Ally Network

The UOW Ally Network sets out to develop a visible network of empathetic people who are allies of gender, sex and sexuality diverse students and staff.

UOW Allies

What is an Ally?

One definition of an "Ally" is someone who helps and supports someone else. An Ally Program sets out to develop a visible network of empathetic people who are allies of students and staff who are gender, sex and sexuality diverse people. Any UOW staff member or student can be an Ally.

Allies are not experts about matters of sex, sexuality and gender identity. They are people who support the University's values of "mutual respect and diversity".

An Ally understands the reasons why 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.

What do Allies do?

Allies have an identifying Ally sticker or poster on their door or on display in their workspace when they are present. Allies are informed, caring people who provide a point of contact for people who are gender, sex and sexuality diverse. They can provide a safe and respectful environment for people to raise issues, ask questions and share information with colleagues and students. They will connect people to appropriate resources and will not take on roles for which they are not trained (such as counselling).

Allies undertake this voluntary role knowing that their contribution helps make the University of Wollongong a better place to work and study for everyone.

Ally Network Advisory Committee

UOW's Ally Network is managed by the Ally Network Advisory Committee (ANAC). This Committee is responsible for the success and growth of the Ally Network, and to promote UOW as a higher education sector leader in gender, sex and sexuality equity. ANAC meets four (4) times per year to discuss key policy areas and make changes/improvements to current practice. 

Who are the UOW Allies?

Allies at UOW are specifically trained to help support and advocate for our gender, sex and sexuality diverse community. Allies are also available for confidential and informal discussions about being a gender, sex and sexuality diverse employee. Both Dr Quah Ee Ling Sharon (Chair of the Ally Network) and Kate Lindenau, (Workforce Diversity Officer) are gender, sex and sexuality diverse trained and can be directly contacted should you wish to speak with someone directly and confidentially regarding gender, sex and sexuality diverse issues. 

Download the UOW Allies list (pdf)

Ally Network

Gender, sex and sexuality diverse inclusion training online

Any UOW staff member or student can be an Ally, whether or not they identify as gender, sex and sexuality diverse. To learn more about gender, sex and sexuality inclusion or to become an Ally, please complete the on-line inclusion training.

This training has been developed by our partner Pride in Diversity and The Red Cross to help build gender, sex and sexuality diverse awareness. Once you have completed the training, if you would like to join our Ally Network, please send a completed form to pods@uow.edu.au and tell us that you have done the training and want to become an Ally.

Staff and Student Leaders may also attend our annual Ally Network Information Session. For more details, please contact pods@uow.edu.au.

Ally Network news

Inclusive spaces: gender neutral bathrooms at Wollongong campus

UOW is proud to offer gender neutral bathrooms, which are located across our Wollongong campus. Inclusive spaces where people feel safe, accepted and included are very important in adhering to UOW’s values of mutual respect and diversity.

UOW listens to your feedback and welcomes input into how campus life should look and feel. UOW continues to implement these facilities across the Wollongong campus and our other campuses.

The Facilities Management Division has consulted with UOW staff and students regarding the rollout of gender neutral bathrooms. It is important to note that, in the spirit of mutual respect and diversity, gendered toilets will continue to be available across all campuses, however options for retro-fitting existing spaces to provide more options for the whole UOW community, are in place.

Do you have feedback on these new facilities, or have other ideas on how we can improve your campus experience? We'd love to hear from you. Please submit your feedback.

View map of gender neutral bathrooms

Gender, sex and sexuality diversity resources

  • Making Inclusive and Safer Teaching Spaces - guide developed by the Feminist Research Network in response to student-identified needs.
    Contributors include Felicity Bell, Tanja Dreher, Nicola Marks, Josh Pallas, Linda Steele, Ika Willis, UOW Allsorts, UOW Ally Network, UOW Feminist Society, and participants in the FRN workshop on this topic.
  • UOW Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Support - links to information and support within UOW's Counselling Services and external to UOW.
  • Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) - ICLC is a community legal centre located in Kings Cross. The Centre provides free legal advice, referrals and assistance to people who live and/or work in the inner city and surrounding areas and the northern beaches. ICLC also provides specialist legal advice for anyone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) anywhere in New South Wales.
  • ACON - We help GLBT people and people with HIV, sex workers and drug users in regional and rural areas of NSW to improve their health and wellbeing by providing a range of services, resources, support groups and events. We also provide information and training to mainstream service providers and community groups throughout NSW to improve their knowledge of HIV and GLBT health issues. Further information about ACON and Relationships Australia NSW's new Domestic and Family Violence group programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and/or queer (LGBTIQ) clients affected by or using domestic violence can be found in the ACON DFV Service Flyer and ACON DFV Project FAQ sheet.
  • The Gender Centre - The Gender Centre is committed to developing and providing services and activities, which enhance the ability of the transgender, gender questioning and gender diverse community to make informed choices.
  • Qlife Counselling Service - QLife is Australia’s first nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex (LGBTI). QLife provides nation-wide, early intervention, peer supported telephone and web based services to people of all ages across the full breadth of people’s bodies, genders, relationships, sexualities, and lived experiences. They are available for online or telephone counselling from 3pm-12 midnight each day.
  • The impact of marriage equality and marriage denial on the health of lesbian, gay and bisexual people - ACON and the Centre for Social Research in Health partner on the development of an evidence review on the health impacts of marriage equality and the denial of this on the health of lesbian, gay and bisexual Australians.
  • A guide for health services to support LGBTI clients during the marriage equality debate - It is well documented that LGBTI people experience higher levels of psychosocial distress and are at increased risk of health issues including depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal ideation and suicide. Many of these conditions have been attributed to experiences and fears of discrimination and abuse.These pre-existing higher rates of mental health issues in LGBTI communities make these groups more vulnerable to the potentially negative rhetoric that may arise in the prolonged national debate on marriage equality.
  • Tips for staying strong during the marriage equality debate - The recent marriage equality debate has already unleashed anti-LGBTI commentary and many people are feeling upset, distressed or angry. Here are some practical tips on staying strong and resilient during this time.
  • Intersex Human Rights Australia Ltd is an independent support, education and policy development organisation, by and for people with intersex variations or traits. Our work focuses on human rights, bodily autonomy and self-determination, and on evidence-based, patient-directed healthcare.
  • You Can’t Ask That - Intersex - A subject that is still widely misunderstood, secretive and rarely spoken about in detail, eight individuals reveal the complexities of being born with an intersex variation. (ABC iView)
  • Transhub - a digital information and resource platform from ACON, for all trans and gender diverse people in NSW, their loved ones, allies and health providers.