What is SSAF?

​Student Service and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is a compulsory fee paid by all students attending university which contributes to enhancing the student experience on and off campus. It specifically funds services and facilities which meet students’ needs while they are university.

The SSAF is paid upfront each year by students attending university. Eligible students can request to defer the payment through the Commonwealth’s Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) scheme.

The UWA Guild President appoints three students’ representatives each year to the University SSAF Advisory Committee from those elected to Guild Council. In 2023 the following Guild representatives are on the SSAF Advisory committee are: Guild President, Postgraduate President, President of International Student Department. 

Find more information on how to pay your UWA SSAF here or visit the FAQs section on the UWA website.

The graph below details how the Guild spends their UWA SSAF funds, and the many services and activities the SSAF covers.

In Australia, the SSAF is generally delivered to university departments and student associations/guilds to provide essential services and support for students during their time at university. Services which the university and student association/guild can spend their allocation of SSAF on are set out in the Federal Government’s Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Act 2011. It can range from sporting activities, commercial activities, welfare and support, representation, clubs and societies and more.

Yes – all students pay SSAF regardless of joining a student guild or association. Joining a student association or guild is optional.

Joining the Guild is a popular choice for students at UWA as it provides access to a range of services, welfare support, food and drink discounts, club and society grants, and great student engagement activities.

Fun Fact: The UWA Student Guild has a 96% membership rate from all the students at the University - one of the highest memberships in Australia!

The Guild receives SSAF payments under the University of Western Australia Act 1911. This allocation of SSAF is to be used for student activities, representation, student engagement, commercial activities and services. UWA life on campus relies heavily on Guild operations which runs; student facilities and spaces, Guild departments such as the Women’s Department, Access Department, Wellbeing Department and Environmental Department, right through to through representation on the UWA Senate.

The UWA Student Guild is a not-for-profit organisation which is independent to the University. All funds obtained through the SSAF or any commercial activities the Guild operates is spent purely on furthering UWA student services, engagement and facilities.

Fun Fact: Did you know the Guild President sits on over 30 University & Guild committees?

There are a range of services which the Guild provides to UWA students (see graph below) which supports student life, engagement and representation on campus. The Guild is made up of student representatives which sit on various Guild and University committees. These representatives advocate for student rights, voice student views and ensure student input into policy, procedures and decisions which affect your time at University. This student representation and activation covers student welfare, academic and course structure decisions, as well as help govern the University.

The Guild employs a host of people who provide essential services and activities and support students on and off campus. Some of the team include social workers and counsellors, hospitality workers who help run the cafes on campus, staff who offer students transcript-recognised volunteering opportunities, and those who help run club and society run events and stage major events including O-Day!

Our marketing team communicates information to students via a variety of platforms including social media, print and digital (Guild Weekly email and the Guild website).

The Guild provides student leadership training to all elected representatives of the Guild and also offers training and resources to Student Clubs and Societies.

The Guild, through the SSAF and its other revenue sources, spends funds on upgrading student facilities and areas such as student spaces, club or department spaces, cafes and food courts, the Tavern, the retail precinct and more. You can check out our new Masterplan of student facility development projects here.

Fun Fact – Guess what? Most services and support provided by the Guild is FREE to UWA Students!

The Guild is a membership-based organisation run by students for students, with the Guild President as the elected head of our organisation.

The Guild Council, the highest governing body in the organisation, is made up entirely of elected Guild department office bearers and student councillors who oversee the Guild’s Board of Directors and staff. Guild Council has 35 members who represent students, decide on spending and assist in the general running the organisation each year.

All of these student representatives are elected by UWA students, either through the annual Guild elections (operated by the Western Australian Electoral Commission) or through other Guild committee and department elections. Students campaign on a variety of projects, activities and important causes which will involve SSAF spending.

There are generally over 50 students involved in the management and governance structure of the UWA Student Guild. This provides a diverse range of students to impact, direct vision and influence the SSAF expenditure process.

All budgets, activities and spending in the Guild (including SSAF) must be approved by UWA Students elected to Guild Council. The Guild’s governance structure can be found online here.

Guild Council can direct SSAF to specific or special projects which is required to support students on and off campus.

Student affiliated associations, clubs and societies meet regularly, and they too provide feedback and advice to the Guild on student needs, spending and activities via three larger sub-councils of the Guild;

  • Societies Council
  • Public Affairs Council
  • Education Council

Fun Fact: Did you know you any student can come to the monthly Guild Council meetings and see everything in action. Meeting Minutes are also published online. You can request to ask questions or have a student representative ask questions for you as well! Council meetings are held on the last Wednesday of every month.

The University convenes a quarterly committee for advice and consultation regarding the University’s allocation of SSAF. Both the Guild and UWA Sports have student representatives (including the Guild President) as regular attendees on this committee. This SSAF Advisory Committee, along with University staff, discuss and help advise on where the University could allocate and spend their SSAF funds.

This committee sets the SSAF fee for the future year ahead which is then recommended to UWA Senate for approval. The maximum the SSAF payment can increase is 3% per annum.

As a representative body, the Guild will lobby the University on a variety of topics and issues with regards to life on campus, activities and quality of services that the University provide. If you have any concerns or questions on the University SSAF allocation please have your say by reaching out to the Guild President via the Feedback details below.

If you have ideas for where you think the Student Guild could spend their SSAF or have any suggestions for other areas of revenue, then please contact the Guild President, Geemal Jayawickrama ([email protected]). Your ideas can then be raised and discussed at our Corporate Services Committee meeting.

To have your say in the Guild and help decide how SSAF money is allocated - get involved! Any enrolled student can run in the annual Guild elections or nominate for Ordinary Committee Member positions on Guild student committees.

The Guild runs annual surveys covering a variety of areas to help improve campus life, this is a great way to have your say on what as a student you see as the necessary areas and facilities that would make your university experience great. We also use these surveys to help outline to the University key areas of focus and thoughts from the UWA student cohort.

More information on elections:

  • Guild elections
  • Ordinary Committee Member elections - held in Semester 1 (usually March each year)
  • Ordinary General Meeting - 1:00pm Tuesday 10th October 2023 in the Refectory

Fun fact: Bob Hawke, the 1953 Guild President, went on to become Australia’s 23rd Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991.


2022 SSAF Acquittal

The Guild has met all its obligations delivering its contracted services and conducting the required reviews.