Frequently Asked Questions

To better assist and prepare applicants to submit a strong application, these FAQ’s have been developed to guide your research to apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship.

Quick FAQ links: Families | Persons with disability | People working and living in the provinces

Download PDF:



  1. Am I able to bring my children on scholarship?

Awardees dependents (including spouse and children) are allowed to accompany them to Australia. Awardees are required to meet the requirements (including demonstrating sufficient funds).

  1. Can my children get an education in Australia?

Yes.  Australia is well known for its quality education system and offer a range of different education options.  For more information on Australia’s education system visit

  1. Can I access childcare for my children (even if they have limited or no understanding of English)?

Yes. A range of childcare options are available in Australia, depending on availability of spaces and your ability to pay fees.  Formal facilities such as childcare centres are one option as well as informal services such as babysitters and nannies.  It is the responsibility of the parent to organise appropriate childcare support for their accompanying children.

  1. Is there an age limit for pople applying for an Australia Awards Scholarship?

There are no formal age limits, however the Australia Awards aim to identify individuals that upon completion of their scholarship will return to Papua New Guinea and contribute to the country’s development (both professionally and within the community).

  1. How do I apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship if I don’t have internet access?

If you are in Port Moresby, applicants are welcome to visit the Australia Awards Information Centre to submit their application at the Ground Floor, Port Tower Hunter Street.   Alternatively, application forms can be submitted on a USB drive (couriered to the Australia Awards office). In exceptional cases, applications can be submitted in hard copy.  To submit a hard copy application, please contact the Australia Awards office.

  1. If I am successful in my scholarship application and I am pregnant will my scholarship be terminated?

Pregnant applicants are encouraged to share this information with Australia Awards Office as their earliest opportunity. Awardees will be assessed equally. Such applicants will not be disadvantaged. All awardees will need to meet the if travelling with dependents.

  1. Does the Australia Awards office assist with obtaining visas for applicants and, if necessary, dependents?

It is the responsibility of the Awardee to prepare and submit their own visa application. Australia Awards is however available to answer questions. It is also the responsibility of the applicant to manage their dependents visa application/s.

  1. What are the levels of study available, and what is the duration of these courses?

Australia Awards Scholarships are targeted for postgraduate study; specifically, Master level.  This usually takes approximately 1.5 to 2 years to complete, depending on the course.
Up to 5% of scholarships each year are reserved for PhD qualifications. A PhD qualification typically takes approximately 4 years to complete.
In exceptional cases, a small number of Diploma level and Bachelor degrees are also considered each year. Undergraduate course can take anywhere from two to four years.

  1. What assistance will be available to me during my stay in Australia?

All universities in Australia have student service centres that provide guidance and emergency support to students during their stay in Australia. The student service centres can help students in arranging accommodation, accessing family support and to meet, to the extent possible, any special needs of the students. Australian Universities also have health and counselling services that are free or offered at cheaper rates for students and a range of sporting, shopping and other facilities on campus. In addition, Australia Awards assigns every student from PNG their own case officer in Australia who is able to provide PNG students with advice and support during their time in Australia.

  1. Can we celebrate our religious, cultural and national festivals?

Yes. Being an immigrant society many Australian cities have PNG and Pacific Islander populations, who have formed community centres to get together and celebrate religious, cultural and/or national events and festivals.

  1. Can I work part-time while studying in Australia?

Yes. Australia Awards recipients are allowed to work part-time (up to 20 hours a week) under the subclass 500 student visa. It is however important you inform your Student Contact Officer to ensure it does not affect your academic progress.

  1. Can my spouse work while accompanying me on my scholarship?

Yes. Your spouse may work full-time while accompanying you on your scholarship. For further information please refer to the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection

  1. Is there an equal percentage of scholarships awarded to women and men each year?

Yes. Up to 50% of Australia Awards Scholarships are reserved for women and men each year.



Persons with disability

      1. If I am a person with disability what kind of support will be provided during the application process?

You are encouraged declare the details of the nature of your disability on the application form to ensure that the right level of support is offered throughout the assessment and selection process to ensure they are not disadvantaged in any way. Contact the Australia Awards – PNG office should you require assistance with your application form. The office can provide a range of assistance that includes individual course advice to support you to complete your application form.

      1. Will I be required to complete the same application form?

Yes, all applicants are required to complete the same application form, however people who identify themselves as with a disability are encouraged to declare these details on the application form. This will ensure the Australia Awards office provide the required support throughout the application process. For example, applicants with vison impairments can be provided assistance to complete their application form.

  1. Will I be able to attend specific sessions for persons with disability?

The Australia Awards office can provide tailored information sessions at Cheshire Disability Services in National Capital District. For the 2018 intake, the office also intends to provide tailored sessions in some provincial locations. Please continue to monitor the Australia Awards website for further information.

  1. Are there selected study programs only available for persons with disability?

You are encouraged to apply for courses that meet your personal and career development needs. Your must also be able meet the institution entry requirements for your choose course of study. A small number of Diploma level and Bachelor awards will be reserved or persons with disability applicants each year.

