How to be an ally

Being an ally is about genuinely supporting others who face discrimination and exclusion. This lesson explores what being an ally is and helps students to identify practical strategies for being one.

Year Level



60 minutes


  • In class activity
  • Take-away activity

SEL Competencies

  • Social awareness

Learning Intention

Students learn what it means to be an ally, and identify practical ways to support others as well as strategies they can use for self-care.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • recognise examples of allyship
  • identify strategies for being a good ally
  • identify self-care strategies to use as an ally.

Think, pair, share: What does allyship look like? 10 min

To help set up a safe and supportive classroom environment, we recommend you access the following:

Think, pair, share: What does allyship look like?

  1. Share with students the following definition: An ally is someone who is not a member of a particular marginalised group but who takes action to support that group. Explain that marginalised groups experience systemic social, political and economic discrimination and exclusion. This means they have less access to resources, rights and opportunities than mainstream groups. Marginalised groups include (but are not limited to) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, LGBTQIA+ people, cultural and linguistically diverse (CALD) people, and people living with a disability or mental illness.
  2. Ask students to think about times when they have seen someone else be an ally.
  3. Students share their thoughts with a partner and make a list of examples of allyship.
  4. Ask pairs to share their list with the rest of the class, recording each answer on a whiteboard/smartboard.

Note: It's worth discussing that while learning about allyship is important, it can be a confronting topic to learn about and so it’s normal for students to take their time in processing the concept. If students are having difficulty coming up with examples of allyship, you can share the following. Allyship is demonstrated by:

  • pulling someone up on a racist or discriminatory joke
  • going to a rally or event in support of a marginalised group
  • if responding to an issue that impacts a marginalised group, sharing a relevant article online written by someone from that group.