Assistance Line in 20 Aboriginal Languages Wins “iAward” for Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services

NEC Australia and its Northern Territory technology partner Stratum ICT have congratulated Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services on its “iAward”-winning, Australian-first recorded voice system, provided by Stratum, allowing Aboriginal communities to seek assistance in their own language.

The Aboriginal Recorded Voice Announcement (RVA) system allows members of the community to leave a voice message that can be accessed by police anywhere in the Northern Territory, which becomes particularly relevant when a police station is not attended.

One of the features of the system is that it carries voice messages in 20 different Aboriginal languages.

The calls are prioritised and handled at 64 police stations across the Northern Territory, in an indigenous dialect or language associated with the particular area.

A key factor is that it allows Aboriginal people to learn about the use of different emergency service phone numbers they can access, taking pressure off the Triple Zero system.

Figures show it is already working to great effect, with regional calls to police that were automatically directed to the Joint Emergency Services Communication Centre (JESCC) through Triple Zero, now reduced from the previous level of 4000 calls a month to 1000 calls a month.

Police are now able to use email to access voice messages in their particular area of the Northern Territory, taking pressure off the Triple Zero system and allowing the JESCC to concentrate on the most urgent cases.

“The communications technology platform is in use by a number of NT Government Agencies, and it is pleasing to see diverse uses of the system; in this case incorporating such a wide range of language options,” said Russell Baird, Managing Director of Stratum ICT Pty Ltd, the provider of the underlying system.

“We have been working with the Northern Territory Government, with our partner NEC Australia Pty Ltd, for over 20 years,” he said.

NEC Australia’s NT Regional Manager Damien Charles has also congratulated NTPFES on the much-deserved award;

“NEC has a long and trusted relationship with NT Police, which has allowed a fruitful partnership with Stratum ICT,” Damien said.

“While NEC is involved with numerous Triple Zero platforms around Australia, what has been developed here in the Northern Territory is truly unique.

“To be able to seek help wherever you are in the Territory, unhindered by local language barriers, is an important breakthrough in what is part of a lifesaving service - namely Triple Zero.

“Congratulations NT Police and congratulations Stratum, and we wish NTPFES every success in the National iAwards announced late next month,” he said.

The iAwards are conducted by the Australian Information Industry Association (aiia).

Media Contact

Liz Ackroyd
Communications Specialist
0405 707 161