On this page:

Whether you are a party or observing, this guide helps you to prepare for and participate in the process before, on the day and during the hearing.

Before the hearing

We will send a Microsoft Teams invitation with a link to join the online hearing to email addresses provided by each party.  If you have not provided your email address or contact number, or did not receive an invitation, contact planning.panels@delwp.vic.gov.au.

We recommend you download the Teams application on your device if you want to share documents or share your screen – this is not available on the web version. If you already have Teams installed, the link to join the hearing will open using the installed software.

You can use Teams through your web browser, for example Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, if you do not want to download it. Internet Explorer and Firefox do not support Teams.

If you are using a tablet or smartphone, you will need to download the Teams application.

If you do not have an account you can sign in as a guest.

Each participant viewing the hearing should have their own device. We recommend that you test your audio and video configuration and connection quality before the hearing.

On the day of the hearing

We recommend you join at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time. You can use additional time to check that your audio and video are working correctly.

To join the hearing:

  • click the ‘Join Microsoft Teams Meeting’ link in the email or calendar invitation
  • mute your microphone and/or switch your camera off
  • type in a name and select ‘Join now’
  • after joining the hearing, you will enter a virtual lobby
  • when the Chair is ready to commence the hearing, you will see their video appear.

Mute your microphone using the microphone icon. A line will appear through the microphone icon confirming that your microphone is muted.

MS Teams 'join meeting' screenshot depicting a man joining a meeting in progress
To join an online hearing, ensure your microphone is muted and select 'Join now'.

If you are observing and not participating, ensure your microphone is muted and your camera is turned off using the microphone and camera icon. A line will appear through both icons confirming your microphone and camera are switched off.

During the hearing

Audio settings

MS Teams 'Mic' button unmuted

To minimise background noise, please keep your microphone on mute unless you need to speak.

To mute and unmute your microphone, use the microphone icon. When the line through the icon disappears, people in the hearing can hear you.

Visual settings

To focus on a particular video such as a member or expert witness at all times, you can ‘pin’ their tile to your screen. Multiple videos can be ‘pinned’ at once.

To do this, right-click the individual’s tile and select ‘pin’. If you change your mind, right-click again and select ‘unpin’.


MS Teams 'Raise hand' button

Do not interrupt someone who is presenting their submission or asking a witness questions. The panel will let you know when you can speak.

If you need to raise something with the panel, select ‘raise hand’ (hand icon) in the control bar.

  • a gold hand icon displays on your video feed
  • the Chair will see it and respond verbally at the appropriate time
  • when the Chair has responded, lower your hand by selecting or pressing the hand icon again.

The meeting chat banner is on the right-hand side of your screen.

  • type a question mark symbol (?) in the message field and press ‘send’ using the paper plane icon
  • the Chair will see it and respond verbally at the appropriate time
  • when the Chair has responded, lower your hand by selecting the hand icon again.

Asking a witness questions

Allow at least a few seconds between questions and answers.

Private messages

MS Teams provides the capability to send private messages to participants however:

  • you should not privately message another party without their permission unless directed to do so
  • you must not privately message any member of the panel.

Sharing documents

You need permission from the Panel Chair to share documents with participants.

Share a document by

  • select 'attach’ (paper clip icon) in the meeting chat banner
  • select the item you would like to upload from your computer
  • select ‘send’ (paper plane icon).
MS Teams screenshot focused on chat options with 'Attach' and 'Send' buttons circled
To share documents, use the chat menu and 'Attach' option.

Sharing your screen

MS Teams share screen button

If you would like to share your screen with others, you should ask for permission from the Panel Chair.

  • select ‘Share’ (arrow up icon)
  • select the screen to share from the options provided
  • to display a file from your computer, select ‘Browse’, then ‘Upload from my computer’.

MS Teams stop share button

When you are ready to stop sharing your screen, select ‘Stop sharing’ (cross icon).

You cannot share your screen if you are using Teams through a web browser.

Page last updated: 20/06/23