Support for Staff

Making a complaint

UNSW aims to provide a working environment which promotes respectful behavior, safety, teamwork and acceptance of difference.  All staff should be aware of their responsibility to act in a professional, safe and inclusive way and be willing to participate in a conflict resolution process if a problem occurs.
The UNSW Staff Complaint Procedure provides a process for addressing conflict in the workplace.  It outlines a range of options to resolve workplace issues, from informal 'discussion based' approaches to a formal complaint process.  If you are concerned or aggrieved about any aspect of your working life, you should not ignore it.   You are strongly encouraged to use this procedure to address workplace issues as early as possible.
The Staff Complaint Procedure takes you through the steps for making both an informal and a formal complaint.  It includes information that is important to the complaint process including procedural fairness, confidentiality, victimisation, and roles and responsibilities.

First point of contact: Supervisor and/or Human Resources Consultant


The supervisor is the primary point of contact for staff wishing to make a complaint.  The supervisor's role is to handle the complaint under the Staff Complaint Procedure.  Your supervisor can offer to help you resolve the matter through a broad range of options, suited to the particular issue (e.g. facilitating discussion, approaching the other person on your behalf, mediation).  You are encouraged to contact your supervisor early, as this creates the best prospect of resolving the issue.  If the complaint is about your supervisor, you should contact the next most senior staff member, who will handle the complaint or refer it to another supervisor / manager at an appropriate level.

Human Resources Consultant

The role of the Human Resources Consultant (HRC) is to provide advice about dealing with complaints to the complainant, the respondent or to the complaint handler, subject to any conflict of interest.  HRCs will not normally have any role in handling the complaint other than in an advisory capacity. Contact your local HRC.

Second point of contact: University Compaint Officer

If you would like advice on your options under the Staff Complaint Procedure, or you are unsure about whether or not to make a complaint, you should contact a University Complaint Officer. Their role is to provide information about options for making a complaint under the procedure and to facilitate a better understanding of how the procedure operates. They can assist to identify how the processes and actions in the procedure might apply to a situation, subject to any conflict of interest. The University Complaint Officers do not manage or investigate complaints and are not able to assist staff beyond advice on using the Staff Complaint Procedure.

UNSW Complaint Officers
Diane Utatao

Complaints Officer (external to UNSW)
Ph. 0477 739 247

Ed Davis

Complaints Officer (external to UNSW)
Ph. 0438 166 986

Rosalind Reidy

Head of Workplace Diversity, Human Resources
Ph. 02 9385 1707

Poppy Maclean

Manager, Equity - UNSW Canberra at ADFA
Ph. 02 6268 8218 or 0404 441 005

Support person
At any stage of the complaint process you are able to nominate a support person.  The support person could be a trusted work colleague who is not directly involved in the issue or conflict, a family member, a union representative or a legal representative.  The support person can attend meetings with you and provide advice or support about written documents and processes.  A support person must maintain confidentiality.

UNSW Employee Assistance Program

The University's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is an external, professional, confidential counselling service for employees and their immediate family members, paid for by the University.  It is free to you and your family.  This service is provided by independent organisation Davidson Trahaire Corpsych.  Davidson Trahaire Corpsych counsellors are all qualified, experienced professionals who have extensive training in counselling and workplace consulting.

For confidential appointments and enquiries call 1300 360 364 Australia wide. For more information about Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, visit For all other EAP queries, contact your local HRC.

Forms and resources

The Complaint Form outlines what information to include in your complaint. It is not compulsory to complete the form. You can make an informal complaint verbally or in writing (either using the form or by writing a letter/complaint in free form). Formal complaints must be in writing (either using the form or by writing a letter / complaint in free form).

The Complaint Procedure flow charts provide an overview of each step of the complaint process and possible outcomes. There is one flow chart about the overall process and one flow chart with a more detailed description of the formal complaint process.

You can access both these resources at the end of the UNSW Staff Compaint Procedure.