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									Rural Tertiary Hardship
         Fund


    Program Guidelines




                     February 2011
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Glossary ...................................................................................................................................... 3

1. Overview ................................................................................................................................ 4
        1.1       Introduction ..................................................................................................... 4
        1.2       Objective of the Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund ................................................ 5
        1.3       Purpose of the Program Guidelines ................................................................. 5

2. Program Management ........................................................................................................... 6
        2.1    Rural and Regional Taskforce........................................................................... 6
        2.2    Fund Delegate .................................................................................................. 6
        2.3    Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
        Responsibility ................................................................................................................ 6

3. Funding Arrangements........................................................................................................... 7
        3.1     Funding ............................................................................................................ 7
        3.2     Conditions of Funding ...................................................................................... 7
        3.3     Period of Funding ............................................................................................. 8
        3.4     Payment of Funds ............................................................................................ 8
        3.5     Debt Recovery.................................................................................................. 8
        3.6     Confidential Information ................................................................................. 9

4. Eligibility Requirements and Selection Criteria .................................................................... 10
         4.1      Eligibility Requirements ................................................................................. 10
         4.2      Selection Criteria............................................................................................ 11

5. Application Process .............................................................................................................. 12
        5.1      Application Dates ........................................................................................... 12
        5.2      Application Process ........................................................................................ 12
        5.3      Preparing an Application ............................................................................... 13
        5.4      Additional Considerations.............................................................................. 14
        5.5      Discrepancies, Ambiguities, Inconsistencies or Errors in an Application ...... 15

6. Assessment and Notification ............................................................................................... 15
        6.1    Assessment Process ....................................................................................... 15
        6.2    Notification .................................................................................................... 16

7. Evaluation ............................................................................................................................ 17
        7.1       Fund Evaluation ............................................................................................. 17

8. Contact Information ............................................................................................................. 17

9. Legal Requirements ............................................................................................................. 18
         9.1    Legislative Requirements ............................................................................... 18
         9.2    Privacy ............................................................................................................ 18
         9.3    Freedom of Information ................................................................................ 20
         9.4    Feedback or Complaints ................................................................................ 21
         9.5    Reviews and Appeals ..................................................................................... 22

            ATTACHMENT A .......................................................................................................... 23

            ATTACHMENT B .......................................................................................................... 24
Glossary

                        The person applying for a grant through the Rural Tertiary
Applicant
                        Hardship Fund
ASGC                    Australian Standard Geographical Classification

Assessment Team         A team of DEEWR staff who will assess applications for a grant
                        A person authorised to witness a Statutory Declaration or certify
Authorised Person
                        documentation
                        Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations,
DEEWR
                        its employees, agents and contractors
Eligibility             A set of requirements that must be met, before the selection
Requirements            criteria can be assessed
                        A student must be enrolled in a Bachelor degree course at a
Enrolled                higher education institution which offers Commonwealth
                        supported places
FOI Act                 Freedom of Information Act 1982
Fund                    The Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund
                        The Fund Delegate is the official authorised to approve funding
Fund Delegate
                        allocations under the Financial Management Act 1997
                        The legally binding agreement between successful applicants and
Funding Agreement       DEEWR for the allocation of a grant. The Funding Agreement can
                        be viewed at www.deewr.gov.au/rthf
                        Funding Round refers to any formal period announced by DEEWR
Funding Round
                        for the submissions of applications
Government              The Australian Government
Guidelines              The Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines
Call Centre             The Rural and Tertiary Hardship Fund Call Centre
                        Information Privacy Principles, which has the meaning given in the
IPPs
                        Privacy Act 1988
Privacy Act             Privacy Act 1988
                        A student whose usual place of residence is an area other than a
Rural and Regional
                        major city of Australia according to the Australian Standard
student
                        Geographic Classification (ASGC)
                        The identified criteria for assessing applications, as outlined in
Selection Criteria
                        these Guidelines
Taskforce               The Rural and Regional Taskforce
Terms and Conditions    Describes the applicant’s rights and responsibilities and states the
of Agreement            terms and conditions of the grant




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                        Page 3
1. Overview

1.1    Introduction


On 1 December 2009, the Australian Government (the Government) announced the
establishment of the Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund (the Fund).


