Print this page

UC ALLY Network

What is the UC ALLY Network?

The University of Canberra has formed an on-campus ALLY network supporting students and members who identify as part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer Community (LGBTQI+).

An 'ALLY' is someone who is there to help and support another. Your Allies are not experts on matters of sexual identity or gender, they are people who are passionate about making the university an environment where all staff and students can work and study in a space free of harassment or discrimination.

Email the UC ALLY network.

The UC ALLY Network aims to:

  • Promote awareness on and off campus for the LGBTQI+ community and the issues that are affecting staff and students
  • Offer a friendly face and provide a safe and understanding space
  • Make this space confidential
  • Give you the opportunity to talk openly and confidently
  • provide a variety of referral avenues for further support on and off campus

All our Chief ALLYs have undertaken training from the Aids Action Council.


Peter Graham - Chairperson

Senior Lecturer
Business, Government & Law

Email: Phone: 6201 2734

I am a senior lecturer in accounting at the University of Canberra. When I’m not working I like spending time with my partner, gardening, walking the dog, going to the movies or theatre and socialising.

Why I decided to become an ALLY: I joined the ally network because I’m an out and proud gay man and I wanted to contribute my time and energy to encourage a safe and inclusive community for LGBTIQ+ students and staff at the University of Canberra.


Beth Kerrison - Secretary

Manager, Quality & Compliance
UC College Pty Ltd


I have lived and worked openly and happily in Seoul, Tokyo, Melbourne & Canberra and travelled to approx. 40 countries for work (mostly) and/ or holidays (need to add to this).  Pakistan steals my heart and I would love to live in Lahore for a stint.  Those mountains and rivers are very enticing for a girl from this flat, brown, dry land! I have high hopes for Imran Khan and would happily crowdfund for the people of PK because they deserve so much better than the violence they live with.  I am an avid reader and may be slightly addicted to study but am sadly no clever geek! I advocate for joy, peace, tolerance, respect, stability for all humans in our world and hope to see this before I die!  

Why I decided to become an ALLY: I am a born optimist and think we all should be able to get along as it would seem there is more to unite us than divide us.  I am outcomes focussed and always prefer to solve a problem than have it define me. Of course, there are many laudable philosophers to borrow a quote from but I am going to go with writer J.K. Rowling… It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.

Peter Copeman

Senior Teaching Fellow, Teaching Excellence Recognition and Advancement
Teaching and Learning, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic portfolio

Email:; Phone: 6201 2166

I support academic colleagues to provide the best student learning experience possible. I convene UC’s Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education and am a key driver in UC’s Curriculum Indigenisation agenda. Pre-academia I had a twenty-year career as a theatre director and dramatist; before that nearly a decade as an urban planner.

A common thread in my career(s) has been engagement with social justice issues, including affordable housing projects, activist theatre-devising with marginalised communities, university pathway programs for equity group students, support for student learning and academic teaching, and Indigenous reconciliation and advancement. Throughout, I’ve seen many friends and colleagues suffer discrimination and abuse for their sexuality, and lost several to HIV/AIDS and suicide. I’ve also seen major positive changes in social/legal attitudes to sexual diversity and conduct, but bigotry, bias and bullying still exist, including in universities. Membership of the ALLY Network will help further focus my commitment to equity and inclusion in this important space.


Dr Stephanie Kizimchuk

Teaching & Learning Fellow: Transition Pedagogy
Teaching & Learning Directorate


I’m an educator and academic based in the Teaching & Learning Directorate at the University of Canberra. I love cats (actually, all creatures!) and holistic approaches to life and learning. When I’m not teaching or working on-campus I enjoy meeting friends for coffee and a laugh.

I am passionate about equity, diversity, and inclusion and believe that every person has the right to feel safe, valued, and empowered. I was an ALLY at the Australian National University for several years and I’m thrilled to now be part of the initial establishment of a network here at UC for staff and students who are LGBTIQ, questioning, and/or an ally as well. I very much look forward to being part of this great initiative!

