Support for LGBTIQ students and staff

UNSW rainbow Basser steps

Here you can find support for (LGBTIQ) Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer students and staff. UNSW recognises you can often experience social exclusion for a range of reasons that can have a profoundly negative impact on health, study and work achievements.


The ALLY@UNSW Network is a lighthouse program that aims to ensure UNSW is a safe, welcoming place for all students and staff who identify as LGBTIQ. The ALLY training program aims to make UNSW a great place for everybody by reducing barriers of fear and ignorance that lead to prejudice and discrimination.

Contact an ALLY for support

LGBTIQ & ALLY Support for Students & Staff

Our ALLIES will be happy to hear from you. ALLIES can be recognised by the rainbow ALLY@UNSW logo on the badge they are wearing, or by an ALLY sticker on their office door.

When you see the ALLY logo, you will know you have found a trained supportive member of staff who is able offer confidential referral to appropriate services for LGBTIQ students and staff.

Appointments Contact an ALLY here

Who can become an ALLY?

All staff and students are welcome to undertake ALLY training. Building the ALLY Network across UNSW will help raise awareness about issues, stamp out LGBTIQ homophobia and transphobia to make UNSW a more inclusive place for all.

What is the role of an ALLY?

It is important to note that ALLIES are not trained counsellors but are trained to offer support, understanding and appropriate referral for students or staff as required.

The role of an ALLY is to:

  • Provide a safe space where staff or students can discuss their feelings without fear of discrimination, negative reaction, betrayal of trust but rather in an environment of dignity and respect
  • Raise the visibility of the ALLY@UNSW Network by displaying ALLY@UNSW material such as stickers, badges and posters appropriately in their workspace
  • Challenge themselves and others on issues of sexual prejudice in the workplace, such as homophobia and heterosexism, and keep informed about related resources and information
  • Understand the level of fear associated with disclosing sexual orientation or gender identity and therefore act without judgment and respect individuals' confidentiality at all times
  • Provide information and appropriate referral to LGBTIQ staff and students.

Register to become an ALLY

Both staff and students can Register for ALLY training in myUNSW.

To register in myUNSW go to Manage My Profile, then My Profile > Learning and Development > Request Training Enrolment > Search by Course Name > Enter Ally in the Course Name field and click Search. From there, click View Available Sessions and enrol.

To become a registered ALLY, you need to attend a one-day training session that includes:

  • Exploring the issues facing the LGBTQI community
  • Building an understanding of the level of fear associated with disclosing sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Encouraging reflection on personal beliefs
  • Enabling ALLIES to refer staff and students to appropriate local resources, support services and assistance
  • Creating a committed network of colleagues across UNSW.

ALLY training days offer an interesting and informative introduction to some of the issues experienced by LGBTIQ students and staff and how we can address them through inclusive practice. You don’t have to continue to be involved in ALLY to register and attend a training session. All you need is interest in learning about different views and perspectives. 

Being an ALLY is voluntary. Should you decide, after completing training, you would rather not commit to becoming an ALLY there is no requirement to do so. Simply by attending ALLY training, you are raising awareness of issues often kept hidden. You are also helping to make UNSW a more inclusive community.

After completing training, ALLIES are encouraged to:

  • Keep abreast of issues that may affect LGBTIQ students and staff
  • Assist ALLY@UNSW events (including IDAHO DAY on 17 May each year)
  • Display the ALLY@UNSW logo in their work area or wear an ALLY badge so they or their workplace can be recognised by students and staff seeking advice or support.

Training dates in 2017

March 17th

April 20th

May 16th

July 12th

August 17th

September 22nd

October 19th 

November 23rd

December 13th

ALLY training is free and is also accreditable as part of the UNSW Student Leadership Program.

Other support

Gender affirmation and transition support

Intersex and transgender student support

Transgender students who seek support before, during or affirming transition may choose to speak to an Educational Support Advisor. Educational support advisors can assist with referrals to services both on and off campus as well as liaise regarding administrative issues within the such names and identity. Educational support advisors can assist you to plan your transition.

They can also assist with advice and referral regarding issues of discrimination and harassment within UNSW.

UNSW offers a preferred name option for students however to formally change your name on your records you will need documentary evidence. Transgender students who seek need assistance with records and name changing (PDF) can contact Student Central

Safety of students is of paramount concern at UNSW

UNSW has both female, male and unisex toilets. Intersex and transgender students are entitled to use their bathroom of choice where they feel safe. All disabled toilets are unisex.

If you experience any harassment on campus or do not feel safe please call Security Services.

More LGBTIQ support at UNSW

Queer/LGBTIQ Representatives

The Arc Representative Council has a Queer/LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Intersex and Queer) Department to cater for the needs of queer/LGBTIQ students on campus.