Section 1061ZZFW of the Social Security Act 1991 provides the legal authority for
administering the Fund. The Fund will provide $20 million through a series of grants from
1 January 2011 to 30 June 2013 which is additional to the benefits that rural and regional
students have available to them under the students’ income support reform package;
reduce barriers faced by rural and regional students in attending university; assist people
under 25 years of age, who reside in a rural or regional area and would experience financial
hardship in undertaking higher education without the assistance from the Fund.


On 18 March 2010, the Social Security Act 1991 was amended to provide for reforms to the
student income support system. The reforms were made in response to the Bradley Review
of Australian Higher Education. The income support reform package ensures that student
income support payments are better targeted and more assistance is provided for those
students who need it most, including rural and regional students.


Each Funding Round will open with a call for applications. Announcements of Funding
Rounds will be made in line with higher education semesters throughout the funding period.




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                        Page 4
1.2    Objective of the Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund


The objective of the Fund is to assist young people under 25 years of age from rural or
regional areas who would experience financial hardship in undertaking higher education
without the assistance. In assisting disadvantaged rural and regional students, the Fund will
also contribute to increasing higher education participation rates of rural and regional
students; and contribute to the goal set by the Government that by 2020, 20 per cent of
higher education enrolments at undergraduate level should be people from low
socio-economic status backgrounds.


1.3    Purpose of the Program Guidelines


The purpose of the Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines (Program Guidelines) is
to assist students to apply for a one-off grant under the Fund.


The Program Guidelines outline arrangements for the administration and delivery of the
grants, eligibility requirements, selection criteria, application and assessment processes for
grants under the Fund.


The Government reserves the right to amend the Program Guidelines. Information
concerning changes to the Program Guidelines will appear on the website at
www.deewr.gov.au/rthf.




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                            Page 5
2. Program Management

2.1     Rural and Regional Taskforce


A Taskforce was established to consider and provide advice to the Government on eligibility
requirements and selection criteria for assistance under the Fund. The Taskforce comprised
5 members with valuable expertise in the fields of education, social inclusion and the needs
of rural and regional students.


For more information on the Taskforce visit www.deewr.gov.au/rthf.



2.2     Fund Delegate


Final approval on recommendations for the allocation of grants under the Fund will be made
by the Fund Delegate. This advice will be provided by the Grant Review Committee for
consideration by the Fund Delegate. The Fund Delegate will advise the Minister for Tertiary
Education of the application process outcomes and the allocation of grants under the Fund.
All decision made by the Fund Delegate relating to the allocation of grants will be final. The
Fund Delegate for the purposes of this Fund will be the Group Manager, Income Support
Group, DEEWR.


The Grant Review Committee will oversee the assessments conducted by departmental staff
to ensure quality and consistency in the evaluation of applications. The Grant Review
Committee shall consist of senior staff from Income Support Group and Employment
Services Management, Procurement and Evaluation Group and Corporate Legal Group,
DEEWR. The Fund Delegate is the Chair of the Grant Review Committee.


2.3     Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Responsibility


DEEWR is responsible for the administration and delivery of the grant arrangements for the
Fund.

Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                         Page 6
These responsibilities include:

         promoting and managing application rounds;
         developing an assessment process that will result in a prioritised list of
          recommended successful applicants for the Fund Delegate’s consideration and
          approval;
         notifying successful applicants;
         paying grants to successful applicants; and
         evaluating program outcomes.




3. Funding Arrangements

3.1       Funding


The $20 million allocated for the Fund will be awarded in the form of a one-off grant of
$3000 to be paid to students from rural and regional areas between 1 January 2011 and
30 June 2013. This amount will be allocated across five semesters covered by the terms of
the Fund, with greater amounts available in the first semester of each year.
DEEWR will call for applications for grants through formal Funding Rounds. Due to the
limited number of grants, no application is guaranteed to be allocated a grant. Successful
applications will be determined through an open, selection process assessing the relative
merits of each eligible application against the selection criteria listed in Section 4.


