Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

University Ombudsman

The University Ombudsman is an impartial and confidential resource for seeking to address University-related problems, complaints or concerns. The Ombudsman works collaboratively with academic and general staff to help create a campus climate where matters raised are investigated and resolution is facilitated.

The Ombudsman can provide information and guidance on rights and responsibilities, University regulations and procedures, and mediation between conflicting parties. The Ombudsman links complaints, problems or concerns into the quality management framework for the University and seeks to use resolution options as tools for quality improvement.

According to the Complaints Policy the Ombudsman is responsible for:

  • overall management and monitoring of complaints handling within the University;
  • providing independent and impartial advice and assistance to managers or supervisors who have received and are handling a complaint;
  • providing independent, impartial and confidential information to complainants about the procedure for dealing with complaints including listening to the issues and helping the person clarify the facts;
  • conducting internal reviews of complaints in both process and content; and
  • identifying systemic issues arising from complaints and making recommendations to management.

The University Ombudsman may not make an academic assessment of any work and is unable to comment on the academic merit or content of submitted works.

The University Ombudsman is also the University's Right to Information Officer and Privacy Officer.

Privacy and your information

The personal information you provide to Charles Sturt University (CSU) is managed in accordance with  the CSU’s Privacy Management Plan that demonstrates the University’s commitments to meeting our obligations under the privacy legislations, the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)(the Act) and the Privacy Act 1988  (Cth) and the Health records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW).

Your information will be collected by CSU and may be disclosed to its authorised personnel (and third parties) to enable CSU to provide information to you, relating to CSU (including information advertising or promoting CSU’s courses).

In providing your personal information to CSU you consent to CSU contacting you via your nominated contact details to provide such information. This consent is in force until such time as you notify CSU, in writing that you wish to withdraw it.

Staff and students of the University should also refer to the University’s Computing and Communications Use Policy and Records Management Policy.

For all general enquiries about privacy and privacy complaints email: ombudsman@csu.edu.au

What is Personal Information?

Personal Information is defined in the Act as being information or an opinion about an individual whose identity is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained from that information or opinion. Personal Information includes, for example, names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and passport numbers.

There are circumstances in which, under the Act, information about an individual is not considered to be Personal Information, including:

  • when it relates to a person who has been dead for more than 30 years; and
  • when it is contained in a publicly available publication.

Information that you disclose in online forums or other interactive media is considered by CSU and the common law to be public information and may therefore not be subject to protection under the Act.

Reporting a breach to a University system

If you are concerned that a University system may have been breached, contact the University Ombudsman at ombudsman@csu.edu.au

University Website Privacy Collection Statement

1. Collection of information

When you are using a University website, you may be asked to provide your name, contact details or other personal information.

In some circumstances, we will ask you to use a third party to provide us with information, such as where you register for a University event.  The University’s websites also automatically collect personal information when you are browsing or otherwise using our websites. The various mechanisms used by the University include server logs, proxy logs, and cookies.

A cookie is a package of data which a website requests be stored temporarily on your computer (or in memory) to identify you as a visitor to that website. You can choose to disallow cookies by changing settings on your web browser. However, if you reject all cookies you may not be able to use some of the University’s websites.

The information collected by these various mechanisms includes:

  • the server and IP (Internet Protocol) address of the machine that has accessed the website;
  • the dates and times of each visit to the website;
  • the pages accessed and documents downloaded;
  • the type of browser used; and
  • sometimes, the previous site visited.

Cookies may also store the following information: session (numbered key) and duration. A numbered key is a unique server-generated number used to identify the current session. The session key can be linked back to a user's login identification.

2. Use and disclosure

We will only use or disclose your personal information in the following ways:

  • for the purpose for which it was collected to manage your candidature with the University;
  • for a directly related purpose;
  • when we have your express consent to do so
  • as otherwise permitted or authorised by law.

Examples of how we will use and/or disclose your personal information include:

  • Information that we collect on website forms may be used for business and learning analytics purposes to assist CSU to make better decisions regarding its operations, services and engagement with community.
  • Data automatically collected on our websites is used for statistical and business purposes such as diagnosing a fault and improving our services or, when required, for investigations. The data is generally not accessible except to authorised staff for these purposes. Information which is automatically collected may be published as aggregated (de-identified) information to assist with improving the services offered by CSU through its websites.
  • CSU may use cookies for re-targeting purposes. Re-targeting occurs where Google, Facebook and other third parties use cookies from your browser to show advertisements when you visit websites, based on your web preferences and usage patterns. If you have a cookie from our website stored on your computer, you may see our advertisements as you browse other sites. If you would like to opt out of a third party’s use of cookies to show advertisements, you can do so by updating the ad settings for that particular third party, such as Google and Facebook. For more information about how to opt out, you may also want to visit the Network Advertising Initiative website.

3. Access to and correction of personal information

You have a right under the Privacy legislations to request access to, and correction of, your personal information held by CSU. For information about accessing or amending your personal information please email the University Ombudsman at ombudsman@csu.edu.au

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act)

Information held by the University can be accessed in several ways:

Mandatory release
Much of the information held by the University is already publicly available. The following are resources you may wish to review, which are constantly updated:

  • The University webpages. Here, you will find information about the University, Courses and Subjects, Pathways into University and application procedures, Research activities and performance data as well as a comprehensive list of the University's publications, resources and policy documents.
  • The Publication Guide. This is a guide to the University's organisational structure and policy framework.
  • The Disclosure Log is also available through the Quick Links on the University Ombudsman's website, which lists all formal determinations made by the University under the GIPA Act.
  • The University is required by the GIPA Act to record and publish certain information about some contracts with private sector bodies. Part 3, Division 5 of the GIPA Act states that information about contracts worth more than $150,000 between agencies and private sector bodies must be recorded in a register of government contracts. The Contracts Register is also available through the Quick Links on the University Ombudsman's website.
  • Information tabled in Parliament. Information about the agency contained in any document tabled in Parliament by or on behalf of the agency.

Proactive release
You can ask the University for other information in addition to the information contained on its website. Under GIPA Act, the University is encouraged to release as much information as possible. The Right to Information Officer is the University Ombudsman who can be contacted on (02) 6933 4259 or by email to ombudsman@csu.edu.au

Informal request
You can request specific information from the University The University may release information without the need for a formal application, please contact the University Ombudsman, on (02) 6933 4259 or by email to ombudsman@csu.edu.au

Formal application
You can formally request specific information from the University. In limited circumstances, access to information will require a valid formal access application. Your formal application must include a name and address for the release of the information, clearly defined information sought and be accompanied by the $30 fee.