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 Training Sessions

In 2017 the Ally Network will be running more Ally Training workshops than ever before. For the first time ever Ally Training sessions will travel across multiple campuses making it easier for students and staff to join us.

At these events we'll explore diversity of sexual and gender expression, issues and needs of LGBTIQ students and staff, LGBTIQ-related support and activities at Western, the role of an Ally and the importance to community life for everyone at Western. 

See below for upcoming 2017 dates.

The 'After Mardi Gras' Workshops

The 2017 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will be heaps of fun and the University will proudly participate for our third consecutive year. But, when all the glitter is gone, there'll be more to do. The Ally Network will continue to promote equality, diversity and inclusion at University right across the year, and we'd like you to join us. After the Mardi Gras we're hosting workshops across the University.All students and staff are welcome!

Register using the links below.

Hawkesbury Ally Training Workshop (Opens in a new window)

12.30-4.30pm, Thursday 16 March 2017

Hawkesbury Campus, Building K2, Ground Floor, Room 32

Campbelltown Ally Training Workshop (Opens in a new window)

10.30-2.30pm, Tuesday 21 March 2017

Campbelltown Campus, Building 22, Level 2, Conference Room 5

1PSQ Parramatta Ally Training Workshop (Opens in a new window)

10.30-2.30pm, Wednesday 22 March 2017

169 Macquarie Street Parramatta City Campus (Room TBA)

Bankstown Ally Training Workshop (Opens in a new window)

12.30-4.30pm, Thursday 23 March 2017

Bankstown Campus, Building 23, Ground Floor, Room 41

Frogmore House Ally Training Workshops

Students register using the links below. Staff to register by searching 'Ally Training' on My Career Online at Staff Online (Opens in a new window).

Penrith Ally Training Workshop, May (Opens in a new window)

9.30am – 2.30pm, Wednesday 17 May 2017

Werrington North Campus, Building AA Frogmore House, Conference Room

Penrith Ally Training Workshop, October (Opens in a new window)

9.30am – 2.30pm, Wednesday 11 Oct 2017

Werrington North Campus, Building AA Frogmore House, Conference Room

If you'd 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 26 August we encouraged students and staff to wear purple to show their support of LGBTIQ students and staff. 40 Ambassador Teams received display kits to decorate their office in the spirit of Wear it Purple day. Over 100 staff and students uploaded pictures of themselves and their colleagues to show the whole University that Western welcomes LGBTIQ students and staff.  View the Wear it Purple at Western slideshow#proudtome #prideandinclusion #western

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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