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Wollongong City Council

Interpreters

Council has an interpreter service that can help you with face-to-face language support.

Interpreters can work with you to communicate with government, community groups or private businesses. This can be for things like casework, community consultations, conferences or meetings.

Interpreters accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) are available for these languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bosnian
  • Croatian
  • Farsi (Persian)
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Macedonian
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portugese
  • Serbian
  • Spanish
  • Thai
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese.

Language support workers are also available for the languages below. Please note that language support workers are not NAATI accredited.

  • Arabic
  • Burmese (Myanmar)
  • Chi Chewa
  • French
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Karenni (Kayah)
  • Kinyarwanda
  • Kirundi
  • Korean (South)
  • Kurdish
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Swahili
  • Turkish
  • Ukranian.

Bookings and enquiries are only processed during our booking office hours:

  • Monday 9am – 12pm
  • Wednesday 2 – 5pm
  • Friday 9am - 12pm.

If you have a question, call (02) 4227 7650 or email the booking office.

These are the rules that apply for interpreter bookings:

  • The minimum cost for standard bookings (per Interpreter) is for 1.5 hours. If a booking goes over time, then fees are charged in blocks of 15 minutes.
  • You must pay a travel cost if the interpreter has to travel outside the Wollongong City Council area. This cost is based on the number of kilometers travelled and the size of the interpreter’s car engine. See the Fees section of this page for current travel charges.
  • Our Interpreters are committed to best practice industry standards. This includes being neutral, accurate, and confidential. Their role is to provide interpreted information. They do not enter into discussion, give advice, express opinions or sign any documents other than the booking confirmation form. If you want to ask an interpreter to sign any documents, you must say this and send a copy of the document you would like signed when you make the booking
  • All cancellations must be made online. You cannot cancel by phone or email.  See the ‘How to cancel a booking’ section on this page for details.
  • You and the interpreter must both sign a form at the end of your booking. This is called the ‘Confirmation of Engagement Services form’.  It confirms that the booking was completed, and how long it took. You will be sent a copy of this form when your booking is confirmed. The signed form must be scanned or photographed and emailed to our Interpreter Service team.
  • If you book an interpreter to visit your home, they must be accompanied by a staff member from the booking agency.

If you have questions or don’t understand these conditions, call us on (02) 4227 7650 during Booking Office hours.

You can also read the policy our interpreters and language support workers follow below:

  • It can be good to use the same interpreter for multiple bookings so you can build a good working relationship.
  • When hiring an interpreter, be sensitive to cultural and religious preferences, as well as varieties and dialects of some languages.
  • Allow time before the interview to meet with the interpreter and talk about the booking. If there are any special terms to be used (eg medical or legal) ask them if they understand it.
  • Try to have a private area prepared for the session.
  • Arrange seating in a triangular or circular form to allow for easy communication.
  • Speak in the first person and speak directly to the person/client and not the interpreter.
  • Make sure the interpreter is clear that they are never to answer questions on your behalf.
  • Allow the interpreter to clarify information if necessary.
  • Use clear, simple language and short sentences.
  • Avoid using jargon, slang, idioms or proverbs.
  • If the person needs another appointment, make arrangements with them while the interpreter is still there.

We’re always looking for more interpreters and language support workers to join our team.

Read the job description PDF, 77.57 KB to find out what skills you need. Ideally you should also have your own transport, a mobile phone and email address.

For information about NAATI accreditation, visit their website.

Fill in the Expression of Interest form below if you’d like to join us, and we’ll get in touch with you shortly.

Bookings

Instructions on how to book an interpreter are shown below. If you need help, call us on (02) 4227 7650 during the booking office hours shown on this page.

You should also read the terms and conditions above before you book.

Please note, our interpreter service will be closed from Friday 4 to Monday 7 October 2019. You can still make online bookings during that time, but they will not be processed until Wednesday 9 October.

Bookings must be made through our online system.  Follow the steps below to book.

1. Register for online services

You need to set up an account before you can use our booking system. You only need to do this once.

When your account has been set up, you will be given a User ID and password.

2. Sign in and book

Sign in with your User ID and password to book and interpreter or language support worker.

You can also use the system to view your bookings, or to cancel a booking.

Cancellations must be made online. You cannot cancel over the phone.

  1. To cancel a booking, sign in with your User ID and password.
  2. You will see a list of your bookings. Click on the booking you want to cancel, then click the button ‘Email a Submission’. This will open an email message.
  3. Type in a message to say you want to cancel and click send. The message will be forwarded to both the interpreter and Council.

There is no cost if you cancel more than 24 hours before your booking. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your booking, you will need to pay the full cost.