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Stage 1: Informal Discussion

The first stage is intended to provide an opportunity for grievances to be resolved quickly at the local level, with the fewest people possible involved, and to avoid the grievance escalating in scope and impact.

  • Time Frames
    Note that there are specific time frames for the Stage 2 process of the Student Grievance Resolution process. Consequently it is important to act promptly on your grievance at Stage 1.
  • Rights and Responsibilities
    Please refer to the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved in Stage 1 of the Grievance Resolution process before proceeding.



The student contacts the person responsible for the grievance with details of the grievance. Contact may be by phone, in person, or by email.

Example 1 Example 2 Example 3
Grievance Student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade Student is dissatisfied with the decision about a fee or Student Contribution refund Student feels they are being treated unfairly by a staff member or another student, such as actions or behaviour that may constitute bullying, harassment, discrimination or vilification
Action Student contacts the person who marked the assessment to discuss their grievance with the grade Student contacts the person who signed the letter recording the decision to discuss their grievance about not receiving a refund Student contacts the person(s) to explain how the actions are affecting them, and request that those actions be modified or stopped.

Students are strongly advised to seek advice from a Student Grievance Adviser, to help them with strategies for dealing with the grievance informally and quickly. This applies particularly if the student is uncomfortable about attempting to resolve the grievance directly with the person involved or responsible.

An alternative to discussion with the person responsible is to write to that person, with details of the grievance. Again, Student Grievance Advisers can provide help and assistance.


The person responsible for grievance follows up with the aggrieved student and indicates what action will result from the contact.

Possible actions may include:

  • person responsible agrees to resolution proposed
  • person responsible agrees to reconsider and inform student of outcome within a specified time frame
  • person responsible disagrees with student proposal but alternative resolution is proposed and accepted
  • person responsible disagrees with student proposal but explanation for original decision/action accepted by student
  • no agreement between person responsible and student

The Next Step

Student decides whether to:

  • take no further action
  • make comments or suggestions for an improvement to a University process or facility, without pursuing grievance
  • proceed to Stage 2 of the Student Grievance Resolution Process
Further Enquiries

Kate Borrett
Robert Simms
Student Affairs Officers
Wills Building

Student Care

Adelaide University Union
Ground Floor, Lady Symon Building
Telephone: +61 8 8313 5430