About this guide This guide provides general information about financial support for those considering university study. There is a range of cost considerations, such as course fees, textbooks, transport, accommodation, food and, of course, a social life, however with a bit of planning and the right information, you can make it happen. While this is not a comprehensive guide, as many initiatives change during the year, it provides some ideas to help make decisions about the affordability of going to university. We hope you find it useful.
Contents University study is within your reach
Help with the cost of study
- Youth Allowance
- AUSTUDY and ABSTUDY
- upfront discount
- scholarships and grants
Reducing the cost of study
- study on campus
- study by distance education or part-time
- take a different pathway
Study options Benefits of studying in regional Australia
The benefits of distance education
Support for you
- a helping hand
- finding work
- access to clinics
- access to library and leisure facilities
- student discounts
- Indigenous community
Planning for life on campus
Budgeting10 School students â€“ what you can do
Not working, but want to be?
University study is within your reach When weighing up the expenses of studying, always remember the benefits of having the qualification you need to achieve your personal and professional goals.
You can’t afford not to go to university...
Higher salary Here are some examples of the average starting salary for Bachelor graduates in their first full-time employment in a range of fields in 2012 (aged under 25) (AUD): education - $56,000; accounting - $49,000; dentistry - $80,000; agricultural science - $50,000; mathematics - $57,000; social work - $50,000; paramedical studies - $52,000 (GradStats, 2012). By comparison, the average pay for a full-time retail sales position is about $37,000, and tradesperson’s salary may start from around $35,000 when they have finished an apprenticeship
Increased employment opportunities A recent survey showed that 85.2% of all CSU domestic graduates find employment within four months of completing their degree. Many positions in the workforce require a degree to have your application considered
Many CSU degrees contain learning experiences in real workplaces, laboratories, classrooms or clinics, which can put you ahead of other job applicants
University study – whether on campus or by distance education – brings you into contact with people from many cultures and provides opportunities to discover new viewpoints. You benefit from a broader world-view and different ideas on a whole range of topics you are studying
Improved life skills
A university degree teaches you more than just the skills and knowledge required for your career. You will learn how to become more disciplined, organised, motivated and independent, capable of developing informed opinions and solving complex problems – skills needed for life!
UNI GRADUATES HAVE A HIGH RATE OF WORK SATISFACTION
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Make a difference in the world The skills and experience you gain at university will ensure you become a globally aware citizen, committed to lifelong learning and ready to make a difference inwww.csu.edu.au the world.
Help with the cost of study Your degree is an investment in your future and there are various schemes, most notably HECS-HELP, to help you afford it. A number of government allowances, support schemes and scholarships are available to eligible students to help make study more achievable.
HECS-HELP and fee-help If you are enrolling as a Commonwealth supported student, you will have access to HECS-HELP. This is a loan scheme that allows you to defer payment of your university course fees until after you graduate and are earning a salary. If you receive a HECS-HELP loan, the Australian government pays the loan amount directly to the university on your behalf and a HECS-HELP debt is recorded with the Australian Tax Office. Once you are working and your pay is over a set threshold ($49,096 in 2012-13), a percentage of your earnings will be automatically paid to the government through the Australian taxation system, until you have repaid your fees. While some postgraduate courses also offer Commonwealth supported places, most postgraduate students may have to pay fees upfront direct to the university. Those students may be eligible to use a similar scheme called FEE-HELP. Be sure to read the information available online at: www.studyassist.gov.au for further details about these schemes.
Youth Allowance Youth Allowance is designed to offer financial support to students from low socio-economic backgrounds and those who have to move away from home to study (particularly those from regional areas). If you are under the age of 24 and meet eligibility criteria, you can apply for Youth Allowance. If you apply for Youth Allowance, you will be assessed as either being dependent or independent.
AUSTUDY and ABSTUDY Students over 25 can apply for AUSTUDY. All students are automatically independent and there is no parental means test of any sort. Indigenous students of any age may be eligible for financial support through ABSTUDY. These allowances are income and assets tested for the person receiving the payment. To see if you are eligible, visit: www.humanservices.gov.au or contact: Youth Allowance: 13 24 90 AUSTUDY (students over 25): 13 24 90 ABSTUDY: 13 23 17
Upfront discount Many universities will allow a discount on tuition fees if you pay before the census date, about four weeks after session starts. At Charles Sturt University (CSU), if you pay your HECS contribution upfront, you will receive a 10% discount (for payments of at least $500). If full payment is difficult, you may pay a portion upfront, get the discount on that amount if it is more than $500, and defer payment of the balance under the HECS-HELP scheme.
