Ethnolink Launches New Indigenous Communications And Engagement Arm

Ethnolink Launches New Indigenous Communications And Engagement Arm

Ethnolink has announced the launch of its Indigenous Communications and Engagement arm to support organisations seeking to improve engagement with First Nations Australians.

At launch, Ethnolink’s Indigenous Communications and Engagement offering will include culturally sensitive research and community consultation, co-designed culturally appropriate campaigns and creative development, as well as translation and voice-recording in languages languages spoken across the Central and Western Desert, the Kimberley, Top End of Northern Territory, and the Torres Strait.

Speaking at the launch, Ethnolink founder and CEO Costa Vasili said: “As an Australian-based communications agency, we felt compelled to drive change in how organisations communicate with First Nations Australians. We intend to ensure that our communications are developed in a consultative and respectful way, guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

The announcement comes off the back of insights captured in the 2021 Census which found that over 800,000 people identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, representing 3.2 per cent of the total population. In addition, the Census identified that there were 167 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages spoken by nearly 77,000 people.

Supported languages at launch include, but are not limited to, Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Pintupi-Luritja, Alyawarre (Alyawarr), Warlpiri, Central/Eastern Arrernte, Western Arrarnta, Yolngu Matha (Djambarrpuyngu), Yolngu Matha (Gumatj), and Yumplatok (Torres Strait Creole).

To lead the function, Ethnolink has appointed Jake Salotti, working and living on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people, to the role of Indigenous communications adviser. In addition to his experience working directly with Indigenous communities, Salotti brings with him 3 years’ experience in delivering First Nations communications projects for Australian Government, South Australian Government, Queensland Government, and Enterprise clients.

In addition to advising clients on strategy, Salotti will also lead co-designed campaigns with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and all associated language services in accordance with Ethnolink’s ISO Certification for Translation Services.

“We’re committed to ensuring that quality creative assets are made available in-language and delivered in the most appropriate methods possible” Salotti said. “From my experience over the years, I’ve found that in-language audio-visual solutions, such as animated videos and shareable audio files, are particularly well received by First Nations Australians.”

Lawson Stapleton has also been appointed to the role of Indigenous communications consultant and will be responsible for providing strategic advice as part of the development of Ethnolink’s Indigenous Communications and Engagement arm.

Having been involved with Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory since childhood, and with over 7 years’ experience working in the Indigenous language services industry, Stapleton is a well-known authority on the provision of translation and interpreting services in Australia.

Explaining his passion for the industry, Stapleton said: “Community has taught me more about compassion, sincerity and understanding than anywhere else in my life. We need to listen to our Indigenous communities and hear their voices. I have been blessed with lessons from Indigenous elders which has made me want to serve the community even more.”

The launch of Ethnolink’s Indigenous Communications and Engagement department follows the recent successful launch of communications training platform Ethnolink Education, with plans already underway for training to be added for communications professionals on how to best communicate and engage with First Nations Australians.




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