The results of UNE’s  ground-breaking Queer Allyship survey provide important insights into how UNE can do better as a community to support LGBTQAI+ people. 

Of the 1,183 people who responded to the online survey, 47 per cent identified as being under the LGBTQAI+ umbrella. Many indicated they would like more support, and easier access to the information, services and resources they need.  

The awareness training for staff and students that will be delivered throughout late March and April is an important step towards addressing these needs.

From enrolment processes to mental health and medical care provision, the majority of survey respondents said they felt improvements could be made to ensure their inclusion in the university’s curriculum, pedagogy and culture.  

Member of UNE’s Diversity Advisory Committee and chair of the Queer Allyship Steering Committee that ran the survey, Dr Christina Kenny, said students living at the intersection of LGBTQAI+ and disability or neurodiversity and those living off-campus made the strongest call for greater support.

And they are calls UNE is now heeding.

The survey findings will form the cornerstone of the Queer Allyship Network’s efforts to acknowledge and support LGBTQAI+ people online and on campus. That will begin more formally this month, when UNE hosts its third round of LGBTQAI+ awareness training (following successful training in 2019).

The two-part program will help academic and professional staff, as well as students, to understand LGBTQAI+ terminology, the issues faced by members of this community, and ways to make engagement and materials more inclusive.

“LGBTQAI+ folks are an incredibly diverse bunch,” Christina says. “Capturing a sense of this diversity of identities and orientations through the survey will help us to ensure that the services, training and support UNE provides reflects their needs.

“Those of us who don’t identify as LGBTQAI+ can join the conversation and learn to do better as allies – to help build a UNE culture that supports and acknowledges its diversity and improves safety and inclusion for all.” 

Christina said UNE is in a unique situation to capitalise on the goodwill that exists and position the university as a regional leader in this space.

“It’s a chance for us, regionally, to say to members of the LGBTQAI+ community ‘We see you, we are here for you and we value your whole identity’,” she said.

UNE’s Queer Allyship Network aims to represent and support communities of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression and sex characteristics. 

Register for the training via Web Kiosk.