GSA (Graduate Student Association) is an independent organisation that provides all 26,000+ enrolled graduate students at the University of Melbourne with representation, events, training and support.
We are made up of a Board, a Representative Council, a Faculty Council and a small but impactful team of professional staff. Our Board and Representative Council are also graduate students at the University, so they are able to understand best what students need and how to support them.
We’re here to help with your graduate studies while you’re studying at the University of Melbourne. After all, we’re called ‘The heart of graduate student life’ for a reason.
We’re located in the 1888 Building at the Parkville campus, conveniently next to Stop 1. If you’re not on campus, you can always reach out to us online. The GSA reception desk is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.
The building is accessible from 8am-11pm, 7 days a week. The only condition is that between the hours of 8am-9am and from 5pm-11pm a graduate student card is required to swipe into the building for security purposes.
Find out more about our building on the 1888 Building page.
While all undergraduate courses at the University of Melbourne are approved for Centrelink study payments, only some master’s courses have been approved for Youth Allowance and Austudy payments.
Domestic students on a low income may also be eligible to receive a Health Care Card from the Victorian state government, which would allow them to access concessions on a range of health care services and medicines.
You can also book an appointment with Student Support Financial Aid to discuss options for student loads, advice, housing assistance grants and welfare support.
In Victoria, postgraduate and part-time students are not eligible for public transport concessions. If you are a domestic student and on a low income, you may be eligible for a Health Care Card, which would entitle you to concessions on public transport.
If you’re an enrolled University of Melbourne graduate student, you’re eligible to become a member of GSA and membership is free! Becoming an official member of GSA comes with many benefits and GSA is here to represent and support all enrolled Graduate Students at the University of Melbourne.
To find out how to become a member, click here.
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We regularly post content about our events, training and support.
If you’d like to share content with us, please tag us on Instagram using @gsa_unimelb or #gsa_unimelb
A Grad Group is a GSA-Affiliated student society that supports, and is led by, graduate students at the University of Melbourne. These Grad Groups promote interaction, welfare and cohesion within the University of Melbourne’s diverse graduate student population and fall under a number of categories including (but not limited to)
- Business and Enterprise
- Physical activity
- Welfare and Wellbeing
- Faith and Spirituality
- International and cultural
- Political, campaigning and social justice
These groups and their students are supported by GSA through funding and grants, room and equipment hire, representation, networking opportunities, marketing assistance, training, public liability insurance and services, support and advice.
What is SSAF?
The Student Services and amenities fee (SSAF) is a compulsory annual fee payable by all students at the University of Melbourne. Generally, all students who are enrolled in 12.5 points or more of study load across the calendar year pay SSAF.
In October 2011, the Australian Parliament passed legislation to allow universities and other higher education providers to charge a compulsory SSAF. The SSAF was introduced in 2012.
How Much Do I Pay as SSAF?
The University of Melbourne determines the rates of the SSAF and information on how much you pay as SSAF can be found here.
What does my SSAF go towards after being collected by the University?
- Student services and amenities
The University uses the SSAF to provide funding to services and amenities for students, such as:
- The University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU)
- Melbourne University Sport
- The Graduate Student Association (GSA)
- University Student Services, including Wellbeing and Students@Work
- Child services.
- Ad-hoc projects
SSAF funding can also be used through the SSAF Grant Program, which funds ad-hoc projects that support student-focussed initiatives or contribute to meeting the needs of our diverse student population.
All students can apply for a SSAF Grant. Details as to how to apply and more information can be found here.
How Much Does GSA Get as SSAF?
Every three years, the organisations that receive SSAF negotiate their funding arrangement with the University. The last funding agreement was negotiated in 2022 for the 2023-2025 period.
Based on the 2023-2025 agreement, GSA will receive 15.25% of 100% of the total SSAF income to be collected annually by the University. The annual SSAF allocation to GSA will vary in accordance with the change in total SSAF income collected each year.
Overall allocations for total SSAF funding can be found here.
What is GSA’s SSAF Agreement?
GSA’s SSAF Agreement with the University is where we receive SSAF funds from the University under the terms of an agreement which reflects legal requirements governing SSAF expenditure and compulsory reporting to the University on how GSA spends SSAF funds annually.
What does GSA spend the SSAF funds on?
In line with the Subsection 19-38(4) of the Higher Education Support Act 2003, GSA spends the SSAF funding received on graduate students for:
- providing food or drink
- supporting a sporting or other recreational activity
- supporting the administration of a club most of whose members are graduate students
- caring for children of graduate student
- promoting the health or welfare of graduate students
- helping graduate students secure accommodation
- helping graduate students obtain employment or advice on careers
- helping graduate students with their financial affairs
- helping graduate students obtain insurance against personal accidents
- supporting debating by graduate students
- providing libraries and reading rooms (other than those provided for academic purposes) for graduate students
- supporting an artistic activity by graduate students
- supporting the production and dissemination to graduate students of media whose content is provided by graduate students
- helping graduate students develop skills for study
- advocating graduate students’ interests
- giving graduate students information to help them in their orientation
- helping meet the specific needs of overseas/international graduate students
SSAF funds are also used for governance and for all admin resources needed to support and provide the services above.