Show Cause, Student Appeals and Grievances

The University recognises that students may wish to have a right of appeal against academic or administrative decisions affecting them (Appeal) or raise a problem, issue or grievance concerning their current or past involvement with the University (Grievance).

  • Show Cause

    Information about Show Cause can be found on the Show Cause page.

  • Appeals

    Information about Student Appeals can be found on the Student Appeals page.

  • Grievances

    The University recognises that students may wish to raise a problem, issue or grievance concerning their current or past involvement with the University (Grievance).

    The University's process for the resolution of Student Grievances is outlined in the University Procedure: Student Grievances.

  • Grievance Officers and Respect Officers

    If you would like to raise a concern or complaint regarding any aspect of your involvement with the University, you are welcome to contact specialist staff who will provide you with support and information, and help you identify if the subject matter falls within the scope of the Procedure: Student Grievances or another University policy or procedure.

    If you wish to raise a Grievance or seek further information about the Grievance process, please contact a Grievance Officer or a Respect Officer.

    Fremantle
    Grievance Officer 
    Mia Schaefer-Zaicz
    Tel: (08) 9433 0680
    fremantle.grievanceofficer@nd.edu.au
    Sydney
    Respect Officer
    Marion Thomas
    Tel: (02) 8204 4687
    sydney.respectofficer@nd.edu.au
    Broome
    Grievance Officer 
    Sandra Wooltorton
    Tel: (08) 9192 0614
    sandra.wooltorton@nd.edu.au
  • Student grievance FAQs

    Something has happened – I think I may have a complaint or grievance. What should I do?
    If something has happened, and you believe you may have a complaint or grievance, it can sometimes be a good idea to pause for 24 hours or so after the incident has occurred. This will give you time to collect your thoughts and, if you are upset by what has happened, to recover your equilibrium so that you can approach the matter with a clear head. Sometimes rushing into a matter in the heat of the moment is not the best way to resolve a grievance.

    A good way to start resolving your grievance is to think about:

    • What has happened – you could try to summarise it in a brief paragraph
    • Why you are feeling aggrieved
    • What kind of resolution you would like to achieve

    Once you have done this, you should first attempt to resolve your grievance directly with the staff member or student concerned, as soon as possible after the incident has occurred. If you are not sure how to approach this, you are welcome to contact a Grievance Officer who will provide you with information and support.

    If you have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, you do not need to pause or to follow the student grievance resolution process. Please contact a Respect Officer who will provide you with support and guidance. Further information about support for students who are affected by sexual assault, sexual harassment or domestic or family violence, is available below in these FAQs, or at our Student Wellbeing and Support page.

    Where can I find a copy of the Notre Dame student grievance resolution process?
    The Notre Dame student grievance resolution procedure is available here.

    I would like support regarding my grievance. Who should I contact?
    If you would like information and support about how to resolve your grievance, you are welcome to contact a Grievance Officer.

    Fremantle
    Mia Schaefer-Zaicz
    Grievance Officer
    Phone: (08) 9433 0680
    fremantle.grievanceofficer@nd.edu.au

    Sydney
    Marion Thomas
    Respect Officer
    Phone: (02) 8204 4687
    sydney.respectofficer@nd.edu.au

    Broome
    Sandra Wooltorton
    Grievance Officer
    Phone: (08) 9192 0614
    sandra.wooltorton@nd.edu.au

    If you are upset and you require counselling support, you can make an appointment with a University counsellor. The Notre Dame student counselling service is free and confidential. Please refer to the Counselling Service page for more information about the service and how to make an appointment.

    What will happen if I contact a Grievance Officer?
    You can contact a Grievance Officer by email or telephone. Ordinarily a Grievance Officer would offer to meet with you in person to discuss your concerns, but due to current social-distancing requirements resulting from COVID-19, the Grievance Officer will offer to speak with you by telephone instead.

    The Grievance Officer will listen to your concerns, treat you with respect, provide you with information and support regarding the student grievance resolution process, and help to connect you with other support services as needed. While the Grievance Officer will help to support you, they are not there to act as an advocate on your behalf.

    When you speak with the Grievance Officer, have your notes handy so that you can explain:

    • What has happened – you could try to summarise it in a brief paragraph
    • Why you are feeling aggrieved
    • What kind of resolution you would like to achieve

    If you haven’t yet attempted to resolve your grievance directly with the staff member or student concerned, the Grievance Officer will help to guide you on how to approach this. Direct resolution is usually the fastest and most effective way for students to resolve a grievance, and is therefore encouraged.

    Do I need to be a current student to access grievance support?
    Student grievance support is available to current Notre Dame students, and to former and prospective students of the University. You can raise a concern about any aspect of your current or past involvement with the University.

    I have tried to resolve my grievance directly with the person concerned, but it didn’t work. What should I do now?
    If you have tried to resolve your grievance directly with the staff member or student concerned, but it hasn’t worked, you have the option to raise your concern as a ‘formal grievance.’ You will need to contact a Grievance Officer to take this step.

