Ally Network

The Ally Network is an endorsed group of staff and students who are committed to creating an inclusive and respectful culture at the University for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community members.

Upcoming events:

Please check back for upcoming Ally events

Upcoming Training Sessions

2019 Training Dates

Our 2019 Ally Training dates are:

Date

Session type

Location

Tues: 19 March, 9.30-1.30pm

New Ally Members

Room AD.LG.18 (MR5), Werrington North

Thurs: 9 May, 9.30-1.30pm

New Ally Members

Room 03.4.02, Liverpool Campus

Wed: 4 Sept, 9.30-1.30pm

New Ally Members

Room 23.G.41, Bankstown Campus

Tues: 10 December, 9.30-1.30pmExisting Ally MembersHawkesbury Campus

We are happy to announce that we will be offering further training for our existing Ally members in 2019!

Influencing LGBTIQ Inclusion as an Ally (for existing Ally members) sessions are also available for registration through Staff Online.

If you would like to register your interest for future workshop dates, please email m.blackmore@westernsydney.edu.au

What is an Ally?

An Ally is a volunteer (staff or student) 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.

Recently we asked our Allies to tell us their story of why they became a member of Western's 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 show them they can be who they are around me. This can change a person's whole demeanour 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.'

'Seeing the success of the 2016 Mardi Gras parade.'

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How do I become an Ally?

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

  • 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 stickers and Ally pin to identify you as an Ally.

You may also find that you do not feel comfortable with the role of Ally and decide not to become one.

The Ally Network communicates via email and meets four times a year to discuss issues, organise events, and participate in training. We also have a social group that gets together to attend social events.

Wear it Purple Day

Wear It Purple Day is an opportunity to demonstrate to young people that they all have a right to be proud of who they are and that sex, sexuality and gender identity does not change this. It all began in Australian schools by two young people. The event has now grown to an international phenomenon encouraging the simple act of wearing the colour purple to show our sex, sexuality and gender diverse individuals that diversity is valued and everyone deserves to be included.

At Western we understand that at times studying and working can be difficult when you identify as LGBTIQ. On Friday 30th August we will again celebrate Wear It Purple with this year’s theme, Stand Up. Stand Out, with people across all campuses wearing purple to show their support for LGBTIQ students and staff. Purple shirts with the university’s rainbow crest will be distributed along with decoration packs. Libraries and Student Centres across all campuses will be utilised as a central hubs for display of LGBTIQ information and factsheets covering inclusive practices with our gender diverse community. Students and staff are actively encouraged to come together in front of their campus library for a group photo to celebrate the inclusive message of Wear it Purple day. The marketing team will also be involved, ensuring lecture theatres were themed in purple and displayed the Wear it Purple message when screens were in standby mode on the day. The following is slideshow of some photos from the 2018 Wear It Purple day #wearitpurple #western

Wear it Purple Day 2018 across the University

Wear it Purple Day 2018 at Western Sydney University
Wear it Purple Day 2018 at Western Sydney University
Wear it Purple Day 2018 at Western Sydney University
Wear it Purple Day 2018 at Western Sydney University
Wear it Purple Day 2018 at Western Sydney University
Wear it Purple Day 2018 at Western Sydney University
Wear it Purple Day 2018 at Western Sydney University
Wear it Purple Day 2018 at Western Sydney University
Wear it Purple Day 2018 at Western Sydney University
Wear it Purple Day 2018 at Western Sydney University

More information

For further information contact Equity and Diversity (opens in a new window) on 9678 7378.

To My Grade 7 Self

Watch this powerful To My Grade 7 Self video (opens in a new window) produced by Get REAL, a Canadian non-profit movement that empowers uni age students to help high school age students unlearn LGBT discrimination and harmful language, and embrace difference and positivity.

Link to Video: To My Grade 7 Self

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