S10: Cementing multilingual engagement

Time: 1:35pm – 2:25pm
Location: Marsden Room
Kamalle Dabboussy, Chief Executive Officer, Western Sydney MRC

10.1 Filling a Market Gap: The NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program 

Dr. Carly Copolov
Multicultural NSW 

About the presentation

In 2019, Multicultural NSW launched the NSW Interpreter Scholarship Pilot Program providing 400 scholarships over four years for new interpreters. The program aimed to develop interpreting skills in languages used by new and emerging communities and established communities for languages where there is a critical need. Extensive data is collected to identify languages that are most difficult to service with qualified interpreters informing the expression of interest which is advertised through networks. Scholarships are provided to help cover course tuition and certification with NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters). Two-hundred and sixty-five scholarships have been awarded and the remaining are expected to be allocated over the next nine months. . The program ensures the provision of language services through interpreting to enhance access to NSW Government services for migrants and refugees, helping alleviate isolation and leading to better connections with the community.

About the presenter

Dr. Carly Copolov has a PhD from Swinburne University of Technology where she tutored and lectured in the psychology department. The title of Carly's PhD was, `Predictors of wellbeing, adaptation and help-seeking for mental health problems in young Hazaras from refugee backgrounds: A mixed methods project'. She has published five first-author manuscripts in international journals. Carly was the first Multicultural Health Refugee Program Officer for Western Sydney Local Health District. Carly is a Senior Project & Policy Officer at Multicultural NSW. She manages the NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program and multicultural training for government and non-government services.

10.2 Improving Engagement with CALD Communities through Authentic Dialogue 

Christine Ahn & Mariette Mikhael
Ethnic Communities Council of NSW

About the presentation

In this workshop we will discuss ways of working effectively with the CALD communities. We will explore some of the outcomes that can be achieved when we put the community at the forefront. By listening to, and talking with, our CALD communities, we can build capacity through grassroots engagement using languages, and culturally appropriate approaches. During this workshop we will discuss key strategies that work and identify barriers and pitfalls when engaging with CALD communities.

About the presenters

Christine is a Project Coordinator at the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW and coordinates projects that require grassroots engagement with CALD communities and CALD small businesses. These projects include environmental sustainability projects through the NSW Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA), the NSW Cancer Institute's Tobacco Control Project, various community engagement projects through the Department of Education, AER (Australian Energy Regulator), Sydney Water, Safe Work NSW, Multicultural NSW and eSafety Commission.

Mariette is a Project Co-ordinator at the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW and co ordinates a team of bilingual educators to deliver several projects that engage CALD communities. These projects  include the state-wide Household Problem Waste, Water Wise for Multicultural Communities, Cooks River Project, Care for your Heart Program, Tech Savvy for Seniors, Community engagement for Department of Education / Australian Bureau of Statistics  and Ku-ring-gai Cultural Connections for Sustainability project.

10.3 Language Inclusion Index: Capacity, Access and Visibility for inclusive engagement

Associate Professor Alice Chik, Dr Sue Ollerhead & Dr Lauren Gorfinkel
Macquarie University 

About the presentation 

A digital future is inevitable for the public, private, and social sectors. Technological advances and access can encourage more users to engage for public and governance purposes, especially during COVID disruptions. However, efficient and effective digital access to services and goods depends on various factors, including their provision, users’ level of digital literacy and language preferences. It is then necessary to ensure that digital services and goods access is inclusive and equitable for culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This presentation will discuss the development of an evidence-based and purpose-built tool, the Language Inclusion Index (LI-Index), for organisations to self-assess the degree to which their clients are included or excluded by factors of language. The presentation will conclude by providing some overall language inclusive strategies for organisations to engage with multicultural communities, and inviting collaboration and partnership for building purposeful and inclusive digital engagement.

About the presenters

Alice Chik is an Associate Professor at Macquarie School of Education, Macquarie University. Her primary area of research examines literacies in multicultural and multilingual societies. She is especially interested in exploring everyday multilingualism and the ways people and organisations respond to it. She is the lead editor for the book Multilingualism Sydney (Routledge 2019) and the team lead of the Language Inclusion Index (LI-Index) project. Chik has also led two roundtables with community stakeholders and government agencies, co-hosted with the State Library of NSW, on ‘Multicultural and Multilingual Australia: A Language Inclusive Future’ in 2020 and 2021.

Dr Sue Ollerhead is a senior lecturer in Languages and Literacy Education and the Director of the Secondary Education Program at Macquarie University. Her expertise lies in English language and literacy learning and teaching in multicultural and multilingual education contexts. Much of her work centres on supporting students from multilingual backgrounds to navigate the monolingual Australian education system, and to train teachers how to use students’ different home languages as resources for learning in the classroom. Her research interests include multilingual pedagogies, literacy across the curriculum and oracy development in schools.

Dr Lauren Gorfinkel, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language and Literature at Macquarie University. Her research focuses on the role of communication and the media in the building of relationships in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts. Her current work is focused on assessing NSW government communication approaches as well as the needs of culturally diverse stakeholders in the education (schools) and health sectors. She is also supporting a Macquarie team in the development of a Language Inclusion (LI) Index for organisations to assess their level of inclusivity on the basis of language.

10.4 Co-designing translations: With community, for community

Eva Hussain

About the presentation

The traditional translation process has always been quite linear. Once translated, your resource is distributed to your target audience and that's often the end of it. Few multilingual resources are created with communities, for communities. Co-design is a participatory process that involves designing a resource collaboratively with stakeholders and end user's input in mind. It helps clients and diverse communities to actively engage and forge constructive relationships that empower all participants. The outcome aims to create a translation that meets the needs of all those who participate. In the context of translation, it means including translators, interpreters and intended recipients of your message in the process of actively creating a resource. This human-centered design process is the key to uncovering the nuanced issues that many CALD community groups face. Co-design encourages further discussion that goes beyond the production of resources. By allowing traditionally marginalised groups to voice their concerns in a supportive and facilitated way, organisations can connect on a deeper and more critical level. It's time we take that step and evolve into the new era of communication.

About the presenter

Eva Hussain is the founder and director of Polaron. She is a recognised leader in the field of language translation, and regularly presents at conferences, universities and training institutions on the topics of language services and cultural awareness. Eva is also a NAATI-certified Polish translator and interpreter. Previously she worked in management and operations of a telecommunication provider, as well as administration of a local government’s aged care and disability department.

Last updated:

05 Oct 2022

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