MEET some of our
My name is Irene Bent.
My skin is Nanyjirli from Fitzroy.
I am a Walmajarri and Kriol speaker.
I work as a contract interpreter for KIS.
I lived all my life in Fitzroy. All my schooling was at Fitzroy Crossing, right up till year 10.
I learnt to write my language when I was 10 or 11 years old. My mum Mona Jukuna taught me.
I worked with aboriginal kids as a LOTE teacher, (Language Other Than English) for the Bayulu Walmajarri kids as well as the high school kids in Fitzroy Crossing District High School.
I also did broadcasting at our local radio station in Fitzroy Crossing at Wangki Radio doing the language program.
All my life I wanted to get involved in doing language work and helping my people who’s language is strong and English is weak. I have been helping my families in hospital and the post office and other things for a long time.
This year I started my interpreter training with Batchelor in Katherine so I can be qualified and have my Diploma of Interpreting. It was really good and helpful. I learnt the code of ethics, things like:
- Being impartial, not taking sides and just being in between
- Being confidential, keeping things to yourself and not telling anyone
- And being accurate, being true and honest.
I also learnt to say yes or no for the right interpreting job. We can’t
interpret for our mali’s (son in law) and things like that.
I turn the jobs down that aren’t right for my culture .
I also go to Central TAFE to specialist interpreter training for health. It helps me for hospital jobs with the special terminology.
Now I’m living in Perth, I can help all the old people when they come down for hospital. They feel really happy when they hear their language and when I can tell them in their language what the doctors and nurses say. It makes the job easier for the doctor when I interpret for the old people too.
Even the Halls Creek mob get happy to see me. I tell them who my family is and where I’m from and explain that I’m an interpreter to help make the communication right between them and the doctor…to say exactly what they say in language to the doctor in English, and put into language what the doctor says for them to understand properly. I interpret in Kriol for Halls Creek mob.
It’s really important. My job is really important.