The object of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), is to extend as far as possible, the right of the community to access information in the possession of the Government of Victoria, statutory authorities and other institutions, including the University of Divinity by:
- making available to the public, information about the operations of the University; and
- creating a general right of access to information held in possession of the University.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, there are exemptions that may apply to a request received by the University. For example, the following may be exempt under the Act:
- documents affecting personal privacy; or
- business, commercial and financial matters that may disadvantage individuals or organisations.
The University of Divinity is committed to administering the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) in a fair, objective and equitable manner, and with a view to ensuring that the spirit of the Act is upheld.
How to make a valid request
Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) (FOI Act), every person has the right to request access to documents held by Victorian public sector agencies and Ministers. This right of access is subject to exceptions and exemptions necessary to protect essential public and private interests.
Under section 17 of the FOI Act, a request must meet three requirements to be valid:
- your request must be in writing;
- you must provide sufficient information about the documents you are requesting to enable us to identify and locate relevant documents; and
- you must pay the application fee, or if payment of the application fee would cause you hardship you can request us to waive the fee in full or in part.
If you request the application fee to be waived or reduced, you should provide evidence of hardship – for example, a concession or health care card, a bank statement, or statutory declaration outlining why payment would cause you hardship.
Your application should clearly describe the documents you seek. You are encouraged to include context such as date ranges, expected location for the documents to be held, subject matter, or any other information that would enable the requested documents to be identified.
After you submit a request, your application will be assessed to ensure it meets the requirements outlined in section 17 of the FOI Act. If we determine that your request is not valid, we will notify you within 21 days from the date we received your request and provide you with assistance to help you make the request valid. If your request is valid, we will begin processing it.
The University has between 30 and 45 days from the date a valid request is made to provide you with a decision. The timeframe will depend on whether or not we need additional time to consult with third parties whose information may be contained in the requested documents. The timeframe can be extended beyond 30 to 45 days if you provide your consent.
In some instances, the timeframe may also be impacted by other legislative provisions. If it becomes apparent during the processing of your request that this applies, you will be notified. You can contact us at any time for an update on your request.
We may require you to pay certain charges before access is provided to the requested document(s). For example, we may charge for providing copies of the document(s) or supervising an inspection of the document(s). If these charges exceed AUD$50.00, we will notify you and request that you pay a deposit before proceeding with your request.
Information Statements: Freedom of Information Act Part II
The University of Divinity aims to make information and documents easily accessible to members of the public with a large volume of its information available on the University website.
The organisation and functions of the University
The University of Divinity is a higher education provider offering awards in divinity and its associated disciplines, defined by the University of Divinity Act 1910 as ‘studies in religion and ministry practice directly related to Divinity in its contemporary, historical, social and cultural contexts’.
The University promotes the highest standards of scholarship in theology, philosophy and ministry. Through scholarship, the University aims to address issues of the contemporary world.
The University consists of eleven Colleges, supported by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor. Each College is a unique learning community, constituted by a wide range of churches and religious orders that together resource the University as a whole.
Governance of the University, as established by the University of Divinity of Divinity Act 1910, is provided by the University Council, with the Academic Board being responsible for oversight of the academic affairs of the University. Information regarding Council and the Academic Board can be found on the University website.
Categories of documents
Records are managed in a decentralised model using a number of IT systems and are recorded by business area and subject matter. There is also a wide range of information and documentation that is published on the University website.
- Academic Programs
- Annual Reports
- Appeals and Complaints
- Financial Management
- Freedom of Information requests
- Health and Safety
- Human Resources (employee records)
- Policies and procedures
- Programs or events
- Risk Management
- Student records
- Teaching and Learning