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Recognising language professionals


South Australia is celebrating International Translation Day by highlighting the work of one of the nation’s longest-serving government translation service.

The Interpreting and Translating Centre (ITC) was set up in 1975 and now undertakes around 60,000 jobs a year in more than 110 languages and dialects for private and business clients. The centre performs a vital role in linking cultures and making services and information accessible.

The professional and confidential service ITC provides from a wide range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds is highly respected. It is the second-oldest government interpreting and translating agency in Australia and started with volunteers as the Language Services Branch.

The centre’s staff are experienced in most of the community and commercial languages of South Australia and their assignments include phone interpreting, face-to-face discussions, meetings, presentations, seminars and conferences, as well as document translation.

International Translation Day is recognised by the United Nations annually on 30 September as a day on which to pay tribute to language professionals and the role they play in bringing groups and nations together.

One of ITC’s longest-serving staff, Tomik Subagio, was recruited as a volunteer in 1975 and was called on to interpret at courts, hospitals and schools.

He had come to Adelaide in 1955 as a student from Indonesia and then worked as a design engineer with the Department of Engineering and Water Supply. His early tasks for the centre included translating correspondence for then premier Don Dunstan.

Mr Subagio went on to gain National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters accreditation in 1990 but says he is an “accidental” interpreter and translator. His work has been solely for the ITC over the years and he has been very interested in strengthening ties between South Australia and Indonesia.

See the Interpreting and Translating Centre for more information.

Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

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