Page 553 - Week 02 - Thursday, 19 February 2015

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


Ministerial response

The Clerk: The following response to a petition has been lodged by a minister:

By Ms Burch, Minister for Education and Training, dated 18 February 2015, in response to a petition lodged by Ms Lawder on 25 November 2014 concerning the ongoing funding Auslan courses at CIT.

The terms of the response will be recorded in Hansard.

Canberra Institute of Technology—Auslan—petition No 18-14

The response read as follows:

In accordance with Standing Order 100, I provide you with the following response to the petition for presentation to the Assembly.

Auslan interpreting is an essential service for Auslan users. The availability of accredited Auslan interpreters for the ACT deaf community has been raised as a significant concern in recent times. While many Auslan users may rely on family or friends to interpret for them due to a lack of availability of professional interpreters, there is a small but important need to increase the number of accredited Auslan interpreters.

Encouraging more people to choose a professional career in Auslan Interpreting is an important first step to address this need. The language course alone does not qualify a person to become an interpreter - they need to become proficient in using Auslan first which usually takes years of informal practice outside of formal language studies. Language proficiency is the first step to becoming an interpreter.

Gaining national accreditation through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) can be achieved through sitting a NAATI accreditation test or through completing a NAATl approved interpreting course (usually at a Diploma or Advance Diploma level offered through TAFEs and Universities across Australia). Both channels of accreditation require proficiency in the English language as well as the language to be interpreted.

The Certificate II and Ill Auslan, courses currently offered through the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), develop Auslan language skills and provide a potential pathway for further study to become an interpreter. CIT Solutions also run a number of programs in conversational Auslan throughout the year which achieve similar outcomes.

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