Past Conferences

AUSIT National
Conference 2023

23–25 November 2023

Hosted on Bedegal country, by the University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales

Building bridges, strengthening alliances: Translation and interpreting in today’s connected world ’

On an unusually cool, grey Thursday afternoon, the conference was opened by AUSIT National President J. Angelo Berbotto and Professor Colin Grant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UNSW.

The ensuing two-and-a-half-day program of workshops, presentations, roundtables and more delved into the crucial role that T/Is play in facilitating communication and understanding across diverse cultures, communities and industries. It provided the opportunity to reflect on essential next steps in the national space, where important policies and protocols relating to translation and interpreting have been published but not fully implemented.

There was also plenty of time to socialise. While many attendees enjoyed catching up with old friends and making new ones over drinks and canapés on Thursday evening, the Gala Dinner was the main event. The food was great, and a spectacular floorshow – by Indian dancers Raj and Jennifer plus the Colombian Cultural Folkloric Organisation – followed. And spirits remained high, with the dance floor being put to good use right until the end of the evening.

During dinner, the AUSIT Translation Competition 2023 winners were announced and the AUSIT Excellence Awards 2023 were presented.

National President J. Angelo Berbotto helped attendees keep tabs on session start times by vigourously wielding the brand new AUSIT Conference Bell – a large, elegant brass handbell which will be engraved and handed over from one organising committee to the next from now on.

During the Closing Ceremony Angelo ceremonially handed the bell, engraved with ‘AUSIT – 36th National Conference – Sydney’, over to Karine Bachelier, Chair of the Victorian Branch, which will organise the 2024 Conference.

Keynote speakers

Tish Bruce, Executive Director, Health and Social Policy Branch, NSW Ministry of Health

‘Interpreting in Health Care Settings’

The Honourable Justice François Kunc (Supreme Court of New South Wales – Equity Division)

‘Working with Interpreters in Courts and Tribunals’

Associate Professor Erika González García (RMIT University)

‘Community Translation Protocols and Translator Tools’


Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

Lawyer Rob Aurbach gave this year’s Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture (JBML). You will soon be able to watch it here.

2023 Conference Program
2023 Conference Photos

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AUSIT National
Conference 2022

25–26 November 2022

Hosted on Turrbal and Jagera country, at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland and online

‘Rebuild and Belong: Evolution, Transformation and Growth ’

The Conference commenced bright and early on the Friday morning, with a welcome address by one of the co-chairs of the Organising Committee (OC), Nancy Guevara, and a message from the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Leanne Linard MP. In her formal opening, outgoing National President Erika Gonzalez thanked the OC for their dedicated work and urged us all to work together to make the T&I profession sustainable, because when we’re united, we can achieve great things. Kenny Gee did a great job stepping in at the last minute to pass on a Welcome to Country message from Turrbal songwoman Maroochy, and play the didgeridoo.

The two-day program of presentations and workshops focused on reconnecting across a variety of different areas after the challenging pandemic years. Sessions were divided into three streams: teaching and translation, interpreting, and workshops and panels.

With live on-screen captioning provided by Ai-Media, remote simultaneous interpreting (in Mandarin, Korean, Indonesian, Spanish and Arabic) by student volunteers using Congress Rental’s Network platform, and Auslan interpreting by Deaf Connect, delegates were extremely impressed by the accessibility of the event. The conference app Whova proved very effective for connecting, both during the conference and to continue the many unfinished conversations over following days.

Keynote speakers

Sociolinguist and interpreter educator Dr George Major leads the New Zealand Sign Language–English Interpreting and Deaf Studies programs at Auckland University of Technology. Her fascinating plenary ‘Not one-size-fits-all: the complexity of the interpreter role’ detailed how her research shows that the interpreter role is a dynamic rather than a static entity, with subtle, moment-by-moment changes in participant alignment, interactional management and presentation of self which help interpreters achieve communicative goals and ensure understanding.

Prof. Minhua Liu sits on the advisory boards of several peer-reviewed journals and is co-editor of the international journal Interpreting. In her plenary ‘The interpreter’s aging: A unique story of multilingual cognitive decline?’ she extolled the benefits of stimulating and cognitively challenging occupations such as interpreting in the delay of cognitive decline, and recommended doing a crossword puzzle every day as excellent targeted cognitive training!

