Ally Network launched at UOW
The Ally Network was launched by the Vice-Principal (Administration), Mr Chris Grange, on 23 November following the first Ally training session.
An ‘Ally’ is someone who helps and supports someone else with this particular program aimed at developing a visible network of empathetic people who are allies of students and staff identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual or intersex (GLBTI) – i.e. those belonging to a sexual or gender minority.
Director of Employment Equity and Diversity, Lynne Wright, said that staff and students who do not identify as GLBTI can also be ‘Allies’.
“Allies are not experts about matters of sexuality and gender identity. They are people who support the University’s values of ‘Mutual respect and collegiality’, ‘Diversity of cultures, ideas and peoples’ and ‘Equity and social justice’, Ms Wright said.
She said that an Ally understands the reasons many people from sexual or gender minorities are not always in a position to speak out on their own behalf or may be fearful of being harassed or discriminated against.
The Ally Network is very visible because staff and students who are now trained will locate the Ally rainbow logo (as seen in the accompanying photo) on their office doors.
“Everyone will know that these are respectful people and safe places where people can seek assistance if they need,” Ms Wright said.
A second training session which will be held on Tuesday December 11 is already full and Ms Wright is already preparing for training in 2013 for those staff who were not able to attend this year.
“I believe it shows overwhelmingly that staff and students at UOW support the Ally Network,” she said.