About VITS

VITS, the Victorian Interpreting & Translating Service, is a Victorian Government owned Government Business Enterprise, with over 35 years experience as a specialist language service provider.

We have a long history of providing language services to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) Victorians, having evolved from the Victorian Ethnic Affairs Commission, established in 1978.

We compete in an open market with other commercial language service providers for both clients and specialist language service practitioners.

Our key business principles:

  • We will continue to be a profitable, self-funding organisation committed to responsible financial management and ethical business practice
  • We will maintain and wherever possible enhance existing services and develop and market new products
  • We will continue to grow our business by diversifying our client base and creating new markets for our whole suite of services
  • We will continuously realign our organisation’s capabilities to meet new service demands and achieve new growth targets
  • We will continue to be an employer of choice by providing fair remuneration and a safe working environment

Interpreting BoothEmploying information technology as our key business driver is critical for VITS’ innovation strategy. Our use of IT to date has resulted in a unique range of solutions, all designed to assist clients delivering premium services to CALD consumers in an effective and efficient manner. 

A measure of our disciplined focus and our commitment to maintaining high standards in the delivery of our services is our policy to recruit and provide Professional level NAATI accredited interpreters and translators wherever a language is tested to this level – an increasingly important competitive edge in a growth industry.

An established database of over 2000 contract interpreters and translators across Australia (over 80% based in Victoria), covering over 160 languages including Auslan, ensures that VITS is able to meet the diverse needs of its many clients.

Our current clients include Victorian Government departments and agencies, Federal Government departments and agencies, non-profit and community based organisations, as well as small to large commercial entities.

Vision

To be a leading provider of quality language services.

Mission

To provide Non-English speakers with high quality language services, delivered efficiently and cost-competitively by accredited professionals.

We value and support the profession, and contribute to its development, by working with industry stakeholders, setting practice standards and providing leadership for Victoria and Australia.

Our work supports access and equity for Non-English speakers, and the richness of Australia’s cultural diversity.

The VITS Customer Service Charter outlines what clients can expect from us.

  • We treat our customers at all times fairly, professionally and with respect, courtesy and dignity
  • We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • We aim to give you face to face assistance within 5 minutes of your arrival at the counter service point
  • We will answer your telephone call within 3 rings. If we are unable to answer the call we will return your call within 5 minutes
  • We will respond to all written customer enquiries within 3 working days of receipt
  • All contractors are identified by a VITS ID card
  • We demonstrate professional competence in providing advice on our translation and interpreting services
  • We have the knowledge, authority and responsibility to deal with your enquiries
  • Where costs are involved, we will advise you in advance of the estimated cost
  • All personal information we obtain will be strictly managed in accordance with our Privacy Policy and relevant State and Federal laws
  • We will meet agreed deadlines for the completion of your request
  • We will regularly seek your feedback and use it to improve our services.

VITS is currently governed by a 6-member Board of Directors, appointed by the State Government under the State Owned Enterprises Act 1992, which reports to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship as well as the Treasurer.

Two Committees support the Board:

(a) Risk Management and Audit Committee, comprising three members of the Board, meets regularly to ensure the financial integrity and probity of all strategic directions and key business decisions, and

(b) Human Resources and Remuneration Committee meets regularly to consider a range of human resources and staff related issues. The committee also undertakes an annual review of the Chief Executive Officer's performance and makes recommendations to the Board on appropriate remuneration.

GEORGE LEKAKIS AO

CHAIRPERSON

George Lekakis AO was appointed Chairperson of the Board of the Victorian Interpreting & Translating Service in May 2015. He brings to the position over three decades of knowledge and experience in organisational governance, policy development, financial and program administration and a long standing experience of delivering complex community and health services.

George was the longest serving Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission from 2001 to 2011. He had key responsibilities in coordinating a whole of government approach to support the cultural diversity of the Victorian population. George managed the expansion of the Commission’s work to include the development and implementation of the Victorian Multicultural Act 2004, the Community Grants program, the Cultural Precincts and Community Infrastructure Enhancement Fund, Celebrate Diversity Week, the Awards for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs, Interfaith Initiatives, the Refugee Communities Support Program and the Interpreting and Translation policy initiatives program in Victoria.