Prof. Felicity Meakins is a linguist specialising in Australian Indigenous languages, morphology and language contact. In her plenary ‘Power and Perspective: Australian History told in Indigenous Languages’ she argued that Australian history should include detailed historical accounts told in the first languages of Indigenous historians and witnesses, using examples to demonstrate that accounts given in second languages (Kriol and pidgin English) omitted important information present in the speakers’ first language, in this case Gurindji.

Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

Dr Lucas De Toca PSM gave this year’s Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture (JBML). You can watch it here.

2022 Conference Program
2022 Conference Photos

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AUSIT National
Conference 2021

19–20 November 2021

Hosted on Whadjuk Noongar country, Scarborough Beach, Perth, Western Australia, and online

‘Another Word, Another World ’

Held overlooking the Indian Ocean in Scarborough, the Perth conference was themed as ‘Another Word, Another World’. Due to ongoing pandemic travel restrictions, it was a hybrid event: local speakers and delegates attended in person, with others around the country and overseas participating virtually.

In seeking to connect different worlds, translators and interpreters facilitate understanding and negotiate shifts in meaning as they switch between languages. The global pandemic created something of a new world order, bringing innovation in language. Newly coined terms emerged, and T&I practitioners helped transition into this new reality.

Keynote speakers

Journalist, literary translator and public service interpreter Anna Aslanyan grew up in Moscow, lives in London, and says she ‘feels most at home in books’. In her presentation ‘When Words are Not Enough’ Anna addressed how translators and interpreters not only communicate with words, but act as cultural mediators. She presented many examples involving the use of T&I services by well-known historical figures.

Nina Sattler-Hovdar has three decades of experience in translation and transcreation. In her plenary session ‘Transcreation: Taking Words into Another World’, Nina introduced the concept of transcreation (a combination of translation and copywriting). She explained the challenges and the purpose of the discipline very clearly, and with some of her illustrations she had the room laughing out loud.

Cindy Kennedy is a professional speaker known to wow audiences with her powerful storytelling. In her workshop ‘The Language of Wellbeing’, Cindy got us all off our seats to work together. Her aim is to help small business owners build sustainable foundations of wellbeing, connection and service for both their businesses and their lives. Many attendees left saying they could, and would, implement Cindy’s suggestions and ideas in both their work and their personal lives.

Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

The Honourable Dr Toni Buti MP gave this year’s Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture (JBML). You can download it here.

2021 Conference Program
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AUSIT National
Conference 2020

20–21 November 2020

Hosted online

‘Business as Unusual ’

This year, for the first time ever, the conference was a fully online event. Participant enjoyed presentations from academics and industry leaders in Australia and abroad. The wealth of knowledge and engagement that was shared over the two days was astounding. Conference-goers participated enthusiastically in presentations by asking questions and making contributions through the chat function. In this way, having the event online actually allowed for perhaps more active participation than is possible at a face-to-face event.

The focus of this year’s conference was on the challenges and opportunities opening up in an evolving T&I landscape, specifically during this time of insecurity and rapid change experienced by the profession over recent months.

Sub-themes included: business during a pandemic; new skills and professional requirements in interpreting and translating; adaptive business practices; remuneration and working conditions; remote interpreting; translation technologies; and remote T&I education and training.

Keynote speakers

Stephen Doherty leads the HAL Language Processing Research Lab at UNSW, where he is an associate professor in linguistics, interpreting and translation. With a focus on the psychology of language and technology, his research investigates human and machine language processing using natural language processing techniques and combined on- and offline methods. He presented on the topic ‘Language technology today and tomorrow: Challenges and opportunities for current and future language service professionals’.

Karolina Karczmarek-Giel is an industry professional with over 15 years of experience. Drawing from her broad background in translation, digital marketing, positive psychology, and meta-learning, she explored strategies for dealing with the current crisis from various disciplines in her presentation ‘How to thrive in any crisis: The pandemic edition’.

Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

Cross-cultural psychologist, diversity trainer and public speaker Judy Saba gave this year’s Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture (JBML) online, a week after the conference. You can watch it here.

