Depending on your situation, needs and preferences, and our availability – we can provide advice via email, instant chat, face to face, or telephone.
We close for some public holidays and over the Christmas/New Year break.
Our Service Model
We operate from a self-help paradigm, where we seek to empower and equip students to deal with their matter themselves via the provision of policy and strategic advice, and feedback. In some instances, such as for formal University hearings, we also provide advocacy and representation.
We see building students’ capacity to negotiate the systems and processes involved in a University education, as part of that education.
The Service is primarily delivered by four full time professional advocates, and a Student Services Officer. The Service is available to over 50 000 enrolled students, so the demand on our Service can be extremely high at times. For this reason, and to ensure everyone seeking assistance gets the most appropriate and timely assistance, we use the following process:
- To get the ball rolling, you can either:
- contact us via the form below and you will receive a response within one working day; OR
- attend a 10-15 minute consultation during our drop-in clinic between 2-4 PM Monday to Thursday at our Drop-in clinic office on Level 4 Union House at the Parkville campus. Please note: Over the next few weeks, the Advocacy Service drop-in clinic will be temporarily unavailable (it will resume from Monday 6 November). You can still contact us through the online form below. Make sure to include as much information about your matter as you can and to attach any relevant documents or communications that you have had with the University. We will endeavour to get back to you within one working day.
The first contact allows us to provide immediate preliminary advice, and if necessary, to assess the best way to provide further assistance to you. For this reason, providing detailed information regarding your issue, the steps you have taken to resolve it to date, and including as much relevant documentation as possible will assist us to respond quickly and effectively. Relevant documentation may be letters that your faculty have sent you, copies of emails or other correspondence, and/or support documents from a health care practitioner, psychologist or counsellor.
If you are responding to a notice from the University, or submitting a complaint/grievance, in the first instance we may provide you with preliminary advice via email to assist you to begin a rough draft. We can then review and provide feedback on this over email in order to make best use of appointment times.
CUPC and Appeals
At this time of year, where there are a number of University processes running with various deadlines, we experience a very high demand on the service. Please read the following so we can help you as quickly and efficiently as possible.
If you are contacting us because you have received a CUPC or Show Cause notice to attend a meeting, or want to appeal a decision made by this committee, you should read the following information on our website which relates to this process: https://umsu.unimelb.edu.au/support/advocacy/unsatisfactory-progress/
The Academic Board’s website has detailed information about the appeals process, and also includes a template for an appeal submission: http://about.unimelb.edu.au/academicboard/appeals.
If you would like us to look over your submission before sending it, please forward this through to us with a copy of your Student Record Card and the CUPC Report (for appeals).
From there, we will be best placed to provide you detailed feedback via email and discuss how we can assist you prepare for a hearing.
Please set out your concerns as clearly and thoroughly as possible on the form below. It is helpful if you read the information on the site here which is relevant to you issue before you contact us, so you can get things moving yourself as quickly as possible. We have only limited resources, so we ask that you are patient if you have an issue which does not have a strict deadline or is otherwise time sensitive.