A-Z student information

The Student Guide has key information you need as you study with SWTAFE and where to seek help if you need it.

Student Guide

The Student Guide has all of the information you need to find your way around SWTAFE and where to seek any help you may need or browse the information below.

Absences

If you miss any classes or assessments due to illness or other personal reasons, you must inform the teacher concerned. Messages may be left on your teacher’s voicemail, or sent via email or SMS. Your teacher will inform you of their preferred method of communication.
If you miss an assessment, you may be required to provide a medical certificate. 
It is your responsibility to follow up with the teacher to collect any handouts, other documentation or requirements that you have missed in your absence.

Also see ‘Attendance’.

Access and Equity Assistance

Our access and equity assistance aim to increase opportunities for those who demonstrate a desire to participate in education and may not be able to do so due to financial hardship.
Find out more and apply for assistance at swtafe.edu.au

Accidents and injuries

If you are injured, have an accident, incident or near-miss while on campus, report it immediately to your teacher or other SWTAFE staff member so that first aid can be arranged without delay, any hazards controlled and an incident report completed. A staff member will also assist you in completing and filing forms as required.
See also Ambulance Cover.

Alcohol and other drugs

As a member of the SWTAFE community, you are required to behave sensibly and appropriately. You must not come onto campus, attend class or any SWTAFE organised activity under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Intoxicating
liquor is also strictly forbidden on our premises with the exception of liquor in licensed areas.
If any of the above are breached, the process under the Student Code of Conduct will be followed.

Ambulance cover

If you have an accident or are injured at SWTAFE, it may be necessary to call an ambulance. If this occurs, you will incur the cost. Avoid this by ensuring that your Ambulance cover is up to date. 

Assessments

The assessment required for courses/units will vary and may include projects, portfolios, written tasks, research, reports, exams, and demonstration of practical skills. Your teachers will provide specific information on the requirements for your course/unit.

Assessment misconduct

If a student is acting dishonestly or unfairly in respect to an aspect of assessment conducted by or on behalf of South West TAFE, the action shall be regarded as misconduct under the ‘Student standards of behaviour agreement’ and the matter will be processed according to that agreement.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s work as though it is your own by failing to properly acknowledge that person. Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is a practice which runs counter to the very purpose of learning and training. 
It is expected that you will prepare and submit work which is your own and which, where appropriate, acknowledges the work of others. Without full and appropriate acknowledgment to the original source(s) plagiarism
includes any of the following:

  • copying the exact words from a source without using quotation marks
  • making minor changes to someone else’s words without acknowledging their source
  • using another person’s idea from a text without acknowledging its source (for example in a book or from the internet)
  • copying and submitting all or part of another student’s work under your own name
  • cheating in an exam by using unauthorised notes or copying from other students.

South West TAFE takes the integrity and honesty of its students very seriously. Acts of plagiarism are unacceptable and all forms of plagiarism have severe penalties.

Copyright

Copyright laws apply to original material, whether in hard copy or electronic format.

Copyright applies to:

  • written materials, such as articles, novels, screenplays, poems, lyrics and reports
  • artistic works, such as paintings, drawings, cartoons, sculpture, craft work, photographs, maps and plans
  • dramatic and musical works such as dance, plays and mime
  • computer programs
  • compilations, such as anthologies, directories and databases
  • cinematographic films
  • und recordings and broadcasts

Copyright doesn’t apply to:

  • ideas and concepts
  • styles
  • techniques

(Source: ‘An introduction to copyright in Australia’, Australian Copyright Council, Strawberry Hills, 2007).

You must keep track of any sources quoted and reference them in your assignments. Additional copyright information can be found at the SWTAFE Library website.

Referencing

All assignment work must be referenced. Assignments will not be assessed if materials are not referenced. For tips on referencing please visit SWTAFE Library website.

Attendance

Only currently enrolled students are to attend class and it is expected that you will attend 100 per cent of scheduled classes. If you do not attend the scheduled classes for a subject, your ability to develop and demonstrate competency will be compromised and you may not be able to successfully complete your qualification.

Also see ‘Absence’.

Bicycles

You are encouraged to ride your bike to class when possible. You must walk, not ride your bike while on campus. Ensure you lock your bike when you leave it on SWTAFE grounds as we are not responsible for stolen or damaged bikes.