2020 Conference Program
2020 Conference Photos

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AUSIT National
Conference 2019

18–19 October 2019

Hosted on the lands of the palawa/pakana people of lutrawitra, in Hobart, Tasmania

‘The world of interpreters and translators and interpreters and translators in the world ’

Translators and interpreters exist in an increasingly globalised society, both shaping and being shaped by cultural, political and technological shifts. Shifts toward multicultural societies have enabled community interpreting and community translation to flourish, creating previously unforeseen roles and tasks for translators. At the same time, translators and interpreters keep being the backbone of multilateral and multilingual organisations, which enables them to play a pivotal role in global politics. The rise of computers has led to numerous changes in the way the T&I industry functions and near-instantaneous communications have transformed the work environment. Traditional roles have been replaced by: multilingual Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), subtitling (both professional and fansubbing), localisation, or Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE). Interpreters, meanwhile, are faced with the prospect of video-remote interpreting (VRI), procurement platforms, and tablet interpreting. How have and how will these phenomena change the way T&Is work? How will they change the perception of our roles and our status? What are the ethical considerations associated with these new modes of translating and interpreting? What are the ethical considerations associated with new roles? How does this affect our teaching and training?

This conference aimed to bring together professionals and researchers in the T&I field to discuss these and more questions about translators and interpreters in today’s world and the world of the future.

Keynote speakers

Dr Marc Orlando, a senior lecturer in T&I at Monash University, is interested in T&I training and the synergies between practice, research and training. He drew a realistic picture of today’s T&I industry, evaluating the challenges posed by fast-evolving technology and pointing out a promising path to the future via learning about technology and utilising it to our advantage.

Sam Berner is the current chair of AUSIT’s Queensland branch and an Arabic–English translator. She described the challenges of working with exiles who are acting as translators, around both the clock and the globe, to expose critical information about political movements and daily living conditions in conflict-ridden regions. Sam’s powerful presentation revealed a hidden layer of our profession in which practitioners often work anonymously and act as advocates for political and/or social groups.

Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

Cassy O’Connor MP, leader of the Tasmanian Greens political party, gave this year’s Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture (JBML). You can read more about the JBML here.

2019 Conference Program
2019 Conference Photos

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AUSIT National
Conference 2018

16–17 November 2018

Hosted on Kaurna country, by the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia

‘Do you understand me? Intercultural aspects of interpreting, translation and communication’

Over 150 delegates attended, representing all states and territories plus New Zealand. One delegate travelled all the way from Finland. There were 16 presentations covering the above theme. 

A highlight this year was the awarding of two post-graduate travel scholarships to students for being part of the program. Thoughtful presentations encompassing the challenges of technology and cultural ambiguities were a feature to the delight of delegates. The Jill Blewitt Memorial address was presented by The Honourable Jing Lee MLC, Assistant Minister to the Premier, a dynamic member who is the first Chinese Malaysian to be elected to Parliament in South Australia. From her own migrant experience, she has great interest and empathy with the challenges of interpreters and shall take matters of concern to be addressed to Cabinet. The feedback from delegates suggests the conference was a great success.”.

Keynote speakers

David Moore from the Northern Territory outlined the challenging but inspirational work he is doing with aboriginal students in schools to promote translation work as part of a VET program.

Professor Rita Wilson closed the first day with an insightful address ‘What’s a label?’ highlighting the nature of the intercultural in the complexity of the work we do.

Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

The Honourable Jing Lee MLC gave this year’s Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture. You can read it here.

2018 Conference Program
2018 Conference Photos

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AUSIT mini-Conference 2017

17–18 November 2017

Hosted on Ngunnawal country, by the Canberra Institute of Technology, Canberra, ACT

‘Translation and Interpreting: Ethics and Professionalism’


Keynote speaker

AUSIT’s past president Professor Sandra Hale asked attendees to reflect on what the AUSIT Code of Ethics (CoE) means to them, how often they think about or refer to it, whether they understand what each principle means, and what demands are placed on them by the speakers, the profession and themselves. She then cited research that showed that when interpreters introduce their role and obligations, they’re more likely to interpret faithfully and adhere to the CoE. Professor Hale went on to examine criticisms of professional codes, to summarise the main points of the AUSIT CoE, and to give examples of the very rare situations in which a practitioner might be unable to adhere to the CoE. 


Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

Translator Kevin Windle gave this year’s Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture (JBML). You can download it here.

2017 Conference Program
2017 Conference Photos

AUSIT mini-Conference 2016

18–19 November 2016

Hosted on the lands of the people of the Kulin Nations, by Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria

‘Translation and Interpreting: Practice, Research and Publics’

The mini-Conference papers presented were divided into three thematic streams:

Education & Training

This stream looked at issues related to how to train the professional translators and interpreters of tomorrow, the status of translation education in Australia, and the demographic, motivational and career-aspirational features of trainee interpreters.

Politics, Ethics & Publics

This stream examined the relationship between social and public policy and the implementation of T&I services, political ideology in translation, interpreter role boundaries, and dealing with family violence situations.

Demands in the Workplace & New Media

This stream allowed delegates to explore translation practices in migrant communities, interactional management strategies for interpreters in police settings, and the complexity of legal translation.

The afternoon sessions were centred around practice and the profession, giving delegates the opportunity to delve more into literary, judicial and television translation as well as healthcare and telephone interpreting. Robert Foote (Manager, Development at NAATI) spoke about the next steps for the Improvements to NAATI Testing (INT) project.

Overall, the conference provided a valuable forum for exchange between translators and interpreters, agencies and language service users, government departments, tertiary institutions and other industry stakeholders.

Keynote speaker

Dr Erika Gonzalez, AUSIT’s National PD Coordinator, presented the results of AUSIT’s recent National Professional Development Survey. The results show not only the needs and gaps in professional development (PD), but also the differences in the of our practitioners, some misconceptions regarding AUSIT, and the clear necessity for implementing compulsory training before accreditation. AUSIT has taken a responsible approach in the delivery of high-quality PD courses, and is continuing to plan PD events for the future.

Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

Before the National AGM on Saturday 19 November, Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Honourable Robin Scott MP, delivered the annual Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture (JBML). You can read more about the JBML here.


Gold Sponsor: 

NAATI (the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters)

Silver sponsors:


VITS (the Victorian Interpreting & Translating Service)

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Bronze sponsors:


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2016 mini-Conference Program
2016 mini-Conference Photos

AUSIT mini-Conference 2015

13–14 November 2015

Hosted on the lands of the Wallumattagal Clan of the Dharug Nation, at Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales

‘Identifying and Implementing Quality in T&I

Keynote speaker

AUSIT National President Professor Sandra Hale spoke on the topic ‘How can interpreting research inform the practice and lead to change?’


Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

On the morning of Saturday 14 November, the annual Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture (JBML) was delivered by Mark Painting, CEO of NAATI (the National Accreditation Association for Translators and Interpreters). You can read more about the JBML here.

2015 mini-Conference Program
2015 mini-Conference Photos

AUSIT National Conference 2014

1–2 November 2014

Hosted on Turrbal and Jagera country, by the School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland

Keynote speakers

Angelika Zerfass, international expert in translation tools, addressed the topic ‘Translation Tools – Friend or Foe (or something else?)’ With the number of tools being used by translators, translation agencies and client companies in the course of a translation project is growing steadily, she leads a discussion on translation tool technologies, their benefits and limitations, asking attendees: Do we really need them? What good are they? Who benefits the most?

Brett Casey, CEO of Deaf Services Queensland, and Cynthia Cave, Vice President of ASLIA, spoke on the topic ‘Deaf Professional and Interpreter – A team’. They discussed the unique dynamics of the interpreting issues arising from working at this executive level and exclusively with one designated interpreter in a fulltime capacity, and explored the multifaceted layers and considerations that make a successful collaboration between the Professional and Interpreter – in particular factors such as gender difference, trust, respect, application of ethics, interpersonal skills and overall team dynamic from both perspectives. 

Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

On the afternoon of 2 November, before the National AGM, the annual Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture (JBML) was delivered by Dr Henry Liu, President of the International Federation of Translators (FIT). You can read more about the JBML here.

2014 mini-Conference Program
2014 mini-Conference Photos

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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