What is the Ally Network?
The Ally Network is a group of trained students and staff who are allies to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people at UNSW.
They are committed to making UNSW a great place for everybody by reducing barriers of fear and ignorance that lead to prejudice and discrimination.
The Network is open to everyone, including people within the LGBTIQ+ community and allies who support the LGBTIQ+ community. We encourage people with all diverse lived experiences to join.
What does an ally@UNSW do?
Allies@UNSW are trusted, safe, confidential contacts who pledge a commitment to learning, recommending areas for improvement at UNSW, and encourage LGBTIQ+ voices – sharing articles, posting on social media and engaging local areas to celebrate and recognise days of significance like Mardi Gras, IDAHOBIT and Wear It Purple day. Their role is to create a visible presence, take a proactive stance and cultivate an inclusive culture on campus.
Allies@UNSW are not expected to be experts on diverse sexualities, sexes and genders. Members have completed training and are available to support LGBTIQ+ staff and students with confidential discussions and referral to support services and community organisations.
Contact an ally@UNSW
There are times when a staff member or student may want to have a confidential conversation with an LGBTIQ+ person or experienced ally@UNSW about the possibility of coming out to colleagues or peers, or to ask a question regarding the network, or get advice on support services.
If you would like to contact an ally@UNSW in your specific Faculty and Division, they will be happy to hear from you and provide confidential referral advice. Contact an ally @UNSW.
Allies are not counsellors, and they are not expected to be experts on diverse sexualities, sexes and genders. UNSW provides free, confidential LGBTIQ+ friendly counselling to staff through the Employee Assistance Program and students through UNSW Psychology & Wellness.
Wherever you see ally@UNSW you will know you have found a trained supportive staff member or student who is able offer confidential referral to appropriate services.
Becoming an ally@UNSW
All staff and students are welcome to participate and stand together as allies@UNSW, including those who identify in LGBTIQ+ communities and those who do not.
Training is free, optional and open to all current staff and students who wish to broaden their knowledge of and support LGBTIQ+ communities at UNSW.
- Visibly identify using the ally@UNSW graphic in email signatures, work/study spaces, bios, etc;
- Maintain zero tolerance of any non-inclusive behaviours/actions;
- Provide an affirming open mind and ear and confidential space to listen;
- Understand the level of fear and stigma associated with disclosing gender, sex or sexuality and therefore act without judgment and respect confidentiality at all times;
- Provide referral to appropriate support services (internal and community), UNSW policies, procedures and practices;
- Raise awareness of LGBTIQ+ issues and raise public visibility of the ally@UNSW network;
- Challenge issues and negative speech/media on and off campus and keep informed about related resources and information;
- Role model positive communication styles and actions;
- Promote, volunteer for and attend community and university events that mark LGBTIQ+ days of significance;
- Promote diversity and inclusion initiatives via media, teaching & promotional materials.
Yes! Register and find out more. All current staff and students are welcome to join Workshop 1.
Staff and students who have not completed any ally@UNSW training during their time at UNSW will need to complete both workshops.
Any allies@UNSW who have previously completed training at UNSW should take Workshop 2 to refresh their membership.
If you haven't completed training, in the meantime you can still get involved! Join the LGBTIQ+ Network on MS Teams to start a conversation, connect, share and learn about opportunities and events. The channel is open to all current staff and students who support the LGBTIQ+ community.
Please add your name to the waitlist! There is a good chance you will get a spot in the workshop, but it is not guaranteed. Life happens and many people who register end up cancelling at the last moment!
The Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion schedules a limited number of workshops throughout the year. If you cannot attend the workshop you're after, check out these learning opportunities in the meantime.
Visibility is key! Clearly identified allies who can be contacted for a confidential and informal discussion helps create belonging and a safe space for the LGBTIQ+ community. There are times when a person may want to have a confidential conversation with an ally@UNSW about finding support, the possibility of coming out to colleagues or peers or ask a question regarding the network. They may want to discuss something about their work or study experience or suggest something confidentially. The ability to call someone confidentially outside of UNSW's Human Resources, Psychology & Wellness, Student Support Advisors, Teachers, Tutors, etc. allows those conversations to take place.
An ally@UNSW is someone who is trained and informed about the foundational and practical tools to be sensitive toward, and understanding of, people of diverse sexualities, sexes and gender identities and their issues; affirms their experiences and rights; and challenges homophobic, transphobic, biphobic or any other type of phobic behaviours.
Allies@UNSW are not counsellors, caseworkers or doctors. Allies@UNSW will be happy to listen, provide guidance and refer people to support services.