The University of Western Australia is committed to the inclusion and support of LGBTIQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual/agender or other diverse sexual orientations and genders) students and staff at the University. UWA has a proud history of support and allyship for the LGBTIQA+ community, and in 2002 pioneered the Ally Program which has subsequently been adopted by universities across Australia and New Zealand.
We have been recognised as a Bronze employer in the Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards, which are based on the annual Australian Workplace Equality Index.
UWA offers a number of support services for LGBTIQA+ students and staff:
- The Living Room (located at UWA Shenton House and Reid Library) provides mental health services and support for students. Students are welcome to drop-in to The Living Room at any time.
- The UWA Student Guild Pride Department provides social and supportive networks for LGBTIQA+ students. The Pride Department can be contacted at email@example.com or by visiting their Facebook page.
- UWA's counselling service offers free and confidential services with Ally-trained staff.
- The UWA Medical Centre has Ally-trained staff, GP's and Mental Health Nurses.
- The UWA Student Guild Student Assist Department has social workers and a wellbeing counsellor.
- Information on preferred names, gender markers, and student ID cards, is available on askUWA. Please note that some of these sources are still being updated in light of recent changes to Western Australian legislation:
- I identify as LGBTI+. Will I be treated equally on campus?
- How do I change my name on my Statement of Academic Record?
- How do I change my name on my certificate?
- Can I get a replacement certificate if I change my gender?
- How do I change my student ID card?
- How do I change my title and gender marker in the UWA records?
- Transgender and non-binary students seeking to affirm their gender at UWA can contact the LGBTIQA+ Working Group (firstname.lastname@example.org) for confidential support. Guidelines to assist staff and students in their gender affirmation journey are being developed and will be made available here.
- The LGBTIQA+ Staff network is a social group which meets several times a year. For further information email email@example.com.
- UWA’s Employee Assistance Program allows eligible staff access to clinical psychologists for support and counselling.
- Transgender and non-binary staff members seeking to affirm their gender at UWA can contact the LGBTIQA+ Working Group (firstname.lastname@example.org) for confidential support. Guidelines to assist staff and students in their gender affirmation journey are being developed and will be made available here.
Resources for LGBTQIA+ people at UWA
All staff and students at UWA have the right to use bathrooms and changing rooms for their affirmed gender. A list of available all-gender bathrooms on UWA campuses will be made available soon.
To learn more about LGBTIQA+ diversity and the lives and experiences of LGBTIQA+ people, enrol in the Peacock Project on LMS (see instructions to enrol under “Resources for Allies” on this page) or follow one of the links below:
- Beyond Blue: Understanding Gender and Sexuality
- Bi Alliance: Information for professionals working with people who are bisexual
- Intersex Human Rights Australia: Darlington Statement
- Living Proud WA Resources page
- The Pride in Diversity Resources include a Pronoun Guide. The UWA is a member of Pride in Diversity and staff can requests PiD resources via email@example.com
- Urgent Help (24/7 services)
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Emergency – 000
Western Australia resources
- Living Proud — Provides support for LGBTI people in Western Australia, including the QLife national LGBTI telephone counselling and referral line.
- The Freedom Centre — Provides safe social spaces, peer support, information and referral for young gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer and questioning young people under age 26.
- WA Aids Council — Provides counselling, wellness, referral, general and financial assistance to people living with HIV.
- TransFolk of WA — A support service for transgender people and their loved ones in Western Australia.
- Bi+ Community Perth — A safe place for people who are not gay or straight to engage in respectful discussion, connect with people, and form community online.
- Sexuality Education Counselling Consultancy Agency (SECCA) — A non-profit organisation designed to support people with disabilities, in their efforts to learn about human relationships, sexuality and sexual health.
- Discharged — Facilitates support groups for people with personal experience of suicidal thoughts or feelings, including a suicide peer support group for trans and gender diverse people.
- The Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) — The emergency sexual assault service for Perth, Western Australia.
