Multicultural Access and Equity

Multicultural Access and Equity is about ensuring that Australian Government programs and services meet the needs of all Australians, regardless of their cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Multicultural Access and Equity

All Australians are entitled to equitable access to government policies, programs and services, regardless of their cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

The Australian Government commits to this through the strengthened Multicultural Access and Equity Policy, which is aimed at all Australian Government programs and services being:

  • fair
  • easy to access
  • simple to use
  • responsive to the cultural and linguistic needs of Australia's diverse society.

How TIS National delivers Multicultural Access and Equity to the Australian community

TIS National delivers Multicultural Access and Equity to the diverse Australian community by providing:

  • an immediate phone interpreting service 24 hours a day, every day of the year
  • free interpreting services to non-English speakers (in the majority of cases)
  • access to free interpreting services to eligible groups and organisations 
  • a range of interpreting service options to meet your needs
  • a range of informative publications and promotional materials about our services
  • translated multilingual information and resources.

Other useful resources about the Australian Government’s commitment to Multicultural Access and Equity are available from the Department of Home Affairs website.

Obligations for government agencies

Government services have an obligation under the Multicultural Access and Equity Policy to provide services that are accessible to people with limited English proficiency by providing interpreting services. This includes accepting and paying for all interpreting services initiated by non-English speakers.

At the time of account registration, authorisation is provided to TIS National to charge government agencies for the costs of using interpreters. This includes all attempts to contact the agency, including unanswered calls and those that go to voicemail.