Supporting multicultural communities

Multicultural NSW continually reviews community language needs to ensure the whole community can access information and government services, where language is no longer a barrier.

Over the past few years, the Scholarships Program has focused on increasing the availability of qualified interpreters who speak new and emerging community languages. This includes Afrikaans, Amharic, Bislama, Cook Islands Māori, Creole, Dari, Dinka, Ewe, Fijian, Hazaragi, Kannada, Karen, Karenni, Khmer, Kinyamulenge, Kirundi, Konyanka Maninka [Mandingo], Krio, Kurdish-Kurmanji, Lingala, Mongolian, Ndebele, Shona, Somali, Swahili, Tamil, Telugu, Tetum and Tigrinya.

The NSW Interpreter and Translator Scholarship Program includes a partnership with tertiary education providers so that scholarship recipients can receive the best start to their career in translation or interpreting.

Language Career Advisory

As part of this program, a Career Advisor provides career information and vocational advice on pathways into the language services industry.

If you have any questions about the NSW Interpreter and Translator Scholarship Program, please contact us.


“I was very interested in becoming an interpreter, but I just didn’t know the process. When a friend told me about the scholarship it seemed like a way to realise my desire to become an interpreter.
Because the course was totally online it also benefited me because it meant I didn’t have to travel to Sydney for classes.
The formal qualifications, mentoring and on-the-job training helped us graduates prepare for the different roles interpreters have in their communities, including courts, police and public information. It’s very satisfying when you see the smile on a client’s face because they realise you are there to help them understand what is going on. I’d love to see more young people come into the industry.”

Adriana, Macedonian interpreter, scholarship recipient.

“In Sydney I was working as a Legal Assistant at a solicitor’s office and as part of my job I was interpreting at the office without being officially recognised by NAATI. I had it in mind to become a certified NAATI interpreter. When I was told about the opportunity to join the Interpreting Scholarship Program, I was very happy.

For me, it has been enriching, because of all the skills you learn during the course to become a competent interpreter. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that his soft skills of emotional and cultural intelligence were vital in becoming an interpreter.

It is a unique program. An interpreter doesn’t just take information from one language into another, they must also understand cultural sensitivities and the cultural competencies and dynamics that lay within the process. I would recommend this program to all those who are interested to become professional interpreters.”

Rahman, Dari interpreter, scholarship recipient

Bilingual Public Health Project Officer Dora knows about the power of communicating in a community language. She completed the Scholarship Program and gained National Accreditation as a Samoan interpreter thanks to the NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program.

“You can explain something to someone in English maybe three or four times, but it’s very powerful to see the immediate connection when you use their native language. I’ve seen that in my job as a Bilingual Project Officer and the transformation when you speak in language is immediate.

I had been interested in becoming an interpreter. Without the scholarship program I would not have worked to become an interpreter because I have a full-time job. It’s like everything fell into place when I could combine my Samoan language with my love of helping.”

Dora, Samoan interpreter, scholarship recipient

Page last updated: 15 September 2023 | 3:30 pm