About Advocacy

Our mission is to support and equip Swinburne students with the confidence and knowledge needed to navigate university policies and procedures. The dedicated team behind our advocacy services are professional, empathetic, and fully trained to support you when help is needed.   

Advocacy services are free, independent, and confidential!

We’re here to help Swinburne students. Our resources and self-help materials  are great for finding answers for issues commonly raised by students; however, if you’re unsure where to start or want to discuss your situation in more detail, you can contact us to make an appointment with an advocacy officer.   

Our FAQ has more information about our advocacy services and answers some of the most common questions asked by students.   

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of common student questions we’ve answered to help you understand how advocacy services help Swinburne students

An advocacy officer can:

  • Provide independent advice.

  • Be empathetic to sensitive situations and provide advice on appropriate next steps.

  • Clarify and explain university policies, procedures, and official communications.

  • Explain and advise on students' rights and responsibilities.

  • Be your support person for meetings organised by university staff.

  • Ensure university staff and students consider all relevant information when resolving issues.

  • Proofread and provide feedback on students’ communications to Swinburne, e.g., formal complaints, misconduct review or appeal statements etc.

  • Provide referrals to other support services within the university.

  • Influence the decision-making process of Swinburne university.

  • Draft or write your official responses, letters, and statements to the university, unless a student’s disability requires assistance to do so.

  • Provide legal advice.

  • Provide visa-related advice for international students.

  • Continue to interact and provide assistance if you engage in any unacceptable behaviour while communicating with Swinburne Student Life staff according to our Student Behavioural Guidelines.

Yes, our independent advocacy services are available for Swinburne Online students.

All Swinburne students are eligible for advocacy services if they were enrolled in a subject (past census date) within the previous 12 months

Yes, our independent advocacy services are available for international students.

All Swinburne students are eligible for advocacy services if they were enrolled in a subject (past census date) within the previous 12 months.

International students can also access support services through the International Support Advisors (ISA) .

Maybe, it depends on when you were last enrolled.

All Swinburne students are eligible for advocacy services if they were enrolled in a subject (past census date) within the previous 12 months.

If something unexpected and beyond your control prevents you from submitting an assignment on time or attending an exam, you can ask for special consideration .

Applications for special consideration need to be submitted through an online form before 5 p.m. on the third working day after the assignment or test was originally due (not available for ELICOS).

If you are unwell or something unusual happens that affects your ability to prepare for a non-exam assignment, you may be eligible for an extension of the due date. Simply send an email to the unit convenor or teacher to request an extension.

Swinburne’s approach to rechecking marks is for students to attempt a ‘local resolution’. This means students should email their concerns to the relevant unit convenor and request an appointment to discuss the situation. Students have 10 working days from when the result is published or made available to arrange this appointment.

If students are not satisfied with the local resolution outcome, or did not her back from the unit conveyor, their next option is to submit a complaint. Complaints must be submitted within 21 days of receiving the outcome of the local resolution.

Students can meet with an advocacy officer at any time during these steps to discuss the mark rechecking process and receive advice for their individual situation.

Many issues around assessments and marking may be resolved ‘locally’ by having a conversation with your unit conveyor. They may be able to help, or they may direct you to one of the following processes. If you are unsure how to proceed or would like help preparing submissions for any of these processes, you are welcome to contact an advocacy officer.

Students may appeal or request for a decision to be reviewed, but determining which process they should follow will depend on multiple factors.

Appeal and review processes will have time constraints and would likely require supporting information/materials, so we recommend that students contact us to discuss their situation as early as possible so that we can provide appropriate advice and guide students through the correct process.

Students can meet with an advocacy officer to review official Swinburne communications, including decisions, to receive independent advice for their specific situation.

Students may apply for up to 12 months Leave of Absence from their studies. Applications are not automatically approved; Swinburne will assess each students’ circumstances before approving Leave requests.

If you need to alter your enrolment or take leave from your studies, you should first consider how that will impact your academic progression and whether any census dates have already passed. Students should consider meeting with Enrolment Specialist to discuss any possible consequences.

An advocacy officer cannot provide academic advice, but we can help you understand the processes required and guide you to the relevant people to assist you.

If something unexpected and beyond your control prevents you from completing your studies, and became known after a census date has passed, you may be eligible for a Post Census Remission of Debt (PCRD) to remit the financial and academic penalties for the applicable units.  

There are strict rules Swinburne need to comply with to approve PCRD for students.

An advocacy officer can guide you through the process, discuss your circumstances and help you understand if you are eligible to apply for a PCRD, and check if your special circumstances are likely to meet the eligibility criteria. An advocacy offer can also help you determine and prepare appropriate documents to support your application.

Navigating academic progression issues can be a confronting and uncomfortable experience.

Our advocacy officers understand how difficult this process can be for students. They provide empathetic and confidential advice to help students understand their academic progression requirements and can provide appropriate information for individual student circumstances.

If you receive a request to meet with Swinburne staff and you are unsure of what to expect or how to proceed, contact an advocacy officer and we can help you prepare for the meeting and can even attend the meeting with you as your support person, if required