Shekiera follows in grandmother’s footsteps

Nineteen year old Shekiera Mununggurr has become one of the youngest Aboriginal interpreters in the Northern Territory, after completing her training this month.

A member of the Galpu clan, Shekiera visited our Nhulunbuy office to express her interest in becoming an interpreter.

“I am following in the footsteps of my grandmother who was a Level 4 Interpreter (Ms Gurruwiwi) with AIS,” Shekiera said.

A language assessment showed Shekiera had a high level of both English and Language skills and she was immediately accepted into the induction course.

Shekiera shadowed fellow interpreter Angelo Dhamarrandji for two days, which included experience in the Nhulunbuy Bush Courts.

After completing her training, Shekiera started work at the Gove Hospital.

Among her rounds, Shekiera attends the daily doctors meetings where the needs of the interpreter are identified.  She completes rounds of the wards, surgery units and accident and emergency where she offers her services as an interpreter.

The AIS has worked closely with the Gove Hospital to ensure all new staff have had the opportunity to attend the Working with Interpreter Training, as the demand for interpreters increases.

“I am proud that I have chosen to do this job. I want to ensure that my people have a better understanding,” Shekiera said.

“Eventually I want to be a midwife.”

To find out more about the AIS, or how to become an interpreter, visit

A picture of Shekiera Mununggurr with other doctors in the hospital working as an interpreter
Shekiera has completed her interpreter training and has started work at the Gove Hospital.