Mara Eversons

Deputy Director of Student Connect
Student Connect


I am a long time staff member of UC with an avid interest in diversity and equity. Having worked in a number of different areas of the University, I have experience working with both students and staff, both academic and professional. I love my current role with Student Connect and eagerly work to assist all staff to develop themselves both professionally and personally. It is important to me that we treat student fairly and recognise the diverse needs of our UC community.

I believe it is important that all staff and students are recognised and given a voice within our UC community. The development of an Ally network within UC has been a long time coming and one that I will work with to ensure all staff and students feel safe and respected.


Tom Arthur

Senior Inclusion Advisor / Academic Club Coordinator
Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic

Email: Phone: 6201 5233

I work FT in Inclusion & Engagement with a range of students on various matters at UC. When I’m not at work ill be playing or watching the footy, taking my neighbour's dog for a walk – or daydreaming about my next tattoo!!

Why I decided to become an ALLY: Inclusion and equal rights are part of my role in I&E and something we should all champion. When I heard of the ALLY Network forming it was something I felt I would be able to positively contribute to and am very proud the UC Community has recognised the importance of having one.


Astrid Watts

Student/Disability Advocate
Business Government Law

Email: Phone: 0410 866 892

I am an Indigenous, Pansexual, Full-time politics student, passionate about LGBTIA rights.  When not studying you can usually find me at mizuna express relaxing.

To support my community and to show that people always have someone to talk to about anything.

Sarah Bruen

Team Leader Welfare
Student Life, Welfare

Email: Phone: 6206 8841

I am a mum of 2 energetic children under the age of 3. When I’m not working part time at UC I can be found exploring Canberra with the kids. I love travelling and experiencing new foods and cultures.

The development of the ALLY Network at UC is an important step in making the UC community stronger and welcoming for all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. To not only support the ALLY Network be implemented, but to part of it, provides the opportunity to actively work towards inclusion and equity on our campus, both of which I am personally and professionally passionate about.

Matt Meredith

Senior International Student Support Services (ISSS) Officer
Student Life (SP&I)

Email: Phone: 6206 8557

I’m a passionate AFL supporter. I enjoy time spent outdoors -fishing, riding, hiking etc. Enjoy going to gigs, time spent with dogs & cats and dry humour. I listen to many podcasts, the majority of those true crime genre. Like stuffing my face with good food and coffee.

I am passionate about creating a respectful and supportive UC Community and delighted that I can hopefully assist this in some shape or form by promoting understanding and awareness of LGBTIQ.

Shane Parnell

Student Services Officer / SRC Diversity Officer / Faculty of Science and Technology Education Officer
Student Connect / Student Representative Council / Faculty of Science and Technology 


I am a current employee of the University working for the Student Centre as well as the Faculty of Science and Technology. I am currently completing my Masters of Information Technology and Systems as well as being the elected Diversity officer onto the Student Representative Council.

I decided to become an Ally as working closely within the Student Body as well as being a student myself I can see an opportunity for influence and education while providing long term support to our fantastically diverse University.

Luke Favero

Residential Life Manager
UniLodge @ UC 

Email: Phone: 6109 4201 Mobile: 04557 765 648

I have been studying for 5 years at the university of Canberra. I also work full time as the Residential  Life Manager for Unilodge. when I'm not hitting the books I'm improving on my karaoke voice, getting outdoors or catching up with mates.

As the Residential Life manager for UniLodge @ UC, I look after a cohort of roughly 1,400 students. My roles is quite diverse, fluid and complex in what i do. I generally find that people resonate with the heart of the role, which at the end of the day is my ability to assist and support young people through the university. I believe that everyone should feel comfortable with themselves and respected by others. Having moved from rural NSW I knew exactly what it is like coming to an entirely new environment and trying to adapt to the new lifestyle. It was for that exact reason that I chose to become an ALLY.


Iain Walker

Professor of Psychology; Head of Discipline of Psychology
Discipline of Psychology, Faculty of Health

Email: Phone: ext 5288

I joined the University in Feb 2018. I have been an academic for more than 30 years and still love it.