- GRAI — A Western Australian community-based group with a mission to create a responsive and inclusive mature age environment that promotes and supports a quality life for older and ageing people of diverse sexualities and gender identities.
- Qlife — Australia-wide anonymous and free LGBTI peer support for people wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. Call 1800 184 527 or webchat 3pm-12am AEST.
- Black Rainbow — Australia's leading Indigenous suicide prevention and mental health support source for LGBTQ+ people.
- PFLAG Australia — Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
- Trans Pride Australia — Social and support group for trans and gender diverse people and their loved ones.
- Intersex Peer Support — An intersex peer support, information and advocacy group for people born with variations in sex characteristics.
- Intersex Human Rights Australia — Support and education by and for people with intersex variation traits.
- Headspace — Australia-wide online, phone and in-person support and counselling to young people, their families and friends. Call 1800 650 890 (9am-1am).
- ReachOut — ReachOut.com helps under 25s with everyday questions through to tough times.
- Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council — a national body that advocates for the rights of multicultural and multifaith LGBTIQ individuals and communities.
- BlaQ – Committed to empowering the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQ+ community across Australia through innovation, inclusion, understanding and advocacy.
- The Pinnacle Foundation — Provides educational scholarships, mentoring and opportunities for young LGBTIQ+ Australians to realise their full potential and overcome challenges arising from their identity.
- Pride In Law — A national LGBTIQ+ Law Association aimed at connecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and questioning (LGBTIQ+) members of the legal community and their allies.
- Wear It Purple — a youth-led organisation that exists to support and empower rainbow (i.e. sexuality and gender diverse) young people
Becoming an Ally
An Ally affirms the experiences and rights of LGBTIQA+ people and chooses to challenge the homophobic and heterosexist values of others in a variety of ways, including by individual example and personal awareness.
Allies are not identified as being heterosexual or LGBTIQA+. Allies are representative of the entire UWA community.
Since 2002, UWA’s Ally Program has worked to create a supportive and welcoming environment for LGBTIQA+ staff and students.
Become an ally
The role of an Ally and the Ally Network
The Ally Network is an informal network of staff and students ranging across the campus which aims to:
- provide a visible network of identified Allies to the LGBTIQA+ community to be agents of change
- create a safe, nurturing, inclusive and affirming campus environment
- build a support and advocacy network through education
- develop further awareness and visibility of LGBTIQA+ staff and students and related issues and
- meet quarterly for social gatherings and other awareness-raising events.
Most people grow up with unexamined heteronormative assumptions, attitudes and behaviours. The process of alliance to LGBTIQA+ people and their issues can take time. For this reason, awareness raising and information sessions are an important part of being an Ally.
Commitments of an Ally
- Participating in a four-hour interactive workshop to learn about your role as an Ally.
- Reflecting on personal beliefs and developing self-awareness of your attitudes and commitment to diversity in the community.
- Developing a better understanding of LGBTIQA+ issues, queer culture, community, history and available resources to better fulfil your support and advocacy roles.
- Displaying an Ally sign on your office door and including the Ally logo in your email signature.
- Providing a safe place to talk for members of the UWA community who seek your support, empathy, friendship and information, while maintaining confidentiality.
- Being open to questions from and about LGBTIQA+ students and staff.
- Working within and openly supporting existing policies and practices that bring equity to the UWA LGBTIQA+ community.
- Attending occasional Ally development sessions and actively seeking to expand your own knowledge and understanding of various issues concerning LGBTIQA+ persons.
- UWA’s Ally training workshops aim to raise participant awareness of the life experience, issues and needs of LGBTIQA+ staff and students, with a particular focus on campus and work or study experiences. Participants who complete the workshop can elect to become part of the Ally Network. For session details email firstname.lastname@example.org or see further details below.
- The Peacock Project is a self-paced professional development module on LMS for staff who want to understand more about LGBTIQA + diversity and inclusion. It covers the meanings of each of the letters of the LGBTIQA+ acronym and some simple ideas to make teaching more inclusive.