Further information on the Funding Rounds is at www.deewr.gov.au/rthf.


3.2       Conditions of Funding


In accordance with Australian Government requirements, the Terms and Conditions of
Agreement will act as the funding agreement between DEEWR and the successful applicant.
The Terms and Conditions of Agreement forms part of the application under which a grant
will be allocated. Before submitting an application for a grant under the Fund, applicants
should ensure that they have read, understood and agree to the Terms and Conditions of
Agreement. Applicants are responsible for ensuring they are able to meet the Terms and
Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                           Page 7
Conditions of Agreement before they agree to them. The Terms and Conditions of
Agreement between a successful applicant and DEEWR will commence on the date the
applicant receives written advice from DEEWR that their application has been successful.


3.3    Period of Funding


The Fund will provide $20 million through a series of grants from 1 January 2011 to
30 June 2013.


3.4    Payment of Funds


All grant payments will be made by Electronic Funds Transfer, wherever possible. At the
time that applicants are advised that their application has been successful, they will be
asked to forward their bank details to DEEWR. Payment of a grant will be made
electronically into a successful applicant’s bank account within 28 days from the date that
DEEWR receives their bank details.


3.5    Debt Recovery


As outlined in the Terms and Conditions of Agreement, students must be in full time study
in a Bachelor degree course 35 days after the course commences. The course must be
Commonwealth supported. Students who are enrolled for 35 days after the course
commences would incur a HECS-HELP debt for those units of study, as the Census date
would fall within this period. If the 35 day enrolment requirement is not met DEEWR may
recover the grant.




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                         Page 8
3.6    Confidential Information


Applicants should advise DEEWR of any information contained within their application
which they consider should be treated as confidential and provide reasons for their request
to treat information as confidential. The Government reserves the right to accept or refuse
a request to treat information as confidential.




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                       Page 9
4. Eligibility Requirements and Selection Criteria

All applications will be assessed by DEEWR using the following eligibility requirements and
selection criteria:


4.1      Eligibility Requirements


Age                                         Under 25 years
                                            Eligibility cut-off dates for turning 25 are 1 March for
                                             Semester 1 grants and 1 August for Semester 2 grants
Citizenship                                 Australian Citizens
                                            Australian Permanent Residents
                                            Holders of Permanent Humanitarian Visas
Rural and Regional Area                     Usual place of residence in areas other than Major Cities
                                             of Australia (refer Attachment A)
Level of Study                              Bachelor degrees
Range of Courses                            Courses at higher education institutions offering
                                             Commonwealth supported places
Type of Course                              Commonwealth supported places only
Need to Relocate                            Applicants from Inner Regional Australia must need to
                                             move away from home to study, as determined by the
                                             ’90 minute rule’1. Other applicants may live at home or
                                             away from home
Attendance                                  Undertaking full-time study as determined by the higher
                                             education institution
                                            Concessional study loads for Disability Support Pension
                                             and Parenting Payment Single recipients are deemed to
                                             be full-time
Stage of Study                              Commencing students2 only
Parental Income Limit                       $150 000 per annum, combined, in the previous tax year
Number of Grants per                        Limited to one grant over the period 1 January 2011 to
Student                                      30 June 2013


Only one grant can be made per person.




