Auslan Interpreter and Program to be based in the Territory 

Media Release 25 October 2021
The Territory Labor Government is bringing an Auslan Interpreter and scholarship program to the Northern Territory.  As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that information is accessible. To make sure we are delivering for all Territorians, the Territory Labor Government is investing close to $450,000 across three years to support the development of Auslan Interpreter capabilities in the NT.A local Auslan Interpreter will provide support for deaf Territorians across a range of situations, including in delivery of government services, in health, education, justice, support for families and public messaging during emergencies, such as COVID-19 lockdowns.
Partnering with Deaf Services and the Deaf Society and YouthWorX NT, the Northern Territory Government will offer an Auslan Interpreter Scholarship Program and financial support across three years to have an Auslan Interpreter based in the NT, including:

  • $360,000 over three years for Deaf Services and the Deaf Society to provide a full time Auslan Interpreter to be based in the NT; and
  • $89,200 for YouthWorX NT to deliver scholarships for Territorians in partnership with Deaf Services, from across the NT to participate in an 18-month nationally recognised training in Auslan Interpreter course. YouthWorx NT will also contribute $30,000 to the Auslan Interpreter Scholarship Program.
The Auslan Interpreter will begin their tenure in the Northern Territory shortly with Deaf Services and the Deaf Society beginning targeted recruitment of the right NAATI credentialed Auslan interpreter to support clients in the Territory.
The YouthWorX scholarship program will begin for Territory students from semester 1 2022.
Quotes from Minister for Disabilities, Kate Worden: “Supporting all Territorians to have access to current information is important to the Territory Labor government. “There are currently 235 Territorians with a hearing disability residing in the NT. The establishment of an Auslan Interpreter based in the Northern Territory will provide support for Deaf and hard of hearing Territorians across a range of government services, in health, justice, family support and public messaging during emergencies.“The recent COVID-19 lockdowns highlighted the need to have Auslan Interpreter in the NT to deliver important public messages to the deaf community. “COVID-19 lockdowns are not the only time Auslan Interpreter services are needed. That’s why we are investing in the development of more local experts to ensure we meet the communication needs of our deaf community.”

Quotes from Brett Casey, CEO Deaf Services and the Deaf Society:

“Support for the Deaf community in the Territory is not just about interpreting for emergency press conferences. This funding is a recognition of the role the access equality plays in unlocking Deaf Australians’ participation in the community around them. Through funding a NAATI Credentialed Auslan interpreter on the ground we expect to see unprecedented access for Deaf Territorians in all facets of their lives.

“Deaf Services and the Deaf Society are proud to facilitate these programs in partnership with the Northern Territory Government and YouthWorx NT to ensure the Deaf community is authentically and comprehensively supported and culturally appropriate training programs are made available for new interpreters to enter the profession.”

Quotes from Liz Reid AM, Executive Officer YouthWorX NT:

“Big thanks to the Minister for Disabilities, the Hon Kate Worden MLA and NT Government for unwavering support and funding to develop and deliver the Auslan Interpreter Scholarship Program.

“YouthWorX NT and Deaf Services are delighted to partner for such an important initiative to build capacity and grow our own talent pool of Auslan Interpreters to provide communication access for Deaf and hard of hearing Territorians. This will enable people to exercise their human rights through full participation in our community.”