Access to documents

The University makes a range of information and documents readily available to the public via our website. Details of how to access certain categories of information or documents is also provided in the University’s Part II Statements on these webpages.

The Freedom of Information Lead may be able to provide you with information or documents that are not readily available by conducting internal enquiries on your behalf or directing you to the appropriate area of the University to manage your request or enquiry.

Members of the media should approach the University’s Newsroom team as a first point of contact for information and data requests. Read more about the Newsroom or contact the media team at news@media.unimelb.edu.au.

You can ask to see, or be given a copy of, personal information we hold about you, where it does not impact on the rights and privacy of other individuals. We can provide copies of some documents without the need for special requests. For instance, we can provide a copy of:

  • any application forms and other documents you submitted to us,
  • copies of letters already sent to you, such as decision letters,
  • your payment history information, and
  • certain categories of employment records.

If your request relates to a specific school, faculty, or business area of the University, we suggest that you discuss your request with that area in the first instance as they may be able to assist you directly without the need for a more formal process. Otherwise, the Freedom of Information Lead can provide advice and assistance on the most appropriate avenue.

You can access certain information, including personal information we hold about you, immediately through your online account. This is a secure way for staff, students or alum to view, update and request some of the information we hold when and where it suits them.

If you are requesting your health or medical records held by the University’s Health Service or Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS), you will need to submit a valid FOI request.

The University must observe the obligations that apply to public bodies in relation to the maintenance and release of medical records under the Victorian Health Records Act 2001. Such requests are therefore processed subject to the FOI Act. Refer to How to make an FOI request for details.

The FOI Act gives any person the right to:

  • request access to copies of documents we hold, except exempt or excepted documents
  • ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading, and
  • seek a review of our decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record

Under the FOI Act you can request:

  • personal information regardless of the age of the documents
  • documents of a non-personal nature created since 5 July 1978

While you have the right to request any document that we hold, we can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents, subject to exemptions or exceptions permitted by the FOI Act. In addition, fees and charges may apply to a request for access made under the FOI Act.

A person does not have the right to obtain, under the FOI Act, publications or documents which are sold by the University, documents held by Public Record Office Victoria, or documents that are readily available to the public.

If a third party wishes to request the personal information of someone else, they must have appropriate consent or authority to receive information or documents about the other person. The documented proof required may include proof of relationship, an ‘Authority to Act’, a guardianship or custody order, or other authority.