Making University affordable
Scholarships and grants You don’t have to be the smartest student in the class to gain a scholarship, as scholarships are awarded on a wide range of criteria – some just for where you live! CSU students have access to a huge range of scholarships, and selection criteria varies from academic achievement to motivation to succeed. You can increase your chances of receiving a scholarship by being involved in school committees or local sporting teams, or participating in community services such as charity events. New scholarships are being developed all the time, but some currently on offer at CSU include: Foundation Scholarships based on academic merit, leadership and motivation, some with separate categories for financial hardship or disadvantage Institutional Equity and Commonwealth Indigenous Scholarships for disadvantaged students, including those from low socio-economic backgrounds (financial hardship), Indigenous students and students from rural and regional areas CSU scholarships offering $2,000 for one year available to CSU Pathway and TAFE / CSU concurrently enrolled students. CSU’s ‘TAFE to University’ Scholarships ($2,500 p.a.) are available to students with a TAFE Diploma or Advanced Diploma from CSU’s key TAFE Institute partners. Honours Scholarships valued at $4,000 across the Honours program, and Excellence Scholarships worth $5,000 p.a. Science Scholarships for on campus applicants to certain science courses, providing $4,000 p.a. Residential School Equity Grants for students who are attending compulsory residential schools while studying their undergraduate course at CSU Distance Education Textbook Equity Grants, worth $300, are designed to assist first-year distance education students to purchase compulsory textbooks to meet course requirements The Relocation Equity Grant Program provides up to $1,500 for eligible first-year students who must relocate from a rural or remote location to reside in on campus university residences to commence study at CSU Technology Equity Grants will provide financial assistance ($500) to eligible first-year students for purchasing computer equipment and broadband internet support, so that they are not disadvantaged in their studies by not having access to online connectivity Professional Placement Equity Grants of up to $50-100 per week to assist students complete compulsory professional placement as part of their course requirements Student Equity Emergency Grants for those affected by individual setbacks outside their control, such as accidents, fire, flood, bush fires, natural disasters, theft, or unexpected health problems affecting themselves or a family member Campus-specific scholarships are available for students studying at Port Macquarie Campus or CSU’s Regional University Centre at Wangaratta. These may include special equity or excellence scholarships for Port Macquarie students, or the ‘GOTAFE to CSU’ Scholarship at Wangaratta. Industry-related or special scholarships vary across campuses and are available for different courses or career areas across all faculties CSU, the Australian government and other scholarship providers also offer generous travel grants for CSU students wishing to undertake international educational experiences (such as student exchange programs or internships). Visit: www.csu.edu.au/csuglobal Government scholarships called Relocation and Student Start-up Scholarships are also available. The Relocation Scholarship provides $4,048 for the first year, while Start-up offers $1,025 for each six months of eligible study (2013)
Scholarships and criteria, including information on how to apply for a scholarship, can be found on the CSU scholarships website: www.csu.edu.au/scholarships or you can phone us for a brochure on 1800 334 733 or order online at: www.csu.edu.au/about/publications
More information on grants and other forms of financial assistance can be found online at: www.csu.edu.au/oncampus/help-with-costs
You don’t have to be the smartest student in the class to gain a scholarship
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Reducing the cost of study In addition to looking at your financial assistance options, there are several ways to reduce the cost of study, including:
Study on campus The overall cost of obtaining a degree at Charles Sturt University (CSU) is lower than most other universities in Australia. This is due to lower tuition fees (in many cases); cheaper cost of accommodation – on or off campus; and lower costs for general living expenses, including food, parking, public transport, etc. In fact, parking on our regional campuses is free! At CSU you can undertake a cutting-edge degree, learning hands-on skills while using state-of-the-art facilities, and at the same time enjoy a great social life. Across our various campuses, on campus facilities include TV production studios, dentistry and allied health clinics, nationally networked FM radio station, clinical laboratories, fully-equipped advertising agency, simulated courtroom and police station, veterinary clinics, simulated hospital wards and networked libraries. Our campuses are ideally located, enabling access to a range of activities in the regions. You can join sporting groups, enjoy local nightclubs or spend a night at the theatre. Lower costs of living, unpolluted air and an increased sense of safety are just some of the advantages of living in regional Australia.