Booklists

SWTAFE booklist items are required for some courses and can be purchased via Campion Education (formally Warrnambool Books). Some items are mandatory for the course or optional. They can also be purchased second-hand or via an alternative
supplier, please ensure you purchase the correct title and edition. See the Booklists page on the Student Portal for more details.

Branding guidelines

You must not utilise the SWTAFE logo without permission for personal use or as part of your assessments through social media, digital or written documentations. This is to ensure the organisation’s brand is protected by standardising all visual expressions of the brand in all forms of communications.

It is your responsibility to:

  • Ensure imagery chosen to promote events aligns with the overall brand. However, the design does not need to be the same as the corporate brand.
  • Student-run events at SWTAFE should only use the logo specifically designed for students.

The use of our name (SWTAFE in any form, including SWTAFE) must not be used on any social media platforms, especially when organising student-run events. This avoids such pages to be available for viewing by the general public when they conduct a search on a web search engine, as the content may not correctly represent SWTAFE according to the branding guidelines.

Please contact your teacher for clarification or email the marketing department at marketing@swtafe.edu.au for assistance.

Bringing your own device

You are able to bring your own device to any of our campuses and access our Wi-Fi network free of charge. For assistance in accessing the network, please speak with our staff in the Warrnambool Library and Learning Centre or South West Central.
SWTAFE provides a Wi-Fi network which is available at each campus for you to use. You can configure your own personal device to access the network. If you choose to bring your own laptop and device you do so at your own risk and are responsible for the security of these items.

Café / Cafeteria (Warrnambool campus)

The Café/Cafeteria is located at the Warrnambool campus and is open from 7:30am-3:30pm week days (subject to change on school holidays) to cater to your every need.

Hot and cold breakfasts, lunch and snacks are sold.

They offer hot drinks – tea, coffee, hot chocolate and more from $4.50. 

A range of soft drinks, water, juices, flavoured milk and more from $3.

Hot and cold food including burgers, hot chips, sausage rolls, dim sims and more. Plus, salads, fruit and yoghurt and daily lunch specials from $8.50.

Along with freshly made cakes and slices from $4.

Gluten free and vegan options are available.

Free tea and coffee are also available in the café lounge area.

Campuses

SWTAFE has four main campuses:

  • Warrnambool
  • Portland
  • Hamilton
  • Colac

Find out more about our campuses at swtafe.edu.au.

We also deliver training and assessments at Glenormiston, Sherwood Park (Warrnambool), in the workplace, and other sites as required. 
Find out more about our training facilities at swtafe.edu.au.

Car parking

Free public parking is available around each of our campuses and training facilities.
Find out more on the campus pages at swtafe.edu.au or contact the campus for more information.

Changing your details

You must notify SWTAFE of a change of address or personal details to ensure that results, certificates and course notifications are mailed to the correct address, in your correct name. This can be completed by contacting any SWTAFE campus.

These details may also be used by divisions of the State and Federation Government to contact you regarding your studies, for example, regarding surveys or VET Student Loan Information which may be relevant to you.

Also see ‘Privacy’.

Clothing

A reasonable standard of dress is expected for safety, hygiene and health reasons.

Each course has dress code standards for example: wear protective clothing and tie hair back. Bare feet, thongs or strapless shoes, shorts and singlets are not permitted in trade and cookery areas.

If you are unsure of the clothing requirements for your course, please ask your teacher.

Code of conduct

We are committed to the provision of high quality and rewarding education and training for all students in an environment which actively encourages and supports learning for everyone.

To foster these goals, we have established a Student Code of Conduct to communicate your responsibilities. We believe that by establishing and communicating these standards we will provide a supportive and fair learning environment for all students.

Complaints and feedback

If you have a concern or issue with your learning environment please speak with your teacher or the senior educator for your course in the first instance.

Official complaints and feedback 

If you have a suggestion, compliment or complaint we want to know about it. In some cases, it may not be possible for us to take any action on the feedback unless content of the feedback can be verified.

Our Audit and Compliance Officer is our nominated contact for all complaints or feedback issues. You can contact them via the feedback page on our website, via forms located in our reception areas or phone 1300 648 911.

