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The road to a graduate degree has its ups and downs.

When things aren’t going according to plan, there is someone you can turn to. Our advocacy service is

  • free;
  • confidential;
  • completely independent from the University.

Our advocates provide advice and options, but you make the decision as to how to proceed, and we’ll support you all the way. As we are not part of the University, we do all we can to help you get the best outcome possible.

MGA Advocacy services are delivered in accordance with the MGA Advocacy Charter. To read the Charter, please click here.

How we can help

  1. After you contact us, an advocate will get in touch with you via email or phone within 1-2 working days. We may ask you for more details or some relevant documents to help us understand your situation.
  2. You can choose to meet with or chat to your advocate in a one-on-one consultation. In this meeting, your advocate may offer advice and discuss options available to you.
  3. If you need to complete a statement, form, or letter, your advocate can look over your draft and provide you with feedback and suggestions.
  4. Advocates can also give you tips on how to prepare for any meetings you may need to attend. They can typically attend a meeting with you as a support person, though they will not be able to speak on your behalf.
  5. It is up to you which, if any, of your advocate’s advice you would like to follow. You can contact your advocate again at any time with updates to your situation or if you have new questions you’d like to ask.

Book an appointment with an MGA Advocate

Our advocates are available for one-on-one appointments during regular business hours. Our advocates are located at the Caulfield and Clayton campuses, but provide services for graduates enrolled at all on-campus and off-campus locations, as well as online or distance education.

Appointments can be conducted over the phone, via Zoom, or in-person at either the MGA’s Caulfield or Clayton office.


Meet the Team

Find out more about our Advocacy team below:

Ying Xu (Advocacy Manager)

Ying has worked with the MGA since 2018, and has extensive experience advising and supporting graduate students. She currently oversees the operations of the service as Advocacy Manager. Her prior background is in the fields of migration, law, and business consulting. Ying understands the challenge of navigating a complicated system like Monash, and is committed to helping ensure all graduate students receive the best possible support. Ying is a member of Monash’s Ally Network and a Mental Health First Aider.

James Breheny (Advocate)

James Breheny has been an MGA Advocate since 2018. He has previously worked as both a Victorian Parliamentary and Parliament of Australia Electorate Officer. Through these roles, James gained firsthand experience assisting young adults and disadvantaged groups with navigating unfamiliar processes and procedures. James’ tertiary qualifications comprise a Bachelor of International Relations and Master of International Development. As an MGA Advocate, James has assisted in resolving hundreds of MGA cases, including: general/academic misconduct allegations, placement terminations, declined special consideration applications, complaints and PhD/Research course progression issues. James is a mental health first aider and in his spare time, enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with his family and friends. He is passionate about assisting disadvantaged groups, and recently volunteered as board member for not-for-profit organisation Latitude: Directions for Young People.

Sarah Murphy (Advocate)

Sarah joined the MGA while studying for a Master degree at Monash University. She joined MGA advocacy in 2017. She has previously worked in Australian Universities for close to two decades. She has lived and studied overseas, so remembers what it’s like to pack up one’s life, move to a new country, settle in a new town, with a new language, and begin working or studying, all from day one. As an MGA Advocate, Sarah has assisted hundreds of students with various difficulties and issues. These include: general/academic misconduct allegations, placement terminations, declined special consideration applications, supervision cases, and PhD and Coursework progression issues. Sarah is a member of Monash’s Ally Network and a Mental Health First Aid Ambassador. Outside of her work she is an avid cyclist and gamer.

Hamid Afzali (Advocate)

Hamida joined the MGA advocacy team in 2021. Prior to this she completed a Bachelor of International Relations and a Master of Arts. As a previous graduate student herself, she understands the challenges and unique support required by students throughout their studies. As an MGA advocate, Hamida has assisted and advised students in different matters ranging from welfare assistance, academic misconduct allegations, declined special consideration applications, complaints and course progression issues. Hamida is committed to providing advocacy and assisting graduate students to navigate their studies alongside the often complicated university procedures.

Casey Chen (Assistant Advocate)

Casey has been with the MGA since 2021 and now works as an MGA Assistant Advocate. She has a wide range of experience working in private law firms and community-based legal support centres. And as a former Juris Doctor Law student at Monash University herself, can understand the challenges faced by Monash Graduate Students. Casey has assisted students in various matters including academic misconduct allegations, complaints and course progression issues. Casey is a member of Monash’s Ally Network and is passionate about helping students from diverse cultures and backgrounds navigate their studies alongside the often complicated university procedures.

Common Issues

Not sure if we can support you with your issue? If your concerns relate to your experience at Monash, we can likely advise and support you, or direct you to someone who can. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with an advocate if you find yourself facing uncertainty.

Some of the most common issues our team of advocates see each day includes:

Other issues we can help with also include:

Contact the MGA Student Advocacy and Academic Support team

To get in contact with one of our advocates, please book an appointment via email. Alternatively, you can fill in our student advocacy information form online or via PDF.

Everything you provide in the form is treated as private and confidential. Only starred fields are compulsory. Demographic data is collected for statistical purposes only.

The MGA team

Got a question or request about anything at all? Get in contact with one of our staff members – we’d love to hear from you. Alternatively, drop by the MGA office at Clayton or Caulfield so we can help!

Meet your current elected representatives

Curious to know who’s representing you at the moment? Get to know your elected representatives, what they do and how you can get involved.

Work for the MGA

The MGA employs Monash graduate students to fill the receptionist roles at the Clayton and Caulfield offices. When a vacancy arises we advertise the position through our email newsletter and on our website.

The Monash Graduate Association (MGA) is the representative body for all graduate research and coursework students enrolled at Monash University. So, what sets us apart from the University services? The MGA is an independent, not-for-profit association governed by graduate students, for graduate students. Our primary aim is to be there for you! If you can’t find what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which our four Australian campuses stand and their continuing connection to the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.