Deakin's Ally Network

Deakin sees the diversity of its staff and students as a great strength and a much valued asset for our learning community. We support diversity in the higher education sector and we recognise the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex students and employees to learn, live and work, free of prejudice and discrimination, with all the essential freedoms enjoyed by other members of our University community and the broader population.

Prof Jane den Hollander, Vice-Chancellor

Deakin Allies logo

An Ally network is an alliance of people of diverse sexes, genders and sexualities all working together to create a positive University environment. This includes people who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex, queer or questioning their sexuality (LGBTIQ) or straight.

The Deakin Ally Network aims to create an inclusive culture by promoting awareness of how our sex, gender and sexuality can shape our everyday experiences.

More about Deakin Allies

Deakin Allies was established in 2011 through consultation with staff and students and on feedback from the biennial Staff Diversity Survey. In 2011, Deakin participated in Pride in Diversity’s Australian Workplace Equality Index which gave us useful baseline data to work from as well as goals to work towards. In particular, securing executive support for Deakin Allies and developing a transgender, gender diverse and intersex policy.

Deakin acknowledges that there are challenges facing staff and students of diverse sexes, genders and sexualities and seeks to support staff and students to address these challenges.

The Ally program aims to:

  • create a university culture that welcomes everyone
  • provide a safe and inclusive environment for all staff and students
  • promote awareness and understanding of issues affecting people of diverse sexes, genders and sexualities
  • eliminate homophobia, transphobia and discrimination
  • ensure that University policies and decisions are inclusive
  • ensure that Deakin students participate in an education that appreciates and values people of all gender identities and sexual orientations
  • actively participate in community events to celebrate Deakin’s diverse population.

Deakin’s Ally Plan supports the goals established in Deakin University’s Strategic Plan LIVE the future 2020. LIVE the future affirms Deakin’s commitment to its two founding goals:

  • to offer an educational experience which will widen participation and support students from diverse backgrounds
  • to develop lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with rural and regional communities, particularly in Geelong and Western Victoria.

Integral to LIVE the future is the goal to nurture the personal development and wellbeing for students and staff – to foster a vibrant and inclusive culture which crosses discipline and organisational boundaries.

What do Allies do?

As a member of the Ally network, or Ally, you will have the opportunity to be involved in activities  including:

  • celebrations such as Pride March and the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO)
  • planning Ally activities
  • informal meetings and gatherings
  • regular email communications.

Join the Ally Network

Allies are staff and students who align themselves with, and advocate on behalf of, staff and students of diverse sexes, sexuality and gender. The network can be joined by any staff member or student. There is no commitment; you can be as involved as you like. You will receive occasional emails from the Ally Network, notifying you of news and events.

If you would like to become involved, please contact Felicity Thyer via email or phone 03 522 78451


IDAHOT – 17 May 2017

The theme for International Day Against Homophobia,Transphobia,Biphobia and Intersex-phobic (IDAHOBIT) 2017 is 'Families'.

Come along to our IDAHOBIT-themed Human Library project celebrating the diversity of sexes, sexualities and all gender identities at Deakin.

Wednesday 17 May

  • Burwood Campus, Library, Gallery space 12.00 pm – 3.00 pm 
    Details and bookings here
  • Geelong, Waterfront Campus Library 12:30 pm – 2.00 pm
    Details coming soon.


Check also the DUSA activities across all campuses Monday 14 to Thursday 18 May, 2017.  

Inaugural Diversity @ Deakin event

The first in a series of Diversity @ Deakin events, Gender and Sexuality, was held on Monday 27 February at Deakin Edge, Federation Square. Along with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, guest speakers included:

  • Rowena Allen (Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality),
  • Georgie Stone (Transgender Advocate),
  • Panti Bliss (gender discombobulist and accidental activist),
  • Benjamin Law (journalist and author), and
  • Ishwar Singh (Program Manager, Melbourne, Pride in Diversity).