study by distance education or part-time While your degree may take longer to complete this way, it also spreads out the cost. Fees can be deferred for undergraduate courses through HECS-HELP or some postgraduate courses allow fees to be deferred under FEE-HELP. If you prefer part-time study, many courses allow you to study fewer subjects each session, either on campus or by distance education. Tuition fees may be the same per subject, but with distance education you can also study from home – no travel to lectures, no living on campus, and your own schedule to fit in with – provided you get your assignments in on time! Studying by distance education also means you don’t have to quit your existing job to complete your degree. Distance education study is available full-time or part-time, so you can choose to study one, two, three or four subjects per session, depending on your circumstances. Most tuition materials are provided online, and you have full access to CSU’s library, online resources and facilities on our regional campuses. You may be required to come on campus for short periods to attend residential schools, however grants may be available to assist with the cost of attending. To find out more about how you can fit study into your life, visit: www.csu.edu.au/study/distance-education
Take a different pathway Perhaps you are considering studying at TAFE because you feel you may not be able to afford university tuition fees, or you feel you are not ready for university study. If so, look into the many options available that combine TAFE and university study. If you complete study at TAFE, you may be able to continue onto a university degree and receive credit for your TAFE subjects, which means you won’t have to complete a full university study load to graduate with a degree. For example, you may study at TAFE for one year and gain a Diploma that provides one year’s credit and a direct pathway into a Charles Sturt University degree. Some courses also let you study at TAFE and CSU at the same time, ultimately allowing you the opportunity to finish your university studies and end up with a number of nationally recognised qualifications. For more information, visit: www.csu.edu.au/tafe
Distance education or part-time study can be the perfect solution to help you get the degree you have always wanted.
If you’re a TAFE graduate, you’re in a fantastic position to further your study at uni.
Making University affordable
Benefits of studying in regional Australia Job opportunities Have you ever considered a career in regional Australia? There is an endless need for professionals such as dentists, accountants, agribusiness consultants, veterinarians, journalists and nurses in regional areas, so begin your studies where the jobs are already available! CSU has developed strong partnerships with a variety of industries in regional Australia, allowing students access to work placement opportunities and part-time work while completing their studies. CSU’s courses offer practicum opportunities from the first year of study, ensuring students are industry-ready. And remember, CSU consistently ranks highly for graduate employment.
Our students find that the cost of living is lower in a regional centre compared to metropolitan locations, making the overall cost of obtaining a degree at CSU lower than at most other universities in Australia.
Lower cost of living While living in major cities can also be fun and exciting, they can be expensive places to live while you’re studying. CSU offers courses at campuses in some of NSW’s fastest growing regional cities: Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Dubbo, Goulburn, Orange, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga, as well as a Centre at Wangaratta. CSU also has campuses in Canberra and Parramatta, and operates the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security at Manly. CSU’s campuses offer a unique study experience – you’ll have access to the best of city living along with the benefits of a regional lifestyle, including affordable accommodation and transport. Sharing accommodation off campus in a regional area is much more economical than in a metropolitan city as you may only need to budget about $150-$200 for rent per week. Parking on CSU’s campuses is free! Living on campus is also affordable, with catered and self-catered options on many campuses, and you can enjoy minimal transport costs as you can walk to lectures. Accommodation packages include furnishings, internet and phone access, and all utilities costs, and prices in 2013 range from under $5,000 per year for self-catered accommodation during session only, to just under $12,000 per year for catered accommodation, including access to your room during session breaks. For more information on financial assistance options, visit: www.csu.edu.au/oncampus/help-with-costs ALBURY-WODONGA
NEW SOUTH WALES PORT MACQUARIE
ORANGE BATHURST PARRAMATTA
GOULBURN WAGGA WAGGA ACT
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The benefits of distance education Courses offered by distance education at CSU are just like on campus courses, only you have much more flexibility. You will also reduce incidental costs, like travel and accommodation. Most of your study materials will be provided online, so you don’t have to attend classes on campus. Grants may be available to help with costs if your course has residential schools, and as an enrolled CSU student, you will have access to all the facilities and services offered on campus too. So if you’re worried that you can’t afford to quit work to study, or that your busy schedule won’t afford you the time to study, give distance education a go. The benefits include: • the ability to continue to work while completing a degree that will lead to the pay rise you always wanted • the opportunity to remain employed while you study to make a career change • the flexibility to choose where and when you study • the opportunity to interact with fellow students in an online environment and build strong industry networks • the option of getting a taste of a new career area by studying a single subject before committing to a full degree • lower costs as you avoid travel to campus or having to relocate to one of CSU’s campus cities. For more information, visit: www.csu.edu.au/study/distance-education
Distance education or part-time study can be the perfect solution to help you get the degree you have always wanted, even if you now have a family or work full-time.