1
  In establishing the need to relocate, the definition used for the purposes of determining eligibility for the Away
From Home rate of Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY will be used. Students qualify for this rate where the time
it takes for them to travel by public transport from their parental home to their educational institution of choice
exceeds 90 minutes, including walking and waiting times. Restrictions due to lack of, or deficiencies in, public
transport are also taken into account.
2
  A commencing student means a student undertaking a higher education course for the first time. Students who
have deferred a higher education course or withdrawn prior to 35 days after a course commences, may apply for
a grant when commencing a course.
Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                                           Page 10
4.2       Selection Criteria


All eligible applications will be assessed against the following selection criteria:


                                   Those in receipt of a means-tested income support payment to
Financial Hardship:
                                   provide details of:
Measurement
                                      Parental Income – scaled from $0 to $150 000
                                      Parents’ liquid assets
                                      Personal income
                                      Personal liquid assets
                                      Partner’s income where relevant
                                      Partner’s liquid assets, where relevant
                                      Number of other dependent children in the family

                                   Those not in receipt of a means-tested income support payment
                                   to provide:
                                      As above, plus
                                      Explanation as to why they are not eligible for a
                                       Centrelink (or other Commonwealth) means-tested
                                       income support payment
                                      Description of current means of support
Financial Hardship:                   Description of the financial hardship being experienced
Explanation                            and whether it will continue
Socio-economic Disadvantage           Based on home address—uses Census Collection
                                       Districts (CDs) as determined by ABS Socio-economic
                                       Index for Areas (SEIFA) – Index of Education and
                                       Occupation. (refer Attachment B)
Personal Circumstances                Personal and family disadvantage

The Selection Criteria will be weighted in assessment as follows:

         Financial Hardship — measured by financial information              40%
         Financial Hardship — a description of the hardship experienced      20%
         Socio-economic disadvantage                                         20%
         Personal circumstances                                              20%




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                          Page 11
5. Application Process

5.1       Application Dates


Applications will be sought through formal application rounds. Grants will be allocated in
the beginning of 2011, 2012 and 2013 with supplementary rounds in mid 2011 and 2012.


Applications for the main round of the 2011 Fund open on 22 February 2011 and will close
at 5.00pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time) on 22 March 2011.


Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. Applicants will not be
able to apply for extensions beyond the closing date. Applications will not be considered
outside the formal application rounds. Applications received after the closing date for one
round will not be considered in subsequent rounds.


Further information about this application round can be found on the Fund website at
www.deewr.gov.au/rthf.


5.2       Application Process


The Fund application process for each round is outlined below:


         a call for applications is published at www.deewr.gov.au/rthf;


         applicants submit a completed application form with supporting evidence
          (supporting evidence must be a copy of the original and be certified by an authorised
          person), as applicable, by application round closing date;


         receipt of all applications will be acknowledged;


         the Fund application round closes;




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                        Page 12
          assessment process conducted on all Fund applications received by DEEWR by the
           application round closing date;


          the Grant Review Committee determines a priority list of applicants;


          the Fund Delegate considers a priority list of recommendations for the allocation of
           grants to applicants under the Fund;


          notification of application outcomes to successful and unsuccessful applicants; and


          payment of grants under the Fund made to successful applicants.


5.3        Preparing an Application


To apply for a grant, applicants must use the application form which can be found at
www.deewr.gov.au/rthf. Applicants may only submit one application per funding round.
Only commencing students can apply (refer to section 4.1 for a definition of commencing
student).


Applicants must read the Program Guidelines and the application form including the Terms
and Conditions of Agreement before submitting their application.


Completed application forms must be received by DEEWR by 5.00pm (Australian Eastern
Daylight Savings Time) on 22 March 2011.


Applications can be forwarded to DEEWR at:


          Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund
          C17MR1
          Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
          GPO Box 9880
          Canberra ACT 2601



Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                         Page 13
      or:


      rthf@deewr.gov.au


      or:


      Facsimile: 1300 770 217


Applicants who have problems lodging their applications or require further information
about the Fund, should contact the DEEWR Student Enquiry Line on 1800 020 108. The call
centre is open 8.00am to 6.00pm Mon-Fri (nationally) excluding National Public Holidays.

All applications will be acknowledged in writing by email. If the written acknowledgement is
not successfully received, attempts will be made to contact the applicant using other
contact details supplied in their application form.

Late applications will not be considered. Applicants will not be able to apply for extensions
beyond the closing date.




