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Indigenous Language Allowance Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) These Guidelines describe the application and administration process for implementing the Indigenous Language Allowance at Charles Sturt University (the University).


(2) The Wiradjuri, Gandangara, Ngunnawal and Birpai peoples of Australia are the traditional owners and custodians of the lands on which Charles Sturt University's campuses are located. Their traditional languages are in the process of being revived, and appropriate incorporation of language into University resources, events and activities is encouraged.

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Section 2 - Policy

(3) Nil.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(4) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

Part A - Eligibility

(5) Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees are eligible to apply for the Indigenous Language Allowance if:

  1. they have some level of proficiency in an Indigenous Australian language; and
  2. they are required to use an Indigenous Australian language in the course of their duties.

Part B - Conditions

(6) There are two Indigenous Language Allowance rates available, based on an employee's level of Indigenous language proficiency :

  1. $1400 per annum for Level 1 — this level is appropriate for employees who are capable of using a minimal knowledge of language for basic conversation but may need some assistance with conversing, reading and writing in that language; and
  2. $2800 per annum for Level 2 — this represents a level of ability for the ordinary purpose of general business, more formal communication, reading and writing.

(7) The Indigenous Language Allowance is an annual allowance, payable fortnightly with the employee's salary from their nominated effective date, including during leave periods. For part-time staff, the allowance will be pro rata.

(8) The Indigenous Language Allowance is not included in the calculation of overtime, penalty rates or leave loading.

(9) To receive the allowance, an employee must:

  1. self-nominate by completing the Indigenous Language Allowance Application Form annually;
  2. have their Indigenous language skills verified as proficient;
  3. receive support from their Director / manager in relation to an identified need to use Indigenous language skills in the course of their duties; and
  4. give consent for their work contact details to be made available to staff and/or students who have a need for communicating in an Indigenous language.

(10) The employee's Director/ manager must review and confirm the need for the allowance annually and whenever the employee's employment status or work requirements change. The allowance does not automatically transfer when the employee is appointed to a new position.

(11) If a staff member transfers to another position where there is a need for using an Indigenous language, then they may reapply for the allowance.

Part C - Application Process

(12) The applicant may contact the First Nations Employment Adviser for information about the Indigenous Language Allowance.

(13) The applicant completes the Indigenous Language Allowance Application Form, identifying their Indigenous language skills and the need for using that language in the course of their duties, and then seeks support from their Director/Manager.

(14) The applicant emails the completed form to the First Nations Employment Adviser, Division of People and Culture for assessment.

(15) The First Nations Employment Adviser confirms the applicant's language skills by contacting the verifier for details or seeking a demonstration of the applicant's language skills (e.g. a certificate, samples of work or speaking), and then determines the appropriate level of allowance.

(16) The First Nations Employment Adviser notifies the applicant of the outcome, and sends a copy to the Human Resources Service Centre and the applicant's Director/ manager.

Part D - Administration

(17) The First Nations Employment Adviser maintains an up-to-date register of Indigenous Language Allowance recipients.

(18) The First Nations Employment Adviser reports on usage of the Indigenous Language Allowance annually.

(19) The Division of People and Culture's Alesco database sends a reminder to the employee's Director/ manager (and a copy to the First Nations Employment Adviser) before the end of the annual allowance period to advise that a new application is due to be submitted for assessment if there is a continuing requirement for the staff member to use an Indigenous language in the course of their duties.