Subject costs Sometimes when you look at the whole, things can seem overwhelming, however if you take it piece by piece, things can be manageable and affordable. This is the case with study. Most students will defer their fees under the HECS-HELP scheme, and start to repay their course fees only after reaching the threshold of AUD$49,096 (2012-13 financial year) when they are employed. For example, if you want to study an Arts degree, taking just one subject at full cost is around $730. If you average that out over the duration of the session (usually 14 weeks), that amounts to just $52 per week! Each subject in Dentistry (for example) is around $87 per week. While you cannot elect to pay your subjects off week by week, this helps to put into perspective the real cost of a degree, and when you compare that to the extra you would earn once you attain the degree, you might be pleasantly surprised! EXAMPLE: As a full-time Education student, Jenny pays the equivalent of $200 per week for her four subjects, and an average of around $35 per week for books and other materials she will need during the session.
When she graduates from her degree and is in the workforce, Jenny can be earning around $960 per week (before tax)!
Making University affordable
Support for you A helping hand Many support services are available for CSU students, often free or at a subsidised rate compared to that in the general community. There is ongoing help available to you while you study at university, including Learning Skills Academic Support, free counselling, health and welfare services, careers assistance, student loans, social and sporting activities, access to student representatives and councils, accommodation and Student Equity and Disability Support. Student Services also has an extensive online support environment, and staff can make contact with you in person or virtually, regardless of where or how you’re studying.
Finding work No doubt you will want to look for work to help with expenses and to get experience while you’re studying. The Student Employment online forum is available to advertise your skills and/or look for work. The Careers Office also has an online tool called the Career Hub, which can help with building your resumé, interview skills and sourcing job opportunities, work experience and employment scholarships. You can also use Career Hub to keep in touch with upcoming events such as recruitment presentations, career fairs, industry networking events and employment preparation workshops. You may even be able to secure some casual work opportunities on campus, such as tutoring, retail work or conducting campus tours.
Access to clinics Depending on where you are located, as a CSU student you can access a range of subsidised or reduced cost services – and you don’t have to be an on campus student. These may include: • Community Engagement and Wellness Centre (Albury-Wodonga) • Dental and Oral Health Clinics (Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange and Wagga Wagga) • Nutrition Clinic (Wagga Wagga) • Veterinary Clinical Centre and Veterinary Teaching Hospital (Wagga Wagga) for your pets.
CSU offers a wide range of accommodation on campus. You can select a package that suits your needs and budget, and save money on travel costs to attend classes.
Students can access subsidised or reduced cost services by visiting clinics on campus for things like dentistry and oral health, allied health or nutrition advice.
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Access to library and leisure facilities You don’t have to be studying on campus to access all that CSU has to offer. All CSU students have access to the same facilities on campus, so if you can get to any one of our campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Port Macquarie or Wagga Wagga, you can use the facilities there. You are also welcome to play for our university sporting teams or represent CSU at the University Games. • library – in addition to academic resources, CSU’s libraries offer students DVDs and books, newspapers and a wide range of magazines for their leisure • recreation – all our campuses offer recreational facilities, which are available to all students, whether they study on campus or by distance education. These facilities vary on each campus, and may include: - gymnasiums - swimming pool - basketball, squash, netball, volleyball and tennis courts - walking and bike tracks - football, soccer and hockey fields.
