Support for Rural Beginners Program - FAQs

Find answers to the questions most frequently asked about the Support for Rural Beginners Program.


To be eligible, you must be:

  • an early career teacher within your first 5 years of teaching;
  • new to an eligible regional, rural or remote school (started within the last 6 months);
  • on a permanent or temporary contract (minimum contract length of 12 months of the current year) and;
  • employed full-time or part-time.

School executive members are also eligible to apply to the program if they meet the above eligibility criteria.

Program details for participants

Participants in the Support for Rural Beginners Program will receive:

  • A one-off $600 financial incentive paid one term after commencing in the program to be used toward building social connections
  • Connections to peers through networking, and ongoing opportunities to connect with other early career teachers from nearby schools, where possible
  • Access to a private online community page on Microsoft Teams that will be updated with upcoming events, professional learning opportunities and bi-annual webinars
  • An orientation buddy from your school or a nearby school to help you settle into the community, where possible
  • Links to existing social and professional networks 

The Support for Rural Beginners pilot will commence in Term 1, 2023.

The Principal Networks included in the program are: 
  • Barwon
  • Deniliquin
  • Far West
  • Griffith
  • Gundagai
  • Mitchell
  • Mooki
  • Narrandera
  • Temora
  • Wagga Wagga
  • West Wyalong
  • Western Plains
  • Select Connected Communities

Please visit the schools list page to check which schools are participating in the program. It is anticipated that the program will expand and new eligible locations will be added from 2023.

If you are relocating to another regional location that is within scope of the program you should notify the Support for Rural Beginners Program team via email and let them know your new location.

You will continue to receive support through the program.

If you are relocating to a metropolitan location or location that is out of scope of the program you should notify the Support for Rural Beginners Program team via email.

You will not be asked to pay back any incentive payment you may have received for participation in the program. However, you will not be eligible to receive any further support or funding from this program.

Whilst the department recommends that participants partake in all available buddy/networking opportunities, there are no minimum participation requirements. The department will inform you of any local social and professional networks as well as training and development opportunities.

The Support for Rural Beginners Program will be launched as a pilot in 2023. It is anticipated that additional locations will be added in the future. 

Program details for schools

The Support for Rural Beginners Program aims to help early career teachers to connect to their community and provides them with opportunities to make social and professional ties. Through the program participants may feel more connected to the local comunity. This may result in participants continuing their role in a rural and remote NSW public school.

You can speak with your principal and email We can identify if there are any eligible teachers in your school or surrounding schools that have submitted an EOI and communicate with you and your school.

School involvement is required to identify suitable orientation buddies. This process will require knowledge of school community members' interests to optimise appropriate matches. Resources and support will be available to assist schools in this process and information will be provided to selected orientation buddies.

Schools will be contacted by a Support for Rural Beginners team member once an EOI from an eligible school is submitted to establish the best contact person moving forward.

Financial support

Confirmed participants will receive a one-off payment of $600 one term after they commence in the program.

The payment will be made as an addition within a pay cycle and will be subject to marginal tax.

The department advises teachers to seek independent financial advice to determine the exact tax implications of the payment. 

No, this incentive payment cannot be salary packaged.

However, some activities may be tax deductible, for example an art teacher taking an art class. Teachers should seek independent financial advice about claiming tax deductions.

The incentive payment may be used on social connection activities including but not limited to:

  • formal memberships at local community organisations (such as social netball registration);
  • cultural events;
  • creative activities (such as art classes and cooking classes);
  • sports or sporting equipment (such as tennis club, tennis racket); and
  • tours of local areas and community events (such as bike tours, air show).

The incentive payment is not to be used for the following, or similar:

  • purchasing drugs and alcohol;
  • personal debts;
  • gambling; and/or
  • illegal activities.

No, you are not required to provide evidence of what you have spent the payment on. You will be asked to sign a funding agreement, this will be your agreement to use the funding for its intended purpose.

More information

If you have any other questions, please contact

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