Since its inception in 2002, the Ally Program has recruited many staff and student Allies across campus, making a significant contribution to an inclusive culture at UWA.
Ally at UWA
The Australian Workplace Equality Index: 2016 Employee Survey Analysis reports that support for and belief in LGBTIQA+ inclusion initiatives is strongest in the higher education sector than in any other. At UWA, the Ally Program is our flagship inclusion initiative.
Originally appearing on US campuses in the early 1990s, the initial aim of the Ally Program at UWA was to extend the University’s diversity initiatives into the areas of sexuality and gender. The program trains Allies to create a more inclusive campus by promoting greater visibility and awareness of LGBTIQA+ issues.
Become an Ally
The role of an Ally and the Ally Network
An Ally affirms the experiences and rights of LGBTIQA+ persons and chooses to challenge the homophobic and heterosexist values of others in a variety of ways, including by individual example and personal awareness.
Allies are not identified as being heterosexual or LGBTIQA+ but are representative of the entire UWA community.
The Ally Network is an informal network of staff and students ranging across the campus which aims to:
- provide a visible network of identified Allies to the LGBTIQA+ community to be agents of change
- create a safe, nurturing, inclusive and affirming campus environment
- build a support and advocacy network through education
- develop further awareness and visibility of LGBTIQA+ staff and students and related issues and
- meet quarterly for social gatherings and other awareness-raising events.
Most people grow up with unexamined heteronormative assumptions, attitudes and behaviours. The process of alliance to LGBTIQA+ people and their issues can take time. For this reason, awareness raising and information sessions are an important part of being an Ally.
Commitments of an Ally
- Participating in a four-hour interactive workshop to learn about your role as an Ally.
- Reflecting on personal beliefs and developing self-awareness of your attitudes and commitment to diversity in the community.
- Developing a better understanding of LGBTIQA+ issues, queer culture, community, history and available resources to better fulfil your support and advocacy roles.
- Displaying an Ally sign on your office door and including the Ally logo in your email signature.
- Providing a safe place to talk for members of the UWA community who seek your support, empathy, friendship and information, while maintaining confidentiality.
- Being open to questions from and about LGBTIQA+ students and staff.
- Working within and openly supporting existing policies and practices that bring equity to the UWA LGBTIQA+ community.
- Attending occasional Ally development sessions and actively seeking to expand your own knowledge and understanding of various issues concerning LGBTIQA+ persons.
|"Being an ALLY indicates that I suppport a workplace that respects and welcomes everyone. I'm proud to be part of a network that is at the vanguard of inclusiveness." Dr Duc Dau, ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow, English and Cultural Studies|