The Board and staff of VITS LanguageLoop warmly congratulates our Chair, Professor Kathy Laster

The Board and staff of VITS LanguageLoop warmly congratulates our Chair, Professor Kathy Laster, for her AM (Member of the Order of Australia) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours awarded in recognition of her “ significant service to the law, and to legal advisory roles”.

Over her career, Kathy has served as an academic, lawyer, law reformer, philanthropist, and public policy leader with a deep commitment to social justice and social inclusion. Kathy was, for example, instrumental in the development of a national approach to the delivery of pro bono legal and related services. 

Kathy is an expert in interpreting in a legal context, being the co-author of “Interpreters and the Legal System” which remains the foundational text for specialist interpreter training in Australia and internationally.  Her work, challenging the idea that interpreters are merely ‘conduits’ between languages, has been influential in providing interpreters due recognition as highly skilled professionals.

To her role at VITS LanguageLoop, Kathy brings her experience as a CEO and Board member of various public sector organisations. As Chair of VITS LanguageLoop, Kathy demonstrates her passion for strong public sector governance. Her strategic nous has assisted us to navigate major challenges at a time of great change across the whole of the language services industry.

As the past Director of the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre at Victoria University, Kathy championed a ‘train the trainer’ approach to capacity building for diverse communities and the Centre is recognised internationally for its expertise in “law and cultural diversity”. 

From a migrant background, Kathy has a personal understanding of the challenges faced by non-English speakers in navigating a new and complex social system. We at VITS LanguageLoop are most fortunate to have such a distinguished and dynamic Chair.