Panti Bliss at Diversity at Deakin event


Australian marriage equalitySupporter: Australian Marriage Equality .org

We are pleased to share the news that Vice-Chancellor Jane den Hollander has pledged Deakin's support for marriage equality. Deakin joins over 900 other organisations pledging support for the Australian marriage equality campaign.

View the Vice-Chancellor's letter of support (PDF, 620.5 KB), confirming the University’s value for and commitment to diversity and inclusion.


AWEI (Australian Workplace Equality Index)AWEI Bronze Tier Employer 2016

Deakin has again achieved the status of Bronze Tier employer in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), an index managed by Pride in Diversity, Australia’s first and only national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTI workplace inclusion.

2015 GLBTI Regional Inclusion Champion National Award

RBJ Thomson won Deakin the 2015 GLBTI Regional Inclusion Champion National Award for their work in Warrnambool.

Inaugural Australian Ally Conference

Deakin was a silver sponsor of the inaugural Australian Ally Conference, held at Western Sydney University in June 2016. The conference explored how best to encourage better communication between Higher Education Ally Networks from across the sector, best practice for dealing with national and local issues regarding the Ally Networks, the latest research in LGBTIQA acceptance and equality and many other topics.


At Deakin, discrimination is prohibited on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation (as defined by the attributes published in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 [Vic]). Our inclusive policies include parental leave and definitions of family.

Parental leave can be accessed by staff of all genders and staff in same-sex relationships.

Deakin’s inclusive definition of family encompasses a wide range of relationships: blood, marriage, affinity, adoption and dependency. Family responsibilities therefore include care for older people, people with a disability, children, partners and ex-partners and responsibilities associated with extended families, irrespective of sexuality and sexual or gender or identity.

Deakin’s Domestic and Family Violence Support Policy is also inclusive of all genders and of people in same-sex relationships.


Deakin says NO to homophobia video transcript

Video of Deakin University staff and students holding up hand written anti-homophobia messages.

Video opens showing a rainbow flag with the words 'Deakin University says NO to homophobia'.

Staff and students hold up banners with the following messages on:

We are all beautiful.
End discrimination today. Equal love = equal rights.
Love, equality and new Prime Minister.
Supportive of everyone.
Elsk forskellighed (Danish, meaning love diversity).
What matters is what is in the head and the heart!
Love has no boundaries. Neither does equal rights. Live together with love and respect for all!
Homophobia - never any excuse.
Love is love.
Marry me equality.
Love me for who I am not who I love.
Love conquers all.
Love is not a family value.
Human rights for all.
Born this way.
Homophobia is curable.
Love is a human right.
Love is not a choice.
Love is not a crime.
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Born gay, fabulous by choice.
Put an end to homophobia.
Deakin University students against homophobia.
Kindness, kindness, kindness!
Say yes to love.
Silence = death.
Love live learn and listen.
If I 'choose' to be gay, why can't I 'choose' to marry?
Love the way people are.
NO to homophobia.
Freedom to love who we want. A basic human right!
Freedom to be yourself.
Be free to love who you want to.
Love and respect our differences.
Love everyone equally.
Love is all you need.
Say no to homophobia.
I just love who I love.
We are all people.
It should not be illegal to love. It should be illegal to hate!
Say NO to homophobia!
Equal rights to love!
Some people are gay, and that's ok!
Stand up and be free to be who you want to be.
Celebrate love.
Be careful who you hate, it might be someone you love.
Be nobody but yourself.
Don't be afraid to stand up and fight!
Respect and love.
We come in many colours.
Social inclusion - it's not too much to ask!
Love is non discriminatory.
Love is all you need.
It's not gay to say no!

Deakin University says no to homophobia. (Jane den Hollander, Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University)

Deakin Allies thanks the staff and students who celebrated the International Day Against Homophobia with us.

Thank you also to the Geelong Adolescent Sexuality Program for funding our IDAHO celebrations.

Music: 'Popcorn' Tenpenny Joke by T J C Communications Publishing BMI.

Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) accreditation 2011 to 2016

Contact us

Felicity Thyer
03 522 78451

Lian Low

Page custodian: Equity and Diversity
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