Flash a new card to ask for an interpreter
COMMUNICATION between non-English speaking people and service delivery agencies has been made easier with the launch of the “I need an interpreter” card. Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services parliamentary secretary Laurie Ferguson (pictured) told a group of 30 community leaders at Parliament House how non-English speakers could simply show the card to request an interpreter. The visitors, meeting the Reid MP as part of a community relations project to learn more about Australian democracy and parliamentary process, were impressed with the idea and thought the card was a valuable tool, particularly to newly-arrived migrants.
“This wallet-sized card, which features the national interpreter symbol and a space for the holder’s preferred language, is designed to assist non-English speakers to request an interpreter when they need to communicate with government agencies, community groups and businesses,” Mr Ferguson said. The Immigration and Citizenship Department, through the translating and interpreting service, is responsible for the initiative. It will circulate the cards to adult migrant English program centres, settlement grants program providers, integrated humanitarian settlement strategy providers and local government agencies for distribution.