The staff at Mercury are here to serve you, the student. We also must serve our fellow Australian people and their government. We work for a private company that scrupulously observes all the government regulations on education and commerce in Australia. We have a legal responsibility and a commercial interest in establishing and maintaining a fully professional college.
To assist you, our staff are available during and outside business hours. If you have an emergency, call 000 for police, fire, and ambulance. If it is about you and the College, call our number 8211.1128 or if your call is not answered call our after-hours emergency number 0421 598 589. Put these numbers in your mobile phone (cell phone) now.
If you have a medical emergency and need a doctor, and maybe an ambulance and hospital, call 000. The ambulance staff might ask you whether you have been drinking alcohol or had any drugs. Be honest and tell them the truth: your life may depend on it. Do not be afraid.
On our staff, we have Petrina, our Student Welfare Counsellor. Please make an appointment at Reception to see her. If you are from overseas, you might be feeling homesick or depressed. Talk about it with Vanessa. She is very understanding, very well trained, and very experienced.
Our Student Services Officers staff Reception and can help you with most of your questions and paperwork
Because we are well travelled and because Australians come from countries all around the world, we have staff who can speak these other languages:
Our Academic Manager and your teachers will help you with questions about your learning and classes. If you want to change classes please speak to your teacher first and then, if necessary, to our Academic Manager in Room 205.
If you want to change shift (morning/evening) please see a Student Services Officer.
The staff at Mercury are proud to serve you. We look forward to introducing you to our other students.
Here is some further information to help you establish yourself in Sydney:
Mercury is an adult college for those 18 years old and over. Mercury does not enrol children.
Our students are on average 24 years old. Most have a university education, are travelling for the first time, are working for the first time and are single. Many are professionals back home but are now working in Sydney’s restaurants, shops, hotels, construction, and cleaning companies.
Our students come from Mongolia to Mexico to Malaysia to Macedonia; from Moscow to Manaus to Mumbai to Macao.
Their hobbies include football, skiing, mountain climbing, singing, dancing, surfing, computer games, cooking, martial arts, etc etc.
Students can be Australian citizens and permanent residents (Domestic students) or overseas students on the following visas:
- Tourist visa (maximum enrolment 3 months)
- Business Visa
- Dependent Visa
- Working Holiday Visa
- Student Visa
The quality of our training and assessment is maintained in compliance with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015, as is the issuance of Mercury’s AQF testamurs.
People on a student visa must:
- Enrol in a college with a CRICOS code. For a listing go to http://cricos.education.gov.au/.
- Attend classes 20 hours every week at least 50% of the time for VET students and 80% for ELICOS students
- Provide strong evidence of a good reason if they attend for less than the required percentage
- Show that they are learning quickly, especially if they are in our VET courses where academic progress is watched closely and reported to the government
- Pay for their health insurance (OSHC) to cover their whole study period
- Give the College your Sydney address and mobile number every time you change it
- Enrol your children in school if you brought them with you. For more information go to www.det.nsw.edu.au/. For information about NSW government school fees go towww.schools.nsw.edu.au/gotoschool/intnl_students/index.php/
- Leave Australia at the end of their visa.
They must not:
- Transfer to another college until they have finished the first 6 months of their principal course. A student’s principal course is the most senior course they have enrolled in.
Unique Student Identifier
Students in Mercury’s Business courses need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) before they can receive their certificate or diploma. To get a USI, go towww.usi.gov.au and follow these steps:
- Create your USI www.usi.gov.au/create-your-USI/Pages/default.aspx
- Create USI https://portal.usi.gov.au/student
- Create USI – Personal Details https://portal.usi.gov.au/student/Usi/Create/PersonalDetails
- Create USI – Confirm Details
- Create USI – Evidence of Identity
- Create USI – Password
If you are not an Australian, you will need your passport and your Australian visa number. For further information, go to www.usi.gov.au/help-centre/proof-of-ID/Pages/visa.aspx
Overseas Student Health Cover
If you are on a student visa, you must have health insurance and pay the Overseas Student Health Cover (OHSC) when you pay your College fees. The College then pays AHM (Australian Health Management) the insurance company for you. For more information, go to:
If you have any health problems before receiving your card you are still covered. When you pay the doctor or hospital get a receipt and take this to get your insurance money. Remember: you are covered from the day you arrive in Australia (even though you may not have your card).