5.4    Additional Considerations


In line with the Program Guidelines, eligible applicants must ensure that they fully address
all the selection criteria and submit their application form and relevant supporting evidence
(supporting evidence must be a copy of the original and be certified by an authorised
person) by the application closing date.


Applicants must also ensure they read, understand and agree with the Terms and
Conditions of Agreement before submitting their application.


Applications that do not satisfy the eligibility requirements detailed at section 4.1 will not be
considered.




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                         Page 14
Applicants should keep a copy of their application for their own records. Confirmation of
receipt of all applications will be provided.


DEEWR reserves the right to amend the Program Guidelines at its absolute discretion and
will provide reasonable notice of any amendments at www.deewr.gov.au/rthf.




5.5     Discrepancies, Ambiguities, Inconsistencies or Errors in an Application


The Government will not accept responsibility for any misunderstanding arising from the
failure by an applicant to comply with the Program Guidelines, or arising from any
ambiguity, discrepancy or error contained in an application.


Applicants should be aware that giving false or misleading information to the
Commonwealth is a serious offence under the Criminal Code Act 1995.




6. Assessment and Notification

6.1     Assessment Process


All applications received by the closing date for the relevant funding round that meet the
eligibility requirements (section 4.1) will be assessed against the selection criteria (section
4.2).


Each eligible application will be assessed on its individual merits and then ranked against the
other applications.


The rankings will be used to establish a priority list of recommendations for the allocation of
grants, for consideration and approval by the Fund Delegate.


DEEWR will ensure that the process for assessing applications under the Fund is in
accordance with the Program Guidelines.
Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                          Page 15
All assessors will undertake assessment training prior to undertaking any assessments. The
training will ensure that assessors consider applications in a fair and ethical manner and in
accordance with the approved guidelines.


Staff involved in the assessment process will be required to submit a signed statement
confirming there is no perceived or actual conflict of interest or confidentiality issue/s
before undertaking the assessment process. Where a staff member becomes aware of a
perceived or actual conflict of interest during the process, this must be declared at that
time.


Advice on the probity and integrity of all aspects of the administration and delivery of grants
under the Fund, including the assessment of applications and compliance with the Program
Guidelines, will be overseen by the Employment, Strategy and Workplace Relations Legal
Branch, DEEWR.



6.2     Notification


All applicants will receive written notification of the outcome of their application for the
relevant funding round. DEEWR will not accept or respond to any applicant’s request for
information about the status and progress of their application during a funding round.


Successful applicants


Successful applicants will receive written advice from DEEWR that they have been successful
as soon as practicable. The Terms and Conditions of Agreement between a successful
applicant and DEEWR will commence on the date the applicant receives written advice from
DEEWR that their application has been successful. Successful applicants are ineligible to
apply for additional grants under this Fund.


In accordance with the Commonwealth’s Grant Guidelines, DEEWR will publish all grants
allocated under the Fund on its website.



Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                         Page 16
Unsuccessful applicants


All applicants will receive written notification of the outcome of their application for the
relevant funding round.


Applicants have the right to seek a review and/or appeal the decision not to allocate a grant.
Decisions are reviewable by DEEWR authorised review officers.


Details about the review and appeals process can be found at section 9.5.



7. Evaluation

7.1    Fund Evaluation


The operation of the Fund will be evaluated in accordance with part 4 of the Social Security
and Other Legislation Amendment (Income Support for Students) Act 2010. Part 4 states that
a comprehensive review of the impact of the student income support arrangements,
particularly the impact on rural and regional students must be undertaken.


As announced on 21 February 2011, the Government has committed to report the
outcomes of the review by 1 July 2011.



8. Contact Information

Further information about the Fund is available at www.deewr.gov.au/rthf, by emailing
rthf@deewr.gov.au or contacting the DEEWR Student Enquiry Line on 1800 020 108. The
call centre is open 8.00am to 6.00pm Mon-Fri (nationally) excluding National Public
Holidays.




