Student support and services

The University has a wide range of support services which are available free of charge to all students. This includes counselling, assistance in finding accommodation, careers advice and study support. The University also has staff available to assist with developing your study plan and helping you to stay on track during your time at CDU.

Personal support (Equity Services)

Equity Services provides support in a range of areas to assist you during your studies. As a CDU student you are welcome to access, free of charge, a number of confidential services including counselling, accommodation and careers advice, as well as disability support.

Visit Equity Services to find out about the services available.

Reception - Building Blue 1
T: 08 8946 6288
F: 08 8946 6654

Study support

The Academic Language and Learning Success Program (ALLSP) is a free, confidential service that assists all higher education students with academic skills development that is tailored to the specific unit you are seeking help in. The ALLSP team offers free workshops aimed at developing academic skills needed to succeed in university studies at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

In addition to workshops, the ALLSP also offers individual consultations during normal business hours. They also offer an after-hours and weekend service to students who are unable to attend during normal business hours. Find out further information about the services offered by ALLSP.

Orange 1, Level 1
T: 8946 7459

Academic Liaison Unit

The Academic Liaison Unit (ALU) is dedicated to providing up-to-date advice on your course, including study plan provision and maintaining satisfactory progression. The ALU works closely with the faculties and teaching staff to maintain up to date information on all units offered by CDU.

The ALU are located in Building Blue 5 at Casuarina campus, and are open during normal business hours Monday to Friday.

ALU staff are also available via phone or email at:

T: 08 8946 7357

Cyclone support

The cyclone season is from November to April, however cyclones can at any time during the year. Active monsoon periods are the most likely for development of cyclones. The new construction standards and building codes post Cyclone Tracy, as well as annual public awareness campaigns, ensure Darwin is a safe place to live.

Community cyclone shelters are available if required and brochures and pamphlets with step-by-step advice are readily available and actively promoted. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology provides cyclone information and weather updates and you can also find further information about preparing for a cyclone from the Northern Territory Emergency Services.

Employee Support

When you are studying in Australia, it is likely you may find a casual or part time job to help support yourself or make new friends.

At the time of your employment, it is very important that you make yourself aware of your rights in the workplace, and the correct wages for your area and age, as well as penalty and weekend rates. It is the law in Australia to treat employees fairly and equally, and to pay employees according to the wages set by the industry.

As an international student, despite your restricted working hours, you have the same rights to a fair and safe working place as any other person. You should also receive the same level of pay as any other employee in this position.

If you do not feel that you are being treated fairly, you do have options:

  • Discuss your concerns with your employer if you feel comfortable to do so. Ask for copies of your pay slips, and ask to see the outline of their pay grades for employees, to ensure you are being paid correctly for your age and position.
  • Enquire with your employer about penalty rates if you work weekends or public holidays. Also enquire about uniform entitlements, or any other additional payments you should be receiving. Search online for industry relevant information on salary information, ie. the NT hospitality industry pay standard.  
  • If you feel that you are being exploited or treated unfairly, you can contact Fair work Australia or your local Ombudsman. Search for your local office, and speak to their team. Gather evidence, such as payslips and any evidence of communication with your employer to discuss this. You should not be afraid of speaking with the Ombudsman, as there is no issue with checking on your work rights.

Commonly, students may fear speaking to these agencies due to being on a student visa, or because they may be paid in cash or have worked overtime. It is important that you remain within your legal working hours, and work legally. If you are being exploited however, you should always go to the Ombudsman to discuss your case.

Appealing an outcome

If you have received an outcome of any Charles Darwin University decision, whether it be a grade, an outcome of a reduced study load or another issue and you are not satisfied that the situation is resolved, you have several options regarding where you can go next. These include the following:

  • Speaking to the concerned staff member calmly and with evidence, to ask for reconsideration of your case. You are welcome to contact lecturers to discuss the outcome of assignment grades, or administration staff regarding the outcome of administrative decisions. You must respect the staff members’ decision to not re-open your case, or to stick with their original outcome.
  • The Complaints Management Unit is the next step in the appeal process, if you have approached the staff member or team who issued the decision and have not received a positive outcome. You can contact the Complaints Management Unit to seek an appeal of grade or to appeal an official CDU decision. More information of the Complaints Management Unit can be found here.
  • The Student Advocacy Officer offers independent assistance by representing the student in areas that impact on the quality of their experience whilst studying at Charles Darwin University. Students are encouraged to utilise this service when issues arise and they are unsure of the avenues to take when attempting to resolve the situation.

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