Your Legal Rights
The College is governed by the following legislation, regulations and regulatory bodies:
– Affirmative Action (Equal Opportunity for Women) Act 1986 www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2004A03332
– Anti-Discrimination Amendment Act 1997 www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/sessionalview/sessional/act/1997-9.pdf
– AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy www.aqf.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/AQF_Issuance_Jan2013.pdf
– Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Implementation Handbook 3rd ed. 2002 www.aqf.edu.au
– Copyright Act 1986 Appendix 15 Copyright must be posted over the photocopiers and observed by all staff. www.copyright.com.au
– Corporations Act 2001 www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014C00519
– Disability Discrimination Act 1992 The college can not refuse to take a disabled student. It is an accreditation requirement that all students have access to the college and its courses.www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014C00013
– Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2010 www.fwc.gov.au/documents/documents/modern_awards/pdf/MA000075.pdf
– Equal Employment Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014C00446
– ESOS Act 2000 This is the key legislation governing the College. www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014C00350
– Fair Work Australia www.fairwork.gov.au
– Higher Education Act 2001 www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/inforcepdf/2001-102.pdf?id=21d88f64-8cbe-4e11-98dd-98e0e95feda6
– National Employment Standards www.airc.gov.au/awardmod/download/nes.pdf
– National Guidelines for Higher Education Approval Processes www.det.nsw.edu.au/media/downloads/communityed/higheredu/guidelines/guidelines_b.pdf
– National VET Provider Collection Data Requirements Policy www.nssc.natese.gov.au/policies/reporting_requirements
– Privacy Act 1988 www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014C00757
– Sex Discrimination Act 1984 www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014C00002
– Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2014L01377
– Student Identifiers Act 2014 www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014A00036/Download
– VET Quality Framework comprising the Standards for RTOs, the AQF, and the requirements for Fit & Proper Person, Financial Viability Risk Assessment, and Data Provision
– Workers Compensation Act 1987 www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/subordleg+37+2011+cd+0+N
– Work Health and Safety Act 2011 www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/act+10+2011+cd+0+N
– Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/lawpolicy/acts-and-regulations/work-health-and-safety-legislation/Pages/default.aspx. The staff have the right to demand an WH&S Committee which confers with management on issues of importance. It is essential that managers handling such a demand read the legislation or a summary before making decisions.
– Training Packages www.training.gov.au
The College’s compliance with the ESOS Act, the National Code and the RTO Standards is regulated by the industry regulator:
- Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) www.asqa.gov.au
Students on a student visa are protected by a group of laws and regulations called the ESOS Framework. The framework includes the Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code 2007. For more information, go to:
Deferring your Course
Deferring means not starting on your start date. If you are on a student visa, this is serious. You must tell us what is happening immediately. Your visa will be affected if you delay. If you say nothing and do not arrive, after 5 days we must tell the government.
A legitimate reason for deferral is either a delay in getting your visa or a serious situation that is compelling and where compassion is required from those considering your application. In both cases, you need appropriate documentation as evidence.
To defer your course, email our Admissions Officer. Send us supporting documents showing that you have to defer. If the start of your course is deferred, Monika will give you a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) with your new start date within10 working days from date of application.
There is a $100 administration fee for this service.
If it is the College that defers the start of your course, you will be notified and given options. No fees are charged for this deferral. In the worst case, you may need a Letter of Release from the College (apply at Reception) and a refund.
