Ally Network

Ally logo

The Ally Network is a group of students and staff across the University who are committed to creating an inclusive and respectful culture at the University for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community members. Ally network members (Allies) are not necessarily experts on matters relating to sexual identity or gender but are understanding of the reasons why many LGBTIQ people are fearful of being harassed or discriminated against. Allies have participated in training, are involved in the ongoing activities of the Ally Network and are available to provide help and support to LGBTIQ students and staff.
The University has 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. Please see our list of Allies for individual contact details.

What is an ally?

An Ally is a volunteer (student or staff) from the Western Sydney University community who is committed to cultural change and who provides support to LGBTIQ community members at the University.

University allies

  • can be identified by the display of an official Ally sticker or Ally pin;
  • provide a welcoming and confidential 'safe zone' for LGBTIQ staff and students;
  • demonstrate leadership in the areas of respect and inclusion for LGBTIQ staff and students;
  • practice respectful, accepting and non-homophobic language and behaviour that is in keeping with our policy work towards increasing the acceptance of diverse sexualities and genders;
  • develop and promote a greater understanding of the LGBTIQ community;
  • promote a community that includes and embraces diverse sexualities and gender;
  • work to dismantle homophobia and heterosexism;
  • commit to making positive changes within the University; and
  • attend Ally Network meetings.

Why become an ally?

There are many reasons to become an Ally. Following are a few:

  • you could make a difference to your campus environment and the experience of LGBTIQ staff and students;
  • you could make the campus a better place for everyone;
  • you have the opportunity to interact with and learn from a community with which you may not otherwise interact; and
  • your work toward ending homophobia and heterosexism could help members of the LGBTIQ community develop stronger self-esteem and pride in who they are.


We asked some of our Allies to tell us their story of why they became a member of the University Ally Network. Check out what our Ally students and staff told us:

'I became an Ally as soon as I heard about the network. I think it's imperative for a University campus to be an inclusive and welcoming place for everybody and I wanted to do my part to make sure that the University's policies and practices are visible.'


'Because I am queer and I strongly believe in helping to carve space, acceptance, and understanding into areas that might otherwise have difficulty in harmonising with differences. Besides that, I don't want any younger queers to have to go through the pain and isolation of living within a closet.'


'I became an Ally because I know what it's like to be a young LGBTI person at uni not knowing what's going on. I wanted to help young people who might be struggling with their identity.'

'To increase my professional network and to support and advocate for gender and sexuality diverse staff and students.'

'I believe it is important for both staff and students to feel safe in their learning and working environment and I wanted to actively contribute to that.'

When we asked Allies about their highlight so far, here's what they said:


'Seeing individuals let down their defences and feel safe and at ease once they know I am an Ally. I think of myself as inclusive but for those who don't know me, my Ally pin or flag shows them they can be who they are around me. This can change a person's whole demeanor and I feel honoured and humbled when they seek me out for assistance.'


'Simply being part of the team.'


'Building connections with staff, being able to have conversations with students who were surprised to meet people in the chaplaincy team who were pro-gay.'


'Organising for others in my School to be trained and having WSU management see the need for research into the campus experiences of gender and sexuality diverse individuals.'

How do I become an ally?

In order to become an Ally you need to complete a training session <link to Ally training> organised by the Office of Equity and Diversity, during which you will cover the following:

  • Reflection upon your own assumptions and understanding of LGBTIQ people;
  • Become familiar with some of the issues faced by LGBTIQ staff and students such as sexual prejudice and 'coming out'; and
  • Overview of the University Ally Network and what it means to become an Ally.
    After the training session, you can nominate yourself to become an Ally, and we will provide you with the University Ally resources (eg. Ally pin and stickers) to identify you as an Ally. You can then participate in the activities of the Ally Network.  The Ally Network communicates via email and meets four times a year to discuss issues, organise events, and participate in training.

After you have completed the training you may also find that you do not feel comfortable with the role of Ally and decide not to become one.  There is no requirement to become an Ally after completing the training session.
If you would like to learn more about the LGBTIQ community, the Ally Network or becoming an Ally, please consider participating in an Ally training session.  We are also offering Advanced Ally training (Influencing LGBTIQ Inclusion as an Ally) for existing Ally members to update knowledge and further develop skills to advocate for, promote and progress LGBTIQ inclusion.

Ally trainingknowledge matters mardi gras 2020

The Ally Training workshop aims to provide staff and students with details about the role and expectations of being an Ally, as well as background information on the diversity of sexual and gender expression, the issues and needs of LGBTIQ staff and students, and concepts such as homophobia and heterosexism.

Training is run periodically throughout the year over different Campuses. A list of training dates can be found under Equity and Diversity training page.

Students can register for training by emailing m.blackmore@westernsydney.edu.au

Staff can register for training through MyCareer Online.

You can also register your interest for future workshops if the planned training sessions are unsuitable by emailing m.blackmore@westernsydney.edu.au

Advanced ally training – Influencing LGBTIQ inclusion as an ally

This highly interactive workshop will address some of the key skills and updated information needed to be an effective Ally. This will include:

  • Advocacy practice in the context of LGBTIQ life within WSU.
  • How to promote LGBTIQ inclusion within your sphere of influence.
  • Ways to build on relevant research and social literature to inspire progressive action towards.

2020 training dates

Training is run periodically throughout the year over different Campuses. A list of training dates can be found under training and events.

You can register your interest for future workshops if the planned training sessions are unsuitable by emailing m.blackmore@westernsydney.edu.au

In order to become an Ally you need to complete a training session organised by the Office of Equity and Diversity, during which you will cover the following:

  • Reflection upon your own assumptions and understanding of LGBTIQ people.
  • Become familiar with some of the issues faced by LGBTIQ staff and students such as sexual prejudice and 'coming out'.
  • Overview of the University Ally Network and what it means to become an Ally.

After the training session, you can nominate yourself to become an Ally, and we will provide you with the University Ally resources (eg. Ally pin and stickers) to identify you as an Ally. You can then participate in the activities of the Ally Network.  The Ally Network communicates via email and meets four times a year to discuss issues, organise events, and participate in training.
After you have completed the training you may also find that you do not feel comfortable with the role of Ally and decide not to become one.  There is no requirement to become an Ally after completing the training session.

If you would like to learn more about the LGBTIQ community, the Ally Network or becoming an Ally, please consider participating in an Ally training session.  We are also offering Advanced Ally training (Influencing LGBTIQ Inclusion as an Ally) for existing Ally members to update knowledge and further develop skills to advocate for, promote and progress LGBTIQ inclusion.