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LGBTIQA+ inclusion

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:

Resources for LGBTQIA+ people at UWA

All-gender toilets

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.

General information

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:

External resources

  • Urgent Help (24/7 services)
    • Lifeline – 13 11 14
    • Emergency – 000

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.
  • Training
    • 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 [email protected] 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.
      To self-enrol:
      1. Login to the LMS using your Pheme account details (
      2. Go to this URL         
      3. You will see a message saying you are not enrolled in the Organisation. Use the “Click here to enrol” link.
      4. Click on the + Enrol link to the left of your screen.
      5. From the Self-Enrolment screen click on the [Submit] button
      6. 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 protected].
    • 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

    Intended audience:
    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.

    Workshop description:
    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.

    Intended outcomes:
    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.

    Key activities:
    Group and individual exercises, video clips, role plays, panel of members from the LGBTIQA+ community.

    Four hours.

    For session details email [email protected]
  • 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

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.

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