Student Advocacy Service

We have moved to a new location.

We have moved to Building 11. Head to the lifts opposite the Gypsy Jones Cafe and go to level 2. You’ll find the same great student associations in a new, fresh space.

The Student Advocacy Service (SAS) is a free, confidential and independent service for all UOW students.

The Student Advocacy Service (SAS) is free, confidential and independent service for all UOW students.

The SAS provides advocacy and referral for a range of academic, procedural and administrative issues. These include, but are not limited to:


General complaints

Professional experience (PEX) concerns

Higher Degree Research complaints (including supervision)

Sexual harassment/Sexual assault reports and referrals

Academic misconduct appeals

Experiences of discrimination

General misconduct appeals

Equity issues

Allegations of misconduct in University accommodation

Fee issues

Exclusion appeals

Release from Contract requests

Bullying and harassment

Student Health and Leave Policy responses

General support

 Review of Academic decisions

We listen to you and provide guidance, advice and support.

The Student Advocacy Officers are available for phone, email or face-to-face consultation.  Meeting with a Student Advocacy Officer does not mean you are under any obligation to take an issue further.  Discussions with the Student Advocacy Officers are confidential and no action will be taken on a student's issue without express permission from the student, unless there is risk of harm to any individual or legal obligation to do so, such as under a Subpoena.

The Student Advocacy Officers are able to provide advice on UOW's policies and procedures and how they impact the students in given situations.  The Student Advocacy Officer will work with you to try and achieve a solution you are satisfied with.  We also refer students to other support services within the University and externally, if ongoing or additional support is required. 

Prepare documents

The SAS assists students in the preparation of the following types of documents:

  • General Complaints
  • Review of Academic Decisions
  • Appealing an outcome
  • Response to an allegation
  • Exclusion Appeals
  • Statements

Attend meetings

Student Advocacy Officers are available to attend interviews or meetings where a student would like a support person present. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Academic or General Misconduct meetings
  • Exclusion Committee meetings
  • Student Health and Leave Policy panels

OR appointments with:

  • Student Ombudsman
  • Supervisors
  • Human Resources
  • Graduate Research School
  • Complaints Management Centre

In some circumstances the Student Advocacy Officers may be able to accompany a student to:

  • Local Court
  • Police Station
  • Hospital
  • Tenancy Service
  • Other relevant services/providers when a student's ability to engage or complete their studies is impacted.

Where the situation directly impacts on a student's ability to continue or engage with their study, Student Advocacy Officers are able to facilitate phone conferences, in the Student Advocacy office, between a student and an external organisation.

The Student Advocacy Officers are not decision makers with regard to a student's complaint or appeal.  The Advocacy role is to provide independent advice and support and to advocate on a student's behalf.  For a detailed description of the scope of the Student Advocacy Service, please take a look at our Terms of Reference.

Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19): The UOW Student Advocacy Service is committed to providing students with the best possible service during this period of change.

You may email or phone the SAOs with your enquiry or to arrange an online appointment. If preferred, Advocacy Officers will continue discussions with students via options such as Webex, Zoom or Skype. Please email the SAS and let them know which system works best for you.

To book an appointment

Email or phone the Student Advocacy Hotline on 4239 2116.

Our Student Advocacy Officers are Rachel Cathcart & Kit West 

Office hours

Monday to Friday - 8.30 am - 5 pm


The information that you provide to the Student Advocacy Officers will be collected and held by the UOW Student Advocacy Service for the purpose of collating data that identifies trends and themes of student concerns.

Your details will be treated confidentially and handled in accordance with UOW’s privacy and records management obligations. Your information will not be disclosed to anyone outside the UOW Student Advocacy Service, unless there is a legal obligation to do so.

Non-identifying information will be used by UOW to monitor concerning trends on campus, inform our support strategies and design educational campaigns.

You have a right to access information about you that is held by UOW (or the Student Advocacy Officers). To obtain access or if you have any questions, please contact us.

UOW’s privacy policy provides further information on UOW’s commitment to protecting your privacy.