AusAID Applicants

Research Services

As a research student, you have access to a Liaison Librarian who can provide one-on-one assistance. The CDU online information website for all enrolled postgraduate students called MyResearch is a useful resource for postgraduate research students that provides information on research process, developing a research proposal, advice and information from supervisors and students, and useful links to resources. A quick and responsive InterLibrary Loans service is available to research students to obtain items that are not held at CDU.

How to write an effective research proposal

For detailed information about writing an effective research proposal please visit the following website:

Support for students with families

Many of our international students bring their families with them to Australia. This section contains useful information for families including CDU Office of International Services support initiatives.

CDU Office of International Services provides an extremely valuable role in providing social support to newly arrived AusAID families. The CDU AusAID Liaison Officer (ALO) works with independent and social networks to empower these families, providing them with the skills to understand and enjoy the time they will spend in Darwin. The ALO coordinates response to specific service needs sought by individual families.

Ethnic community groups

The Northern Territory has a diverse ethnic community and is home to a wide range of ethnic community groups. Students and their families are invited to join and participate in these groups. Ask your ALO for a copy of the Multicultural Information Directory, which provides extensive information on ethnic organisations (and many other services) throughout the Northern Territory.


Family entry

The CDU policy regarding Family Entry is that the student arrives ahead of the family to allow necessary time to prepare for study, to find suitable accommodation, and to organise schooling and childcare placements (if needed).


The ALO assists families to find accommodation. The private rental market is competitive and may present problems to students who typically have short employment histories, lack of referees and rental history, and lack of familiarity with tenancy agreements and legalities of the tenancy system. For this reason we advise that students arrive ahead of their families to allow sufficient time to find suitable accommodation.

There are a variety apartments (also known as units, townhouses, flats and duplexes) and houses available for rent. Rental costs range from $280 to $350 per week for a two bedroom apartment, and $350-450 a week for a two or three bedroom house. Most properties also require a bond, which is equivalent to four weeks rent.

The ALO provides training in tenancy responsibility and property maintenance to every new family, and provides a letter of introduction and statement of income (CLE/stipend) to present on application for tenancy. The ALO also facilitates ongoing support for tenants and land agents. Rent may be paid to the land agents directly from CDU, (deducted from the students CLE/stipend). This service may assist to secure the tenancy contract.


The ALO provides information to assist settling into the new environment with consideration to the family. Information on health and welfare services, and on shopping and transport are provided. Students and their families will be taken to markets, to halal food outlets, to playgrounds for children, to churches or the mosque, or to access any service they may seek. This will enable independence and security in a new environment. Where available or relevant, information on free English language classes is provided for the spouse. There are regular opportunities to interact and establish contact with Australian families. This gives international students a chance to learn about Australian culture, and assists the family to connect in their new surroundings. This may be as simple as having dinner or shopping with the family, and is a good opportunity to make friends, be part of a family and learn about the Australian way of life. In addition, this helps Australian families learn more about different cultures.


If you are in need of childcare, it is highly recommended that you apply for this as soon as possible after arriving in Australia. Waiting times can be as long as 12 months.

The CDU University Child Care Centre is located at the Casuarina campus. The centre is nationally accredited, accommodating up to 50 children from ages 0 to 5 years and is open 50 weeks a year. The demand for places is high and often outnumbers the places available. Other childcare options are available off-campus. The ALO will advise you on these options.

AusAID students may be entitled to a Childcare Rebate from the Government which is based on an assessment of your income. This is a contribution to the costs you will need to pay for your childcare.


AusAID students are exempt from paying school fees for their children in the Northern Territory. There is no need to make any schooling arrangements prior to departure. On the arrival of the children, the ALO will notify the Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) to enroll children in their chosen school. A letter of introduction is prepared by the ALO for the student to present when meeting with the school principal and teachers. It is useful to bring current school reports and immunisation records if possible.

Children must be enrolled in school from the ages of 6 to 15 years. Preschool is not compulsory, although it is highly recommended. Children can attend government preschools from the age of four- years-old. At some non-government preschools, children can start earlier than this. At age five or soon after, children start Transition, the first stage of primary school.

Work for students and dependents

Students are allowed to work once they have started their course. They can work up to 40 hours a fortnight while their course is in session (excluding any work undertaken as a registered component of their course of study or training) and they can work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. Family members of students are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight at all times. Family members of students who have started a masters or doctorate course may work unlimited hours.

Support for students with disabilities

CDU is committed to accessibility in teaching, learning and support to assist students with disabilities make a successful transition to university. Students with a disability should advise the university beforehand so that preparations may be made to meet specialist needs or equipment or the provision of tutors and notetakers, or alternative examination arrangements.

More information on the disability support services available to students at CDU can be found at the following website: