Translation provider Ethnolink to double staff, lands deal with Australia’s online safety regulator

Translation provider Ethnolink to double staff, lands deal with Australia’s online safety regulator

Ethnolink founder Costa Vasili (Provided)

Melbourne-based translation service Ethnolink has announced today it is on track to double its staff headcount to 100 by 2025 after beating out the competition to win a two-year contract designed to service the nation’s independent regulator for online safety.

Founded in 2011 by Costa Vasili, Ethnolink offers translation and localisation services, multilingual video production and more to government, not-for-profit and corporate clients across Australia in 150-plus languages.

Under its latest agreement, the company will be translating safety educational resources for the eSafety Commissioner, as well as website assets, publications, audio and video files. Translations will be provided in at least 27 languages, including Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Dinka and Karen.

Established in 2015, the eSafety Commissioner is Australia’s national independent regulator for online safety and can exercise legislative powers to protect Australians from serious online harm.

According to the regulator’s research, trends are showing that people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are at an increased risk of online hate speech and other forms of cyber abuse.

“With the rapid rise of the digital world, there's so much more risk around accessing information online. The idea of working on these types of projects over the coming two years really excites me and the team because we know we can have a huge impact,” Vasili told Business News Australia.

“We're currently at 45 full-time staff. With this contract, we are on track to be a team of 100 by 2025. This deal is significant enough to keep up with our hiring plans."


READ MORE: Ethnolink, a behind-the-scenes success story of multicultural Australia, adds Indigenous services


The appointment by eSafety comes after Ethnolink successfully secured contracts with the Australian Government, NSW Government, and Victorian Government – the latter of which hired the company to translate the COVID-19 Victoria website into 56 languages.

When asked how the company won its most recent contract, Vasili explained it was likely multiple tenders were put forward, with Ethnolink chosen as the most suitable candidate for the job.

“Based on previous feedback from other Australian government contracts, typically 10 or more tenders go for a contract. We believe that it was a highly competitive process based on historical situations,” explained Vasili, who was a finalist in the 2022 Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards

“We submitted our response with a really strong portfolio of clients and projects that we've worked on, as well as our credentials because there are very few translation suppliers in Australia who hold the international standard for translation services, which is ISO-17100.

“I believe that really set us apart because of our independently audited, very rigorous translation process that we go through.”

Over the last two years, Ethnolink has worked with more than 1,000 clients, with around 35 per cent comprising government or not-for-profit sector clients like Cancer Council Australia, Down Syndrome Australia and Family Safety Victoria.

Vasili noted that while those clients do not make up the majority of contracts, they represent a significant amount of revenue for the agency.

“We will absolutely continue to focus on our government and not-for-profit clients where we're doing purpose driven work,” he said.

“We've already been executing on this strategy for a number of years and we've had significant growth in our government client base throughout COVID.”

“Because we have worked on such a breadth of projects and with a vast array of clients over many years, what really drives me is working on really impactful campaigns and with clients who are doing great things."

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