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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.

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.

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Distance from Canberra Funds allocated per student #
150–499 kilometres $20
500–999 kilometres $30
1,000–1,499 kilometres $60
1,500–1,999 kilometres $100
2,000–2,499 kilometres $150
2,500–2,999 kilometres* $200
3,000–3,999 kilometres $310
4,000 kilometres and over $340

*includes all students from Tasmania because of additional air/sea travel expenses.

# Schools on islands in remote locations (as determined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in its classification of Remoteness) receive an additional $120 per student plus their allocated distance rebate. This payment is in recognition of the additional costs incurred by schools travelling from remote islands.

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.

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 it as soon as possible. Funding is limited and applications are dealt with in order of receipt.

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

To qualify for PACER, your school’s travel itinerary must include an educational tour of Parliament House and where possible the role play in the Parliamentary Education Office, the Museum of Australian Democracy and/or the National Electoral Education Centre at Old Parliament House, and the Australian War Memorial. 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.

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

At Parliament House you are required to take a guided tour and, wherever possible, participate in a Parliamentary Education Office Program. At both the Museum of Australian Democracy and the National Electoral Education Centre, you are required to take part in an educational program. At the Australian War Memorial, you are expected to take part in an educational program.

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)
  • National Museum of Australia (students must participate in a civics and citizenship education program)
  • National Capital Authority (with a choice of education programs: How We Remember: ANZAC Parade memorials tour; or The Story of Canberra; or Our Shared Journey: Reconciliation Place Tour)
  • National Gallery of Australia (Stories of Australian Art program)

Please call PACER on 1300 368 248 for further details.

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, contact BUSY at Work in the first instance and provide written evidence as to why you should receive an exemption to the eligibility requirements. Exemptions will be referred to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and are managed case by case.

Is it necessary to get the Civics Institution Form stamped?

Yes, you must get this stamped at each of the mandatory institutions you visit, and return it with the rest of your paperwork as soon as you return from the excursion.

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.

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. All other PACER program eligibility and requirements must be adhered to.

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.

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.

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.

Can we receive the PACER payment by cheque?

No, PACER payments can only be received electronically.

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.

Is PACER GST free?

Yes. Your PACER payments are exempt from GST.

What needs to be published in the school newsletter?

Under the PACER requirements, you must report on the funding your school receives, for each student, and activities undertaken in your school newsletter or equivalent.

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 of <<%%EDITORCONTENT%%gt;> 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.

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