UNE Ally Network
6 December 2005
Next Ally Training dates: TBA
Initial training (half day)
Follow up Induction training (2 hours)
[NOTE: The UNE Ally Network training team is made up of staff who volunteer their time and expertise, so must schedule training around their fulltime workloads. This team endeavours to hold two sets of training sessions per year.]
To register your interest in attending the next Ally training sessions read on until you come to the section "Would you like to become an Ally?" Your details will be added to the 'Interested Participants' list and you will be contacted prior to the next training sessions being advertised.
One set of training sessions is scheduled for each half year where possible.
The initial training is for three hours and consists of presentations outlining why it is important to have an Ally support network, some insight into issues faced by GLBTI people, a brief overview of the role of Allies and opportunities for discussions and questions. This training gives essential background information on the issues, constraints, often negative attitudes and legalities that the GLBTI community deals with on a daily basis. Non-GLBTI participants find, for example, that something as ordinary as sitting round talking about the weekend's activities often has implications which need to be thought through by GLBTI people.
After the initial training, participants are asked to read through their elctronic manual (received on confirmation of their registration to attend training) and decide whether they wish to continue further and become an Ally. Those who choose to continue are invited to attend an induction meeting (one and a half hours or two hours) where the role is dealt with more specifically and there is the opportunity to ask further questions.
At the end of this meeting participants receive an official Ally door sign and badge which confirm their membership of the UNE Ally Network
What is the Ally Network?
The UNE Ally Network is a program to raise awareness about the issues faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) staff and students. It consists of a network of staff and students who, after pre-requisite training, identify as ALLIES.
The intention of the Ally program is to provide enough visibility and awareness of GLBTI issues to help influence a cultural change in UNE community attitudes. The support UNE Ally Network members provide is informal and amounts to being a person who GLBTI staff or students feel they can speak freely and safely to, and mix with without fear of negativity. Allies also have resource information they can share and should someone be wanting professional advice Allies know where to refer the person for assistance.
The UNE Ally Network members do not address grievance issues or provide counselling. Grievances are dealt with through Employment Equity & Diversity or Student Equity. Counselling, for both staff and students, is provided by professional counsellors in Student Assist. Allies are a point of contact and referral for these concerns.
The members of the Ally Network are committed to creating an inclusive and respectful culture at UNE for its GLBTI community.
What is behind the Ally Door Sign?
The Ally Door Sign signifies the presence of a member of the UNE community who has undertaken Ally training and whose office/room is a safe place in which to seek information and/or to discuss issues of concern to GLBTI staff and students. The presence of the door sign itself indicates to all that the University community is an inclusive community, aware of and acknowledging the diversity of its members.
Why do we need an Ally Network?
In 2005 the Vice-Chancellor's EEO Advisory Committee made a number of recommendations to promote an inclusive work and study environment at UNE. The introduction of the Ally Network is one means of raising awareness and promoting understanding of GLBTI issues. The establishment of an Ally Network is seen as particularly important for a regional university where students often feel apprehensive about disclosing their sexual identity. Information from Outlink, the national network of rural lesbian, gay and bisexual young people indicates a high level of risk among young people from these groups and notes the general lack of support services in rural areas (see footnote 1).
Research indicates that GLBTI people are more likely to experience discrimination such as:
• Denial of access to housing
• Refusal of health treatment
• Inconsistent laws regarding age of consent
• Lack of official recognition of same sex relationships
People from these groups are also more likely to experience various forms of harassment, vilification and violence (see footnote 2).
One UNE student explained,
When people have a good experience the news is passed on by word of mouth and other gay and lesbian students come here. The lack of an inclusive environment can ultimately result in people dropping out -- and can even result in suicide. It's a matter of getting support systems and networks going.
Would you like to become an Ally?
If you think you would like to be an Ally, please contact us with your details. We will need your name, phone number or extension, and email address. If you are a staff member please provide your work area; if you are a student please let us know whether you are a town student or which Residence you live at.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact:
Employment Equity & Diversity, ext 3591 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Outlink was established by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission with co-sponsorship from the Australian Youth Foundation.
2. 'Mapping Homophobia in Australia,' by Michael Flood and Clove Hamilton, The Australia Institute.
Understanding Your Legal Rights (NSW 2009)
AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (formerly HREOC)
Sex files: The legal recognition of sex in documents and government records
Concluding Paper 17 March 2009
Same-Sex: Same Entitlements 21 June 2007
Stories of discrimination October 2007
UNE Ally Contacts List
Beyond Blue for GLBTI
The Trevor Project
It Gets Better — La Trobe University (Part of the Global 'It Gets Better' Project)
Twenty10: A place to be you
This is Oz: Speak up for an inclusive Australia
Call Me Gay
Pinnacle Foundation (Scholarship information)
Armidale Queer Association (AQuA)
University of New England Sexualities Research Group (UNESEX)
UNE Counselling & Careers Resources Information
qnet Support Services
UNE Equal Opportunity Advisers
Dignity and Respect in the Workplace Charter
UNE Sex-Based Harassment Policy & Procedures
UNE Grievance Mediation Policy & Procedures
Sydney Star Observer Newspaper
ALLY at other universities
University of Western Australia
University of Queensland
Queensland University of Technology
Australian National University
University of Western Sydney
Edith Cowan University
Curtin University of Technology
University of Newcastle
University of Technology Sydney
University of New South Wales
Charles Sturt University
La Trobe University
White House Press Release: Proclamation by President Obama
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month June 2009
HREOC Media Release 16 May 2008
International Day Against Homophobia has special significance in Australia in 2008
UNE News and Events 12 December 2005
UNE takes strong stance against homophobia and bullying