Help with English

Translating and interpreting services

INTERPRETING

If you cannot speak or understand English and you need to talk to a government agency, ask them to contact a telephone interpreter to help you to communicate with the agency. Normally a telephone interpreter will be provided but, if necessary, government agencies can arrange for an interpreter to be present in person. The government agency should pay for the cost of the interpreter. Make sure that you check the office hours of the government agency you wish to speak to before calling. If you have problems understanding government agencies’ automated telephone systems, then ring the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) directly and they will help you.

TIS has interpreters in most languages. You can ring the TIS telephone interpreting service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the cost of a local call.

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) 131 450
TIS website www.immi.gov.au/tis

If you wish to contact Centrelink and you need help with interpreting, you can ring Centrelink directly on:

Centrelink (with interpreter assistance) 13 1202
Centrelink website www.centrelink.gov.au

TRANSLATION OF YOUR IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

A summary/extract translation into English of certain documents which are necessary for your settlement in Australia may be provided free of charge by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). These documents might include birth and marriage certificates, driver's licence, educational qualifications and employment references.

If you want to seek any free translations, you must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen and you must request them within 2 years of your arrival or grant of permanent residence. You should lodge your request for translation through an Adult Migrant English Programme (AMEP) service provider (see below).

The translation of other documents can be arranged through accredited translators on a fee-for-service basis. For a list of accredited translators in your language, visit the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters

(NAATI) website.

NAATI Hotline 1300 557 470
NAATI website www.naati.com.au/

TIS welcomes enquiries from Australian permanent residents and citizens who are interested in becoming contract interpreters, providing interpreting services to members of the Australian community who speak languages other than English. If you have good bilingual skills in English and another language, you may consider becoming a contract interpreter with TIS. For further details contact TIS on 131 450 regarding interpreter recruitment and work conditions.

Learning English for adults

ADULT MIGRANT ENGLISH PROGRAMME (AMEP)

You may be eligible for free English language tuition through the Adult Migrant English Programme (AMEP). Most permanent adult migrants are eligible for up to 510 hours of tuition. Refugee and humanitarian entrants under 25 years of age with low levels of schooling may be eligible for up to 910 hours of English language tuition, while those over 25 years of age may be eligible for up to 610 hours of tuition. To find out if you are eligible and to register for the AMEP you should contact your local AMEP service provider (details are listed below).

You must register within 3 months of arriving in Australia or gaining permanent residence, and begin classes within 1 year, or you will risk losing your entitlement. You may be able to delay starting classes once you are registered if you need to attend to family, work or other responsibilities first. You should try to begin AMEP classes as soon possible, as they will help you to learn the basic English you need to participate fully as part of the Australian community.

Your local AMEP service provider can help you in many ways. They can recommend the best way for you to learn English, and arrange free childcare for your underschool- age children while you attend classes. They can seek approval for you to defer the start of your classes if you need to for family or work reasons. Your service provider will advise you which course will best fit your needs. They will do this based on your work and family circumstances and your current level of English. They can also help you plan for further study.

The AMEP offers a range of learning options. There are full-time or part-time classes at various venues and locations including rural and regional areas. You can also study from home, through a distance learning course.

Central and Eastern Melbourne
region of Victoria

Adult Multicultural Education
Services Consortium
AMES Central
255 William Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Tel: 1300 304 685
Fax: (03) 9926 4600
Southern Melbourne
region of Victoria

Adult Multicultural Education
Services Consortium
AMES Central
255 William Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Tel: 1300 304 685
Fax: (03) 9926 4600
   
Western Melbourne region of Victoria
Adult Multicultural Education
Services Consortium
AMES Central
255 William Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Tel: 1300 304 685
Fax: (03) 9926 4600
Northern Melbourne
region of Victoria

Northern AMEP Consortium
c/o NMIT
Cnr Dalton Rd and Cooper Street
EPPING VIC 3076
Tel: (03) 9269 1012
Fax: (03) 9269 1011

Migrant Resource Centres/Migrant Service Agencies (see Chapter 4, Where to go for help) and Centrelink (see Chapter 7, Employment) also have information about the AMEP and other ways to improve your English.

LANGUAGE, LITERACY AND NUMERACY PROGRAMME (LLNP)

You may be eligible for the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Programme (LLNP) where you have already completed an AMEP course or you are not eligible for AMEP. The LLNP includes English writing, speaking, listening, reading, mathematics and vocational learning to assist you in finding a job. To be eligible you must be registered as a Job Seeker with Centrelink. See Chapter 7, Employment.

Centrelink 13 1021
If you do not speak English 13 1202
LLNP web pages www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/services
/literacy_numeracy.htm

OTHER ENGLISH LEARNING OPTIONS

English courses are also available through other educational institutions and community centres.

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