Ally Network

LGBTIQ+ Ally Network logo

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

Professor Adam Shoemaker

Professor Adam Shoemaker
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.

Contact an Ally

Lismore Campus Allies

Shae Brown
Senior Student Advocacy Officer, Student Advocacy Office
02 6626 9232

Cathy Burton
Project Administration Officer, Student Equity & Inclusion
02 6620 3419

Helen Coleman
Senior Manager - Student Outreach
02 6620 3428

Johanna Constable
Student Advisor - Student Administration Services
02 6626 9260

Rob Cumings
Ally Network Coordinator, Student Equity & Inclusion
02 6626 9208

Ben Cummings
Technical Officer, School of Environment, Science & Engineering 
02 6626 9414

Kristin Den Exter
Manager, Academic Partnerships
02 6626 9250

Victoria Drury
Manager, Student Equity & Inclusion 
02 6626 9201

Lyn Ellison
Legal Assistant, Governance Services

Rob Garbutt
Deputy Head of School (Teaching & Learning), School of Arts & Social Sciences
02 6620 3350

Simon Gibson
Application Delivery & Support Officer, Technology Services
02 6626 9342

Airdre Grant
Lecturer, Centre for Teaching & Learning
02 6620 3390

Trina Gray
Business Partner, Human Resource Services
02 6620 3744

Debra Johnston
Operations Manager, Lismore & External Students Association (LEXSA)
02 6626 9527

Romy Lauche
Deputy Director Research, National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
02 6620 3362

Anita Loneragan
Marketing Manager, Lismore & External Students Association (LEXSA)
02 6626 9527

William MacNeil
Campus Head, Dean & Head of School, School of Law & Justice
william.macneil @scu.edu.au
02 6620 3375

Kim McDonogh
Administration Assistant, Student Equity & Inclusion
02 6620 3422

Kara Morris
Team leader – Infrastructure, Technology Services
02 6626 9138

Carlie Nekrasov
Librarian, University Library
02 66203538

Mel Rogers
Casual Academic, School of Education
0438 522 482

Jeanti St Clair
Lecturer, School of Arts & Social Sciences
02 6620 3126

Julie Streckfuss
Lecturer, School of Health & Human Sciences
02 6620 3989

Meaghan Vosz
Academic, School of Arts & Social Sciences

Ann-Maree Wilkinson
Induction Project Officer, Induction & Orientation
02 6620 3889

Curt Williams
Infrastructure Administrator, Technology Services
02 6620 3346

Jo Young
Student Induction Assistant, Student Outreach
02 66203283

Gold Coast Campus Allies

Kachina Allen
Lecturer, School of Health & Human Sciences
07 5589 3461

Talli Allen
Librarian, University Library
02 66203725

Cintamani Brown
Librarian, University Library
07 5589 3079

Laura Carnovale
Shared Services Advisor, Student Administration Services

Kendal Dorney
Marketing & Events Manager, CoastRs student association
07 5589 3072

Rachel Edwards
Lecturer, Professional Experience, School of Health & Human Sciences
0447 3388 529

Bec Herbert
Clubs & Awards Officer, Student Outreach
07 5589 3454

Erika Kerruish
Lecturer, School of Arts & Social Sciences
07 5589 3172

Megan Lee
Casual Academic, School of Health & Human Sciences
0415 643 743

Penny Leonard
Orientation & Induction Coordinator, Student Outreach
07 5589 3247

Bruce Munro
Manager, University Library
07 5589 3277

Renee Parker
Manager – Shared Services Hub, Student Administration Services
07 5589 3260

Marin Simpson
Librarian, University Library
07 5589 3170

Coffs Harbour Campus Allies

Mandy Atkinson
Student Recruitment & Events Officer, Student Administration Services
02 6659 3630

Michele Chandler
Lecturer, School of Health & Human Sciences
02 66593164

Desiree Kozlowksi
Lecturer, School of Health & Human Sciences
02 6659 3655

Jimzeena Le Cerf
Project Officer, Student Equity & Inclusion 
02 6659 3643

Robbie MacFarlane
Library Manager, SCU Library
02 6659 3230

Jo Munn
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Teaching & Learning
02 6659 3323

Renee Nuske
Library Technician, SCU Library
02 6659 3237

Jodie Phillips
Events & Marketing Coordinator, Coffs Harbour Students Association
02 6659 3299

Lisa Siegel
Associate Lecturer; School of Education
02 6659 8014

Sarah Stone
Student Advocacy Officer, Office of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students)
02 6659 3276

Hotel School Partnership Allies

Paul Whitelaw
Academic Director, Hotel School Partnership
paul.whitelaw @scu.edu.au


Prior to commencing in the Ally role, staff are required to participate in a professional development training program coordinated by Student Equity and Inclusion, including;

  • EO Online,
  • Understanding Gender & Sexuality Diversity, and
  • Ally Role & Responsibilities.

Allies are recruited and trained on an on-going basis.

Ongoing Professional Development

Ally network members are encouraged to get involved in the organising and facilitation of significant LGBTIQ+ events at their respective campuses. This provides them with opportunities to meet with LGBTIQ+ students, staff and community members.

An annual review meeting, facilitated by Student Equity and Inclusion, provides Ally Network members with the opportunity to share best practice, provide feedback, participate in skills enhancement activities and keep informed about current policy developments, legislative considerations and available resources.


Confidentiality in conducting the Ally role and adherence to University policies and procedures is strictly observed. The name of any person(s) directly involved in matters discussed with an Ally is not divulged to any person(s) beyond the relevant Ally and others nominated in relevant policies and procedures.

Further Information

For any enquiries regarding the Ally Network please contact the Ally Network Coordinator, Rob Cumings.