Walanga Muru tutorial program

Walanga Muru tutorial program


The Walanga Muru tutorial program (WMTP) is a Commonwealth-funded program designed to close the gap that exists between the educational outcomes of Indigenous Australians and other Australians in tertiary education. The program provides free tutoring for Indigenous undergraduate students for 20 hours per subject per semester, and 5 hours per subject for postgraduate students.


Students can access the online system to apply for tutors each semester. The Commonwealth programs officer will match students with a suitable tutor for each requested unit

Apply here

Why should I apply?

WMTP assistance is a useful tool for any undergraduate Indigenous student, whether you have average pass grades or high distinctions. It's a great way to get individualised assistance in areas that you may need improvement on, such as specific content, referencing, academic research processes, exam preparation or essay writing skills, as well as developing the outstanding skills you already have.

Tutoring services are not available to every Indigenous student. Students will be required to undergo an academic assessment to determine their eligibility for WMTP assistance. If successful in their application, students are able to claim a maximum of two hours per week per approved subject. During examination period students are able to apply for a total of five hours of assistance.

Previous participants have enrolled in WMTP for the following assistance:

  • developing a specific skill
  • improving their grades or excelling in their grades (ie going from a credit to a distinction, or from a distinction to a high distinction)
  • maintaining a grade point average
  • preparing for exams
  • proofreading assignments
  • understanding a specific subject

Ask a question

Emma Hardcastle
Commonwealth Programs Support Officer (WMTP)
T: (02) 9850 9973
F: (02) 9850 7735
E: emma.hardcastle@mq.edu.au
Building W3A, Room 305

Who can be an WMTP tutor?

Tutors must be qualified, either through formal education or relevant experience. If the prospective tutor is formally qualified, they must produce certified copies of their qualifications. If the prospective tutor is not formally qualified, they must produce suitable written references to establish whether they are able to provide an appropriate standard of tuition in the subject area. Tutors must be sensitive to, and able to relate to, the educational needs of Indigenous students.

Tertiary students may be WMTP tutors if they are:

  • at least two academic years ahead of the student
  • able to show evidence of sound academic progress
  • not receiving WMTP tuition themselves.

All WMTP tutors who work with minors must undertake an Australian Federal Police, National Criminal History Record Check and be cleared to work with minors before the provider approves a tutoring arrangement with a minor.

Tutors must not be members of the student's immediate or de facto family must be the student's usual class or subject teacher, lecturer or tutor.

I'm not Indigenous — can I still be a WMTP tutor?

Yes, you can. We do encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to apply for these positions, but non-Indigenous people may apply to be a WMTP tutor. If you are not Indigenous, cultural competency training can be provided.

How much work is available?

The availability of work is dependent upon a number of factors, such as:

  • how many students are enrolled in the discipline / subject areas that tutors propose to work in
  • where the students live and/or whether they have internet access
  • the number of tutors available in the subject / discipline areas in which students may request assistance
  • the amount of WMTP assistance requested by the student and approved by the WMTP coordinator.

Placement upon the tutor registration list does not guarantee that work will be available.

I am registered as an Indigenous tutor at another university — is my paperwork transferable?

No, although WMTP is a Commonwealth-funded program it is administered separately by each university and their respective HR systems. You must complete the registration process for each university in which you wish to work.

How much do I get paid?

From December 2015 the Macquarie University pay rate is $50.36 per hour for individual tutoring, or $76.29 per hour for group tutoring.

I have a PhD — do I get paid more?

PhD-qualified tutors earn $53.36 per hour for individual tutoring.

How do I access my pay slips and payment summaries?

This is done through web self-service - hronline.mq.edu.au. Firstly you will need to obtain your staff number from the WMTP coordinator, then call Informatics on (02) 9850 4357 to set up your password.

Where can tutoring take place?

It is preferable that tutoring take place on campus. There are two designated rooms in the Walanga Muru, Building W3A for tutorial work. You can book these rooms by writing on the register on the door. There are also study rooms available in the library but they can fill up quickly. It may be more convenient to tutor off campus due to distance from the University, in which case workplaces, local libraries and community centres may be appropriate venues. Occasionally, a suitable tutor cannot be located within the student's area, in which case tutoring may take place online or over the phone.

We have been tutoring all year but haven't done the paperwork — how can I arrange payment?

Tutoring cannot start until all registration paperwork has been completed. If you begin tutoring beforehand you will not be paid for the work.

I haven't heard from the student — what should I do? Is it my responsibility to keep calling them?

The WMTP coordinator will provide you with the student's contact details. We ask that you make the first phone call to the student to introduce yourself and to arrange an initial meeting. If you cannot get through, you should leave a brief voicemail message and your contact details. Please advise the WMTP coordinator if you are unable to contact a student.

The student is desperate for a tutor in their geography subject — can I give their contact details to a friend who is doing their PhD in that area?

Under no circumstances can you share a student's contact details - they are confidential. Speak to the WMTP coordinator if you would like to recommend someone as a good tutor.

My counselling skills are getting a workout, and I'm feeling a bit drained — what can I do?

Your tutoring duties do not encompass mental healthcare. If you have any concerns about the student's welfare, contact the WMTP coordinator immediately, or Walanga Muru's Student Support Officer. You can also contact:

Student Wellbeing services: We recommend Steve Bailey from MQ Student Wellbeing as a fantastic counsellor for Walanga Muru students.

Student helpline: Students can always call 1800 CARE MQ 1800 227 367 for round-the-clock support and referral for:

  • accommodation
  • health and medical concerns, including emergency help
  • psychological health and counselling
  • security and safety
  • transport.

Help for staff: All Macquarie staff can access an Employee Assistance Program by calling 1800 818 728. With this service you can arrange a series of short-term counselling sessions to help you deal with work and/or personal issues that can have a negative impact on your quality of life, general sense of wellbeing and work performance.

What if I don't get along with the student?

See if you can resolve it between yourselves first, then speak to the WMTP coordinator. The WMTP coordinator may need to alter or cancel your contract with the student if the issue cannot be resolved.

I feel like the student is not warming to me — what can I do?

It might be better to adopt an informal approach. Relationship and trust building is essential in the first stages of WMTP tuition. Perhaps just sit down with the student and share information about your background and some experiences you had as a student. Try to remember how intimidating it was to be at university for the first time.

The student doesn't seem to need me anymore — what should I do?

Congratulations! That is the whole aim of WMTP - you have successfully facilitated independent learning. At the end of each semester, tutors are required to fill out a student assessment report, in which you can state that a student no longer requires WMTP assistance.

The student seems to have more of a problem with time management than anything else...

This is a common problem for all students. You might like to refer them to Walanga Muru's Academic Student Support officer or alternatively the counselling service at Student Wellbeing:

Lincoln Building C8A, Level 2
Macquarie University
North Ryde NSW 2109

T: +61 (2) 9850 7497
E: counselling@mq.edu.au

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