We will use this feedback to help improve the quality of our training programs and services.

Disability support

The disability support team are committed to providing enhancing opportunities for students with a disability, or medical or mental health condition to engage and success in their educational goals.

We take steps to ensure that suitable and reasonable adjustments are explored collaboratively and a person-centered approach is applied to all students. The support provided students at SWTAFE are established through the development of an individualised support plan.

  • exploring what learning environments work best for the student
  • adjustments that can be made by the teacher or environment
  • strategies that will support engagement and independence
  • assistive technology that may be used during studies
  • management plans (epilepsy, diabetes, behavioural)
  • other key information that will help make a student’s learning journey with SWTAFE a success.

Contact the disability support team on 5564 8720 or disability.support@swtafe.edu.au for more information on how we can support you. 

Emergencies

If you require any emergency assistance (ambulance, fire and police) dial 000 or 0-000 (on a SWTAFE phone).

After calling 000, please dial our Internal Emergency Notification number 777 from a SWTAFE phone or 5564 8777 from other phones to advise SWTAFE staff of the emergency.

If the 777 phone is not answered, leave a message with your name, location, brief description of emergency and return phone number.

Equality and diversity

You have the right to equal opportunity while studying with us at SWTAFE. We are committed to providing you with an environment to learn that’s free from discrimination of any kind. We recognise your individual background and circumstances and will work to ensure that our SWTAFE community respects you, as you are.

Evacuation procedure

When the fire alarm sounds, or there is an order to evacuate, all those on the premises must evacuate the buildings by the nearest and safest exit, as instructed by your teacher or emergency warden. Move to, and remain at, the emergency assembly area until given the all clear to re-enter the buildings.

DO NOT USE LIFTS DURING ANY EVACUATION EMERGENCY OR DRILL.

Events/free functions

SWTAFE run a number of free events, activities and special days throughout the year, including orientation week activities. We encourage you to attend, meet other students and get involved in the SWTAFE community.

Keep your eye out for promotional posters up at campuses to find out about events and join the Student Facebook Group to connect with other students and stay up-to-date with what’s going on at SWTAFE. Join the group at facebook.com/groups/
swtafestudents.

Fees and charges

Fees and charges information is available on our website, and listed under each course page. The website outlines the enrolment fees and charges including eligibility, concessions and refunds as well as payment options available. Please see the Fees & Free TAFE page for further details. You can also contact our team on 1300 648 911 or via our live chat on our website.

Please note: You are required to arrange a payment plan or commit to paying in full prior to your enrolment being finalised. To ensure full access to all available services, all payments must be up to date. Failing to meet your agreed payment commitment may result in SWTAFE acting to recover the outstanding amount.

Where this occurs, we reserve the right to recover associated debt collection costs. Be aware that debt collection processes have the potential to affect your future credit rating.

Please talk to us if you feel you may have difficulties in meeting your payment obligations.

First aid and injuries

If you are injured while on campus, report it immediately to your teacher or other SWTAFE staff member so that first aid can be arranged without delay, any hazards controlled and an incident report completed.

If your injury is serious and you are unable to obtain assistance or follow this procedure for any reason, you can call an ambulance yourself by dialling 000 from your mobile or from an internal telephone, dial 0, listen for the dial tone, then dial 000. Then call 5564 8777 to notify us and to obtain further assistance.

See also Ambulance Cover and Accidents and Injuries.

Food Lab

Food Lab is our training restaurant for cookery and hospitality students. At Food Lab they learn the skills required for the hospitality industry. It is open to students, SWTAFE employees and the public on selected dates.

Graduation

SWTAFE holds a graduation ceremony each year for those students who successfully complete a Diploma qualification. This ceremony celebrates the personal successes of our students and provides formal recognition of their academic achievements.

A formal invitation will be extended to eligible students and their families to attend the ceremony, where they will have the opportunity to be presented in an appropriate graduation gown.

Award Ceremonies

Individual teaching centres also hold annual award ceremonies to recognise the achievements of their students who study at certificate levels.

Internet usage

We encourage you to make use of our computer network and Wi-Fi for educational purposes. Please ensure you use these sensibly and responsibly.

