On Monday 3rd of November 2014, the Hon Jeanette Powell (Member of Parliament for Shepparton, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs), Cr Jenny Houlihan (Mayor of Greater Shepparton) and Mr Gavin Gator (CEO Greater Shepparton City Council) launched the council’s multilingual information lines at a community event in the heart of Shepparton, the Maude Street Mall.
The lines offer interactive access to pre-recorded information on council services in both English and specifically identified languages i.e. Arabic, Dari and Sudanese Arabic. Recognising the demography and the community need for interpreting services, residents of non-English speaking background can now improve their access to council services. Topics covered include key council services such as aged and disability, family and children services, as well as council information on rates, waste and recycling, parking, library and leisure centres, animal registration and emergencies.
In addition to the pre-recorded information, the service offers easy access to interpreting services with one of council’s Citizen Service Officers in over 140 languages available through VITS’ panel of interpreters.
The Hon Jeanette Powell, Member of Parliament for Shepparton, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs explains:
"It is a first time that such an information phone line has been offered in regional Victoria. It’s wonderful the council has been able to offer a first time service. I really believe this is in recognition of Shepparton's very diverse multicultural community."
Cr Jenny Houlihan, Mayor of Greater Shepparton, added: "Greater Shepparton is a richly diverse community with a long migration history. We have an ever growing multicultural community that is represented by more than 30 different nationalities. Regardless of cultural background, we want everybody to know that communication with their council is just a matter of one phone call."
For more information on VITS’ Multilingual Information Line Service, please follow the following links below.