Student support and services

The University has a wide range of support services 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 staying on track during your time at CDU.

Personal support (Equity Services)

You may be feeling overwhelmed from your studies, stressed from work, or dealing with something difficult in your personal life. Equity Services provides support in a range of these areas to assist you during your studies. As a CDU student, you are welcome to access a number of free confidential services including

  • Counselling - At times, we all experience personal difficulties that may cause disruption and confusion in our lives. Sometimes these personal matters impact our ability to study and, in such circumstances, it can be helpful to talk with a Counsellor.

  • Accommodation services - There are plenty of accommodation options in Darwin, including on-campus accommodation, student accommodation, and private renting. Accommodation services can point you in the right direction to find suitable accommodation.

  • Careers & Employment – Talk with our expert staff to improve your chances of securing the career that you want and access resources that will build your skills and knowledge, giving you a competitive edge in the job market.

  • Disability Service - Charles Darwin University is committed to providing an accessible, supportive, safe and inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities. If you have some type of disability which may impact your study, discuss this and the support available to you with the team.  

Visit Equity Services to find out about the services available.

Reception - Building Blue 1, Casuarina campus
T: 08 8946 6288, 1300 933 393 (Out-of-hours telephone crisis support)
F: 08 8946 6654
Email: equity@cdu.edu.au

Respect. Now. Always

Charles Darwin University is committed to providing a safe and respectful learning, working and living environment. Sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable. The Respect. Now. Always. campaign, led by the Australian Human Rights Commission and Universities Australia, seeks to prevent sexual assault and harassment by raising awareness, supporting students requiring assistance and giving bystanders the confidence to speak up.

Study support

Academic Language and Learning Success Program

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

In addition to workshops, the ALLSP offers individual consultations during normal business hours. They also offer an after-hours and weekend service to students that cannot attend during normal business hours. Find out more about the services offered by ALLSP.

Building Blue 1, Casuarina campus
T: 08 8946 7459, 1800 157 900 (after-hours freecall)
Email: allsp@cdu.edu.au

Academic Liaison Unit

The Academic Liaison Unit (ALU) provides 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 information on all units offered by CDU.

There are 2 team members of the ALU qualified to assist international students, the International Progression Officer and the International Administration Officer.

The ALU is open during normal business hours Monday to Friday.
Building Blue 5, Level 1, Casuarina campus
T: 08 8946 7357
Email: alu@cdu.edu.au

Library

The Library staff can assist you with developing your research strategies, finding information using Library Search and online databases, and referencing your sources. Interlibrary loans and distance library services are also available. Find out more about the services offered by the Library here.

Building Red 8, Casuarina campus
T: 08 8946 7016
F: 08 8946 7022
Email: askthelibrary@cdu.edu.au

The Liaison Librarians are also available for Darwin, Sydney and Melbourne campuses via phone or email:

T: 08 8946 7014 (please leave a message)
Email: library-liaison@cdu.edu.au

Support with complaints and appeals

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 what to do next. These include:

  • Speaking to the concerned staff member calmly to ask for reconsideration of your case, and providing evidence to support you where applicable.  You are welcome to contact lecturers to discuss the outcome of assignment grades, or administration staff regarding the outcome of administrative decisions. However, you must respect the staff members’ decision not to 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 about 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 use this service when issues arise and they are unsure of what avenues to take.

External support

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Support in the workplace

When you are studying in Australia, 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, the correct wages for your area and age, and 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 workplace 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. 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, i.e. the Northern Territory 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 with your Ombudsman. 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.

Cyclone information (relevant for students in Northern Territory)

Safety should be your first priority. If at any point you think your safety is in danger please dial 000 and ask for emergency assistance.

Darwin’s tropical wet season (1 November – 30 April) sometimes brings tropical cyclones. Also known as a hurricane, a cyclone is characterised by high winds, thunderstorms, rough seas and heavy rain, all of which can cause damage to property and people. Cyclones develop over large bodies of water (usually over the ocean) and can affect areas within about 50km of the coast. Commons effects of a cyclone are flooding, property damage due to high winds, fallen trees and power outages.

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. In addition, 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 further information about preparing for a cyclone can be found via the Northern Territory Emergency Services. For more information visit CDU Emergency Advice.