George has previously served as the Chairperson of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria in a voluntary capacity and has also served on many government and community-based boards and committees of management and was a member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. In 2010 George was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community through leadership roles in multicultural organisations and to the development and implementation of services to support those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Mr Lekakis has formal qualifications in social work and nursing.

 

MIRIAM SUSS OAM

DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON

Miriam is a social worker by profession who has served as the Director of Social Work and Community Development Services at Jewish Care, has headed up the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, and the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, and has held the position of General Manager Development, Communications and Marketing at Jewish Care.
In 2013, Miriam was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for Service to the Jewish Community.
Miriam is currently a Board member of Alfred Health and serves as the Honorary Secretary of Multicultural Arts Victoria.
With her strong commitment to social justice and access and equity to opportunities for all Australians, Miriam has a long history of involvement in the Diversity sector, and returns to VITS as a Director after completing a short term on this Board until 2012. Having immigrated to Australia with her family as a two-year-old, Miriam speaks 5 languages and strongly believes in the need for excellent language services in our community.

KATRIN ALADJOVA-KUSZNIRCZUK

FM, B.BUS. (MANAGEMENT)

Katrin Aladjova-Kusznirczuk is the co-founder and Director of All Australia Imports Pty Ltd and StreetStar Cosmetics. She continues in executive roles at these companies and maintains business activities in Europe and Asia. She has over 25 years’ experience in international trade and the retail and fashion industries.

Katrin is a former dual World Champion of chess. She is also triple Australian Champion. In 1986 she was awarded the International title of FIDE Master by the World Chess Federation, FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs). Her passion for the game of chess is shown in her commitment as a former Hon President of Chess Victoria (CV) and continues support as an Ambassador to CV. Her achievements in chess are also recognised around the world. In Bulgaria she was awarded recognition as one of the top 100 most famous sportspeople from Bulgaria in the last century.

Katrin Aladjova-Kusznirczuk is also an ambassador for the Victorian Government’s vision for language education “Love of Language”.

Katrin looks forward to providing the Board her management and business expertise, underlined by her commitment to Multicultural affairs.

CARLO CARLI

In recent years Carlo has worked on projects on governance and capacity building, including in the Pacific and in Uganda. He has also worked with Aboriginal-managed health organizations.
Currently Carlo is Chair of the Legislative Leadership and Governance Group (www.llgg.org.au) at Deakin University, Victoria Australia – an organization, which provides training and Parliamentary strengthening programs for overseas Parliaments.
Carlo has skills in areas of governance, community development and organizational development. He is currently Chair of Merri Health, a community health service in Melbourne’s north. He works as a consultant and lecturer at Victoria University.
Carlo was member of the Parliament of Victoria for over 16 years and understands the complexity of Government and how to pursue changes to public policy
Carlo speaks Veneto, Italian, Spanish and French and is comfortable in working in multilingual and multicultural environments.
He is an advocate for access and equity, multiculturalism, and broader human rights issues in the community, in Government and within the political process.

SABAH KHAN

Sabah has over fifteen years of experience in commercial and corporate law. Having worked for a number of businesses in the capacity of Legal Counsel, she has proven leadership in corporate governance and statutory compliance. She has established a strong reputation for delivering strategic, pertinent and timely legal advice.
Currently, Sabah works as Legal Counsel for contingent workforce specialist Entity Solutions providing contractor engagement and management solutions in the AUSNZ and APAC regions. As part of the senior management team, she contributes to company direction and decision-making by providing strategic and expert legal advice on all areas of business activity, including effective risk management techniques.
Previously, Sabah worked as Legal Counsel at Jim’s Group, one of Australia’s largest franchise networks. In this role, she provided legal advice on the contractual and commercial management of the Group’s franchisees, driving continuous improvement relating to legal and business procedures, compliance and documentation.
Committed to social inclusion, and the support of those in need, Sabah has volunteered at the Women’s Legal Centre, a not for profit organisation providing free legal advice and representation to women in Victoria. She is fluent in Hindi and Urdu.