    Fremantle
    Mia Schaefer-Zaicz
    Grievance Officer
    Phone: (08) 9433 0680
    fremantle.grievanceofficer@nd.edu.au

    Sydney
    Marion Thomas
    Respect Officer
    Phone: (02) 8204 4687
    sydney.respectofficer@nd.edu.au

    Broome
    Sandra Wooltorton
    Grievance Officer
    Phone: (08) 9192 0614
    sandra.wooltorton@nd.edu.au

    To raise a formal grievance, you will be asked to submit some paperwork including:

    1. a form (one page of A4) titled ‘Student Grievance – Request for Resolution.’ The Grievance Officer will provide you with a blank copy of this form to complete, if needed
    2. a grievance statement prepared by you, which should include:
      • a detailed description of the grievance
      • an outline of the preliminary steps you have taken to try to resolve the grievance
      • a statement of your desired outcome
      • a copy of any supporting documentation in support of the grievance

    When the Grievance Officer has received your formal grievance paperwork, a Senior Officer will be identified to investigate your grievance. In most cases, the Senior Officer will be the Dean of your School. If your grievance involves your Dean or in other appropriate cases, a different Senior Officer may be assigned.

    Once the Senior Officer has been identified, the Grievance Officer will send them your formal grievance paperwork. If your grievance involves a staff member, the Senior Officer will provide the staff member with details of the grievance so the staff member can understand, consider and respond to the grievance. The Senior Officer may offer to meet with you, and/or with any staff or other students who are involved in the grievance.

    The Senior Officer has 20 days in which to complete his/her investigation of your grievance (although the timeframe can be extended). At the end of this period, the Senior Officer will aim to resolve the grievance by agreement between the parties involved. If this is not possible, the Senior Officer will provide a proposed resolution, including reasons for the resolution, in writing.

    If both parties accept the resolution, the agreed course of action will be implemented immediately. If you or anyone else involved in the grievance does not accept the resolution, within five working days you or the other person can request that the matter be escalated.

    The University’s student grievance resolution procedure has mechanisms for escalating a student grievance within the University, and externally if needed.

    I have a meeting about my grievance. Can I bring a support person?
    A student or any other party to a grievance may bring a support person to a meeting. A support person may not be connected with, or perceived to be associated with, the grievance.

    At the meeting, a support person can provide you with support but they are not permitted to advocate or speak on your behalf. If you wish to bring a legal practitioner as your support person, you need to seek prior written approval from the University to do so.

    Are student grievances confidential?
    Student grievances are treated confidentially by the University. This means that, to the greatest extent possible, information about your grievance will not be shared with other staff or students.

    In some situations, the resolution process may require information about your grievance to be shared. For example, if you submit a formal grievance involving a staff member, the staff member will be informed about the grievance in sufficient detail to enable them to properly understand the grievance and respond.

    In general, any information that you provide to a Grievance Officer regarding your grievance will be shared with as few people as possible, depending on the circumstances of your grievance. If you have any concerns about this, please feel free to discuss the matter with a Grievance Officer.

    Student grievance information is collated by the University from time to time, for internal reporting purposes. This enables the University to understand what kinds of grievances are being raised by students, and to address any areas of concern if they arise. All information provided by students is de-identified for reporting purposes. This means that, when internal University reporting on student grievances takes place, students’ names and other identifying information are removed from the data.

    If I raise a grievance, could it be held against me in the future?
    At Notre Dame, students can seek a resolution of a grievance free from fear of discrimination and victimisation.

    If I raise a grievance, can I withdraw it at a later date?
    If you raise a grievance, you are free to withdraw it at a later date. This can occur any stage of the resolution process.

    In addition, a grievance can be dismissed or discontinued at any time if it is found to be frivolous or vexatious or if it would result in abuse, harassment or victimisation of any person. Any student who raises a complaint that is misleading, frivolous or aimed at hurting another party, may be subject to student misconduct processes.

    I am not sure if my matter is an appeal or a grievance. How do I find out?
    If an academic or administrative decision has been made by the University, and you do not agree with that decision (e.g. you have been denied an application for special consideration, or you wish to appeal a final grade) you may be able to appeal the decision. For further information about student appeals, including how to make an appeal, please refer to the Student Appeals webpage.

    The process for resolving student grievances is different. If you are unsure whether your matter is an appeal or a grievance, contact a Grievance Officer and they will guide you in the right direction.

    I have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, or domestic or family violence. Who should I contact?
    If you have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, or domestic or family violence, you are warmly encouraged to contact a Notre Dame Respect Officer or any other member of staff.

    Our Respect Officers have been specially trained and they will:

    • respond with compassion and understanding
    • coordinate practical academic support for you as needed, to help you continue with your studies
    • help you to access University support services (e.g. Counselling, Campus Ministry) and external support services
    • provide information about formal reporting options

    How to contact a Respect Officer

    Fremantle
    Sandra Hurrell
    fremantle.respectofficer@nd.edu.au
    Phone: (08) 9433 0879

    Sydney
    Marion Thomas
    sydney.respectofficer@nd.edu.au
    Phone: (02) 8204 4687

    Broome
    Maria Morgan
    broome.respectofficer@nd.edu.au
    Phone: (08) 9192 0631

    For further information about support for students who are affected by sexual assault, sexual harassment, or domestic or family violence, please refer to the Student Wellbeing and Support page.