Local businesses are urged to take advantage of interpreter services to help when speaking with people from refugee background and non-English speakers.
City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said free interpreters are available to minimise the legal, financial or medical risks posed by miscommunication for essential services like medical and real estate agents.
“So many businesses are eligible to use these interpreter services, but they may not be aware of the services that are available,” Cr Alden said.
“The City is very pleased to support this new campaign to ensure all our local businesses can communicate better with refugees and other residents with limited English.
“It’s important as Greater Bendigo is a welcoming City and we must do all we can to assist our non-English speaking residents to be able to access the services and goods they need.”
The campaign initiated by Rural Australians for Refugees, has welcomed the support of the Victorian Government, the City of Greater Bendigo, Be.Bendigo, Bendigo Community Health Service and Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services.
Bendigo Rural Australians for Refugees President John Murphy said research shows that some businesses aren’t confident communicating with refugees and are not aware of the interpreting services available.
“RAR is pleased to have partnered with the City, local business groups and refugee services to develop a toolkit to help them out,” Mr Murphy said.
“The new toolkit comprises a series of brochures and fact sheets, social media templates and advertisements that encourage businesses to register with an accredited interpreter service.
“The Australian Government’s TIS National Interpreting Service is provided free of charge to medical practitioners, pharmacies, real estate agents, parliamentarians, local government, trade unions and some non-government organisations (for casework and emergency services), and they are all encouraged them to sign up.
“Eligible organisations are urged to register now for this free service. As well as becoming a more welcoming place for non-English speakers, businesses will protect themselves from legal and medical risks involved in not communicating properly.”