  1. What support will be provided on Scholarship?

If selected for an Australia Award, the awardee will work closely with Australia Awards Disability Adviser to develop a Disability Support Plan for their time in Australia. This plan will be tailored to the needs of the individual and outline the support required to successfully live and study in Australia. Support may include taking a carer, provision of assistive devices or other support required to successfully live and study in Australia.

  1. What support does Australia Awards provide for persons with disability to assist their participation in the program?

Many Australian universities have dedicated disability services centres to enable students with a disability to participate fully in university life. They can help to arrange services. Australian universities also have health and counselling services that are free or offered at cheaper rates for students. Universities also have international student services centres where students can make appointments to discuss any matters that are impacting on their life in Australia. In addition, Australia Awards assigns each student from PNG with their own case officer who provides advice and support to PNG students in Australia.

  1. Will I still be required to undertake an English language assessment?

Most Australian institutions require an IELTS assessment as part of their admission process. ISLPR (International Second Language Proficiency Rating) is a similar English language assessment which takes into consideration an individual’s impairment. Australia Awards therefore supplements the IELTS assessment with an ISLPR result.

  1. How does Australia Awards assess the needs of applicants with disabilities?

People who identify themselves as with a disability are encouraged to declare these details on the application form. These individuals will then be required to complete a Disability Assessment Form and will be further assessed by Australia Awards Disability Adviser and Occupational Therapist. These assessments allow Australia Awards to ensure you are not disadvantaged and that the right level of support is offered throughout the assessment and selection process.

  1. With the understanding that Diploma programs are reserved for persons with disability, does this mean I cannot apply for a higher level of study (ie Master or PhD)?

You are encouraged to apply for the level of study most relevant to your capability and previous academic history. For example, if you already hold an undergraduate degree, you may be eligible for a Master degree.

  1. Are applications from persons with disability assessed separately or in line with all other applicants?

All applicants are required to meet the eligibility criteria and are assessed in line with the objectives and priority areas of Australia Awards Scholarships in PNG. Up to 5% of awards are reserved for persons with disability and will be more heavily weighted.

  1. Is Australia wheel chair friendly?

Yes. Most public places, including the university, markets and parks have been custom-built to be wheelchair friendly. Universities have special lifts, parking, off-campus service, toilets and a library assistant for wheel chair students.

University accommodation and private apartments have lifts/elevators that allow for smooth wheelchair access to the lodging and inside the house. Private housing is not always customized for wheelchair access and scholars should confirm this at the time of finding accommodation in Australia.

  1. Will I be able to use public transportation?

Australia has an elaborate public transport infrastructure, comprising rail, tram, buses and taxis, linking different parts of a city. Most public transports are customized to enable wheelchair and baby pram access; trains and buses usually have exclusive spaces for wheelchairs too.

  1. How I will be able to do my shopping /grocery and basic necessities?

Australia has well developed retail outlets, located at convenient locations across the cities and towns, where you can do weekly/monthly shopping at affordable prices. The retail stores are designed to enable wheelchair access. In addition, Australia has online (web-based) shopping options available.



People working and living in the provinces

  1. On an annual basis, how many Australia Awards are provided to provincial locations?

Up to 50% of Awards are reserved to provincial applicants each year. The distribution of these awards varies depending on the Government of Australia and Government of PNG priorities and merit based selection.

  1. Are candidates from provinces allowed to submit hardcopy application forms?

While electronic applications are encouraged, Australia Awards will accept hard copy applications from applicants in remote locations (where access to internet is difficult). It is important Applicants seek permission from Australia Awards prior to submission of hard copy applications.

NCD-based applicants are required to submit applications electronically.

Refer to question 6 for submission instructions.

  1. If I am not from a certain location, however live/work in that location, will this affect my application?

Applications will be assessed on your current point of employment and residence.

  1. If shortlisted and invited to undertake an IELTS assessment, will I be required to cover the logistical/travel costs?

Australia Awards will arrange and cover all costs associated with travel (flights, accommodation & per diem) as well as the IELTS assessment fee.

  1. How long do we have to submit our application form?

Applications open in October and close late February each year. This period of time allows applicants to undertake significant research and submit a well prepared, high quality application.

  1. How should applicants send completed applications to the Australia Awards Office?

Completed application forms (including supporting documents) can be sent via the following:
– Email:
– Via postal address/EMS (DHL/TNT): to Australia Awards PNG Facility Private Mail Bag.
– Hand delivered: Ground Floor, Port Tower, Hunter Street, Port Moresby
National Capital District, Papua New Guinea.

  1. How many times should I apply if unsuccessful?

There is no limit to how many times an applicant can apply for an Australia Award Scholarship.

  1. How will Applicants be notified of the outcome of their application?

All communications will be done using the contact details listed in your application form. Final list will be published on the Australia Awards website.

  1. Are there any Australia Awards offices in provinces other than Port Moresby?

Australia Awards is located at: Ground Floor, Port Tower, Hunter Street, Port Moresby
Otherwise further information is available on the website: Australia Awards run information sessions in many provinces during the application period. Check the website for information about session dates and locations in your province. Australia Awards will also advertise upcoming information session in local newspapers and radio.

  1. How will applicants know about the next promotional visit?

All upcoming events and promotional visits will be announced on the Australia Awards website. Additional announcements will be made via SMS (through previous registrations), published in local newspapers and through provincial office announcements.