- Login to the LMS using your Pheme account details (www.lms.uwa.edu.au)
- Go to this URL
- You will see a message saying you are not enrolled in the Organisation. Use the “Click here to enrol” link.
- Click on the + Enrol link to the left of your screen.
- From the Self-Enrolment screen click on the [Submit] button
- The system will say success. Click on [OK] to be taken to the open unit.
- Unconscious Bias training - This workshop introduces you to the concept of unconscious bias – the mental shortcuts our brains take to help us make decisions quickly. It is aimed at raising awareness of how unconscious biases work and understand the impact it has in the workplace. Learn how to proactively challenge your own and others’ biases and foster a more inclusive workplace. For session details email email@example.com.
- Step Up Bystander training - Learn how to be an ethical bystander and do your part for a safer community.
Ally training workshop
Workshop purpose and scope
Any staff member or student who wishes to better understand the issues and needs of LGBTIQA+ staff and students, and is considering becoming an Ally.
The workshop aims to raise participant awareness of the life experience, issues and needs of LGBTIQA+ staff and students, with a particular focus on campus and work or study experiences. Participants who complete the workshop can elect to become part of the Ally Network.
By the end of the program, participants will be able to: develop a better understanding of LGBTIQA+ people, issues and cultures reflect upon their own behaviour, sensitivities and understanding in relation to LGBTIQA+ people explore the process of becoming an Ally and become familiar with practical issues concerning the Ally Network and how it works, and the role of an Ally.
Group and individual exercises, video clips, role plays, panel of members from the LGBTIQA+ community.
For session details email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ally Network
Staff who have completed the Ally training workshop can elect to become part of the UWA Ally Network and be added to the Ally Network mailing list. The network of Allies across the University supports LGBTIQA+ staff and students, and promotes awareness and visibility around their issues. We invite Allies to attend or participate in LGBTIQA+ events on a regular basis.
Information for researchers collecting DSG data
When collecting data on sex, gender, or sexuality, it is critical to design survey questions in a way that is inclusive of those with diverse sexualities and genders (DSG). Non-inclusive or exclusionary data collection practices can present a significant barrier to providing services to LGBTIQA+ clients and results in less accurate data collection.
For suggestions and best practices on collecting DSG data, we recommend reading the Canberra LGBTIQ Community Consortium’s “A guide to LGBTIQ-inclusive data collection”.
Our policies adopt an inclusive definition of family that encompasses a wide range of relationships: blood, marriage, affinity adoption and dependency. Family responsibilities include care for older people, people with disability, children, partners and ex-partners, and responsibilities associated with extended families irrespective of sexual gender or identity. Parental leave is accessible to staff of all genders and to staff in same-sex relationships
UWA’s efforts to promote and support the experiences of LGBTIQA+ students and staff are guided by our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies.
Our history Staff and students at the University have a long history of LGBTIQA+ activism. The Student Guild's Homosexuality Information Department (as the Pride Department was then known), in its inaugural year of 1979, ran a campaign to encourage students to come out without fear on campus.
As part of these efforts, a phone-in on homosexuality was organised for new students during Orientation. Sexual orientation was included in UWA's Equal Opportunity Policy from 1993 onwards, nearly 10 years before Western Australia included it in the WA Equal Opportunity Act 1984.
In 2001 UWA and the Student Guild conducted the ground-breaking Rainbow Project to discover the nature of staff and student attitudes towards diverse genders and sexualities. The results led to the formation of the Ally Program, a network of staff and students committed to creating an accepting and respectful environment for LGBTIQA+ staff and students. When UWA introduced the program in 2002, we became the first Australian university to introduce the Ally Program.
In 2016 we introduced our Transgender Policy to make improve conditions for transgender students and staff. In the same year, we became the first Australian university to undertake a study into the experience of UWA students of diverse genders and sexualities. The results and recommendations are informing future inclusion practices and strategic directions. UWA is a proud member of Pride in Diversity, a supporter of marriage equality and a supporter organisation of the Safe Schools Coalition Australia.