So you’ve decided to take on the challenging job of juggling graduate study and family? Bravo, we salute you! This guide is designed especially for you – to inform and support you as you pursue your educational dream, all the while changing nappies and wrangling your toddler.
The Monash Graduate Association works hard to support grad student parents: we were instrumental in establishing the first parenting room on Clayton campus; we pioneered the concept of a family-friendly study room; and we successfully lobbied to have paid maternity leave included in all HDR scholarships. But there is plenty more work to be done, so please get in touch with us and let us know what we can do for you
MGA grad student parent club (cancelled until futher notice due to COVID-19)
The MGA Grad Student Parent Club is a great place to connect with parents in our community. Join other grad student parents and families for a fortnightly social get-together, everyone is welcome! For details about upcoming events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The MGA runs a day trip each semester that is designed for graduate students to attend with their partners and families. Recent trips have included visiting the fairy penguins on Phillip Island and riding the Puffing Billy steam train through the Dandenong Ranges.
You can find out about this year’s destinations by subscribing to our online newsletter or by keeping an eye on our social page.
MGA family-friendly study space
The MGA recognises postgraduates who are also parents. We understand that juggling family life while studying can be a challenge, especially when there is not always last-minute help available to take care of the kids.
The Family Syndicate Room is a quiet, child-friendly room with toys, books and an activity space to keep the kids busy for a few hours. The room is bookable for four hour sessions during business hours and is secured by swipe access. Check online for details, availability and to make a booking.
For parents on other campuses, don’t despair! The MGA is committed to using the success of this trial room to lobby for the creation of family-friendly study spaces on all Monash campuses.
Monash has published a list of parenting rooms available across its campuses, along with information about the facilities in each room.
We encourage you to provide us with feedback or requests for additional facilities in these rooms and we will liaise with the university to address your needs.
Children on campus
While there is no formal Monash University policy or procedure that covers students when it comes to children on campus, Monash have provided a comprehensive set of guidelines through their Children on campus page.
If you need to take your child to a lecture, tutorial or supervisory session, just let your lecturer/supervisor know, preferably in advance. You can expect to be supported and treated sympathetically. You also have a right to breastfeed and express milk in public places. For advice or assistance with your requests (or any adverse outcomes) please contact the MGA Advocacy Office.
Monash University offers a range of childcare options across its campuses. Students are offered discounts at most locations.
It is strongly recommended that you add your name to a waiting list as soon as practicable as services are in very high demand. Regular, weekly bookings throughout the year are often necessary to guarantee a place as there are no options available for short-term, ad-hoc care through Monash or external providers.
If you prefer to find childcare closer to home (or near your campus or centre), the Australian Government MyChild portal can help you to research your options.
You can also search online for a centre near you. Here is a good place to start!
Domestic students may be eligible for the Government Childcare Subsidy. All the information you need to check your eligibility can be found here. International students with primary-aged children may be eligible for the International Student Childcare Rebate for children enrolled in the Camp Australia holiday program based on the Clayton campus.
If you’re a domestic grad student who is new to Melbourne and need to find a school for your children, the MySchool Link is a great place to start. In Victoria free public education covers students from prep to year 12.
This does not extend to the dependants of many international students on student visas, who may need to pay fees for their children to attend public schools in Victoria. Dependants of student visa holders who are fully funded by an Australian government or university scholarship, or dependants of HDR students, are exempted from these fees.
Monash grad students are entitled to maternity, parental and primary carer leave that is separate and in addition to the regular intermission allowances. The earlier you make arrangements and start the process (if possible), the easier your transition to leave will be.
International students on student visas who are required to take on parental or primary carer responsibilities may apply for a leave of absence under compassionate or compelling circumstances.
For advice or assistance please contact the MGA Advocacy Office.
The MGA advocates are professional staff dedicated to assisting and supporting Monash graduate students with any issues and concerns they face during their studies.
Our free and confidential service is available by phone, email, or in-person.
The MGA advocates can offer you advice on a wide-range of issues, including: querying your results, understanding university processes and timelines, support through academic progress and discipline procedures, deciphering formal policy or correspondence,and concerns about course quality and requirements. If you have any concerns at all related to being a grad student parent at Monash University please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Our advocacy service is confidential and free from any conflict of interest or university reporting obligation; our sole responsibility is to you.