Steps to your complaint
We think about solving problems in two steps:
- direct, informal discussion
- using the Student Complaints Management System
Resolving the problem where it began
We encourage you to start trying to solve the problem yourself. Often the best results happen when you talk directly and informally with the person who has the ability to fix the problem.
If you don't feel comfortable going to talk to the specific person involved in the problem, you could try talking to the Head of the Department where that person works or to your Head of School.
Not everyone can or will take this step. If you do, and you still want to make a complaint, any outcomes of that first conversation should be included when you lodge your complaint.
What happens when you lodge a complaint?
When you complete the complaint lodgement form and submit it to us, it will be sent to the Complaints Officer for your College of enrolment (based at Bundoora). From there, they may send it to the Complaints Officer for your campus, if it is a problem best solved on one of La Trobe's other campuses.
After that, you will receive an email letting you know that the complaint was received, and giving you a summary of what we think the problem is. Please let us know right away if we didn't understand you properly.
The Complaints Officer might contact you to get more details, or it may be something they can resolve quite quickly. If the problem is complicated, an Investigator will be appointed to look into it.
The final authority for deciding what to do is a senior University staff member – an Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for academic matters, or a Division Head for administrative problems.
If at any time you feel worried about your safety, you should immediately contact the University's Security Office on (03) 9479 2012 or the local Police station.
What can I do if I am still unhappy?
After your complaint has been resolved, you can still appeal the process used to resolve the problem. If you want to do this, you should contact the University Ombudsman for help. The contact details are:
Professor Andrew Brennan
Located within the offices of Equity and Diversity
Room 136, Level 1, Peribolos East
Melbourne (Bundoora) Campus
Tel: (03) 9479 1897 or (03) 9479 1435
Fax: (03) 9479 3897
You might also decide to take your concerns to an external agency. Usually, they want to be certain that you have already used the University's processes. Some agencies you might contact include:
- Australian Human Rights Commission
- Anti-Discrimination Board
- Victorian Ombudsman
None of your rights under Victorian or Australian law are abrogated by using the Student Complaints process.
What if I change my mind?
You can withdraw your complaint at any time by replying to any of the emails you have received from us.
If your attempt to resolve a matter is unsuccessful, you should lodge a complaint
Some problems, particularly those arising from matters that have specific appeals procedures of their own, may not be brought into the complaints system unless the complaint is about the process used.
Some examples include:
- Review and Re-Mark: A specific appeals process is written into these procedures. However, you can lodge a complaint if the process was not followed correctly (for example a complaint could be raised because time limits were ignored, or because decisions were not communicated in the manner specified).
- Maintenance: If the problem has been ignored and no action has resulted
- OH&S: If you have already tried and failed to get improvement of the conditions through either or both of the lab staff and the OH&S office
- Feedback: If you have waited a reasonable amount of time and has already raised the matter with the relevant academic staff member or their supervisor
- Academic Progress Monitoring and Intervention: If you have already met with your Course Coordinator and the Head of your School, you may lodge a complaint only about the process used in preparing your Course Plan
- Academic Progress: You may appeal a decision of the PVC of your College to the University Appeals Committee or you may dispute the process used with either the Student Complaints Management System or the University Ombudsman. If you have already been to a hearing of the University
- Appeals Committee: you may only dispute the process used, either through the University Ombudsman or the State Ombudsman.