Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

Media release: Indigenous interpreters boost access to services

22 February 2018

The Hon Michael Keenan MP

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

Interpreting services are available on-demand over the phone to the Department of Human Services in eight commonly spoken Northern and Central Australian Aboriginal languages.

These services are the first of their kind in Australia, supporting interpreting services in over 100 Indigenous languages and dialects that can be booked by appointment.

Last financial year, the Northern Territory Aboriginal Interpreter Service and Kimberley Interpreting Service provided about 10,500 hours of services, boosting the extensive range of services tailored for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Staff use Indigenous interpreters or cross-cultural skills to help explain government policy and processes, making it easier for people to access the support services they need.

Services include language support, helping people use self-service terminals and sharing cultural knowledge with staff who visit Indigenous communities.

The department has 32 Indigenous staff who provide services in language, as well as staff based in local communities who are multilingual and speak more than one local language.

These staff are instrumental in increasing understanding, and making services and support more accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Read more about available resources and in language support services for Indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can call the Centrelink Indigenous Phone Service on 1800 136 380.

Page last updated: 27 March 2018