Ally Network

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. Allies contribute 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. Allies are staff of the University with a genuine commitment to the principles of equality and social justice and volunteer to take on this role. The Ally network champion is the University's Vice Chancellor, Professor Adam Shoemaker.

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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."

Professor Adam Shoemaker, Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor and Ally network champion

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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.

An Ally may not identify as LGBTIQ+, but they actively support inclusiveness and equality at the University by;

  • helping to coordinate and / or attending LGBTIQ+ events,
  • displaying LGBTIQ+-affirming material,
  • assisting LGBTIQ+ students and staff with matters they wish to discuss,
  • deal with enquiries whilst maintaining strict confidentiality, and
  • keeping data regarding enquiries and provide this confidential information to the Head, Equity and Diversity Office.

The Ally role does not include advocacy. Allies are currently being recruited and trained.

Training

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

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

Ongoing Professional Development

An annual review meeting, facilitated by the Equity and Diversity Office, 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

Confidentiality in conducting the Ally role and adherence to University policies and procedures is strictly observed. The names of any persons directly involved in matters of concern discussed with an Ally is not divulged to any persons beyond the relevant Ally and others nominated in the relevant policies and procedures.

Further Information

Enquiries regarding the Ally Network can be directed to the Senior Equity and Diversity Officer, Rob Cumings on 02 6626 9208 or by email to rob.cumings@scu.edu.au

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