Suspending your Course
Suspending means stopping during your course. Students often mistakenly call this a holiday. Those on a student visa can not suspend their course for any reason except if there is a compelling reason that requires compassion from College staff. In this case, you need appropriate documentation as evidence.
To apply for a suspension, go to Reception and ask a Student Services Officer for a Leave of Absence form, fill it in and give it back with supporting documents at least 10 working days before the start date of the suspension. We will email you an answer within 10 working days of you applying.
You can suspend your course for no more than 3 months. Those on a student visa wanting more than 3 months must cancel their course.
If suspension leads to a course extension Monika will give you a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) with your new start date within10 working days from date of application.
There is a $100 administration fee for this service and additional tuition fees. Immigration also charges fees.
If it is the College that suspends your course, you will be notified and given options. No refunds are given if the College suspends you for misconduct.
You have 20 working days in which to appeal the College’s decision. If you appeal within that time, You can continue classes. However, if there is no appeal, the suspension takes effect unless you are deemed a threat to safety. You will receive an email informing you of the results of your appeal.
Go to the Immigration office in Sydney at Central to learn what all this means for your student visa.
Cancelling your Course
Cancelling your course means finishing before your course end date.
To cancel your course, go to Reception and ask a Student Services Officer for an Early Leave from Study form. Return this form with supporting documents and we will email you an answer within 10 working days. Make sure you return the form at least 10 working days before the day you want to finish classes.
If you are on a student visa, Monika will tell Immigration that your course is finished and this might mean the end of your visa.
There is a $350 administration fee for this service, and additional tuition fees. Immigration also charges fees.
If it is the College that cancels your course, you will be notified and given options. No refunds are given if the College cancels your course for misconduct. Reasons for the College cancelling your course can also be:
- non payment of fees
- lack of academic progress
- non communication
- failing to come to intervention meetings
- upsetting or causing discomfort to other students or our staff
You have 20 working days in which to appeal the College’s decision. If you appeal within that time, you can continue classes. However, if there is no appeal, the cancellation takes effect and you will receive an email informing you of this.
Go to the Immigration office in Sydney at Central to learn what all this means for your student visa. www.immi.gov.au/
These Mercury policies do not deprive you of your rights as a consumer under Australian and New South Wales law.
Mercury Colleges will advise learners as soon as practicable about any changes to third-party arrangements or any changes to ownership.
Compassionate or compelling circumstances are outside your control and they have a negative effect on your course progress or well-being. Compassionate or compelling circumstances include:
- serious injury or illness, supported by a signed and dated medical certificate which states that you were or will be unable to attend classes. The period must be included and the doctor licensed.
- death of a member of your immediate family: your mother, father, husband, wife, grandfather, grandmother, your child, sister or brother.
- major political upheaval or natural disaster in your home country, requiring emergency travel
- a traumatic experience such as being a victim of, being involved in, or witnessing, a serious crime – this is a critical incident for any student and you need to see the Student Welfare Counsellor
- unexpected severe illness of an immediate family member
- you or your accompanying family member have a serious medical emergency (supporting documentation required)
- you are in court involved in a custody hearing over your child (a statutory declaration witnessed by a Justice of the Peace is required)
- you are involved in legal proceedings where the timing is beyond your control (supporting documentation is required)
- you are pregnant (supported by medical documentation)
- another serious situation (attach supporting documentation)
- attending the birth of your baby (supported by birth certificate or hospital records).
The following would not be considered compelling or compassionate circumstances or a critical incident:
- difficulties in adjusting to Australia or academic life
- weddings including your own
- graduations including your own
- relationship problems (see our Student Welfare Officer)
- financial difficulties
- feeling “depressed” about circumstances where the depression is not clinically diagnosed by a qualified professional (if diagnosed, it would have been considered by the College under compelling or compassionate circumstances). Again, see our Student Welfare Officer.
- inability to begin studying on the course start date because you did not give your travel enough time.
Please note that the above are only some of the examples of what may or may not be considered compassionate or compelling circumstances. The College will keep copies of your documents on your administration file in the office.
