23 May 2011
The Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Nicholas Kotsiras, has awarded Interpreter Scholarships to 32 RMIT University students.
The ceremony at the Victorian Parliament brought together the State Government, RMIT University and past and present students.
The Victorian Multicultural Commission scholarships went to 18 students studying Haka and 14 studying Pashtu. Mr Kotsiras said this was the first time that these two languages had been offered.
He also applauded the 20 graduates of the Diploma of Interpreting who obtained National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) accreditation at the para-professional level in Dari and Tamil.
"Interpreters are a key to community participation and engagement," Mr Kotsiras told the ceremony at the Victorian Parliament.
Professor David Hayward, Dean of the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, said: "The granting of scholarships to students in the languages of recently arrived migrants is an important and exemplary initiative of the Victorian Government.
"RMIT has supported this initiative since 2002. The industry feedback we have received is that it is by far one of the most effective projects in the country that has helped train accredited interpreters in many new community languages.
"The new RMIT Strategic Plan emphasises providing access to education for people drawn from the diverse city populations in which campuses are located and in particular supporting access by disadvantaged groups within those cities.
"This partnership has proven an effective way of building human capital and improving social inclusion in our community."
Professor Hayward said RMIT University had developed new programs – the Diploma of Interpreting, the Advanced Diploma of Translating and the Advanced Diploma of Interpreting.
"The program structures have been innovatively designed to allow more language groups to access much-needed training, to offer more pathways and to help existing practitioners come back for further training and professional development in nationally recognised units."