Women’s Collective 

The Women’s Department provides a Women’s room in the Blockhouse that is an alternative safe and autonomous space which has a kitchenette with fridge and toaster, comfortable furnishings and a computer with internet access.

UNSW Queer Collective

A mailing list for queer students to find out about upcoming social events.

QueerSpace: Room 920, Chemical Sciences Building (F10)

This room is an allocated space for queer students to meet socially as well as for the Arc Queer/LGBT Department to hold its meetings.

UNSW Counselling Service

Free and confidential service to all students enrolled at UNSW. Staff seeking counselling should contact the Employee Assistance Program.

University Health Service

The University Health Service provides a range of health services to students on campus including bulk-billed appointments with GPs and a Dentist.

If you have been discriminated against or harassed by a member of staff or another student because of your race, religion, sexuality, age, disability or gender it is important you follow the process as outlined in the Student Complaint Procedure.

Community support groups


Provides myriad health and well being services to the gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities and is a leading HIV/AIDS policy development and program delivery agency.

AIDS Trust of Australia

The AIDS Trust of Australia raises and distributes funds nationally for HIV/AIDS research, education, care and support that is provided by community-based organisations.

Australian Lesbian Medical Association (ALMA)

ALMA supports lesbian doctors, medical students and their partners and advocates to increase the visibility of lesbian doctors and lesbian health.

The Links section is a table of over 600 national and state-based organisations which may be of interest to lesbian, bisexual and queer women. Examples include community events, health services, counselling and support services, social groups, sporting groups, artistic organisations, young people's groups and organisations from which people can get information about legal and human rights issues.

Blacktown Lesbian Information and Social Support (BLISS)

Blacktown Outdoors Group

A gay men’s outdoors, bushwalking and social group in western Sydney.

Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF)

BGF was founded in 1984 and is named after the first person to die of AIDS in Australia, Bobby Goldsmith. It is the oldest HIV/AIDS charitable organisation in the country and provides practical, emotional and financial support to PLWHA.

Community Support Network (CSN)

CSN is a volunteer based group run by ACON that provides home care for PLWHA.

FTMA Network

This network (female to male Australia) is the largest membership based network of men with transexualism and offers accurate, relevant and timely information about transexualism.

Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby

Gay and Married Men’s Association (GAMMA)

A group of dedicated men who identify as gay or bisexual and who are, or who have been married or involved in a heterosexual relationship.


IGLYO is the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation. IGLYO is a network gathering LGBTQ youth and student organisations in Europe and beyond. It is run for and by young people.

Lesbian & Gay Anti-Violence Project (AVP)

This Project, auspiced by ACON, records and reports anti lesbian and gay abuse or violence, provides referral and support to victims of homophobic abuse or violence, sometimes runs self-defence workshops, anti-homophobia education programs and also promotes the Safe Place program; a network of business and services that are equipped to offer support and help to victims of violence or abuse. They are identified by a sticker (an inverted pink triangle on a black background) on their front door or window.

Domestic and Family Violence in LGBTIQ Relationships


Gay and lesbian counselling service of NSW.

New Mardi Gras

New Mardi Gras runs the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade and party and Sleaze Ball. Its general objective is to raise the visibility of the GLBTIQ communities.

PFLAG Australia

Parents & Friends of Lesbians And Gays is a non-profit voluntary organization whose goal is to keep families together by giving help, support and information to families and friends of all gay people.

The Pinnacle Foundation

The Pinnacle Foundation has been established to provide scholarships to lesbian, gay, transexual, queer, intersex and bisexual youth who are marginalised or disadvantaged.

Positive Life NSW

Positive Life NSW (formerly PLWHA) is a non-profit community organisation that represents the interests of PLWHA in NSW. It works to promote a positive image of people affected by HIV with the aim of eliminating prejudice, isolation, stigmatisation and discrimination.


Nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex (LGBTI). 

Referral services

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations

AFAO is the peak non-government organisation representing Australia's community-based response to HIV/AIDS. AFAO's work includes education, policy, advocacy and international projects.

Anti-Discrimination Board

This agency is part of the NSW Attorney-General’s Department and administers the anti-discrimination laws of the state.

Gay and Lesbian Immigration Taskforce

GLITF provides assistance to foreign (international) partners of Australian lesbians and gay men to migrate to Australia.

Gay and Lesbian Legal Rights Centre

The Gender Centre

The Gender Centre develops and provides services and activities which enhance the ability of people with gender issues to make informed choices.

HIV/AIDS Legal Centre

HALC is a community legal centre that specialises in HIV related legal matters, recognising that HIV/AIDS presents unique legal needs.

Human Rights Commission

HRC provides advice and resolutions and information on matters of discrimination and human rights issues under federal law. They have a lot of resources on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)

SWOP promotes the health, safety and wellbeing of sex industry workers in a way which enables and affirms their occupational and human rights and is the leading agency in NSW for HIV prevention amongst sex industry workers.