Jill Blewett Memorial Lectures


The late Jill Blewett played an important role in the early development of the translating and interpreting (T&I) profession in Australia.

From 1976 to 1982 she was Senior Lecturer with the Community Language Programme at the Adelaide College of TAFE, later becoming Coordinator of the Level 3 Interpreting and Translating Course at the SA College of Advanced Education. She was appointed to the SA State Accreditation Panel for Translators in 1979.

In 1983 she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) to represent the education/training aspects of T&I. Her initial three-year term was extended in 1986 for a further three years.

Jill was also a member of the NAATI Steering Committee set up to establish the criteria and format of the Level 4 (now Advanced Translator/Conference Interpreter) courses and tests, and to develop guidelines for the establishment of T&I courses in Australia. She served as Chairperson of NAATI’s Qualifications Assessment and Advisory Committee, which is responsible for approving T&I courses in this country and for the assessment of overseas qualifications in T&I held by applicants for accreditation in Australia.

An interpreter and translator herself, she fought for the establishment of high standards and for regulation of the profession.

It is largely as a result of her efforts that Australia has been recognised internationally as a leader in the field of community-based interpreting.

Jill was admired by all who knew her for her dedication to the profession and for the concern she showed and the encouragement she gave to individuals.


The Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture (JBML) has been held since 1992.



2012: Sandra Hale, Professor of Interpreting & Translation, University of New South Wales 
Are we there yet? Taking stock of where we are and where we are heading. Presented at the AUSIT Biennial National conference in Sydney.
Download the lecture here (pdf)


2011: Senator Kate Lundy
The translating and interpreting industry — a pillar of multiculturalism.
Download the summary here (pdf)
Above file will be available from 3 September 2013.



2010: Maria Osman, Executive Director of Office of Multicultural Interests, Government of Western Australia.

The Language of Empowerment. Presented at the AUSIT Conference Synergise! in Fremantle.
Download the lecture here (pdf)


2008: Adolfo Gentile, Adjunct Professor in Interpreting and Translating at the University of Queensland.
Interpreters, Translators and Human Rights. Presented at the AUSIT Conference Get Connected and NAGM in Brisbane.
Download the lecture here (pdf)


2007: Dr Lindsay Heywood, Chief Executive Officer NAATI.
‘Translation of a Profession: An Interpretation. Presented at the National AGM in Sydney.
Download the lecture here (pdf)


2004: Barry Jones Chair, Victorian Schools Innovation Commission
Translating, Interpreting and Understanding ‘the Other’
Download the lecture here (pdf)


2003: Dr George Quinn, Head of Southeast Asia Centre, Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University.
On translating Indonesia. Presented at the AUSIT National AGM in Canberra.
Download the lecture here (pdf)


2002: Mr Kim Collard, Coordinator of ICMDP at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University of Technology.
Presented at the AUSIT Confernce ‘Strength in Diversity’ and National AGM in Perth.


2001: Mr David Page, PSM, former Assistant Secretary, Settlement Branch, Dept of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.
Translating and interpreting in Australia: A profession, a craft, an industry or a service? Presented on the occasion of the NAATI Translator & Interpreter Awareness Day (an event supported by AUSIT which preceded the National AGM in Melbourne).
Download the lecture here (pdf)


2000: Ms Karen Clare, AUSLAN interpreter.
Recognising our humanness. Minimising the impact of interpreting on our professional and personal selves. Presented at the AUSIT National AGM in Brisbane
Download the lecture here (pdf)


1999: Mr Laurie Robson, Barrister-at-Law.
‘The significance of proposed changes in the legal system for interpreters’.
Presented as part of the AUSIT National Conference and AGM in Sydney.


1998: Dr Mary Kalantzis, Dean of the Faculty of Education, RMIT University.
‘The social status of translation and interpreting’ .
Presented at the AUSIT National AGM in Melbourne.


1997: His Excellency Aneurin Hughes, Head of the European Commission delegation in Australia.
The importance of language services in international relations. Presented as part of the AUSIT National Conference and AGM in Canberra
Download the lecture here (pdf)


1996: Dr Judy Wakabayashi, Lecturer, Masters course in Japanese interpreting and translating, University of Queensland.
The translator’s voice. Presented in conjunction with the National Language Expo in Brisbane.
Download the lecture here (pdf)


1995: Mr Chris Puplick, Head of the Anti-Discrimination Board.
E pluribus unum. Language, translators, equity and access in Australia. Presented at the AUSIT National AGM in Sydney.
Download the lecture here (pdf)


1994: Mr Max Bourke, Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Creativity and Interpretation. Presented in conjunction with the National Language Expo in Sydney.
Download the lecture here (pdf)


1993: Hon Lynn Arnold, Premier of South Australia.
Presented at the AUSIT National AGM in Adelaide .


1992: Ass. Prof. Adolfo Gentile, Head of Interpreting and Translating at Deakin University, Melbourne.
Inaugural lecture presented in conjunction with the National Language Expo in Melbourne.