Hi, I’m Meagan and I am a Bookings Team member at Macquarie Educational Tours. I’ve worked at MET for 8 years and in that time I have come to understand quite a lot about the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) program!
What is PACER?
PACER is an Australian Government initiative that provides schools with financial assistance to encourage students to visit their National Capital, and support on-site learning about national democratic, historical and cultural institutions in Canberra.
The aim is for students to add to their classroom theory about civics and citizenship, and see their knowledge brought to life when they experience Parliament House, The Museum of Australian Democracy, The National Electoral Education Centre and the Australian War Memorial first-hand.
So, what’s the catch?
To qualify, schools must be located at least 150 kilometres from Canberra. Rebates are paid on a sliding scale basis, with more money paid to schools further away from Canberra.
An additional payment will be made for schools located on islands in remote geographic areas.
Qualification also relies on the school excursion group’s purpose for travelling to Canberra. To qualify for PACER, the principle purpose must be to enhance student learning in civics and citizenship education.
This means there are some Canberra venues & institutions you must visit and participate in their programs to qualify for PACER. They include:
- Parliament House
- The Museum of Australian Democracy and/or
- The National Electoral Education Centre
- Australian War Memorial
If one of the mandatory venues are fully booked, there are other venues that are PACER approved that can be substituted. For a full list, see: https://www.pacer.org.au/frequently-asked-questions/
When booking your excursion with MET, we provide a PACER Application Form including eligibility requirements information. We also create a handy excursion summary to send with your PACER application, outlining the confirmed venues for your excursion. MET works hard to create a smooth and practical Canberra itinerary that is PACER-eligible! Of course, when you visit Canberra, it’s good to make the most of your trip and visit other non-PACER venues like the AIS and Questacon, that still have SO much to offer!
- You must apply for PACER well before your trip, to allow time to be approved for funding. Minimum 3 weeks prior to travel, but we advise 4 weeks, just in case of delays!
- You need to bring your PACER paperwork with you on the excursion and have it stamped at each PACER venue
- Students are only eligible for the PACER rebate once per calendar year
- Funding is limited and it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible
- The money is rebated to each travelling student after the conclusion of the excursion and after you submit the stamped paperwork
Check the PACER zoning map below to see how much your school is eligible for (per student)! If you have any questions, please contact us or check out https://www.pacer.org.au/ for more information.
If you’re travelling to Canberra from interstate, MET organise school group flights at amazing rates. Request a quote today to find out more.
Distance from Canberra
Funds allocated per student #
4,000 kilometres and over
*includes all students from Tasmania because of additional air/sea travel expenses.
# Schools on islands in remote locations (as determined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in its classification of Remoteness) receive an additional $120 per student plus their allocated distance rebate. This payment is in recognition of the additional costs incurred by schools travelling from remote islands.