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

"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."

Head and shoulders image of Professor Adam Shoemaker 767px

Professor Adam Shoemaker
Vice Chancellor

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 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
  • providing, confidentially, data and information regarding any enquiries to the Ally Network Coordinator.

Lismore Campus Allies

Ms Simone Balzer 
Equity & Diversity Office 
02 6620 3362

Ms Shae Brown 
Student Advocacy Service;
02 6626 9232

Ms Cathy Burton 
Equity & Diversity Office;
02 66203419

Mr Rob Cumings
Equity and Diversity Office
02 6626 9208

Ms Victoria Drury
Equity & Diversity Office 
02 6626 9201

Mr Simon Gibson 
Technology Services
02 6626 9342

Ms Trina Gray
Human Resources Services
02 6620 3744

Ms Kim McDonogh 
Equity & Diversity Office 
02 6620 3422

Ms Kara Morris 
Technology Services
02 6626 9138

Mr Curt Williams 
Technology Services
02 6620 3346

Gold Coast Campus Allies

Mr Stephen Garvey 
Equity & Diversity Office
07 5589 3008

Ms Renee Parker
Student Administration Services
07 5589 3260

Ms Marin Simpson
University Library
07 5589 3170 


Coffs Harbour Campus Allies

Ms Jimzeena Le Cerf
Equity & Diversity Office 
02 6659 3643

Mr Robbie Macfarlane
University Library 
02 6659 3230

Ms Renee Nuske
University Library
02 6659 3237



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.

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

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

Further Information

Enquiries regarding the Ally Network can be directed to the Ally Network Coordinator, Victoria Drury on 02 6626 9201 or by email to victoria.drury@scu.edu.au 

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