The Queensland Accessing Interpreters Working Group (QAIWG) was formed in 2008 to address the barriers for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD)  and non-English speaking (NES) backgrounds arising from poor access to interpreters and poor cultural competence of government and community organisations.

The Queensland Accessing Interpreters Working Group is made up of representatives from:

  • AMPARO Advocacy
  • Immigrant Women’s Support Service
  • Multicultural Development Association
  • Mater Health Services
  • NAATI, Queensland Manager (advisory role)
  • Centacare, Cairns
  • Nambour Community Centre
  • Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS)

QAIWG publications

Human Services Quality Framework Guideline and Template

Under the Queensland Government Language Services Policy all non-Government service providers funded by Queensland Government Departments to deliver services, are provided access to fee-free interpreter services by their funding body. Many service providers funded through Commonwealth Government Departments may also be eligible for access to fee-free interpreter services. QAIWG have developed a policy guideline and policy template on engaging and working with interpreters to model how organisations can manage access to interpreters for clients with difficulty communicating in English.

A Matter of Interpretation

In December 2008 the QAIWG launched A Matter of Interpretation based on 72 case studies from across the state, presenting a picture of poor performance in Queensland of access to interpreter services by people of non-English backgrounds.

Still a Matter of Interpretation

In October 2012 Still a Matter of Interpretation showed some good, albeit limited, progress in the use of credentialed interpreters across the justice system, health services, disability services. The report also presented a number of cases studies and a discussion regarding interpreter workforce issues.

Blueprint for a Queensland Language Services Provider

In September 2014 the QAIWG hosted a Stakeholder Engagement Roundtable to discuss the development of a Queensland-based Language Service Provider. From this meeting there developed a Blueprint for a Queensland Language Services Provider which was provided to the Queensland Government for consideration. This Blueprint presents a case that a state-based language services provider will bring considerable benefits to Queensland including sustainable jobs in Queensland for credentialed interpreters, improved responsiveness in languages services to regional and rural areas of the State, and the promotion of Queensland’s engagement in the languages of business and trade partners.

Submission to the Premier's Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence

On 1 December 2014 the QAIWG made a submission to the Premier’s Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence to highlight the importance of engaging interpreters when refugee, migrant and Aboriginal women with low proficiency in English language are proceeding through the legal system.

The QAIWG continues to advocate for accessible and high quality language services in Queensland.

The QAIWG can be contacted through the working group convener at QCOSS.

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