National Security Languages

While observing the key value of recognising the English language as the national language, and as an important unifying element of Australian society, the AVP acknowledges that learning and maintaining languages other than English (LOTE) is an important aspect of Australia’s unique multicultural community. The richness and diversity of language and culture in Australia makes our nation more globally connected and more economically competitive.

The interpreting and translating profession in Australia plays an integral part in realising Australia’s interconnectedness and cohesiveness, bridging the communication gap enabling the Australian community to move forward with a common purpose and understanding. This was crucial during the height of the pandemic, and interpreters and translators continue to play a critical role in this area.

Interpreters and translators provide essential services in areas of the judiciary, law enforcement, national security, foreign relations, and the community. They play a pivotal role in ensuring that members of the Australian community understand their obligations, rights and entitlements under the rule of law. However, as many interpreters and translators know, the profession has struggled to receive adequate recognition and support for the extraordinary skills they provide the Australian community. The AVP will strive to lift the profile and improve the conditions of the interpreting and translation profession so that all Australians can more effectively speak with one voice. To build the language capability Australia needs, the AVP will advocate for free testing for those candidates eligible to seek certification as professional interpreters and translators. There should be no barriers, communication or otherwise.

Unlike in the US, Australia does not have a National Security Languages Policy. Such a policy is needed in Australia for our nation to progress competitively and to remain secure towards 2100 and beyond. An Australian National Security Languages Policy will ensure that Australia’s language capability relied upon by national security and law enforcement agencies is appropriately trained and capable to meet Australia’s national security challenges into the future. The AVP will work to establish a foreign language education pathway from early schooling through to important positions in Government departments and the private sector. The AVP calls for a complete review of skill sets required for interpreters and translators to ensure that their professional skills are fit for purpose prior to being employed in critical areas of law enforcement and national security that rely upon their services. Such a review should be conducted in consultation with key stakeholders, including the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT). Importantly, we will push for the establishment of a Federal Government agency fully funded by the Commonwealth Government responsible for interpreter and translator certification to come directly under an appropriate ministerial portfolio to ensure that the certification authority is more transparent, accountable, and adequately resourced.

Realisation of a national security languages policy will establish the interpreter and translator profession as a more suitably trained and reliable resource supporting Australia’s national interests as we move towards 2100 and beyond.

A vote for the AVP means a vote for a better resourced and more valued interpreting and translation profession preparing Australia for a more secure and prosperous future.

Policies serving Australians

The purpose of the Australian Values Party is to promote a government with a sense of responsibility and accountability to the Australian people, to protect the Australian values and promote the welfare of our Australian people.

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