Every Australian should be heard and understood.
Translators and interpreters play a critical role in our community, ensuring all Australians can communicate and access the important services they need. However, the treatment of translators and interpreters in Australia doesn’t reflect their value.
Many of our parents and grandparents use translation services to access vital medical, legal and government services. The same is true of members of both established and recent migrant groups for whom English is a second language. And, for the Deaf community, interpreter services are a vital part of everyday life.
Underpaid and undervalued
Despite their importance in our community, translators and interpreters are underpaid and undervalued. Translators and interpreters often receive less than the $20 per hour minimum wage when costs are included, or no pay at all when they are on call.
Translators have no job security, often working for multiple service providers where they aren’t entitled to leave, penalty rates, workers compensation and in some cases superannuation.
The nature of their work means interpreters have to regularly travel and can often find themselves being called to high risk, high stress or traumatic incidents. Not only are translators not reimbursed for additional expenses like mobile phone bills, petrol and maintaining their credentials, but they’re also offered little to no support for the emotional toll of their work.