9 January 2009
Mr Graeme Innes AM
Human Rights Commissioner and Disability Discrimination Commissioner
Australian Human Rights Commission
GPO Box 5218
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Dear Mr Innes
2008 Immigration Detention Report
Thank you for your letter of 10 December 2008 providing the Australian Fisheries
Management Authority (AFMA) with an opportunity to respond to the above report.
AFMA notes this report of the Commission on immigration detention facilities.
Several AFMA officers are undergoing language training doing either a Graduate Diploma or
Diploma in Indonesian language. AFMA provides this language program to its officers to
improve and assist communication with Indonesian fishers. There are a variety of languages
spoken by fishers conducting illegal activities within Australian waters. It is not practical
to have fisheries officers trained in the variety of different languages that may be encountered
at sea, such as Bahasa Indonesia, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Sinhalese, Thai, Russian and
Korean. AFMA considers that the officers' use of language cards used is a useful substitute.
The language cards are available in all of the above languages and are used to convey basic
messages and questions to the crew at the point of boarding and apprehension. AFMA is
currently revising its language cards and these will be issued to all officers by the end of
If you have any queries or require further information I can be contacted by telephone (02)
6225 5309 or email email@example.com.
A/g General Manager Operations