An appeal is where you disagree with a College decision: you think the College made a mistake.
There are 3 kinds of appeals:
- appealing a College decision on suspension or cancellation
- appealing an academic decision on our assessment of your learning
- appealing against the College’s decision to report to Immigration your violation of your student visa conditions (such as attendance). Please see our Student Welfare Counsellor to initiate this kind of appeal.
If you want to appeal a College decision, go to Reception and ask a Student Services Officer to for a Complaints and Appeals form. Return the form with supporting documents and evidence. An appeal is not an appeal until this happens.
If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can appeal to the NSW Ombudsman. For more information, go to www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/.
If you want to appeal an Academic decision, please submit a completed Complaints & Appeals form to our Academic Manager who will:
- arrange an interview with you at the earliest mutual convenience
- attempt to discover what the appeal is based on
- examine the disputed test or assessment instruments
- check the student’s academic record
- interview the student’s teacher
- have another assessor review the case
and have a second interview with the student and deliver the documented decision
If you feel the College has not followed these procedures, you can pursue your case with the Ombudsman
There are no fees or penalties in making an appeal.
Appeals are addressed within ten working days of the appeal being formally lodged. If for whatever reason, the appeal is going to take longer than ten working days to process, the College will keep you informed of the appeal’s progress. In the unlikely event that it is going to take longer than 60 days, the College will notify you in writing and keep you informed of the appeal’s progress.
Comments and Complaints
We welcome comments from you. Positive comments confirm that we are doing things right. Negative comments help us to improve what we do. Please use the Comments Registration form. We interview you and give you questionnaires to see how we are going and whether you are happy.
We use this information from you to monitor Mercury’s improvements over time. If you are with us for many weeks you will see lots of improvements take effect.
If your comment is more than negative and is a formal complaint, you must go to Reception and ask a Student Services Officer to give you a Complaints and Appeals form. Please return the form with evidence, dates, people involved etc. You will receive a written receipt indicating that your complaint has been lodged and acknowledged. A formal complaint is addressed within ten working days of the receipt of the formal complaint.
Alternatively, go to http://mercurycolleges.nsw.edu.au/support/ and follow these steps:
- enter your username (your Mercury email address) and password
- go to the Student Forum drop down menu
- raise a ticket to give feedback directly to the CEO
- receive an electronic written receipt indicating that your complaint has been lodged and acknowledged
A complaint might be about a staff member, our facilities, something or someone that is a danger, another student, an agent, the campus, the old men in the elevator, whatever.
If the problem is about fees, the appropriate body to contact is the Department of Fair Trading www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.
If the problem is about the class or course, speak to your teacher. If it is about the teacher, see the Academic Manager.
If, for whatever reason, the formal complaint is going to take longer than ten working days to process, the College will keep you informed of its progress with regular updates. In the unlikely event that it is going to take longer than 60 days, the College will notify you in writing and keep you informed of the matter’s progress.
If you have followed the College’s complaints procedure but are not happy with the result, you can lodge an external appeal with the Overseas Student Ombudsman:
Call: 1300 362 072 within Australia. Outside Australia call +61 2 6276 0111 Extn 6
Enquiries: 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday
Postal: GPO Box 442 Canberra ACT 2601.
Students who wish to lodge an external appeal must complete the form online at www.oso.gov.au/making-a-complaint/ using the link “online complaint form”. This is a free government service.
If a grievance still remains unresolved after the external appeal, you can contact the National Training Complaints Hotline on 13 38 73 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Or email: email@example.com.
In all your dealings with the College, your privacy is protected.
Examples of Supporting Documents are: medical certificates, death certificates, police reports, psychologist reports, air tickets, Immigration stamps and any other relevant documentation.
Thank You for reading the information you need when thinking about joining us. We hope you do, and if you do, please use this website to keep up-to-date with College policies and procedures that affect you.