How to make an FOI request

The "information" sought by an applicant under the FOI Act must be in document form and must be in the possession of the University. While you have the right to request access to documents, the University can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents, subject to exemptions or exceptions permitted by the FOI Act. Fees and access charges may apply to a request made under the FOI Act.

Under the FOI Act, your request for documents must meet three requirements to be valid:

  1. your request must be in writing;
  2. you must provide sufficient information about the documents you are requesting so the University can locate all relevant documents; and
  3. you must pay the application fee, or request that the fee be waived due to hardship.

Applications can be made by email to FOI-Officer@unimelb.edu.au or by post to:

FOI Officer
c/o Freedom of Information Lead, Legal and Risk
The University of Melbourne, VIC 3010

You can also phone the Freedom of Information Lead on +61 3 9035 4268 if you require assistance or more information.

The application fee can be paid online, via cheque or money order made payable to 'The University of Melbourne', or by credit card by phoning the Freedom of Information Lead on +61 3 9035 4268.

If you request the application fee to be waived or reduced, you should provide evidence of hardship – for example, a concession or health care card, a bank statement, or statutory declaration outlining why payment would cause you hardship.

Your application should clearly describe the documents you seek. You are encouraged to include context such as date ranges, expected location for the documents to be held, subject matter, or any other information that would enable the requested documents to be identified.

If your request requires clarification before it can be considered valid, the Freedom of Information Lead will advise you and provide assistance or advice on how you can make a valid request. Once you make a valid request, the University will begin processing it.

If you are requesting personal records relating to you, please include the following information to help us identify the correct records and verify your identity:

  • for health records requests, whether you are seeking both medical and counselling records (as these may be held by either the Health Service or the CAPS)
  • your date of birth
  • your last registered residential address with the University Health Services or CAPS (if known)
  • a copy of certified photo ID if you are not using a University email account.

If you have access to a University email account, we recommend using this to correspond with us as your secure single sign-on account is considered sufficient proof of your identity. Information on certification of original documents can be found on the Victorian State Government website here.

If a third party wishes to request the personal information of someone else, they must have appropriate authority to receive information or documents about the other person. The documented proof required may include proof of relationship, a signed Authority to Act, a guardianship or custody order, or other authority, together with their photo identification.

The University has between 30 and 45 days from the date a valid request is made to provide you with a decision. The timeframe will depend on whether or not we need additional time to consult with third parties whose information may be contained in the requested documents. The timeframe can be extended beyond 30 to 45 days if you provide your consent.

In some instances, the timeframe may also be impacted by other legislative provisions. If it becomes apparent during the processing of your request that this applies, you will be notified. You can contact us at any time for an update on your request.