Student discounts Many businesses in our campus cities offer discounts to students, and the University supports our students through provision of food, drink and other items, often at much lower costs than available in town. You can also apply for a travel concession for student prices on government and private-run rail and bus networks.
Indigenous community If you have an Indigenous background, you may also be able to access grants or community support. Discuss your aspirations with your family and community, or with the Indigenous support services available at the university. For more information on how CSU supports its Indigenous students, visit: www.csu.edu.au/for/indigenous-students
CSU provides a range of social activities for students and offers clubs to suit a wide variety of interests. You can also show your student card to receive discounts at places like the movies.
students enrolled by distance education are also welcome to access services and facilities on csu’s campuses. Making University affordable
Planning for life on campus While it is affordable to go to university, it does take planning and commitment. There is a range of costs to consider when preparing for your first year of study - accommodation, public transport, meals, and of course funds for socialising! To make sure you have enough money to cover living costs and have some fun at the same time, you need to follow a budget to keep track of how you are spending your money, and find ways to save. The cost of your first year of study depends on what course you are completing and whether there are additional costs for workplace learning, special equipment, travel, etc. It also depends on whether you plan to study on campus or by distance education. The following is a simple guide to help you consider your budget for your first year:
Budgeting AREA OF EXPENSE
APPROXIMATE AVERAGE COST (per week AUD$)
Housing – if you are studying on campus, or need to relocate
Self-catered on campus $150-260
to study, there are several options; catered and self-catered on campus; boarding with a local family; renting on your own, with friends or other students. All have their benefits, however remember to consider all costs involved in renting – like paying a bond, gas and/or electricity bills or buying furniture. These estimates are for the accommodation only.
Catered on campus $260-340 Off campus board or rent $80-300
Textbooks – new textbooks can cost from around $100 to $300 per subject per session. You can save money by purchasing second-hand textbooks as they are often half the price of new books. You may also have the opportunity to share or borrow textbooks – check the library. Members of the Co-op Bookshop also get discounts on all purchases.
Groceries – if sharing a house with flatmates, the best option is to organise weekly joint grocery shopping trips, allowing you the opportunity to share the cost of common foods and take turns making meals. This is a great way to save money - and effort!
Transport – if you live on or close to campus, many things
you need will be within walking distance. If you live off campus, you could car-pool with other students to save on fuel costs, otherwise consider public transport. In Wagga Wagga, CSU has regular bus services between its campuses and the city.
Clothing – some courses require students to purchase uniforms or special clothing for practical experience, such as working in campus clinics or during internships. For casual clothing, our campus cities have some fabulous ‘op shops’ for the bargain hunter and a great range of clothing stores that offer inexpensive clothing and footwear.
Varies depending on course and personal choice
Entertainment and personal costs – these are usually worked out from the money left over! There are often free or cheap events held on campus, or join a student club. You may be able to take advantage of student rates at some local businesses. Food and drinks on campus are also cheaper.
Health and wellbeing – you may need to consider costs such
Cost will depend on health and personal preferences
as visiting a GP or dentist, purchasing prescription medications, and private health cover.
Telephone and internet – accommodation on campus includes a private telephone and internet connection. You may also have a mobile phone, or need to consider telephone and internet charges if you live off campus.
For more information about the costs you may expect while studying at university, visit: www.csu.edu.au/courses/fees-and-costs or: www.csu.edu.au/oncampus/starting-at-csu/what-will-it-cost
Other useful budgeting websites include: www.moneysmart.gov.au or: www.wesleymission.org.au/centres/creditline 10 Charles Sturt University
Worried about the cost of a computer? Some organisations, such as GreenPC, Workventures or Mission Australia, can supply refurbished or recycled computers to people with a low income. CSU also has computer labs on campus and computers available in campus libraries, many with 24-hour access through the Learning Commons.
