Away From Base Grant

The Away From Base (AFB) Grant can provide you with financial assistance for meals, travel and accommodation while attending compulsory residential schools and/or professional placements.

How to apply

  • Eligibility

    Please read the criteria below carefully to ensure you are eligible and understand the requirements of AFB Grants.

    You can apply for an AFB Grant if you:

    • Are an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
    • Are approved for one or more ABSTUDY benefits payable by Centrelink during the funding year.
    • Are undertaking an approved AFB course online, including:
      • 1121MH Diploma of Health Science (Mental Health)
      • 1221MH Associate Degree in Health Science (Mental Health)
      • 1502SW Bachelor of Social Work
      • 1708PQ Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)
      • 3314WJ Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture
      • 4409MH Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health)
      • 4415NS Bachelor of Nursing
      • 4418PM Bachelor of Paramedicine
      • 4421MH Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health)
      • 4421NS Bachelor of Nursing
    • Are not currently in receipt of any other residential grants
    • Do not receive work place funding

    ABSTUDY assistance and support is available for all other courses of study at Charles Sturt through Services Australia.  If you need more information, please call them on 1800 136 380 or book an appointment with a First Nations Adviser.

  • How to apply for the grant during Residential School

    To apply for the Away From Base Grant you must submit an online application form for each residential school you are required to attend.

    Before starting your AFB Grant application you must have all of your documentation ready to upload to your application, including:

    • Documentation that confirms you are currently receiving ABSTUDY payments, noting that:
      • The name on your documentation must be the same as the name on your Charles Sturt University enrolment
      • The word ABSTUDY must be contained somewhere in the document
      • You must have this documentation available before you apply for Residential School Grant Funding.

    Apply for a Residential School Grant

    Important dates for residential school grants

    Applications will close six weeks before your residential school starts. You can track the status of your application through your My Scholarships Portal.

  • How to apply for the grant for Professional Placement

    To apply for the grant students are required to complete the Away From Base Professional Placement Online Application form.

    Applications for the AFB Professional Placement grant must be submitted as soon as the placement is organised as approval for funding can take up to one month. If the application is not submitted to First Nations Student Connect at least six weeks prior to placement students risk not being approved for funding.

    To be approved for the AFB Professional Placements Grant students must attach to their application Letters of Confirmation from the Course Clinical Coordinator and the Placement provider. The letters must include details such as dates of the placement, placement site, contact person and address. The application will not be approved until these are provided.

    Apply for a Professional Placement Grant

  • Conditions

    Conditions of Away From Base

    What happens if I need to cancel my Away From Base booking?

    If you need to cancel a scheduled Away From Base Residential School or Professional Placement you must notify the First Nations Student Connect team by email.

    • If you notify the team seven business days before the scheduled departure date there is no required proof. You will be required to repay any travel and meal allowances already paid to you.
    • If you notify the team within seven business days, you must provide valid evidence of extenuating circumstances for cancellation. This evidence must be provided to the First Nations Student Connect team within seven days of the cancellation. If you provide valid evidence, we may relinquish the costs associated with the cancellation of accommodation and transport, however, you will still be required to repay any travel and meal allowances already paid to you.
    • If you fail to provide valid evidence, you will be charged all fees associated with the cancellation, including all accommodation and transport charges, and any travel and meal allowances already paid to you.

    What happens if I don’t attend the Away From Base Residential School or Professional Placement without providing notification?

    If you fail to attend the Away From Base Residential School or Professional Placement without notifying the First Nations Student Connect team you will be charged all fees accrued by the University associated with the booking including travel, accommodation, and all travel and meal allowances.

    What happens if I miss any days of activities while on Residential School or Professional Placement?

    If you fail to attend any days while funded to be at a Residential School or Professional Placement, you will be required to repay any charges accumulated for those days. That includes accommodation costs, transport costs and meal allowances.

    If you are required to miss any days, you should notify the First Nations Student Connect team immediately and provide valid evidence of extenuating circumstances within seven days of the missed activity. You will still need to repay meal allowances already paid to you for all missed days.

    If alterations are required for transport due to missing days, you will be charged the associated additional costs.

    What happens if I miss a flight, bus or train trip?

    If you miss your scheduled transport booking, you will be responsible for all additional costs associated with creating a new booking. This may include any missed nights of accommodation, and all meal allowances associated with the delay.

    What evidence of extenuating circumstance is required?

    Extenuating circumstances for cancellation of booking, leaving an Away From Base activity early or missing compulsory activities while on Away From Base supported Residential School or Professional Placement may include:

    • Medical reasons
    • Family/ personal reasons – including death or severe medical or personal problems
    • Legal commitments - Legal commitments - where a student is called for jury duty or is subpoenaed to attend a court, tribunal, etc.

    The support required for extenuating circumstances are as follows:

    Medical Circumstances:

    Please note! A non-Charles Sturt University medical certificate will only be accepted if it outlines:

    • Impact on ability to attend residential school/ professional placement
    • The duration of the illness
    • How the information was provided (via assessment or information provided by the student)

    Non-Medical Circumstances:

    • Letter from an Elder or a community organisation such as Aboriginal Medical Service or Lands Council.
    • Statutory declaration
    • Death Certificate, Funeral Notice, letter from the Funeral Home
    • a statement from the relevant authority advising: details of the event; and the period during which the student's study will be interrupted.

    I have to pay money back to the University - how do I do this?

    If you are required to pay back funds to the University for Away From Base, a charge will be raised against your student account.

    More information on viewing student statements is available here.

    Details on payment options is available on the How to pay page.

    If you fail to pay any outstanding funds, Charles Sturt will be unable to release the results of any subjects you are studying. If you are unable to make the payment, there may be alternate payment arrangements or extensions available.

    If you are seeking to request an alternate payment arrangement or extension, please contact Revenue services by email revenue@csu.edu.au.

    Can I still receive Away From Base support if I owe Away From Base funds to the University?

    If you do not resolve the owing balance you will be unable to utilise the support available from the Away From Base program unless an alternate payment arrangement is in place to pay any outstanding funds.

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