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A matchmaker for refugees and interpreters

Red Cross will support the development of a new web platform designed to connect refugees and asylum seekers with interpreters.

Friday July 8, 2016


The new Interpreter Central website will enables caseworkers and clients to preview, book and review interpreters, ensuring a better fit with languages and dialects.

The idea came from Melbourne's first Techfugees Hackathon in April this year, where Red Cross partnered with the start-up community. Several ideas were developed as a result.

Julia Donaldson, Assistant Manager in Red Cross' Migration Support Programs, is part of the team that is developing Interpreter Central.

"I'd never been involved in a Hackathon before and I was really excited about the opportunity."

"The Interpreter Central team included people with a variety of different skills and from a range of backgrounds. We have definitely designed a better product because our team is made up of people from such diverse backgrounds."

Techfugees is a non-profit global movement which looks to address some of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers. It aims to connect tech developers, designers, entrepreneurs and startups with non-profit and community organisations.

"A tool like Interpreter Central will be really useful for Red Cross, and the asylum seekers and refugees we work with," says Julia.

"We know that it can be incredibly difficult to link some of our clients with interpreters, especially in matching language and dialects," says Julia.

"We're looking forward to trialling it with Red Cross clients soon."