Social justice is something I care a lot about. As a seasoned academic, a line manager, a colleague, a supervisor, and a teacher, it is my responsibility to ensure that all feel able to work and study safely and have access to the wonders and opportunities universities provide. I want to give forward the things that have benefitted me over the years. I want to create the conditions in which colleagues and students can flourish. I don’t want anyone to feel they cannot participate fully in all that a university can offer.


Fiona James

Lecturer in Nursing
Faculty of Health

Email: Phone: 6206 8673

I am a Registered nurse and UC alumni, I work in the Discipline of Nursing as a facilitator of learning for Undergraduate nursing with an amazing group of students. I love good coffee, great conversation and cooking.

As a Health faculty representative, I feel we need to have a greater awareness of the needs of the community we serve as professionals. As a person I wanted to be a part of a network that supports open conversations around equality and inclusion, and is a point of contact for people within the community who are struggling to find a safe space to talk about issues on campus.

We have an incredibly diverse student cohort and team of staff and I think it is important to be able to see your community reflected in the UC wider community.

Stefan Alexander

Team Leader Career Development and Education

Careers UC, Teaching & Learning, DVC(A)

Email: / ph: 6206 8802

About me:

I have worked as an academic and professional staff member in the tertiary education sector for most of my career, and students have always been central to my work. Outside of work, I like to spend time with my family, keep fit and be in the outdoors. I love a strong long black and a good glass of red.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I believe in equitable treatment, inclusion and respect for people with diverse identities. I see a wide variety of students in my work, and I enjoy taking a person-centred approach in supporting the development of potential.

Annie McCarthy

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Arts and Design


I teach in the Global Studies program in the Faculty of Arts and Design. I am an Anthropologist by training who works on Childhood in India. I also love chickens!

I’m an out and proud Queer academic and I believe in being visible and available to my community.

Jace Reh

Jace Reh


Business, Government & Law


I am a full-time student at University of Canberra, and am transgender. I am the current Rainbow UC Vice President and well as the PIRaNaS Social Media Co-ordinator. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending as much time as possible with animals.

As a LGBT+ student I believe that visibility of our community is vitally important and the best possible option is if this voice comes from someone within the community. Being able to speak on behalf of and with guidance from the LGBT+ community is what I hope to achieve within the ALLY Network.

The ALLY network is involved in a number of key events at UC, as well as in the general Canberra community. Check back here regularly for details of upcoming events and activities that are being supported by the UC ALLY network.

IDAHOBIT Day - May 17 is a day to stand with the LGBTIQ communities to champion inclusion, and build a better world for the people in the communities. 

on May 17 2019, the ALLY Network will be hosting a cupcake stall to help raise awareness and funds for IDAHOBIT.

Key Contacts

Gay information Counselling Service (GICS)

Phone: (02) 6247 2726

If you are unable to contact the GICS, callers from the ACT may call 1800 18 4527 between 7.30pm and 10pm local time. Your call will be diverted to the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW.

Lesbian Counselling Service Phone: (02) 6247 8882 (6.30pm-8.30pm, Monday).
QLife counselling Service

Phone: 1800 184 527 (3pm-12am, 7 days)

QLife offers phone chat counselling from 3pm-Midnight in your State or Territory, everyday.

Additionally, they also have an online chat service available from 3pm-Midnight everyday.

Aids Action Council

Phone: (02) 6257 2855

Aids Action Council provides counselling services to people living with and/or impacted by HIV, and LGBTIQ+ people and their allies across Canberra. - Gay and lesbian Counselling ServicesPhone: (02) 8594 9555 (office hours). Offers phone support for all ages.
A Gender Agenda (AGA)

Phone: (02) 6162 1924

AGA works with the intersex, trans and gender diverse community. This includes intersex people, transgender people, people who cross-dress and other gender variant or gender non-conforming people.


24/hr Helpline : 13 11 14

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Diversity ACT

Phone; (02) 6231  3126

Diversity ACT is a community based charity based in the ACT that exists to support LGBTQI+ people in the Canberra region.