RUTH OWENS

(BBus MBA FCPA FAICD)

The majority of Ruth's working life has been spent in managerial and finance roles in the legal and accounting sectors. From this sector she moved to CFO roles with the not-for-profit sector. This reinforced her passion for actively working as an advocate for those in need as evidenced by her list of board appointments and activities.
Ruth has served on the boards/committees of VMA Ltd., Cerno Ltd., The Council for Homeless People, Mind Australia, International Women’s Development Agency, Victorian Asthma Foundation, Dianella Community Health Centre, Dental Health Services Victoria, City of Yarra and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Ruth has chaired both the Finance and the Audit and Risk Committees in her board roles.
Ruth is actively involved in the community, with a particular interest in supporting refugees and women, initially through the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Ecumenical Migration Centre program and more recently with The Social Studio in Collingwood. Ruth has for many years personally mentored a number of newly arrived residents as well as mentoring a number of professional women looking to take their next step in their career.

CR MENG HEANG TAK

Meng Heang operates his general law practice in Melbourne. The majority of his clients come from non English speaking backgrounds. As a self-employed business operator, he understands the challenges faced by small business owners. He currently is the mayor for one of the most multicultural municipal cities in Victoria, the City of Greater Dandenong. This has given him the opportunity to learn more about the community he lives in and his priorities as a councillor include maintaining low rates, aged care for migrant seniors, improving child care, library services, community safety and protecting open spaces.

Meng Heang is an accredited NAATI interpreter and translator having completed the Advanced Diploma of Interpreting and Translation at the RMIT while also undertaking his double degree in Arts and Laws. He has been a broadcaster for SBS Radio since 2005 and an Executive Producer since 2013.

 

<p>Elizabeth Compton commenced as CEO of the Victorian Interpreting & Translating Service in February 2016.  Elizabeth has 20 years’ experience in
    Executive and senior management roles with experience in corporate affairs, sales and marketing and strategic planning, working both in Australia and
    overseas in London, Amsterdam and New York.</p>
<p> Previously Elizabeth was the General Manager of Corporate Affairs at VicTrack, a government business enterprise. She led the strategic corporate planning
    and business planning process, working with business groups to ensure a robust and sustainable financial future and management of over $28B of transport
    assets. She also led the government relations, communications, digital, media and marketing functions at VicTrack.</p>
<p>Before joining VicTrack Elizabeth held a senior role with the Financial Ombudsman Service. With a wide range of responsibilities across stakeholder and
    government relations, overseeing engagement with their 14,000+ members in the financial services sector. While there she also launched a consumer engagement
    strategy to reach out to financial counselling networks around Australia and other organisations to educate consumers about the ombudsman service.</p>
<p>
    Her experience prior to this was with the Environment Protection Authority in a role working with the Energy Sector and federal, state and local government,
    industry associations and the community to implement regulatory change to reduce carbon emissions within the sector. She then spent almost a decade
    overseas working with Yamaha Motors Europe and Goldman Sachs International in Corporate Affairs and Training and Development roles.</p>
<p> Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology & Sociology) from Swinburne University, a Masters in European & International Relations from the
    University of Amsterdam and a Certificate in Journalism from New York University.</p>
<p> </p>

ELIZABETH COMPTON - CEO

Elizabeth Compton commenced as CEO of the Victorian Interpreting & Translating Service in February 2016.  Elizabeth has 20 years’ experience in Executive and senior management roles with experience in corporate affairs, sales and marketing and strategic planning, working both in Australia and overseas in London, Amsterdam and New York.

Previously Elizabeth was the General Manager of Corporate Affairs at VicTrack, a government business enterprise. She led the strategic corporate planning and business planning process, working with business groups to ensure a robust and sustainable financial future and management of over $28B of transport assets. She also led the government relations, communications, digital, media and marketing functions at VicTrack.

Before joining VicTrack Elizabeth held a senior role with the Financial Ombudsman Service. With a wide range of responsibilities across stakeholder and government relations, overseeing engagement with their 14,000+ members in the financial services sector. While there she also launched a consumer engagement strategy to reach out to financial counselling networks around Australia and other organisations to educate consumers about the ombudsman service.

Her experience prior to this was with the Environment Protection Authority in a role working with the Energy Sector and federal, state and local government, industry associations and the community to implement regulatory change to reduce carbon emissions within the sector. She then spent almost a decade overseas working with Yamaha Motors Europe and Goldman Sachs International in Corporate Affairs and Training and Development roles.

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology & Sociology) from Swinburne University, a Masters in European & International Relations from the University of Amsterdam and a Certificate in Journalism from New York University.

 

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