Translators head to hub to help

Translators at McIntosh CentreAn enthusiastic team of translators, who speak 11 languages between them, are working to ensure the Goulburn Valley’s diverse community has access to accurate, detailed information when visiting Shepparton’s McIntosh Centre for a COVID-19 vaccine.

The service, organised by the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District, offers translation in Arabic, Dari, Hazaragi, Malay, Dinka, Kirundi, Swahili, Samoan, Farsi, Persian and Urdu.

Translator Seiuli Emmanuel Vagana said he and his colleagues were what he called the people who stand in the gap, serving as mediators between visitors who spoke different languages and English speaking staff.

“People who come in with different languages might express a worry, a fear, they might have questions and people here are not able to answer them,” he said.

“For us to be here, not only do we bring a face, but we humanise it, we make it more comfortable for them. We can have a good chat and a good laugh, and try to ease their worries and answer any questions that they have.”

Translator Alkeer Yel said there were “definitely more” people with different cultural backgrounds visiting the McIntosh Centre for a vaccine than there were when the rollout started.

In terms of accessible information, translator Jafar Naseri said plain-English COVID 19 resources should be made available more widely across multicultural communities.

Contact the Ethnic Council on 5831 2395 to learn when a translator who speaks your language is available at the McIntosh Centre vaccination hub.


Translators at McIntosh Centre
Here to help: Translators at Shepparton’s hub (from back left) Yvette Siriyamungu, Alkeer Yel, Seiuli Emmanuel Vagana; (front) Jafar Naseri, Latifa Haidary and Ethnic Council COVID consortium co-ordinator Susan Johnston.

SourceShepparton News 18 Jun 2021 By Rosa Ritchie
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