There are two types of assistance offered under this initiative:
1. waivers of indexation on accumulated HELP debt; and
2. reduction of accumulated HELP debt.
Both types of assistance are available to teachers who are/were teaching in a very remote area of Australia, based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Remoteness Structure during their teaching period, at any of the following:
- a school providing primary or secondary education
- a centre based day care service
- a preschool
The application form for both measures is available here.
Waiving indexation on accumulated HELP debt
If you commenced teaching at a school in a very remote area on or after 14th of February 2019, you may be eligible to apply. Indexation can be waived while you are teaching at a school in a very remote area. Once you are no longer teaching in a very remote area, indexation on any remaining HELP debt will recommence.
Reduction of accumulated HELP debt
Once you have been engaged as a teacher, including an early childhood teacher, for four years in a very remote area, you may be eligible to have your outstanding HELP debt reduced.
Teachers must complete four years full time in a six-year period, or the pro-rated part time equivalent, commencing on or after the start of the 2019 school year. The HELP debt to be reduced would be up to the cost of obtaining your initial teacher education qualification.
The debt to be reduced is limited to the HELP debt outstanding at the commencement of your placement, and to a maximum of five years of education qualification related tuition costs. The department will work with you and the Australian Taxation Office to calculate this amount.
More information about reducing very remote teachers HELP debts is available on the Department of Education website, or by emailing veryremotehelp [at] education.gov.au.