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                         Page 17
9. Legal Requirements

9.1       Legislative Requirements


DEEWR is subject to the following legislation prohibiting discriminatory practices:
         Racial Discrimination Act 1975
         Sex Discrimination Act 1984
         Disability Discrimination Act 1992
         Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986



9.2       Privacy


The Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act) provides for the protection of personal information in
relation to its collection, storage, access, use and disclosure.


DEEWR is bound, in administering the Fund, by the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988.
Section 14 of the Privacy Act contains the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) which
prescribe the rules for handling personal information.
Personal information is defined in section 6 of the Privacy Act as:

          “information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a
          database), whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not,
          about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained,
          from the information or opinion”.

Personal information provided to DEEWR in relation to applications for assistance from the
Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund will only be used by DEEWR for the purposes of the Rural
Tertiary Hardship Fund program.


Persons, bodies and organisations involved in the administration of the Fund must abide by
the IPPs and the Privacy Act when handling personal information collected for the purposes
of that Fund. In brief, persons, bodies and organisations must ensure that:


         personal information is collected in accordance with IPPs 1-3;
         suitable storage arrangements, including appropriate filing procedures are in place;
Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                          Page 18
      suitable security arrangements exist for all records containing personal information;
      access to a person’s own personal information held by the organisation is made
       available to the person at no charge;
      records are accurate, up-to-date, complete and not misleading;
      where a record is found to be inaccurate, the correction is made;
      where a person requests that a record be amended because it is inaccurate but the
       record is found to be accurate, the details of the request for amendment are noted
       on the record;
      the personal information is only to be used for the purposes for which it was
       collected, or for other purposes where expressly allowed by IPP 10; and
      personal information is only disclosed in accordance with IPP 11.


The information provided in a completed Fund application will be used for the purpose of
administering the Fund and may also be considered as part of any future grant application
or business dealings an applicant may have with DEEWR. DEEWR will not disclose any
personal or business information to any individual or organisation unless required by law or
with an applicant’s consent.


DEEWR is obliged to protect any personal information about individuals in accordance with
the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988. The personal information collected in this form,
including names, dates of birth, telephone and mobile numbers, postal, workplace and
email addresses will be used for the purposes of assessing the application for a grant under
the Fund, to contact an applicant about their application and to administer payments.


DEEWR will not disclose the information contained in an application without the consent of
the applicant, except where authorised or required by law.


Complaints about breaches of privacy should be referred to the Privacy Contact Officer, in
the Litigation and External Review Branch of the Legal and Investigations Group.




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                        Page 19
By mail:
Privacy Contact Officer
Litigation and External Review Branch
DEEWR
C148CW2
GPO Box 9880
Canberra ACT 2601


By email:
privacy@deewr.gov.au

Complaints about breaches of privacy can also be made directly to the Federal Privacy
Commissioner. The Federal Privacy Commissioner may be contacted by telephone on
1300 363 992.




9.3    Freedom of Information


The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) applies to information in DEEWR’s
possession, including information with regard to the Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund.


The FOI Act creates a general right of access to such information. This right of access is
limited by exceptions and exemptions necessary for the protection of the public interest and
the privacy and business affairs of individuals and organisations.


A decision regarding a request for access under the FOI Act will be made by an authorised
FOI decision‐maker in accordance with the requirements of the FOI Act.


Where documents within the scope of an FOI request contain personal information or
information which relates to the business, commercial or financial affairs of third parties,
the FOI Act generally requires the FOI decision‐maker to consult with individuals affected
prior to making any decision on access to such documents.


Requests under the FOI Act should be made to the FOI Team Leader in the Litigation and
External Review Branch of the Legal and Investigations Group.

Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                        Page 20
By mail:


FOI Team Leader
Litigation and External Review Branch
DEEWR
C148CW2
GPO Box 9880
Canberra ACT 2601


By email:


foi@deewr.gov.au

By delivery in person:


To a DEEWR officer at the address of any central or regional DEEWR office specified in a
current telephone directory.


