April 2019

Issue 11 – View email version

Enlighten Festival hosts Student Welcome

Each year the ACT Government formally welcomes new interstate and international students at the Chief Minister's Student Welcome. This year, for the first time, the Student Welcome was held at one of Canberra’s hallmark events - the Enlighten Festival.

On Thursday 7 March 2019, Study Canberra arranged for over 250 students, in addition to invited diplomatic representatives and institution staff, to enjoy refreshments and live entertainment at Enlighten's main stage in Reconciliation Place. The Chief Minister gave a candid fireside chat from his perspective as an Australian National University alumni and was joined by Ms Keely Froling, WNBL Championship winning University of Canberra Capitals player and current UC student. Guests also enjoyed an exclusive performance by The Descendance, an Indigenous Dance Theatre Company from Sydney.

The 2019 cohort of Study Canberra Student Ambassadors were on hand to mingle with the crowd and hand out information for new students.

Hailing from eight countries and representing all levels of study from Year 12 through to University, the Ambassadors have been involved with orientation activities throughout February and March 2019. In addition to staffing Study Canberra’s Student Welcome Desk at Canberra Airport the students participated in orientation events on all major tertiary campuses, distributing more than 2,500 Study Canberra information packs to new arrivals.

Education is Canberra’s top export with international students alone contributing $977 million a year to Canberra’s economy, and tertiary education and research institutions $3.3 billion and 20,000 jobs (Deloitte Access Economics, 2018).

This event acknowledges the significant and equally important social and cultural contribution students make to our city, and also introduced new students to one of Canberra’s most significant annual events. This event was made possible working in partnership with EventsACT and Brand Canberra.

Recent Visa Announcement from the Australian Government

The Australian Government recently announced proposed changes to the immigration program from November 2019, with a particular focus on encouraging studies in regional areas. The key changes include:

- Giving international students studying at regional universities access to an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.
- Introducing new tertiary scholarships to attract Australian and international students to study in regional Australia.

Temporary Graduate visa with an extra year of post-study work rights

This initiative provides for an additional Temporary Graduate visa with an extra year of post-study work rights for international students who:

- Graduate from the regional campus of a registered university or institution with a higher education or postgraduate qualification; and
- Maintain ongoing residence in a regional area while holding their first Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.

Importantly, Canberra qualifies as ‘regional’ for the additional Temporary Graduate visa. The definition of regional Australia for this purpose will be the same as the definition proposed to be standardised across all skilled migration – all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

As students need to graduate from a regional campus and then spend at least two years residing in a regional area to qualify, the additional Temporary Graduate visa will be available to the first eligible cohort of graduates from 2021.

Existing Temporary Graduate visa holders may be eligible, provided they can meet these requirements.

There is no change to Student visa arrangements. This initiative simply provides an additional incentive for international students to study and live in regional Australia.

Destination Australia Scholarship Program

To attract both Australian and international students to study in regions, the Australian Government will provide over 1,000 Destination Australia Scholarships of $15,000 per year to support the study and living expenses associated with studying a Certificate IV to Doctorate level qualification at a regional campus of an eligible tertiary education provider.

However, the definition of regional Australia for the purpose of this Scholarship Program differs to the Temporary Graduate visa mentioned above. In this case ‘regional’ is defined by the Australian Statistical Geography Standard Remoteness Structure from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, under which Canberra does not qualify.

Study Canberra will continue to liaise with our Federal Government colleagues regarding these announcements and provide updates to stakeholders as further information becomes available.

This information was sourced from the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Education and Training. For further information visit:

- Department of Home Affairs

- Department of Education and Training

- A media release for this announcement can be viewed on the Prime Minister of Australia's website.

ACT Government Graduate Program

The 2020 ACT Public Service (ACTPS) Graduate Program is now accepting applications through until 28 April 2019. We encourage all institutions to pass on this opportunity to relevant current student cohorts and recent alumni.

