Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the proposed GSA Constitution (2020)
1. Have the Purpose or the Values section of the Constitution changed?

The purpose and values of GSA have not changed, but our aims and objectives are articulated more clearly. They have been strengthened to ensure we advocate for graduate students – who are at the heart of our organisation.

2. What changes have been made in the Constitution to ensure GSA reaches out to more graduate students, to provide them with information and services to assist them?

Membership: all graduates will automatically become members of GSA at the time of enrolment (through an opt-in process). When you enroll, you will be able to tick the box to ensure you are providing GSA details so that you can become a member immediately. However, in case you miss out at time of enrolment, a simple application process can still ensure you have membership with GSA. With this addition to the enrolment process, GSA will be able to reach out to the wider cohort and ensure that SSAF funding is expended appropriately to meet all your needs.

3. How does GSA ensure representation of all groups in the governance of the organisation to address access and equity principles?

As a progressive organization that supports gender equality, and aligning with the Victorian Gender Equality Act (2020), we ensure that at least 50 per cent of GSA Board members must be women. We will also endeavor to ensure the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait in all our working groups and governance structure possible.

4. What will be the focus of the GSA Board, and what is its composition?

The GSA Board will have 8 members – all students, elected by graduates. They will have the overall responsibility for the governance and all legal obligations for ensuring a sustainable and viable GSA.

5. How will the Representative Council be formed and what is their function?

The GSA Board will establish, by regulation, a subcommittee to be known as the Representative Council, of up to 15 members. The Representative Council does not have governance duties; its purpose is to advise the GSA Board and advocate on behalf of graduates and the portfolios they represent. They will be directly elected to their portfolios by the members of GSA.

6. What will the new Faculty Council assist the GSA Board with?

GSA is excited to introduce the Faculty Council – a group of 20 faculty-elected students, who advise GSA about our programs and representative issues, ensuring faculty-specific feedback is heard. Each faculty will nominate and elect their representatives to ensure we have the representation of domestic, international, coursework and research graduates advising our GSA Board on key faculty-related issues. (Note: “Faculty” means every graduate school as recognised by the University.)

7. How will the changes in Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures in the Constitution support the membership of GSA?

By incorporating an independent appeal external process, GSA has strengthened the disciplinary procedure and grievance procedures to ensure we have fair and equitable mechanisms to address concerns and disputes in a timely manner.

8. Will the GSA Board, Representative Council and Faculty Council be paid an honorarium?

Based on the financial and budget considerations, GSA membership is delegated the responsibility to set honorarium at each Annual General Meeting (AGM). This means that graduate student members have a vote to determine how funds are allocated to the remuneration of elected positions.

9. When will the new Constitution be adopted, and how can graduate students vote?

The proposed Constitution will be voted upon at the AGM. All currently enrolled graduate students at the University of Melbourne are eligible to attend the AGM and vote on its proposals. Please note that only currently enrolled graduate students are eligible to vote. Enrolment status will be asked for during the registration process, and it will be checked against the University’s enrolment records to ensure that only verified students are voting.

10. How can I register my attendance at the AGM?
  1. Please visit the Annual General Meeting page here:Annual General Meeting (2020)
  2. Click ‘Register to attend‘ and fill out your details before 5pm Thursday 4 June. If you miss this deadline, please email events@gsa.unimelb.edu.au.
  3. You will be sent a Zoom link on Friday 5 June, approximately 15 minutes before the AGM commences.