Lesson 3: Allyship

Learning intention: Identify what it means to be an ally and learn practical strategies for supporting others.   


After consulting with the school principal, Hannah establishes Hillview Pride – a new social group for LGBTQIA+ students. After a slow start, the group becomes an increasingly popular place to connect with others after school. Before playing the following clip, ask the class to look out for details which suggest an inclusive and supportive environment for Hannah and her peers. 


Have students reflect on and discuss the clip. What are some visual or aural elements that indicate this is a safe space for students? Examples may include affirmative posters, trans and pride flags and reassuring conversations. Can you think of any other symbols, language or actions which would help to communicate a supportive environment for viewers?


To build on students’ prior knowledge and to address any misconceptions among the class, explain the acronym LGBTQIA+ for the class.

LGBTQIA+ stands for: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, queer, intersex, asexual and/or aromantic. The plus symbol acknowledges the many identities and communities that are not captured in these letters.

Hillview Pride provides a space in which Hannah and her peers can be fully themselves, where they can give and receive support, and where they can find their ‘tribe’ – a welcoming community for all LGBTQIA+ students, including those who don’t have support at home. 

In First Day, it is difficult for Hannah’s best friend Olivia to understand that Hillview Pride is not a space for her. In the following clip, Hannah explains why this particular group is for the LGBTQIA+ community only.

After viewing, explain to students that – as well as being a friend – Olivia is Hannah’s ally. An ally is someone who advocates for the equal treatment of a community other than their own, particularly those who face marginalisation or discrimination because of their identity. An important aspect of allyship is that an ally needs to be named or acknowledged as such by the community they are supporting or advocating for, and an ally’s actions need to align with the community’s perspective.

We can all be good allies to others by seeking to better understand, support and stand up for the people around us. We can all use our voices and actions to make individuals feel more connected and to build a more equitable and inclusive community.


Allocate students into small groups to collaboratively answer the following questions. These will build students’ understandings of allyship and provide practical strategies for supporting others or self-care.

  1. What is one realistic and achievable thing that you could do to help your peers feel a greater sense of belonging at school?
  2. Can you think of any ways in which your school currently creates an inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ people?
  3. Can you think of any ways in which your school could create an even more inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ people?
  4. The language we use in an important part of allyship, and language around pronouns is particularly important for certain members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We often use pronouns to refer to someone when we are not using their name. She, her, he, him, they and them are all examples of pronouns. Read the following advice to learn more about using pronouns.

If time permits, students could then conduct online research for tips on becoming a better ally.


Coming back together as a class, review what it means to be an ally. What are some simple ways to be an ally to your LGBTQIA+ peers?

Next, ask students to share their group’s responses to the questions above. What was something new, interesting or important that students discussed?

Australian Curriculum Links

Year 7
Year 8
Civics and Citizenship
Citizenship, identity and diversity
How values based on freedom, respect, fairness and equality of opportunity can support social cohesion and democracy within Australian society.
How culture and religion may influence individuals' and groups' perceptions and expressions of citizenship and their actions as citizens.
Critical and Creative Thinking 
Identify the relevant aspects of a concept or problem, recognising gaps or missing elements necessary for understanding by using approaches and strategies suitable for the context.
Understand how language expresses and creates personal and social identities.
Recognise how language shapes relationships and roles.
Identify and explore ideas, points of view, characters, events and/or issues in literary texts, drawn from historical, social and/or cultural contexts, by First Nations Australian, and wide-ranging Australian and world authors.
Discuss the aesthetic and social value of literary texts using relevant and appropriate metalanguage.
Identify and explain the ways that characters, settings and events combine to create meaning in narratives.
Explain the ways that ideas and points of view may represent the values of individuals and groups in literary texts, drawn from historical, social and cultural contexts, by First Nations Australian, and wide-ranging Australian and world authors.
Explain how language and/or images in texts position readers to respond and form viewpoints.
Use comprehension strategies such as visualising, predicting, connecting, summarising, monitoring, questioning and inferring to analyse and summarise information and ideas.
Use comprehension strategies such as visualising, predicting, connecting, summarising, monitoring, questioning and inferring to interpret and evaluate ideas in texts.
Ethical Understanding
Understanding ethical concepts and perspectives
Describe the relationship between the role of individual and community values, rights and responsibilities, and ethical norms when responding to ethical issues.
Explain how different traits, such as honesty, trust, courage and selfishness interact with responsibilities or duties to determine ethically appropriate responses.
Health and Physical Education
Identities and change
Examine how roles, decision-making, and levels of power, coercion and control within relationships can be influenced by gender stereotypes.
Interacting with others
Examine the roles of respect, empathy, power and coercion in developing respectful relationships.
Investigate strategies that influence how communities value diversity and propose actions they can take to promote inclusion in their communities.
Personal and Social Capability  
Evaluate strategies for developing personal qualities and describe how they assist achieving growth.
Plan a personal response to a range of contexts using feedback from previous experiences.
Social awareness
Acknowledge the emotions, needs, cultures and backgrounds of different groups and compare with their own.
Analyse roles and responsibilities of citizens within communities.
Social management
Appreciate diverse perspectives in a range of collaborative contexts and demonstrate negotiation skills to improve ways of working and outputs.

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