Published on: 17th February 2022
From Monday 24 January 2022, the Northern Territory Deaf community will receive equitable access to information through an Auslan Interpreter – the first living locally in the NT since 2019.
The interpreting role is funded through the Northern Territory Government’s three-year, $360,000 commitment, funded in October 2021. Under this program Deaf Connect – the newly branded organisation formed through the merge of Deaf Services and the Deaf Society – has been selected to recruit and relocate the interpreter and facilitate their bookings.
Deaf Connect CEO Brett Casey has welcomed the beginning of this program, adding that access to an Auslan interpreter would unlock the individual and social capacity of the Northern Territory Deaf community.
“Deaf Connect worked closely with the Northern Territory Government to build the case for a full-time interpreter in the region – addressing a range of needs within the community” Mr Casey says
“At face value this role will be able to provide access to government press conferences in Auslan during times of emergency. This is critical information – and the impact on the community when this access is lacking has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Beyond this need however is the opportunity cost of denying equal access to health, legal and financial appointments, education resources, and social engagements.
“In some circumstances, the cost of limited access has led to issues within the legal system, or significant delays for medical procedures which would not have impacted a hearing person. We look forward to seeing a shift in the capacity of the Deaf community and the end of inequitable access to critical services in the Territory.
“The successful applicant – Paula Bun, is a Professional Certified NAATI Interpreter, and is a long-time employee of Deaf Connect – previously working on our media interpreting team for Prime Minister throughout the pandemic. She brings with her a wealth of experience as an interpreter and interpreter mentor, and we welcome her to the Deaf Connect team in the Northern Territory.”
Deaf Connect is currently taking community bookings for Auslan Interpreting and working with the Territory Government to understand their media interpreting needs. Anyone wishing to make a booking in the Northern Territory can contact: 1300 010 877 or Bookings@auslanconnections.org.au.