BeyondbluePhone: 1300 22 4636
Beyondblue provide Australians with support for people suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. They teach Australians ways on recognising, dealing and maintaining mental health issues.
Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA)


IHRA is an independent support, education and policy development organisation, by and for people with intersex Variations or traits. Our Work focuses in human rights, bodily autonomy and self-determination.

Parents, Family and Friends for Lesbian and Gays Capital Region  (PFLAG)
Phone: 0419 124 826
PFLAG is a social/support network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, their parents, family and friends, in the ACT and surrounding region.

Sexuality and Sexual Orientation - Terms of Reference

Ally (Heterosexual Ally, Straight Ally):

Someone who is a friend, advocate, and/or activist for LGBTQ people. A heterosexual ally is also someone who confronts heterosexist’s in themselves and others. The term ally is generally used for any member of a dominant group who is a friend, advocate or activist for people in an oppressed group

Sexual orientation:

refers to an individual's sexual and romantic attraction to another person. This can include, but is not limited to, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or asexual. It is important to note, however, that these are just a handful of sexual identifications - the reality is that there are an infinite number of ways in which someone might define their sexuality. Further, people can identify with a sexuality or sexual orientation regardless of their sexual or romantic experiences. Some people may identify as sexually fluid; that is, their sexuality is not fixed to any one identity.


an individual who identifies as a woman and is sexually and/or romantically attracted to other people who identify as women.


an individual who identifies as a man and is sexually and/or romantically attracted to other people who identify as men. The term gay can also be used in relation to women who are sexually and romantically attracted to other women.


an individual who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to both men and women.


an individual whose sexual and/or romantic attraction to others is not restricted by gender. A pansexual may be sexually and/or romantically attracted to any person, regardless of their gender identity.


Asexual orientation that reflects little to no sexual attraction, either within or outside relationships. People who identify as asexual can still experience romantic attraction across the sexuality continuum.


an individual who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to the opposite gender.


a term used to describe a range of sexual orientations and gender identities. Although once used as a derogatory term, the term queer now encapsulates political ideas of resistance to heteronormativity and homonormativity and is often used as an umbrella term to describe the full range of LGBTIQ+ identities.

Gender Queer:

People who reject static, conventional categories of gender and embrace ideas of gender (and often sexual orientation). They are people whose gender identity can be both male and female, neither male or female or a combination of male and female.


An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.


The concept of dividing sex or gender into two clear categories. Sex is male or female, gender is masculine or feminine.


Someone who doesn’t identify exclusively as female/male.


A term used to describe when a person’s gender identity matches social expectations for their assigned gender at birth

Gender diverse:

People whose understanding of expression of gender does not conform to social expectations based on their sex assigned at birth

Affirmed gender:

The gender to which one identifies, which may or may not match the individual’s gender at birth.

Societal attitudes and Issues

Gender Expression: 

Refers to how an individual expresses their socially constructed gender. This may refer to how an individual dress, their general appearance, the way they speak, and/or the way they carry themselves. Gender expression is not always correlated to an individuals’ gender identity or gender role

Homophobia and biphobia:

Refer to negative beliefs, prejudices and stereotypes about people who are not heterosexual.


Refers to negative beliefs, prejudices and stereotypes that exist about transgender and gender diverse people.


Is the set of beliefs that privilege heterosexuality, heterosexual relationships and CIS gendered identities over non-heterosexual relationships and non-normative gender identities (Leonard, Mitchell, Patel, & Fox, 2008). Heterosexist provides the "social backdrop" for homophobic and transphobic prejudices, violence and discrimination (Fileborn, 2012).


is the view that heterosexual relationships are the only natural, normal and legitimate expressions of sexuality and relationships. These assumptions are reinforced through cultural beliefs and practices and through social and political institutions such as the law, family structures and religion (Fileborn, 2012).


a term that describes the privileging of certain people or relationships within the queer community (usually CIS gendered, white, gay men). This term also refers to the assumption that LGBTIQ+ people will conform to mainstream, heterosexual culture, for example by adopting the idea that marriage and monogamy are natural and normal.