School students – what you can do It is never too early to start thinking of and planning for study at university. It is becoming increasingly important for young people to have a university degree in order to get a job, and to succeed in the workforce. Talk with your Careers Advisor at school, your principal or church leader, a mentor or person you look up to, and keep your ‘eye on the prize’ – a university degree. Also, talk to your parents and let them know what you want to do. They may be able to help you save by matching your savings with a similar amount; offer you jobs around the house you could get paid for (mowing lawns; cleaning windows, etc); or help put you in contact with others who might be able to offer you work. You could put your name up on local shopping centre or church noticeboards to do lawns, wash cars or clean windows. Tutoring other students through high school might also be an option. If you’re musically talented, busk! If you are a talented sportsperson, are there any sporting clubs or sponsors that might be able to assist through sponsorship or bursaries? REMEMBER – when you are getting closer to applying, seek out and apply for as many scholarships available to university students as you think you are eligible for. Keep an eye out for new scholarship and grant opportunities throughout your degree.
Start saving To make sure you have enough pennies in your piggy bank, you could find a casual job. Even if you pick up one shift a week in years 11 and 12, you will be able to start saving for your future. If you put half the amount of money you earn each week into a savings account starting today, you will be one step closer to making university more affordable.
Projected savings over 36 months = $4,000
G VIN SA
For example, if you are in Year 10, earn $50 a week and save $25 each week, when you finish Year 12 you will have almost $4,000, and that doesn’t include interest!
If you do decide to work, you should:
☑ get your resumé up-to-date ☑ as a starter, consider some volunteer work in the
career area that interests you to show your enthusiasm
☑ get your Responsible Service of Alcohol,
Responsible Conduct of Gambling (once you are over 18) or Safe Food Handling certificates so that you have extra skills
☑ look for part-time or casual work in the industry
you aim to develop your career in.
Making University affordable 11
Already working? If you’re already working and aren’t sure if you can afford to study, look at these ideas: • is your proposed study a tax deduction? If it is study related to your work, or will help you advance in that same line of work, the cost of tuition and materials may be a tax deduction. Talk to your accountant. • will your employing organisation help fund part of the cost? Maybe they will just allow you time off for study, and that can be helpful too. Remember that the knowledge you gain at university will help your employer too. • will a degree in another area expand your employment possibilities? This may be the impetus you need to make a real difference in your own life and, step-by-step, you can achieve great things! • is working part-time a financial possibility? Perhaps dropping one day of work will allow you the time you need to complete subjects at university and take that next step in your career. • is starting off with a TAFE qualification the way to go? Many university degrees have a pathway from TAFE, and the TAFE component will cost less than a full university degree. Some TAFE pathway courses are offered in the evening, so you can keep working during the day, then build on that qualification later with credit towards a university degree • remember that distance education study keeps overheads down, as you choose when and where you study – no requirement to travel to attend lectures! • think about what you spend your money on now. Perhaps you could go without your daily coffee, or hire a DVD instead of going to the movies. Revisit your budget and you might find you have more money to save towards university study.
Not working, but want to be? Perhaps you are out of work, or on social security benefits. There may still be a way to earn a degree: • use TAFE as a pathway. If you study at TAFE first, you may be able to gain credit towards your degree and reduce the time and cost of your university study • investigate whether there are any charitable or philanthropic organisations who may be able to assist through bursaries, grants, or other forms of financial assistance • apply for all scholarships and grants you are eligible for: www.csu.edu.au/scholarships • some larger organisations may offer scholarships, or cadetships to people who are studying • consider the benefits of studying through the Defence Forces.
Remember, every step on the path to a degree puts you in a new light with potential employers, showing your commitment and reliability, your organisational skills and your willingness to work.
12 Charles Sturt University
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This publication is intended as a general guide. Information in this publication is current as at January 2013. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements, fees, services and availability of courses or scholarships and grants. The University reserves the right to alter any programs, courses or scholarships and grants herein without prior notice. Charles Sturt University, its representatives and employees will not be liable for any loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from the possession, publication or use of or reliance on information obtained from this publication. It is provided in good faith without express or implied warranty.
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Take the first step and call a student advisor at info.csu to discuss how you can make study affordable for you. 1800 334 733 (free call within Australia) For the full range of our publications, please visit: www.csu.edu.au/about/publications
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