For information on making a request under the FOI Act for access to information in DEEWR’s
possession please see:


www.deewr.gov.au/Department/Pages/FreedomofInformation.aspx

Complaints about DEEWR’s actions under the FOI Act can be made directly to the Freedom
of Information Commissioner. The Freedom of Information Commissioner may be
contacted by telephone on 1300 363 992.



9.4    Feedback or Complaints


Complaints concerning the administration of the Fund can be made by contacting:


The Program Manager
Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
GPO Box 9880 (C50MA3)
Canberra ACT 2601

Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                      Page 21
or:


rthf@deewr.gov.au


If an applicant, or any other person, is dissatisfied with the administration of the Rural
Tertiary Hardship Fund program, they can raise their concerns with the Commonwealth
Ombudsman. The Commonwealth Ombudsman may be telephoned on 1300 362 072.



9.5       Reviews and Appeals


If an applicant is unhappy with the decision, the applicant can discuss it with The Program
Manager, Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund who can be contacted by emailing
rthf@deewr.gov.au. An applicant does not have to do this but may find it a useful first step.
An internal review process will be available to applicants. An applicant has the right to ask
for a review by the Secretary of DEEWR within 13 weeks of receiving the decision in writing.
An applicant can ask for a review by emailing rthf@deewr.gov.au.


The review will:
         look at the information used by the person who made the original decision
         where possible, talk to the applicant in person or by phone, to discuss the matter
         check whether any new, relevant information is available
         clear up any misunderstandings
         correct any mistakes that were made
         change the decision where appropriate
         inform the applicant of the result explaining the reasons for the review officer’s
          decision.


The decision of DEEWR is final.




Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Program Guidelines                                          Page 22
                                                                           ATTACHMENT A

Australian Standard Geographical Classification

The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) system is a remoteness structure
used for the production of standard ABS statistical outputs from Population Censuses and
some ABS surveys. It is a structure describing Australia in terms of a measurement of
remoteness.


The Remoteness structure includes all Collection Districts (CDs) and therefore, in aggregate,
it covers the whole of Australia. The purpose of the structure is to classify CDs which share
common characteristics of remoteness into broad geographical regions called Remoteness
Areas (RAs).


There are six RAs in this structure:


      Major Cities of Australia;
      Inner Regional Australia;
      Outer Regional Australia;
      Remote Australia;
      Very Remote Australia; and
      Migratory.

These collectively make up the 'Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA)'.


For further information about the Geographical Classification, please refer
http://www.youth.gov.au/youthallowance/Pages/yamap.aspx?




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                                                                             ATTACHMENT B

Socio-economic Index for Areas

The ABS’ Socio-economic Index for Areas (SEIFA) is a suite of four summary measures that
have been created from 2006 Census information. The indexes can be used to explore
different aspects of socio-economic conditions by geographic areas. For each index, every
geographic area in Australia is given a SEIFA number which shows how disadvantaged that
area is compared with other areas in Australia.


Index of Education and Occupation

Each index summarises a different aspect of the socio-economic conditions of people living
in an area. The Index of Education and Occupation includes Census variables relating to the
educational and occupational characteristics of communities, like the proportion of people
with a higher qualification or those employed in a skilled occupation.


Variables included in the Index of Education and Occupation:


      % People aged 15 years and over who left school at Year 11 or lower
      % People aged 15 years and over with no post-school qualifications
      % Employed people who work in a Skill Level 5 occupation
      % Employed people who work in a Skill Level 4 occupation
      % People (in the labour force) unemployed
      % People aged 15 years and over with a certificate qualification
      % People aged 15 years and over at university or other tertiary institution
      % People aged 15 years and over with an advanced diploma or diploma qualification
      % Employed people who work in a Skill Level 1 occupation

Census Collection Districts

The smallest area for which SEIFA is available is a Census Collection District (CD). A CD is
equivalent to a group of suburban blocks, roughly 250 households in an urban area. The
SEIFA Index at the CD level provides ten levels of relative socio-economic status.




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