External appeals and complaints

What does this mean?

An external "appeal" is actually a complaint made to an external agency when you have reached the end of the internal appeals process. This means that you must have received final decision from the university. Usually this is made clear in the outcome letter you receive (it will say that this is a final decision, or that the university will not consider the matter further). Commonly, a final decision will be from the Student Appeals Committee, or as an outcome of a Level 2 or 3 Complaint. External agencies that you can appeal to include:

We can help if you would like to discuss the process for making an external appeal after you have received a final decision from the university.

Before making an external appeal, please see information on the role of the Victorian Ombudsman in the complaints and appeals process. Essentially, the Ombudsman is there to decide if the university has followed it's own processes in making a decision, and if not, ask it to do so - it will very rarely compel the university to make a different one, and it cannot make decisions on the university's behalf. The Human Rights Commission investigates and resolves complaints of discrimination and human rights. If you need any advice on whether you should appeal externally, or to which body, please make an appointment to speak with an Advocate.

What do I need to do?

If you've received a final decision, and are considering an external complaint, please follow these steps. Prefer all the steps on a single pdf? Click here.

Read the Ombudsman webpages and/or the Human Rights Commission pages and/or give the relevant body a call to understand what they can and can't do, and the kinds of cases they can accept.

We can support you throughout this process in the following ways:

  • Explaining the role of external bodies and whether you have received a final university decision
  • Reviewing your draft complaints and timelines and giving feedback
  • Suggesting the types of evidence you could include to support your case
  • Write a timeline of exactly what has happened in your situation, including noting every decision that the university has made
  • Consult the relevant university policies and procedures, and identify where decision-making has breached these
  • Compile evidence that supports your case