of ICMDP at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University of Technology

Presented at the AUSIT National Conference ‘Strength in Diversity’ in Perth, WA.   

2001: Mr David Page PSM, former Assistant Secretary, Settlement Branch, Dept of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

‘Translating and interpreting in Australia: A profession, a craft, an industry or a service?’ 

Presented on the occasion of the NAATI Translator & Interpreter Awareness Day (an event supported by AUSIT which preceded the National AGM in Melbourne, VIC).

10 November 2001

2000: Ms Karen Clare, Auslan interpreter

‘Recognising our humanness: Minimising the impact of interpreting on our professional and personal selves’

Presented at the AUSIT National AGM in Brisbane, QLD.

4 November 2000

1999: Mr Laurie Robson, Barrister-at-Law

‘The significance of proposed changes in the legal system for interpreters’

Presented at the AUSIT National Conference and AGM in Sydney, NSW.

1998: Dr Mary Kalantzis, Dean of the Faculty of Education, RMIT University

‘The social status of translation and interpreting’

Presented at the AUSIT National AGM in Melbourne, VIC.

1997: His Excellency Aneurin Hughes, Head of the European Commission delegation in Australia

‘The importance of language services in international relations’

Presented as part of the AUSIT National Conference and AGM in Canberra, ACT.

November 1997

1996: Dr Judy Wakabayashi, lecturer on the Master of Arts in Japanese Interpreting and Translation course, University of Queensland

‘The translator’s voice’

Presented in conjunction with the National Language Expo in Brisbane, QLD.

July 1996

1995: Mr Chris Puplick, Head of the Anti-Discrimination Board

‘E pluribus unum: Language, translators, equity and access in Australia’

Presented at the AUSIT National AGM in Sydney, NSW.

29 September 1995

1994: Mr Max Bourke, Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet

‘Creativity and Interpretation’

Presented in conjunction with the National Language Expo in Sydney, NSW.

July 1994

1993: The Honourable Lynn Arnold, Premier of South Australia

‘Creativity and Interpretation’

Presented in conjunction with the National Language Expo in Sydney, NSW.

1992: Associate Professor Adolfo Gentile, Head of Interpreting and Translating at Deakin University, Melbourne

In this, the Inaugural JBML, AUSIT foundation member Adolfo Gentile reflected on Jill’s work and her impact on that of colleagues, then offered his thoughts on the evolution of T&I in Australia, concluding with where he saw the profession going in the next few years. 

Presented in conjunction with the National Language Expo in Melbourne, VIC.

7 November 1992

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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