Laws and safety in Australia

Australia is a democracy and is governed by a variety of laws upheld by the justice system. It is important to familiarise yourself with the laws and processes that govern our society and to ensure that as an international student you abide by them.

One of the reasons we have such a wonderful lifestyle in Australia is due to our representative democracy, the separation of powers, and our respect for the rule of law. We have a lot of laws in Australia and as a result, society runs smoothly.

In being granted a visa to study in Australia, you signed a document (Australian Values Statement Temporary) agreeing to respect Australian values and obey the laws of Australia for the duration of your stay. Failure to comply with the laws of this land (including State and Territory laws) could result in a fine or the cancellation of your visa and possible deportation back home. If you are convicted of a serious crime, it could result in imprisonment.

You can find a comprehensive outline of Australian law and the legal system at The Australian Government website. The Victorian State Government provides links to specific topics of law at Victoria online law & legislation.

Legal Services & Advice

If you do break the law and are arrested and need to attend a court appearance you will need legal representation to negotiate Australia’s complex legal system. The Victorian State Government website provides links to legal rights and advice.

  • International students can access on-campus legal advice through the Student Union at the Melbourne campus. This service is free for Student Union members.
    T: (03) 9479 2314
  • International Student Legal Advice Centre (ISLAC)  is a free service for international students based in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne,
    Telephone: (03) 9391 2944 or visit The Couch in the city for a drop-in service on Wednesday evenings.
  • Darebin Community Legal Centre (by appointment)

Other legal centres students may wish to access in their local area include:

For regional campuses, students can contact the Victoria Legal Aid (Country Victoria) at. 1800 677 402 or the Legal Aid NSW (for Albury-Wodonga students) at 1300 888 529.