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 60 000 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 on Level 4 Union House at the Parkville campus.

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.

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.

Please don’t forget to hit submit when you have filled out the form! You should receive a confirmation email after successful submission.

  • Please make sure your email address is correct - or we can't respond to your enquiry!
  • What Faculty or Graduate School are you enrolled in? If you are not currently a student, put 'None'
    Are you on an international student visa? If you are not currently a student, select 'Not applicable'.
    Are you an undergraduate, graduate coursework or research higher degree student? If you are not currently a student, select 'Not applicable'.
  • Please let us know if we need to make any arrangements for your access to the service
    Please note - this form does not create an appointment - we will be in contact via email to arrange a time to provide assistance.
  • e.g. you need to respond to an allegation or notice, or lodge an appeal by a certain date. You have a meeting coming up which you need advice about. If there is no deadline or urgency, put 'no'.
    We conduct a short online survey annually for quality assurance and accountability purposes.
  • This helps us understand what sort of assistance you may need
  • What part of the University does your matter relate to?That is, if you have a complaint or dispute, what part of the university is it about? If you have received a notice from the University about misconduct of show cause, who sent it to you? If you can give us this information it will assist us to provide more definitive advice, if you don't know, select "Not sure".
  • Please indicate the subject name and/or code if your matter relates to one or more specific subjects.
  • Please tell us about the issue you need assistance with, how you have already tried to address it and attach any relevant documents below.
    The Advocacy Service is a department of the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU). The UMSU Advocacy Service manages personal and health information in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic), the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic), and the Student Union Advocacy Service Confidentiality Policy. The information that we collect assists us to confirm your student status, contact and assist you, and is also aggregated into non-identifying statistics that facilitate our internal planning and review processes. We hold information on digital and paper based records, and take all reasonable steps to ensure that the information is accurate and complete and protected from misuse, loss, unauthorised access or disclosure. We will not disclose personal or health information to anyone without your permission, or unless permitted, or required by law. Should you wish to access information that we hold about you at any time, you may request access by speaking to the Manager, Advocacy & Legal. The information that we collect is stored securely for seven years and then destroyed. Our privacy policy is available on request. By submitting this form, you agree to be bound by this statement.