Recognising our extraordinary interpreters and translators

As we head towards the end of a challenging year, we believe it’s important to recognise the extraordinary language service professionals who continue to support Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

This year we have nominated two remarkable interpreters for the Community Response and Recovery Award at the upcoming Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence hosted by The Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC).

The Community Response and Recovery Award is one of the seven new award categories this year, and recognises those who have supported multicultural communities impacted by a crisis, or diverse Victorians who have volunteered to support crisis response and recovery efforts.

Our first nomination, Ngoc Thuy Trang (Jane) Nguyen, has been working with LanguageLoop as a Vietnamese interpreter for three years. This year, Jane has been invaluable in communicating to the Vietnamese community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Vietnamese being the 4th most common language spoken in Australia besides English, Jane has been able to assist the Vietnamese community in understanding the health risks associated with the pandemic and how to reduce the spread across the Vietnamese community. Jane has been involved in various COVID-19 projects around Melbourne – interpreting for Government initiated door knocking, COVID testing and interpreting test results.

Dipti Sharma, LanguageLoop’s Customer Service Agent, said Jane has an unwavering spirit and has gone out of her way to help last minute critical on-site interpreting jobs for various Government and community services.

“Due to the high spread of COVID-19 across multicultural communities, Jane was one of our brave interpreters who came forward to help non-English speaking clients on emergency sites,” Ms Sharma said.

“Her hard work ethic and bravery in taking on these interpreting assignments has been absolutely critical during the pandemic.”

Our second nomination, Naghmana Bhatti, has been working with LanguageLoop as a Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu interpreter for six years. Naghmana has been instrumental in communicating with Australia’s multicultural communities across regional parts of Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.

This year, Naghmana has been one of the few interpreters who continued providing on-site interpreting services in hospitals during the pandemic. She supported emergency interpreting assignments for the Department of Health and Human Services, and continued to provide interpreting services for Maternal & Child Health appointments, Victoria Police and refugee support services, ensuring multicultural community members could still access essential health and social services throughout the pandemic.

Naghmana is regularly requested by name as she continues to make her non-English speaking community members comfortable with her professional and sensitive interpreting services. We continue to receive great feedback from our clients in regards to Naghmana’s professional and ethical interpreting work.

Nick Mueller, Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health hub’s Administration Officer, said his office and their non-English speaking clients are very happy with her work.

“Naghmana is accurate in interpretation and passes the message across to the other party with the right emotions without getting involved personally. She’s culturally sensitive and made the non-English speaker very comfortable.”

Given COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, the VMC will host an online ceremony later in the year. We look forward to celebrating all extraordinary award recipients and nominees who strengthen multiculturalism across Victoria.

About the Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence
The Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence honour the outstanding achievements of Victorians who strengthen multiculturalism in our great state. Proudly coordinated by the Victorian Multicultural Commission on behalf of the Victorian Government, the annual awards recognise people, groups and organisations that foster cross-cultural understanding, build social cohesion and support people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to participate in all aspects of life. For more information about the awards please click here.

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