Western’s LGBTIQ Activities

Projects, events and other activities


Upcoming LGBTIQ Inclusive Activities

Ally Training for staff and students

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.

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. In 2017 we encouraged students and staff to wear purple to show their support of LGBTIQ students and staff. We provided purple shirts with a rainbow 'W' shield to our Allies and Queer Collective members and any other supporters from the University community and had photo shoots throughout our campuses, using fun purple props in the spirit of Wear It Purple day.  Wear It Purple Day will be held on August 31 in 2018.  Please email m.blackmore@westernsydney.edu.au for further information on 2018 Wear It Purple activities.

View the 2016 Wear it Purple at Western slideshow.  #proudtome #prideandinclusion #western


Recent LGBTIQ Inclusive Activities

University adopts new 2017-2020 Sexuality and Gender Diversity Strategy

Recently Western became 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.

Strategy(Opens in a new window) 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.
The Office of Equity and Diversity will act as the lead agent in coordinating the implementation of the three year strategy and have been asked to report progress to the Executive Committee on a regular basis.  The University and the Ally Network will now turn its attention to publicising the strategy and rolling out the planned improvements. For further information, feedback or to express your interest in assisting with implementation, please contact Ms Michelle Falconer, Manager, Policy, Equity and Diversity at m.falconer@westernsydney.edu.au

Australian Ally Conference

The Australian Ally Conference was organised in partnership the University of Newcastle, and held at Western Sydney University Parramatta Campus on 27-28 June 2016. The Conference brought together staff and students from 30 universities across Australia and New Zealand to discuss LGBTIQ issues and plan for the future.

The key objectives of the conference were to examine issues of importance to LGBTIQ university staff and students, explore the role of Ally networks in higher education, highlight best practice in higher education, government and corporations, foster relationships and build networks and dialogue across the sector and to seek advancement of LGBTIQ issues in higher education through incorporation of best practice in University Ally networks.

See the Australian Ally Conference Report for more details.

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (or IDAHOT Day) 2018 was celebrated by the University on 17th May. A large number of staff and students joined the University's Ally Network and Penrith Queer Collective members at Kingswood Campus on 17 May to show their support for IDAHOT Day. The theme for this year was "Alliances for Solidarity".

IDAHOT Day is about showing support for people to live safely without fear of abuse or violence based on their sex, sexuality or gender expression.  At Western, the Rainbow Flag was raised on all campuses to show the University's commitment to the elimination of violence and harassment against LGBTIQ peole and communities.

Western LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy

In consultation with key stakeholders the University has developed its own LGBTIQ inclusion strategy – The Western Sydney University’s 2017 – 2020 Sexuality and Gender Diversity Strategy (Opens in a new window) This plan describes the actions Western will take to address and prevent discrimination based on sex, sexuality and gender diversity and to ensure that our organisation is LGBTIQ respectful, safe and inclusive.

Some of the key goals include increasing the university’s profile as being able to uniquely tailor student services for those who identify as LGBTIQ, and become leaders in the sector for research on issues affecting LGBTIQ communities and ensuring that there is meaningful impact.

The strategy will be driven by various units of the University however ultimately needs ongoing commitment from all staff and students to see the values upheld..

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Recent and Ongoing Research Examples

Western Sydney University is a leading researcher in education, health and social policy research relating to sexuality and gender diverse individuals. Below is a list of some, but not all, of the research projects our University has contributed significantly to within the last 3 years:

Growing Up Queer
Professor Kerry Robinson, Dr Peter Bansel, Dr Nida Denson, and Dr Georgia Ovenden, Sexualities and Gender Research Network. This project aimed to gain an understanding of the experiences of young people who identify as gender variant and sexuality diverse across a broad range of issues such as identity, health and wellbeing, education, technology, and access to services. It also worked with young people to creatively and collaboratively develop innovative, relevant and engaging resources based on research findings that would contribute to increasing professional and community awareness of their experiences and needs.

Queering disasters in the Antipodes: investigating the experiences of LGBTI people in natural disasters
Dr Andrew Gorman-Murray, School of Social Science and Psychology. Research in Australia and internationally has shown that marginalisation and discrimination may leave lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) populations particularly vulnerable during the impact and recovery phases of a natural disaster. This research investigates how LGBTI residents have been impacted in recent natural disasters in the Blue Mountains and other areas across Australia.

LGBT neighbourhoods in transition: urban and political change in Sydney and Toronto (Opens in a new window)
Dr Andrew Gorman-Murray, School of Social Science and Psychology. This research explores insights from 'new mobilities' approaches to understand the shifting sexual and gendered landscapes of major cities in the global North. The empirical context is the purported 'demise' of traditional gay villages in Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia, and the emergence of 'LGBT neighbourhoods' elsewhere in the inner city.

Free2Be? Exploring the schooling experiences of Australia's sexuality and gender diverse secondary school students (Opens in a new window)
Dr Jacqueline Ullman, Centre for Educational Research. This research asks the fundamental question of participants: Is school a place where it is safe to be yourself?; Are you free to be you? This research looks at how sexuality and gender diverse students experience their school's ethos and to investigate links between students' reported school climate and various measures of their school wellbeing and associated academic outcomes.

The role of gender in health: meeting the needs of minority groups
Professor Jane Ussher, and Professor Janette Perz, Director, Centre for Health Research. Groundbreaking research by Western Sydney University leading to the first services targeted at gay and migrant patients.

The Elephant in the (Class)room: Parents' and students' perceptions of LGBTQ education (Opens in a new window)
Dr Tania Ferfolja and Dr Jacqueline Ullman, School of Education. This research seeks to understand: the discourses in which parents and students in NSW operate in relation to LGBTQ perspectives, related gender constructs, and anti-homophobia education as well as their perceptions about the inclusion of these issues in school education; their perceived relevance; how understandings of gender norms and acceptable gender expression factor into their beliefs about incorporating LGBTQ perspectives and anti-homophobia education in Australian schools; and the synergies, tensions, similarities and differences among and between students and parents in relation to these issues.

'The tensions for parents, educators and children in building a sustainable culture of ethical and respectful relationships early in life'. (in progress)
Professor Kerry Robinson, School of Education. This research involves interviews with parents and their primary school age children (5-11) and with teachers of primary school children; and an online survey for parents and teachers of primary school age children. The project explores children's understandings of respect, sexuality and relationships (e.g. marriage, initimacy, love); where children get their information about these issues; how parents approach their children's early education regarding sexuality education and in building children's knowledge and practice around respect; and how primary school teachers approach these areas in children's early education.

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Western Sydney University's Open Fora Series

Equity and Diversity Open Fora explore a range of social issues of relevance to Western Sydney University and the Greater Western Sydney community. The forums are free and everyone is welcome to attend, staff, students and the general public, recently we've held events specifically relevant to the LGBTIQ community.


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