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Duo reflect on their role in helping to create an inclusive campus

30 May 2022


Dominic Dunn and Ang Ramage have played a key role in helping to ensure that Teesside University continues to be a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone across our campus community.

Ang Ramage and Dominic Dunn
Ang Ramage and Dominic Dunn

And as they prepare to step down as co-chairs of the University’s LGBT+ Focus Group, Dominic and Ang look back at some of the group’s achievements and the changes they’ve observed during their time at Teesside – and how their involvement in the focus group has led them to forge a firm personal friendship.

With just over five decades combined service between them, Dominic has worked at the University for 20 years and is currently Principal Lecturer (International) in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies, while Ang, Head of Accommodation & Housekeeping with Campus Services, has worked at Teesside University for 31 years.

They have also both experienced life as a student at Teesside too, as Dominic is a BSc (Hons) Media Production graduate and Ang completed a Master’s in Business Administration and Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel Management.

Dominic said: “I think one of the real positives of being part of Teesside University is that it has always been a progressive, welcoming, inclusive place. In an ever-changing world of uncertainty, one thing that has remained a constant at Teesside is our passion and commitment for diversity and inclusivity.”

Ang added: “I joined Teesside Polytechnic 31 years ago and I can honestly say that I have never felt anything other than positivity and warmth. I have always been able to be me and that’s priceless. I have seen over this time a greater awareness of equality and inclusion and I believe the University continues to work very hard to position this at the centre of our community.”

Dominic says he has many warm memories of his time leading the focus group, including: “Being able to work alongside a team of individuals who want to make a difference, who recognise the importance of being an ally or role model. Developing campaigns and strategies across the LGBTQ+ agenda, showcasing and celebrating our staff and student research across many outputs and just championing diversity in all its forms.

“I’m really proud of supporting our Stonewall top 40 WEI achievements of previous years, through to film premieres, sporting initiatives and pride campaigns, to name but a few. Also working alongside Ang. It’s been a privilege to have led the group alongside Ang and something I will always treasure.”

Ang added: “Working alongside some great people both internally and externally who all try to push forward the LGBT+ agenda. Continuing to see how the landscape is evolving, but best of all is having never met Dom before he joined the group to building up a great relationship during our time as co-chairs which we will take beyond us hanging our boots up!”

Dominic emphasised the importance of inclusion at Teesside, adding: “It matters because we have such a rich tapestry of people here that it is fundamental that we continue to embed and celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion in all we do.”

Ang added: “Embracing diversity is one of our core values. This is underpinned by the University’s vision of All Different, All Equal whereby all members of the University community are respected and supported in an inclusive, safe environment.”

They both also applaud the University in recognising the importance of having LGBT+ role models and straight allies.

Dominic said: “Seeing LGBT+ role models accepted for who they are, and achieving professional success is a great way of showing that you can be yourself in the university community. It can be a very powerful tool in helping change perceptions and attitudes.”

Ang added: “Having straight allies sends a strong message of acknowledgement and acceptance. Some would say that the LGBT+ community shouldn’t need affirmation from straight people, but at Teesside we view this as a positive message that we have a very robust inclusive community.”

They both also want to remind everyone of the support available to all across the Teesside University community, whether a member of staff or student, who might be facing difficulties relating to their sexuality or gender identity.

“Talk to someone,” said Ang. “There is support for you here. Teesside University is a community where you can be your genuine self and grow and develop as the person you truly are.”

Dominic and Ang are handing over the baton for the LGBT+ Focus Group to Chairperson, Kieran Fenby-Hulse and LGBT+ Focus Group Vice-Chairperson, Vik Brown. Kieran is Senior Lecturer in Responsible Leadership at Teesside University International Business School and Vik is Lifestyle Clinic Co-ordinator and Lighten Your Load (LYL) Co-ordinator in Student & Library Services.

Kieran said: “It will be a hard job filling the shoes of Dom and Ang. They have done an absolutely phenomenal job at moving forward LGBTQ+ inclusion at the university, and more broadly within the region. It has been a privilege to work with them.

“I am very much looking forward to working with Vik and the broader group to build on the strong foundations laid by Dom and Ang and to support the development of an inclusive workplace culture at TU and that serves as a model for other organisations.”

Juliet Amos, Executive Director (Human Resources) and Teesside University LGBT+ Champion, said: “Embracing diversity and actively opposing and eradicating prejudice is one of our University’s core values, and we are committed to celebrating and supporting our LGBT+ colleagues.

“The Focus Group has played a fantastic role in championing LGBT+ issues and awareness, and Ang Ramage and Dominic Dunn deserve great credit for their efforts as Co-Chairpersons over the past few years.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the group to foster an inclusive environment where everyone can be their genuine self.”

TU Proud signifies the Universities commitment to celebrating and supporting LGBT+ colleagues and students, and our desire to create an inclusive environment where everyone can be their genuine self.

Contact the LGBT+ Focus Group to find out more.

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