Important dates

For details on orientation week and other key dates visit our website.

Terms 2023
Term 1 - 30 January to 6 April 2023
Term 2 - 24 April to 23 June 2023
Term 3 - 10 July to 15 September 2023
Term 4 - 2 October to 20 December 2023

Public holidays 2023
New Year’s Day - Monday 2 January
Australia Day - Thursday 26 January
Labour Day - Monday 13 March
Good Friday - Friday 7 April
Easter Saturday - Saturday 8 April
Easter Sunday - Sunday 9 April
Easter Monday - Monday 10 April
ANZAC Day - Tuesday 25 April
May Races (Warrnambool) - Thursday 4 May
King’s Birthday - Monday 12 June
Friday before the AFL Grand Final - Friday 23 September (TBC)
Melbourne Cup (Portland, Hamilton and Colac) - Tuesday 7 November
Christmas Day - Monday 25 December
Boxing Day - Tuesday 26 December

Koorie Support

Our Koorie Student Support Officers (KSSO) provide direct support to Koorie learners aiming to foster a positive and productive education experience. They are available to assist you with questions you have with your enquiries, enrolment, studies and home work.

Koorie Liaison Officers (KLO) provides Indigenous consultation between South West TAFE and Local Indigenous Organisations.

To find out more, visit the Koorie support page on our website or drop into South West Central

Learning support

Our learning support is a free and confidential service designed to help you build the skills you need to be successful at SWTAFE. The teachers are a friendly who can help students with all aspects of their study. They offer one-on-one tutoring, classroom-based support, 24-hour support with Studiosity and drop-in sessions, so you can get the help you need,  whenever you need it.

Learning support appointments will be offered initially by phone or online sessions. From time to time the we will hold virtual support drop-in workshops which will be promoted through your teachers and online.

To find out more, visit the study support page on our website or drop into South West Central to visit the LSU team.

Library

The library service supports teaching and learning at SWTAFE by providing:

  • access to relevant, reliable and up to date resources (both printed and online) which support the curriculum.
  • facilities which support teaching, individual study and research, the completion of assignments, and group work (computers, software, printers, photocopiers etc.).
  • training and support in research and referencing skills.

The library service at SWTAFE is provided by the Warrnambool Library and Learning Centre on the Warrnambool campus.
To access SWTAFE library resources see the online resources guide on our website.

Lockers

There are lockers available to students at various locations across each campus and generally linked to relevant teaching areas.

Please note: all personal items on SWTAFE grounds, including in student lockers, are left at the risk of the owner. We take no responsibility for their care and will not replace any items that become lost, damaged or stolen.

Loss, damage or theft

Your belongings are your responsibility. We are not responsible for the loss or damage of your belongings so you are encouraged to label and keep them secure at all times. This includes not leaving valuables and belongings unattended, including in locked classrooms.

If you believe any of your belongings have been stolen it should be reported to reception and the incident will be followed up by the Facilities Department.

Mobile phones

You are expected to put your mobile phone on silent and not use it during classes or assessment (unless allowed). We understand that you may need it for special circumstances. Talk to your teacher before class if this is necessary.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Support

South West Disability Services at TAFE offer a broad range of daily NDIS Programs of Support.

These programs are designed to build independence, confidence, daily living skills and connecting individuals with peers and local community groups.

Support many also include:

  • Individual or group-based supports to access the SWTAFE environment
  • Building social connection and independence within your study
  • Transition supports from school or home into SWTAFE community

Contact the NDIS team on 5564 8720 or disability.support@swtafe.edu.au for more information on how we can support you

Newspapers

Local and metropolitan newspapers are available daily in the student lounge and Warrnambool cafeteria for you to read.

Parenting facilities

We provide infant change and feeding rooms for your use at Portland, Hamilton and Warrnambool campuses. See the relevant campus map on our website for locations.

Pathways to University

We can provide you with a great stepping stone to study at university. You can start your studies with us via a diploma course, and then transfer to university to complete your degree. SWTAFE pathways are available in a range of subject areas, meeting the needs of many courses and career directions. Benefit from having not one, but two qualifications plus you’ll reduce the number of units you need to complete to obtain your university degree.

Find out more about pathways to university at swtafe.edu.au.

