Western Sydney University is committed to creating an inclusive, safe and respectful place of study and work and highly values the diversity of our staff and students, including our lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) staff and students.
Western is one of the first Australian universities to introduce a long-term whole-of-university strategy on improvements for sexuality and gender diverse students, staff and community.
The Western Sydney University's 2017-2020 Sexuality and Gender Diversity Strategy covers improvements to institutional structures, staff training and awareness, research, community engagement, and supports and facilities available to LGBTIQ students and staff. The actions within the strategy are founded on the expressed views of students, staff and the University's Executive, the results of practice benchmarking, and recommendations by the University's Ally Network and Queer Collectives.
Our Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Denise Kirkpatrick, recently opened the inaugural Australian Ally Conference on our Parramatta campus. In her opening remarks Professor Kirkpatrick highlighted the strategic leadership role institutions like ours play in the broader community in addressing the ongoing abuse and discrimination against the LGBTIQ community saying 'Universities stand in a unique place as researchers, educators and community leaders to bring academic integrity and scrutiny to issues that may otherwise be the subject of less considered debate…..and to demonstrate that discrimination has no place in our higher education institutions or the community at large.'
To help build our equitable, inclusive and respectful culture Western offers LGBTIQ awareness training to staff and students. Many of our training participants go on to become an Ally Network member. See our contact list for more than 200 staff and student Allies who are LGBTIQ aware and friendly, endorsed by the University to provide LGBTIQ-related information and/or support.
At Western we are especially dedicated to supporting our students identifying as LGBTIQ and/or grappling with related issues. Our Student Support Services are recognised for high quality, and are committed to LGBTIQ safety and inclusivity. All of our Student Welfare team and many of our Counselling team are proud members of the Ally Network.
We also undertake broader activities to promote and celebrate the important contribution made by our LGBTIQ leaders, staff, students and other Western community members. This includes sector-leading research, whole-of-university projects, and events engaging with the LGBTIQ community within and beyond Western Sydney University.