Promoting an inclusive university culture for people of diverse sexualities, sexes and gender identities.
The Ally Network proudly supported and marched in the 2019 TasPride Parade side-by-side with the University's own Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rufus Black. See the Ally events page below for a clip of his speech
- Provide a visible network of identified ALLIES to people of diverse sexualities, sexes and gender identities to be agents of change.
- Create a safe, nurturing, inclusive, and affirming University environment
- Build a support and advocacy network through education; develop further awareness and visibility of staff and students of diverse sexualities and gender identities and their issues.
An Ally is someone who is informed about, sensitive toward, and understanding of people of diverse sexualities, sexes and gender identities and their issues; affirms their experience and rights; and chooses to challenge homophobic, transphobic and/or heterosexist values of others in a variety of ways including by individual example and personal awareness.
Allies can be approached if there are aspects of your experience at University as a sexually and gender diverse person that you need to discuss. Allies will be happy to listen, provide guidance and be a supportive point of contact. Allies are not counsellors or caseworkers.
Being an Ally requires the following commitments:
- Participating in a 3-hour interactive workshop to become better acquainted with your role as an Ally, and to develop a better understanding of the issues experienced by people of diverse sexuality and gender identities. Most people grow up with unexamined heteronormative assumptions, attitudes, and behaviours. The process of alliance can take time, and for this reason, awareness raising and information sessions are an important part of being an Ally.
- Reflecting on personal beliefs and develop self-awareness of your attitudes and commitment to diversity in the community.
- Publicly identifying yourself as an Ally by allowing your name to be posted on the Inclusion Diversity and Equity website and to be included in information provided to staff and students.
- Displaying an Ally sign in your workspace and/or use Ally promotional merchandise.
- Providing a safe place to talk for members of our University community who seek your support, empathy or friendship and information on DGSS (Diverse Genders, Sexes and Sexualities) issues, while maintaining confidentiality. Being open to questions from and about DGSS students and staff.
- Working within and supporting existing policies and practices that bring equity to the UTAS community and give open support to DGSS people.
- Attending occasional Ally development sessions and actively seeking to expand your own knowledge and understanding of various issues of concern to sexually and gender diverse persons.
- To register your interest in becoming an Ally, enquire about upcoming training dates or for further information please contact Organisational Development. The Ally Network is open to both staff and students of the University.
Refer to the full list of Current Allies.
LGBTI awareness and Ally training
It is recognised that people of diverse sexuality and gender identities are more likely to experience social exclusion for a range of reasons that can have a profound negative impact on health, study and work achievements. As a commitment to inclusiveness and diversity, in 2014 the University established the Ally Network - trained staff and students (Allies) who are supportive of and respectful to people of diverse sexualities and gender identities within the UTAS community, and believe in positive and inclusive behaviours.
Workshops are delivered by educators from Working It Out, and aims to increase cultural awareness by:
- getting comfortable with language and terminology,
- gaining some understanding and awareness of issues experienced by people of diverse sexualities and gender identities,
- cultural differences across gender and sexuality, and
- looking at the history of LGBTI discrimination and acceptance at an international, national and Tasmanian context over time.
The UTAS context, our relevant policies, the Ally Role and the Ally Network will also be briefly discussed.
The workshops are activities based and highly interactive. Please let us know of any particular accessibility requirements so we can ensure your full participation.
Workshops are held twice yearly please contact Organisational Development to register your interest or find out further details.