Privacy

South West TAFE respects your right to privacy and complies with Australian Privacy laws.

When you study at South West TAFE or use any of our services, we may collect personal information from you to identify who you are. We respect this personal information and do our best to keep it safe and secure. In all circumstances, we are obliged to comply with the Victorian Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and the Health Records Act 2001, and with the privacy principles referred to in these Acts.

See swtafe.edu.au to view our:

Providing third party information

Unless you provide us with written permission, we are unable to provide your employer, school or any other third party with a copy of your Statement of Attainment and/or Certification, even if they have paid for your enrolment. If you require us to provide a copy of your qualification documents to your employer, school or another third party please complete the authority to issue documentation to a third party form available on the Student Portal.

If you are under 18 years old the parent, guardian or carer as recorded on your enrolment can have access to this information.

Pure - Hair, Beauty and Wellness Academy

Pure Academy, located at the Warrnambool campus, is SWTAFE’s very own working hair, beauty and wellness academy offering discount treatments to students. Please phone 5564 8848 for a hair, beauty or massage appointment.

Reconnect

Reconnect to your goals - at reconnect they will support you to reach your goals through one on one mentoring, connecting you to study or employment pathways. Eligibility requirements apply.

Reconnect connect you to:

  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Alcohol and other drugs support and referral
  • Homelessness or risk of homelessness support and referral
  • Financial – fuel cards, course fees and consumables
  • Foodshare access
  • Assistance with Centrelink
  • Accommodation referral
  • Access to driving lessons

Contact the Reconnect team by calling 5564 8525 or 0481 464 433, or by emailing reconnect@swtafe.edu.au.

Scholarships

We are looking for future leaders in our community and in industries across South West Victoria. The SWTAFE Scholarships program creates opportunities and recognise those who have the drive, passion and commitment to achieve greatness.

We offer general scholarships and scholarships that target students in particular courses, or from a particular region or background.

Each scholarship has its own criteria, and the application process can vary from one scholarship to the next. For more information and how to apply, visit our Scholarships page on our website.

Security services

We offer security services after 5pm Monday to Friday and weekends.

Colac campus only: call CQ Recruitment Security on mobile: 0499 000 989.

Other campuses: call 999 from a TAFE desk phone or 5564 8999 then press: 1 for Warrnambool & Sherwood Park, 2 for Portland, 3 for Hamilton, to speak directly with Security Service.

Any concerning or suspicious behaviour should be reported to a staff member immediately.

If you require any emergency assistance (ambulance, fire and police) call 000 or 0-000 (on a SWTAFE phone).

See the SWTAFE Emergency Guidelines at swtafe.edu.au for more details.

Short courses

We offer a range of short courses in the region to assist you to further your skills.

Visit swtafe.edu.au to view the full list of courses and to book online.

Skateboards and skates

Skateboards and roller skates are not to be ridden in or around any campus of SWTAFE.

Skills and Jobs Centre

The South West Skills and Jobs Centre is our central point for all job seekers, career explorers and students wanting advice on their education pathways or job direction. It is a free independent service by qualified career practitioners.

If you are looking for a job, course advice or how to reskill, the South West Skills and Jobs Centre should be your first port of call. This one stop shop offers a range of support services for individuals and businesses.

Visit the Skills and Jobs Centre at Timor Street, Warrnambool or speak to the reception at any campus to book an appointment.

Smoking

SWTAFE is a smoke free environment. Smoking and the use of tobacco products is prohibited on all campuses, property, land and vehicles under the control of SWTAFE. This policy has been implemented to create a healthy and safe environment
for all staff, students and associates.

Social media

The SWTAFE Student Facebook page is exclusive to current SWTAFE students. We want to stay connected with you and create a place for everyone to chat about all things SWTAFE. And we’ll keep you up to date on events and activities on campus, services and supports, special offers, discounts and more.

Join the group at facebook.com/groups/swtafestudents.

You can also follow SWTAFE on Facebook and Instagram.

Student lounge

This is an area for you to relax and catch up with friends. It is also a place available for food preparation with facilities including microwaves, sandwich presses, tea, coffee, milk plus hot water for beverages provided free of charge. Please keep these areas tidy.