The ACTPS Graduate Program is a whole of government full-time program that runs for ten months. Our graduates get to be part of a unique jurisdiction. We handle both state and municipal responsibilities ranging from buses, fire and ambulance services, health, education and justice systems, to supporting the most vulnerable people in our community.

This gives our staff great mobility, recognition of service and career opportunities that other jurisdictions don’t have, and we can offer an unrivalled range of career paths and opportunities.

Graduates in the ACTPS will:
- experience three diverse workplace rotations during 2020;
- complete a comprehensive learning and development program, including exposure to senior leaders and regular training in soft skills designed to help build skills for a successful career;
- undertake challenging work that makes a real difference to the local community;
- enjoy flexible work arrangements and a healthy work/life balance;
- be an important part of a culturally diverse and inclusive workplace;
- gain networking opportunities across government, our city and the local community;
- receive a competitive starting salary ($71,309 plus superannuation at 12/12/2019); and
- be offered a permanent job and promotion when the program is successfully completed.

The ACTPS graduate program offers six specialised streams that will guide the nature of the work undertaken during the program, as well as the permanent position after successful completion.

These include:
- Commerce and Business;
- Human Services;
- ICT;
- Infrastructure;
- Law; and
- Public Policy and Administration.

To apply, graduates must be Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen who completed a minimum three-year Australian university degree, or an equivalent degree as recognised by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR), within the last five years.

The ACTPS is committed to building a culturally diverse and inclusive workplace. As part of this commitment, some of the positions within the 2020 Graduate Program are identified to be filled with people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds or people living with a disability.

Applications are open now through until 28 April 2019.

For more information and further details visit the ACT Government Employment Portal.

Chief Minister’s UC Scholarship

Study Canberra has continued its partnership with University of Canberra to attract new high achieving international Information and Communications Technology (ICT) students to the ACT.

The Chief Minister's / University of Canberra ICT Scholarship is open to newly commencing  international students entering undergraduate or post-graduate coursework degrees in ICT at the University of Canberra (Bruce campus). Students may be commencing in either semester one or semester two (July) 2019, with a total of 10 scholarships offered across the year (five in each semester).

The Scholarship, which provides $10,000 towards living costs for each recipient, has proven to be highly sought after. 36 applicants from 13 different countries applied for the Scholarship in the first semester, including 11 undergraduate and 25 postgraduate coursework students all with impressive levels of academic achievement and work experience. The five successful recipients will be formally announced during a ceremony at a later date.

The application and selection process for this Scholarship is administered by University of Canberra. Information regarding the application process for semester two (July 2019) will be made available on University of Canberra’s website closer to that time.

Upcoming Events & Important Dates

- National Folk Festival: 18-22 April
- Good Friday (holiday): 19 April
- Canberra Light Rail commences operation: 20 April
- Easter Monday (holiday): 22 April
- ANZAC Day (holiday): 25 April
- Groovin the Moo music festival: 28 April
- Canberra and Region Heritage Festival: On now until 5 May
- Canberra International Music Festival: 2-12 May
- Reconciliation Day (holiday): 27 May
- Queen’s Birthday (holiday): 10 June

ACT Policing Alert

ACT Policing is warning members of Canberra’s Chinese community, including international students, of the re-emergence of a scam that first occurred in 2018.

Police are aware of a number of incidents in March 2019 where payments totalling more than $150,000 were paid to scammers.

The scam in some cases involves a caller claiming to be an official who threatens the arrest of the victim based in Australia or their family unless a sum of money is electronically transferred. Police are keen to remind international students, and the wider community, that if they receive demands for money from someone who says they represent a police or government agency, they can check their validity by contacting the agency directly. They should not call the phone numbers provided; check the number on the agency’s official website.

ACT Policing are encouraging all schools and institutions to disseminate this warning to their international student cohorts. The media release is available in English and Mandarin from ACT Policing’s website.

For anyone who may have been targeted or have information that could assist police, please phone ACT Policing on 131 444; or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website. Information can be provided anonymously.

For any media or stakeholder enquiries regarding this matter, please contact ACT Police Media on (02) 6264 9460 or email