Making it easier for students from across the country to visit Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial

The Albanese Government is giving more students from the bush and disadvantaged areas the chance to visit the nation’s capital.  

The Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) program provides financial assistance for students to visit Canberra and experience our national democratic, historical and cultural institutions first-hand.   

Schools from outer regional, remote, very remote areas and disadvantaged schools will now be eligible for additional rebates as part of a pilot program in 2023.   

The one-year pilot of the additional rebates is made possible due to unspent PACER funds caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

These additional rebates would, for example, take the rebate amount for a student from a remote, disadvantaged school in New South Wales, 500-999 kilometres from Canberra, from $45 to $157.50. 

While for a student from a very remote, disadvantaged school in the Northern Territory, 3000 kilometres or more from Canberra, the rebate will increase from $510 to $2,040. 

In addition, for the first time, schools within 150km of Canberra will be able to access modest rebates of $5 per student to take part in the program. This could help cover the cost of bus trips from places like Goulburn, Tumut and Yass. 

The Government has also extended the temporary 50 per cent increase in the PACER rebate in 2023 to encourage more schools back to Canberra following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The program includes visits to Australia’s Parliament, the Australian War Memorial, the Museum of Australian Democracy and the National Electoral Education Centre at Old Parliament House. 

Most schools that use the PACER program currently come from NSW and Victoria. We want to see more students from right around Australia take up this opportunity. 

The additional funding will apply to all schools that travel to Canberra in 2023, including those which have already completed visits. For more information, see www.pacer.org.au 

The Government is also commissioning an independent evaluation of the PACER program which will inform decisions about funding for the program in 2024 and beyond.