See the relevant campus map on our swtafe.edu.au for locations.

Student services

As a SWTAFE student, you can access a variety of free support services that will enhance your study experience and help you complete your studies successfully.

Visit swtafe.edu.au to find out more about our student services.

Surveys

Each year we are required to participate in a national benchmarking survey of our students. As part of enrolling with us, your nominated contact details may be forwarded to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

They may either send you a survey or make phone contact with you during and/or following your year of study with us.


If you wish to opt out of receiving survey requests, let us know by ticking the opt out box on your enrolment form or emailing us at learn@swtafe.edu.au

Sustainability

SWTAFE is committed to implementing practices that enhance its social, environmental and economic sustainability.
We are guided by the following sustainability principles:

  • Reuse unnecessary products.
  • Reduce consumption of natural resources.
  • Reuse all materials where possible.
  • Recycle all items where possible.
  • Responsible disposal – use the bins provided correctly.
  • We encourage you to support our endeavours by adhering to these principles.
South West Central (SW Central)

SW Central is the single point of contact for all support and services for students and the community at Warrnambool campus.

There are a great range of FREE services and supports at SWTAFE to help you succeed in your studies and get the most out of your experience with us.

Services available at SW Central include:

  • Enquiry, enrolment and student administration
  • Disability services
  • Learning support
  • Student services – wellbeing/chaplaincy & koorie teams
  • IT Support
  • South West Skills & Jobs Centre – course advice
  • Reconnect

See our website swtafe.edu.au. for more details about SW Central.

Services and support are available at all campuses and you can also contact the teams directly – see the Services and Support page at swtafe.edu.au for more details.

Use of image agreement

As a SWTAFE student, you may be asked for imagery to be taken for promotional purposes or as part of activities with us. Unless you let us know when we take the photo, video or upon enrolment in writing, you agree to us using your image and quotes obtained from you.

This information will be used for purposes only in accordance with the privacy policy available on our website. It can include responses to questions, video footage, imagery, voice recording and place of study that could be used for promotion of SWTAFE in publications, radio, social media, etc.

If you wish to withdraw this authorisation, please let us know in writing by emailing us at learn@swtafe.edu.au.

Unique Student Identifier

If you are undertaking nationally-recognised training delivered by a registered training organisation you will need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI). This includes studying at SWTAFE, completing an apprenticeship or skill set, certificate
or diploma course.

A USI gives you access to your online USI account which is made up of 10 numbers and letters. It will look something like this: 3AW18YH0U5.

A USI account will contain all your nationally recognised training records and results from 1 January 2015 onwards.

Your USI will be collected from you at the time of application. Visit the USI website at usi.gov.au to see your account.

VET Student Loans

If you are enrolling in a diploma course, you may have the option to defer payment of your tuition fees via a VET Student Loan (VETSL). Other fees associated with your course, or tuition fees over the VETSL course cap, are to be paid by the student and cannot be deferred to a VETSL.

Please see the VET Student Loan page at swtafe.edu.au for more information.

Wellbeing team

Our student wellbeing team aims to help you, whether it’s personal, social or educational issues impacting you. They provide free access to Student Counsellors, Chaplains and more.

They are available to chat, and can help you stay positive and focused on your studies.

See the team at SW Central or visit the Services & Support page on our website for contact details.

Wi-Fi

SWTAFE provides free wireless access. This Wi-Fi access is intended to be available across all campuses. It is not possible for you to connect to SWTAFE’s information systems via a cable connection.

Withdrawals and refunds

It is your responsibility to make an application for a withdrawal or refund. To do this you must contact your teacher or departmental representative to request a course withdrawal or an amendment to your enrolment.

The date this request is received is your official withdrawal effective date and determines whether tuition and material fees are refunded or credited.

For full withdrawal and refund rules please the Cancellations and Withdrawals page at swtafe.edu.au

Zero bullying

SWTAFE does not accept bullying.

Bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards another person who creates a risk to their mental or physical health and safety. 

We are passionate about the safety and wellbeing of all members of the SWTAFE community, especially children and younger people. Please refer to our Child Safety Statement on our website for more details. 

If you need help or support please contact our Student Wellbeing Team. See also complaints and feedback.