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This policy outlines the support available to students who are members of the Defence Reserves and/or members of the Emergency Services to combine their academic and defence/emergency service activities successfully.

This policy applies to students of the University who are members of the Defence Reserves and/or members of the Emergency Services.

The Australian Catholic University (ACU) has an obligation to make reasonable adjustments that are required to assist students who are members of the Defence Reserves and/or members of the Emergency Services to ensure that they are not disadvantaged academically, or financially, as a consequence of their Service.

Terms used in this policy are consistent with the ACU Glossary of Terms. The following specific definitions also apply:

Approval authority: means a staff member normally Lecturer in Charge or Course Coordinator, authorised by the University to approve an Application for Special Consideration.

Defence Reservist: means any student who is registered as a member of the Australian Defence Reserves.

Defence Service: means any service by a Defence Reservist, including service on Reserve Service Days (training) and all periods of Protected Continuous Full-time Service.

Emergency Services personnel: means any student who is registered as a member of any formally-endorsed state, territory or federal emergency services organisation or other competent authority under a State Disaster Plan.

Emergency service: means any service by Emergency Services personnel during an emergency situation in which the relevant Emergency Services unit is involved.

5.1 A student who undertakes Defence Service or Emergency service that directly affects their studies, may complete an Application for Special Consideration using the prescribed form and submit it to the relevant approval authority, in accordance with the Assessment Policy.

5.2 The application must be submitted as soon as possible after the receipt of notification of such activity from the relevant organisation and prior to the commencement of that Defence Service or Emergency service activity. Where circumstances prevent prior submission, the application should be made as soon as possible following the activity.

5.3 A separate application for Special Consideration must be submitted for each activity and/or occurrence for which special consideration is sought.

5.4 An application for Special Consideration based on Defence Service or Emergency service activity, will be determined by the relevant ACU approval authority taking into consideration the circumstances of the case.

6.1 Where withdrawal from a unit without academic penalty on the basis of involvement in any Defence Service or Emergency service activity has been approved by a Head of School, or equivalent under the Academic Regulations, withdrawal without financial penalty will be applied by Student Administration, subject to the prescriptions of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

7.1 A student, who interrupts their studies to render Defence Service or Emergency service, may subsequently resume their studies subject to the Interruption of Studies and Maximum Time Limit provisions of the Academic Regulations.

Date Major, Minor or Editorial Description of Revision(s)
18 February 2015 Minor Policy updated in-line with the ACU Policy on Policy Development and the requirement for separate submission of Refund of Fees in Special Circumstances (RE) Form has been removed.
23 May 2018 Minor Changes to the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001 extend education protections to all Defence Service by Reserve members
25 November 2020 Minor Policy updated in-line with scheduled AB review.

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