Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about PACER.

If you require assistance with your PACER application please thoroughly read the FAQs below or click here to contact us with your questions.

1. How much PACER funding will my school receive?

The program operates as a rebate which is paid directly to schools after they have met the eligibility requirements for funding. The payment is a subsidy and is not meant to cover all costs. Distances are calculated by road to Canberra using the most favourable travelling routes which are not necessarily the shortest. Google Maps will be used to determine this. Funds are allocated on a per student basis at rates varying according to distance travelled.

The program operates as a rebate which is paid directly to schools after they have met the eligibility requirements for funding. The payment is a subsidy and is not meant to cover all costs. Distances are calculated by road to Canberra using the most favourable travelling routes which are not necessarily the shortest. Google Maps will be used to determine this. Funds are allocated on a per student basis at rates varying according to distance travelled.

2. Which schools on islands are eligible for the additional $120 payment?

Islands with schools eligible for the additional payment include Christmas and Cocos Islands, Kangaroo Island, Tiwi Islands, Torres Strait Island and Lord Howe Island. Contact the PACER team if you think you might be eligible.

3. How long before the excursion do I need to submit our PACER application?

You will need to submit your PACER application* no later than three weeks prior to your excursion. We recommend you submit your application as soon as possible if you have booked and confirmed institutions, otherwise it may not be approved. Funding is limited and applications are dealt with in order of receipt.

4. What attractions do I need to visit to be eligible for the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate?

The current PACER eligibility requirements state that schools must visit at least three of the four mandatory institutions and the principle purpose of the tour must be to enhance student learning in civics and citizenship education.

If in the event that a mandatory institution is fully booked, then a PACER program at an alternative institution may be booked. Written evidence that the mandatory institution is fully booked is required for this to be deemed eligible.

The mandatory and alternative institutions and their PACER approved programs are listed at Attachment A.

These activities need to be booked prior to your excursion and copies of your bookings submitted as part of your itinerary with your PACER Application.

5. Do we need to participate in a specific program at each of the mandatory institutions?

At the Australian War Memorial, Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) and National Electoral Education Centre (NEEC) you are expected to take part in the education programs.

At Australian Parliament House you are required to take part in the Guided Tour.

Where possible we suggest participating in an immersive learning program with the Parliamentary Education Office (PEO), although this is not a Mandatory Institution but an attraction, it is very beneficial for all students.

6. What happens if we cannot get the three mandatory Institutions?

The following are institutions which could count for PACER if one of the mandatory institutions is fully booked (we need evidence of this in writing) then you could choose an optional attraction as per below:

  • Government House
  • High Court of Australia
  • National Archives of Australia
  • National Portrait Gallery
    Students must participate in a civics and citizenship education program.
  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism (Year Lever 5-8)
  2. Civics and Citizenship
  • National Museum of Australia Students must participate in a civics and citizenship education program
  1. The Story of Country
  2. Country and Connection
  3. A Living Culture
  4. Deadly Defining Moments
  5. Indigenous Rights and Freedom
  6. Making a Nation
  7. Meet the People
  • National Capital Authority
    Students must participate in a civics and citizenship education program:
  1. How We Remember: Now named (ANZAC Parade)
  2. The Griffin Mission: Now named (The story of Canberra)
  3. Our Shared Journey: Now named (Reconciliation Place)
  • National Gallery of Australia
  1. Stories of Australian Art program.
  • National Film and Sound Archive’s Media and Me program

Please call PACER on 1300 368 248 for further details.

7. How do I apply for an exemption?

If you believe you are eligible for an exemption to the eligibility requirements, apart from the requirement to visit at least three of the four mandatory institutions, you can submit an Exemption Application. Exemptions will be referred to the Department of Education and are managed case by case.

8. If my school is taking part in a combined excursion with another school/s do we need to complete separate applications?

Each school must complete their own PACER Application, regardless of whether they are travelling together with another school. Schools travelling together will also need to submit an itinerary with their school’s name on it.

9. Are home schools eligible for PACER?

Students that are home-schooled may be eligible for a PACER rebate. To be eligible, the home school must be registered with the relevant state or territory authority at the time of application. Home school students may be placed with other school groups whilst undertaking tours at the national institutions.

Home schools applying for PACER need to complete the online application form. They must attach a copy of the itinerary and this needs to have dates and session times, along with booking confirmations.

Home schools are required to participate in at least three of the four mandatory PACER institutions, booked when submitting their online application. Please Complete the ‘Visit’ tab with dates and times of all the institutions you are attending, this includes Mandatory, Alternative and Attraction’s as per your attached Itinerary.

Home schools need to attach their current home school certificate for each student attending Canberra. They must also attach a copy of the unit of work that is being studied in class re: (Civics and Citizenship).

Applications must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the excursion.

10. How do home schools meet the minimum child numbers that some tour operators require?

Home schools are advised to call the institutions they are planning to visit. Institutions will try to accommodate your booking with a school that has not yet reached its maximum capacity for the particular session.

11. What happens once we submit a PACER application and itinerary?

You will be notified within two weeks as to whether your application has been successful or not. If approved, you will be sent some paperwork which will need to be completed and returned within 6 weeks after the conclusion of the excursion.

12. How long after the excursion do we submit the paperwork?

Your paperwork needs to be submitted within six weeks after the conclusion of your excursion.

13. What are the Exploring Civics and Citizenship Through a Visit to the National Capital Canberra education resources?

These are the current civics and citizenship unit from your current curriculum, depending on year level, that is being taught in class in preparation for the visit.

14. Can we receive the PACER payment by cheque?

No, PACER payments can only be received electronically.

15. Why do we need to submit a new PACER Bank Details form each year?

To ensure that your school’s details are current you are required to submit your bank details each year.

16. Is PACER GST free?

Yes. Your PACER payments are exempt from GST.

17. What needs to be published in the school newsletter?

The Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) guidelines require schools to report the Australian Government funding in the school newsletter or equivalent, or a letter sent to parents/guardians.

Newsletter: If you place an article in your school newsletter, please provide a copy of the front page of the newsletter with the date and issue reference, as well as the article page. (PDF – Format)

Letter: If you send a letter to parents/guardians please provide a copy of the signed and dated letter, as well as a note showing how the letter was issued to the parents/guardians e.g. mailout, part of tour information pack, attached to the school newsletter. (PDF – Format)

Home Schools: Requirements are to post on their home-schooling noticeboard or fb post. (PDF -Format)

Below is an example of the wording you can use in your newsletter or letter.

Newsletter/Letter Content Example:

Students from our school will soon be undertaking (or have recently undertaken), an education tour of the national capital. Students will be given the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational programs with a focus on Australia’s history, culture, heritage, and democracy.

The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of their Civics and Citizenship education. To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion the Australian Government is contributing funding to our school in the amount of <<$>> per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school upon completion of the excursion.

DOWNLOAD Newsletter Example (PDF)

 

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