Aimed at improving access to information across the community, sections of Greater Shepparton City Council’s website have been translated into Dari and Arabic.
And it looks like it may be translated in additional languages in the future.
Council’s marketing and communications manager Fiona Le Gassick said, in conjunction with the council’s multicultural officers, the most widely used languages across the city other than English were identified.
The nominated languages, Dari and Arabic, were selected before about six months of work was done to translate key council information.
‘‘These are the first ones, we’re hoping to do others,’’ Ms Le Gassick said.
‘‘We have a fairly large multicultural community, we have to do whatever we can to educate and engage.’’
Key community information was decided on, such as emergency services, rates details and more general information.
Once this information was identified, the council engaged a translation service to translate those specific pages for the council.
‘‘Last Friday it went live,’’ Ms Le Gassick said.
‘‘It has been a long process.
‘‘We’re hoping multicultural officers can help make communities aware the translated pages exist.’’
Ms Le Gassick hoped it would prove an important tool in helping multicultural officers engage.
According to an analysis of data from the 2016 census the council commissioned, 14.6 per cent of Greater Shepparton spoke a language other than English at home.
Almost two per cent of the city — or about 1230 people — spoke Arabic at home, while 1.7 per cent (about 1100 people) spoke Persian/Dari.
‘‘In the City of Greater Shepparton, 2082 people who were able to speak another language in 2016, reported difficulty speaking English,’’ the analysis stated.
The same analysis found 3.3 per cent of the city’s residents in 2016 spoke a language and spoke English not well or not at all.
Ms Le Gassick said through conversations with communities, the council had identified key information being translated as a priority via the council’s multicultural officer.
‘‘As time goes on, we’ll look at including further languages,’’ she said.
‘‘The next stage for us is looking at social media and how that can also be translated — key posts and information... potential audio translations.’’
She hoped feedback on the translated pages could be provided, some of which may lead to additional translation.
The translated Greater Shepparton City Council pages can be accessed from the home page of the council’s website www.greatershepparton.com.au