Aboriginal language interpreting service

Tea C Dietterich
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (10): 508. || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04539.x
Published online: 15 April 2002

To the Editor: I wish to commend the Journal for publishing the article by Cunningham1 and the analysis of her findings in the accompanying editorial.2 Both articles stress the need for improved communication between Indigenous patients and hospital staff.

The Kimberley Interpreting Service provides accredited Aboriginal language interpreters for six Kimberley languages, and is involved in training other interpreter candidates. We have been operating since November 2000 and are currently looking for funding to continue offering our service into the future.

To date, we have been working primarily in the legal sector and are quite perplexed as to why we do not receive bookings from the health services.

In 2002, the Kimberley Interpreting Service is targeting the health sector through a number of strategies, including the production of a promotional poster for use in hospitals and clinics, articles in medical publications, and face-to-face meetings with health professionals.

I encourage your readers to find out more about our service and to pass the message on to colleagues. We can be contacted at, or please visit our website at

  • Tea C Dietterich

  • Kimberley Interpreting Service, Kununurra, WA.



Acknowledgement: Kimberley Interpreting Service is an initiative of Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring, Language and Culture Centre and Kimberley Language Resource Centre.

  • 1. Cunningham J. Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures among Australian hospital patients identified as Indigenous. Med J Aust 2002; 176: 58-62. <eMJA full text>
  • 2. Fisher DA, Weeramanthri TS. Hospital care for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders: appropriateness and decision making [editorial]. Med J Aust 2002; 176: 49-50. <eMJA full text>


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