ABSTUDY helps with costs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians undertaking study in an accredited training organisation. It is administered by the Australian Government Department of Human Services. The funding is subject to application and family circumstances.

If eligible, ABSTUDY can assist with payments for the following:

Living Allowance

  • This fortnightly payment assistance is intended to help meet the day-to-day living costs of the student.
  • The Living Allowance is means tested and will consider student income, partner income and parent income (if the student is under 22 years).  Parents will be required to fill out a MOD JY Form that assesses their taxable income if the student applicant is under 22 years.
  • The rate of Living Allowance is dependent on the student circumstances. This includes factors such as age, living at home or living away from home, independent, partnered, or with child dependants.

Incidentals Allowance

  • This is a one-off payment at the beginning of each year of study to assist with costs associated with starting study within that year (for example books, equipment, dance uniforms etc)
  • The Incidentals Allowance is paid automatically and is not means-tested.

Rent Assistance

  • This is assistance with rent for students living away from home in a private rental arrangement or board and lodging.
  • NAISDA Developing Artists living onsite are in shared accommodation and qualify for Rent Assistance.
  • Rent Assistance is paid with fortnightly with the Living Allowance

Fares Allowance

  • This assistance is for students, who need to live away from home to study. It is intended to keep them in contact with their family and community during study.
    Fares Allowance assistance includes:
  • Travel between home and the place of study at the beginning and end of each study year
  • Return travel during the year if studying a course which is longer than one semester
  • Travel for compassionate reasons to return to the student’s home community for circumstances such as Sorry Business, illness of the student or family member, or if the student needs to attend a community event under Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander lore or kinship obligations
  • Travel to complete graduation.
  • In some circumstances a person can travel with a student (e.g. parent can accompany an ill student home)
  • If the journey requires an overnight stop mid-journey, meals and accommodation costs are covered.

Travel Allowance to attend NAISDA Auditions

  • Travel assistance is available to cover travel costs for auditionees who live 90 minutes or more from the college..
  • This assistance is not means tested.
  • NAISDA provides guidance on how to complete ABSTUDY applications prior to attending auditions as part of auditonees information pack.
  • Submission of the ABSTUDY application will also provide assistance with the accommodation and meals arranged by NAISDA during the audition period.
  • Auditioness will need to submit ABSTUDY applications prior to the audition period using MyGov Centrelink account, in person at Centrelink or via post. The approval process can take up to six weeks.
  • Once applications are approved by ABSTUDY, auditionees will need to book return travel requirements to attend the auditions.

A claim for ABSTUDY can be made over the phone by calling 1800 132 317 or by filling out the SY019 Form returning it to a local Centrelink office.

If NAISDA Developing and Practising Artists have any questions about ABSTUDY and which payments they are eligible to receive, they should talk to ABSTUDY:


or by phoning:

Developing and Practising Artists are responsible for applying to ABSTUDY before they start NAISDA training.