The Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney today congratulated three Colac recipients of Brumby Government scholarships that assist students gaining qualifications to be a qualified interpreter.
Ms Tierney said 26 scholarships were awarded to students studying Karen – a language spoken in Burma and Thailand – and 14 scholarships for those studying interpreting in Nuer – which is widely spoken in southern Sudan and Ethiopia including.
Mr Anter Gatluak Nyak Titit, Mr Buom Malow Dong, and Mr Gach Ruk Chuol are all studying Nuer and each received a scholarship.
“Without an interpreter, many of Victoria’s new arrivals who do not speak English confidently can become isolated and restricted from participating in many activities,” Ms Tierney said.
“They are also at risk of not securing the health, education, legal and employment advice they need for their new lives in Australia.”
“The Brumby Government is committed to supporting multiculturalism so that future generations can enjoy the cultural harmony that Victoria is renowned for,” Ms Tierney said.
“These important scholarships open up doors for students to work as interpreters and will assist in ensuring greater access to vital services for many people in the community.”
Minister Assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs James Merlino said the Brumby Government recognised the critical role that interpreting and translating plays to provide equal access to information and services.
“Victoria has welcomed many new families whose native language was either Karen or Nuer in recent years and after consulting language service providers, we found a real need for interpreters for those communities,” Mr Merlino said.
Mr Merlino said the Victorian Government had provided more than $370,000 for interpreting scholarships since 2003, resulting in many accredited interpreters entering the profession.
He said in many instances graduates from the RMIT course that were supported by Interpreter Scholarships had been the only interpreters accredited in Australia in their languages.
Mr Merlino also congratulated 10 students who gained their NAATI accreditation after undertaking the Diploma of Interpreting last year in Burmese and Swahili.