Complaints process


The University recognises your right to make a complaint about an aspect of the University’s conduct. Outlined below is information to support you in understanding the University’s complaints process.

For specific information and support to assist you in dealing with issues relating to sexually based assault or harassment please refer to this page. If you subsequently believe that the University’s processes or procedures were not correctly applied, you can lodge a complaint with the Complaints Office.

We aim to assist you in dealing with your issues, concerns, grievances or complaints effectively as possible, and in accordance with best practice recommendations for complaint handling. The University uses a three-tier resolution model, as follows:

  • Tier 1 – we encourage you to informally resolve your issue or concern at the lowest level possible using the existing resources, systems and available pathways within the University. This includes working respectfully and courteously with the person or people directly involved with your issue.
  • Tier 2 – depending on the type of concern or complaint, the University has services and processes in place to help you access the most appropriate pathway to resolve your issue. This may include applying specific systems and processes relevant to your issue, with the people who are best positioned to do so.
  • Tier 3 – our formal complaints process can be applied if the concern or complaint cannot be resolved at a lower level, or if there is a concern with how a process or procedure was applied by the University.

Please contact a University complaints handler if you would like some advice or assistance in relation to the avenues available to you to resolve your issue, or if you would like to make a formal complaint.

The objective of the University's formal complaints process is to ensure a fair and equitable process, but not necessarily a specific outcome.

A formal complaint can be made to the University:

  • when there are reasonable concerns about the application of a University policy process or procedure of the University;
  • if you have not been able to resolve an issue or concern you have by any other means, taking into account that the University encourages you to resolve your issues informally wherever possible;
  • where there is no other available pathway within the University to resolve your issue.

Please consider the options available to you on the Resolving issues page first. If you require advice, guidance or support to access available pathways to try and resolve your issue or concern, or believe you have an issue or concern which is a formal complaint, please contact a University complaints handler.

You can make a formal complaint to the University in various ways, as follows:

  • Email:
  • Mail: addressed to Complaints, University of Newcastle, ATC220, Advanced Technology Centre, University Drive, Callaghan NSW 2308

You can also call to speak with a complaints handler on (02) 4921 5806. In special circumstances a complaint handler may decide to accept a formal complaint without requiring it to be made in writing, but you will need to discuss this at the time you call.

A formal complaint must include sufficient information for it to be assessed, and all relevant information should be lodged at the time of submitting your complaint.

A University complaints handler can explain the general process to you, including advising you what you need to include in a formal complaint, what information we will or may need, what steps we are likely to take in the process and relevant timeframes in relation to the review of any formal complaint.

They may also, as part of that process, identify other pathways which are available to help resolve any issue or concern before you make a formal complaint.

For further details please refer to the University's Complaints Resolution Policy documents, which are available in the Policy Library.

Complainants are expected to participate in all processes honestly, openly and in good faith, and follow any reasonable recommendations for self supported early resolution or local assisted resolution for any issue, concern or grievance.

This includes providing requested documentation and all relevant information otherwise available; remaining open to suggested options for resolution; and engaging respectfully with those concerned.

For more information and advice in relation to accessing available pathways to resolve your issue, or how to submit a formal complaint, please contact a University complaints handler by e-mail or you can phone (02) 4921 5806.

Reporting fraud and corruption

If you suspect, or become aware of any fraud, corruption, misconduct or maladministration in relation to any aspect of UON’s operations, this is a matter of public interest and you have a responsibility to report it. The reporting process for fraud and corruption is different to that outlined above.

Reporting fraudulent or corrupt practice is also known as ‘whistle blowing’ or making a public interest disclosure (PID). UON does not tolerate corrupt conduct and takes any reports of such behaviour very seriously. You need to follow UON's PID policy and the associated reporting processes that are in place to protect and support whistle blowers.

Reporting through the correct channels will ensure you are not disadvantaged for raising your concern. To be afforded this protection, it’s important you report your concerns correctly.