Role of the Representative Council

Representative Councillors are responsible for advising the GSA Board and advocating on behalf of the graduate students and the portfolios they represent. The role and powers of the Representative Council are set out in Rule 9.1.


Representative Councillors will be paid an honorarium to be determined by the Members at a general meeting (Rule 9.3).

Representative Councillors are not employees of UMGSA (Rule 9.2).


The Representative Council will comprise at least eight and up to fifteen Representative Councillors – each responsible for representing a portfolio (Rule 9.6).

The composition of the Representative Council is set out below in accordance with GSA Board regulation:


Representative Council Offices 2022-23 Term  Restricted Constituency*
Activities Officer N/A
Women’s Officer Those who identify as a woman.
International Officer Those who are enrolled as an international student.
Health and Welfare Officer N/A
Families Officer Those who identify as student parents, or those with caring responsibilities.
Queer Officer Those who identify as Queer, including, but not limited to, being same-sex attracted, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, intersex, trans, non-binary, or sex and/or gender diverse. 
Education (Coursework) Officer Those who are enrolled in a graduate coursework program, as defined by the University of Melbourne.
Education (Research) Officer Those who are enrolled in a higher degree by research program, as defined by the University of Melbourne.
First Nations Officer Those who are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.
Environment and Sustainability Officer N/A
Disability and Equity Officer Those with long-term physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological, learning disabilities well as persistent chronic illnesses. 


* Any restrictions on voting and standing for election in these constituencies should be interpreted as providing an inclusive definition of graduate students who may fall into these categories.

These definitions should be read with, and superseded by to the extent of any inconsistency, any University of Melbourne definition or regulation, as well as any Victorian or Commonwealth government regulation including anti-discrimination legislation.

Restricted constituencies refer to a limitation on voting so that those who identify as being part of that constituency are able to vote for that officer at elections, for example the women’s officer only being elected by graduates who identify as women. This is provided for under 9.8(b) of the GSA Constitution which states that “the GSA Board may determine annually the restrictions (if any) on voting in elections for Representative Councillors representing particular constituencies”.



Pursuant to Rule 9.7, individuals seeking election to the Representative Council must:

  • support the Principal Purpose of UMGSA;
  • be a Member of UMGSA;
  • not be a GSA Board member; and
  • must not be a staff member or a previous staff member employed with the preceding 12 months.

Specific qualifications and/or eligibility requirements may be set (by the GSA Board) for Representative Councillors representing particular constituencies. For example, the GSA Board may make a Regulation that only a person who identifies and a woman may stand for election to represent women constituents.



Representative Councillors are directly elected to a portfolio by the graduate students at a general election (Rule 9.8).


Term of office

Representative Councillors appointed by the Members hold office for one year (Rule 9.9(a)). Representative Councillors appointed by the Representative Council to fill a casual vacancy hold office until the conclusion of the next annual general meeting following their appointment (Rule 9.9(b)).

Representative Councillors may be re-elected for one further term only (Rule 9.9(c)).

CLICK HERE for the Position Description for GSA Representative Council Member

CLICK HERE for the Nomination Form