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In the 2016 Census, 528,752 Queenslanders stated that they spoke an overseas language other than English at home. This represents 11.2% of the state’s population. Also, 75,532 Queenslanders (1.6 per cent of the state's total population) do not speak English, or do not speak it well.

The Queensland Government recognises that a significant number of people do not speak English well enough or are not able to communicate adequately with Queensland Government staff and Queensland Government funded non-government organisations to access services.

The Queensland Language Services Policy (PDF, 1.4 MB) outlines the Queensland Government's commitment to use interpreters and translated information to improve access to the full range of government and government-funded services for people with difficulty communicating in English.

The Queensland Language Services Guidelines (PDF, 1.2 MB) provides Queensland Government agencies with information and examples of how to implement the Queensland Language Services Policy within their agency.

The Queensland Government has released a whole of government multicultural policy, ‘Our story, our future’ and three year action plan (2016-17 to 2018-19) to drive Queensland Government action to promote our state as a united, harmonious and inclusive community. The Language Services Policy supports the multicultural policy and action plan by providing guidance on the use of language services to ensure fair and equitable service delivery for people accessing Queensland Government services.

National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI)

National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI)

NAATI is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, jointly owned by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001.

NAATI’s role is to set and maintain high national standards in translating and interpreting to ensure there is a supply of appropriately credentialed translating and interpreting professionals responsive to the changing needs and demography of Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse society.

NAATI’s role is to set and maintain high national standards in translating and interpreting to ensure there is a supply of appropriately credentialed translating and interpreting professionals responsive to the changing needs and demography of Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse society.

On 1 January 2018, NAATI introduced a new certification system to improve NAATI’s standards. According to the system, interpreting and translating professionals need to recertify every three years upon demonstrating their currency of practice and participation in professional development. The government owners of NAATI have endorsed NAATI’s certification system.

Statement of Endorsement of NAATI's certification system

Review of the Language Services Policy

In 2014 the former Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs undertook a review of the Queensland Language Services Policy to ensure it was still meeting its objective of improving access to interpreters and translated information for people accessing Queensland Government and funded community services.

A copy of the Language Services Policy Review Report (PDF, 1.1 MB) (produced prior to the current government) is available for download.