Complaint resolution and support
Your complaint may be resolved by one of three pathways:
- informal local level discussion and resolution
- college/business area investigation
- University level investigation
Complaints may move between these pathways dependent upon the circumstances and content of the complaint.
Informal Local Level Resolution
You are encouraged to attempt the resolution of matters in good faith at the local level, where it is reasonable and appropriate to do so.
You may also choose to raise your concerns with any University support areas, or with a senior staff member from within the relevant college/business area as part of a local level resolution.
College/business area investigations
If you are not comfortable engaging in local-level resolution, or if this has been unsuccessful, you may elect to proceed to a college/business area investigation with a formal complaint. Where appropriate, complaints lodged through the SCM are referred to the relevant college/business area or areas for investigation.
College/business area complaints must be in writing, and should be lodged via the SCM Web Form. You can also submit a complaint by email, post or hand-delivered letter, but the SCM Web Form is the best way to capture the necessary information to action the complaint. You must raise your issues within 12 months of the issue or incident. The University may consider complaints submitted after this period where it determines that there are exceptional circumstances.
If you require assistance or advice in phrasing or writing their complaint, you can seek assistance from a relevant support service within the University.
Your complaint should include sufficient details about the circumstances of the issue, and your sought after resolution/s. If insufficient details are provided, the college/business area may seek further information before progressing the complaint.
Serious or Complex Complaints (University level investigations)
The Student Complaints Office (SMO) may elect to (or at the request of a student, college/business area, or party to a complaint) manage a complaint by working collaboratively with a college/business area, or where appropriate, refer a complaint to a University level investigation.
If a University level investigation is deemed appropriate, the Executive Director, Educational Partnerships and Quality will appoint a Senior Investigator to conduct the investigation. The investigator may be a member of staff, or in certain circumstances, a person external to the University.
You can request the involvement of the SCO in the management of a complaint by making a request in writing to the SCO email address, in the following circumstances:
- your complaint has not been resolved within 20 working days, and you are dissatisfied with the management of the complaint
- you have grounds to consider that you are the subject of inappropriate or negligent conduct by the college/business area
- you consider that the handling of your complaint is being affected by a prejudice, conflict of interest, or personal bias within the college/business area
- your complaint relates to a matter that cannot be resolved within the college/business area.
Withdrawing a Formal Complaint
If you make a complaint, you have the right to withdraw your complaint at any stage of the process. The University retains the right to investigate and address matters raised in a complaint, even in cases where a complaint has been withdrawn.
You can elect to remain anonymous when submitting a complaint via the SCM. However, anonymity may restrict the University’s ability to assist, or limit the complaint outcomes available to you.
The University will record all formal complaints in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Education Threshold Standards 2015 and the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007. Complaints are recorded within the SCM.
Review of a complaint outcome
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can request a review of the matter by the University Ombudsman according to the provisions of the La Trobe University Ombudsman Statute 2009.
External Complaint Avenues
You can also choose to lodge a complaint with an external organisation such as the Australian Human Rights Commission, Victorian Privacy Commissioner, Victoria Police or Victorian Ombudsman. Some external agencies require that all relevant University complaints processes have been exhausted before they will consider the matter. If a complaint is accepted for investigation by an external organisation, the University will normally suspend any in-progress University investigation until the external investigation has been completed and all reports submitted.
Safety and Support Services
If at any time you require additional support, please refer to the relevant support services below.Emergencies
If you are in immediate danger, contact the police, fire or ambulance by calling 000. Then call University Security on 9479 2222.
If you have concerns or need support in relation to harassment, discrimination, violence or other forms of unacceptable behaviour you can contact La Trobe University’s Speak Up service during business hours.
La Trobe University provides confidential short-term counselling for La Trobe University students at all of our campuses. Counselling sessions are offered face-to-face, by telephone or by Skype. Specialist counselling for LGBTIQ+ and Indigenous students is also provided.
If you are living with a disability or medical condition, you can seek support via Equity and Diversity.
You have access to advocacy services to assist you with your complaint. Advocacy services are provided by the affiliate Union organisation on each La Trobe University campus.
Bundoora, City, Franklin Street, Shepparton, Mildura
La Trobe Student Union (LTSU)
Location: Level 2, Upper Agora West Building, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, 3086
Phone: (03) 9479 2314
Wodonga Student Association
Location: The Hangar (Student Amenities Building), La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga Campus, 133 McKoy St, West Wodonga, Victoria, 3690
Phone: (02) 6024 9709