Southern Cross University’s Ally Network is a university-wide commitment to the inclusion, success and celebration of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTIQ+) students and colleagues. We believe that students and staff should be able to bring their whole selves to their study and work. Each Ally contributes to raising LGBTIQ+ awareness at the University by making support for gender and sexuality diversity visible and, if necessary, challenging homophobic and transphobic attitudes and behaviours.
An Ally is a point of contact for a student or staff member who may have a query or concern about a matter relating to their gender identity or sexuality diversity. Students or staff members who wish to discuss a matter may contact an Ally of their choice (please see list below). Allies are staff members of the University, with a genuine commitment to the principles of equality and social justice, who volunteer to take on this role.
The Ally Network champion is the University's Vice Chancellor, Professor Adam Shoemaker.
Message from the Vice Chancellor
"Southern Cross University proudly supports lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) students and staff.
We deliver a range of initiatives to acknowledge, include and celebrate our gender and sexuality diverse students and colleagues.
The latest of these is the University’s Ally Network, which seeks to support students to feel welcome and able to thrive at Southern Cross University.
The Ally Network underpins our sense of justice and honouring of human rights - we are proud of our progressive, fair and inclusive environment. I commend the Ally Network to you."
Role of Ally
An Ally is a staff member (academic or professional) with an understanding of the difficulties and discrimination faced by LGBTIQ+ people and who wishes to act as an advocate for a University free from harassment or discrimination based on a person’s sexuality or gender identity.
Although an Ally may not identify as LGBTIQ+, they actively support inclusiveness and equality at the University by;
- helping to coordinate and/or attending LGBTIQ+ events at the University,
- displaying LGBTIQ+ affirming material in their workplace,
- assisting LGBTIQ+ students and staff with matters they wish to discuss,
- maintaining strict confidentiality whilst dealing with enquiries, and
- confidentially providing data and information regarding any enquiries to the Ally Network Coordinator.
Why an Ally is important
Rob Cumings, the Ally Network Coordinator, believes that "it takes courage for LGBTIQ+ people to advocate for their equality because, by disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity, they may attract condemnation, discrimination or even violence. Hence, Allies are crucial to achieving substantive change."
We asked members of the Ally Network why they think being an Ally is important. See their responses in the Ally Network Gallery.