Book an Aboriginal interpreter

Changes to interpreter services

The Aboriginal Interpreter Service (AIS) is continuing to operate during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while following the advice of health agencies.

However, on-site and face-to-face services will be affected.

Contact the AIS to discuss your appointment needs.

You can book an Aboriginal language interpreter to work anytime - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Interpreters offer on-site, telephone, video, scripting and recording services.

They don't translate written documents.


Except in emergencies, booking requests must be made at least two days before the appointment.

You will need to provide all the following information:

  • name of the organisation or section asking for the service
  • name of the English speaker who needs an interpreter
  • name, skin name, age and gender of the Aboriginal person who needs the interpreter
  • Aboriginal language to be interpreted and its community of origin
  • address, date and time the service is needed
  • topic of the interpreting assignment.

The information helps the Aboriginal Interpreter Service to find a culturally appropriate interpreter, prepare the interpreter for the assignment and avoid any last-minute conflicts of interest that could cancel the assignment.

Video interpreting service

Video interpreting services are available through the AIS offices in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs.

For more information or to book the video service, call 1800 334 944 or email

On-site or telephone interpreting assignment

To book follow these steps.

Step 1. Fill in the interpreter booking request form PDF (113.5 KB).
Step 2. Send the form to or fax it to 08 8923 7621.

Scripting and recording assignment

To book follow these steps.

Step 1. Fill in the interpreter booking request for scripting and recording jobs form PDF (100.9 KB).
Step 2. Send the form to or fax it to 08 8923 7621.

Read more about Aboriginal language recording projects.

Interpreter services after hours

Phone 1800 334 944 to book an interpreter outside of business hours.

You must brief the interpreter about the topic they will be interpreting for you.

This can be done in person or over the phone.

At the end of each interpreting assignment, you must follow these steps.

Step 1. Fill in the interpreter assignment time sheet PDF (204.2 KB).
Step 2. Send the form to

Your time sheet needs to be an accurate record of the interpreting time, as well as travel time and lunch breaks.

You will be charged based on the hours in your time sheet.

You can also use the time sheet to give feedback to the AIS about the service you received by filling in the evaluation section.

The Aboriginal Interpreter Service will organise all travel and transport arrangements for interpreters.

You will have to pay fees and interpreter travel and transport costs when the interpreter has finished the job. Read more about Aboriginal interpreter service fees.

It will be given to you in an invoice.

You must email at least 24 hours before the interpreting job was supposed to start.

If you don't give the interpreting service 24 hours notice, you will be charged a cancellation fee.

This fee will be the minimum charge for the service that you booked:

  • $140 for on-site and video interpreting
  • $35 for telephone interpreting
  • $100 for scripting services.

The above fees do not include GST.

Last updated: 02 April 2020

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