UWA has a nationally recognised program that actively supports staff and students who identify as LGBTIQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual/agender or other diverse sexual orientations and/or identities. We are the only university to have consistently ranked in the top 10 for LGBTIQA+ inclusion since the inception of the definitive Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).
For six consecutive years, UWA has been recognised as one of Australia's top 10 employers according to the AWEI. The index is managed by Pride in Diversity, a not-for-profit organisation specialising in LGBTIQA+ inclusion in the Australian workplace. The index is based on a similar model developed by the UK organisation Stonewall.
UWA aims to remain in the top 10 by deepening our response to transgender issues and to identities under the plus sign such as asexuality and non-binary genders, enhancing commitment from our executive leadership and furthering community engagement.
Staff and students at the University have a long history of LGBTIQA+ activism. The Student Guild's Homosexuality Information Department (as the Pride Department was then known), in its inaugural year of 1979, ran a campaign to encourage students to come out without fear on campus.
As part of these efforts, a phone-in on homosexuality was organised for new students during Orientation. Sexual orientation was included in UWA's Equal Opportunity Policy from 1993 onwards, nearly 10 years before Western Australia included it in the WA Equal Opportunity Act 1984.
In 2001 UWA and the Student Guild conducted the ground-breaking Rainbow Project to discover the nature of staff and student attitudes towards diverse genders and sexualities. The results led to the formation of the Ally Program. The following year, UWA became the first Australian university to introduce the Ally Program, a network of staff and students committed to creating an accepting and respectful environment for LGBTIQA+ staff and students.
In 2016 we introduced our Transgender Policy to make improve conditions for transgender students and staff. In the same year, we became the first Australian university to undertake a study into the experience of UWA students of diverse genders and sexualities. The results and recommendations will inform future inclusion practices and strategic directions. UWA is a proud member of Pride in Diversity, a supporter of marriage equality and a supporter organisation of the Safe Schools Coalition Australia.
Resources for staff and students
The University has several resources available for staff and students. These include:
UWA's Ally Program has been adopted by 26 universities across Australia and New Zealand. The network of Allies across the University supports LGBTIQA+ staff and students, and promotes awareness and visibility around their issues. We regularly invite Allies to attend or participate in LGBTIQA+ events on a regular basis.
Students are encouraged to make contact with the Pride Department which provides social and supportive networks for students who identify as LGBTIQA+. The Pride Department can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting their Facebook page. If you wish to talk to someone confidentially in regard to LGBTIQA+ issues outside of formal grievance reporting, you can contact one of the current LGBTIQA+ allies in your area.
LGBTIQA+ Staff Network
Staff members who identify as LGBTIQA+ are able to join a social group that meets several times a year. For further information, contact Rob Blandford.
UWA BTW (Bi the Way)
Staff, students and alumni who fall under the bi+ umbrella (e.g. bisexuals, pansexuals, fluid, pan/biromantic asexuals) are invited to join the social group UWA BTW either through the Facebook page or by emailing email@example.com.
For information about other resources and supports, go to our LGBTIQA+ resources page.
Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), discrimination against a person on the basis of their gender identity, intersex status and/or sexual orientation is prohibited.
The purpose of the Diverse Sexualities and Genders Policy is to affirm the expectations of the University with regard to inclusive behaviour towards individuals of all sexualities and genders, promoting equity and facilitating access for all members of the campus community.
The Transgender Policy sets a framework for UWA to meet both its legislative obligations and its aspirations around inclusion and diversity.
UWA is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in employment and education.
Parental leave and definitions of family
UWA's inclusive definition of family encompasses a wide range of relationships: blood, marriage, affinity, adoption and dependency. Family responsibilities therefore include care for older people, people with disability, children, partners and ex-partners, and responsibilities associated with extended families, irrespective of sexual gender or identity. Parental leave is accessible to female and male staff and to staff in same-sex relationships.
LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Plan
This plan builds on the University's existing commitment to inclusion in order to achieve international best practice in the areas of Culture and Visibility, Education and Training and Community Engagement.