Bullying at the University of Newcastle (Australia)

We are working to highlight and stop academic workplace bullying at the University of Newcastle, Australia. We are a group of staff and students who have been bullied for speaking out about misconduct.

Help make a difference –

*answer our survey,

*contribute to the blog, or

*contact us.

This will help us gather as much information as possible so that we can put an end to this bullying with its’ decades-long history.

“Systemic bullying, hazing and abuse generally are identified with poor, weak or toxic organizational cultures. Cultures that are toxic have stated ethical values that are espoused but not employed, and other non-ethical values which are operational, dominant, but unstated.

Such cultures thrive when good people are silent, silenced, or pushed out; when bad apples are vocal, retained, promoted, and empowered; and when the neutral majority remain silent in order to survive. Those who are most successful in such a toxic culture are those who have adapted to it, or adopted it as their own”. (McKay, Arnold, Fratzl & Thomas, 2008)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Is everyone laughing at the University of Newcastle's safety alert about texting while walking?

TWO, yes TWO, staff members have been injured when texting and walking.

"Reactions from staff - who obviously have the brains to work at a university, much less operate a phone while in motion - have been 100% predictable."

This "safety alert" has been reported widely throughout the world. 
  • University of Newcastle staff have been left puzzled by a "safety alert" not to text and walk (MANY NEWSPAPERS AND NEWS OUTLETS e.g. Sydney Morning Herald, Newsunited, Newsinformer, Newcastle Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times, Daily Mail UK, Daily Telegraph).
  • Newcastle University staff can't text without falling over.  (Gizmodo).
  •  University of Newcastle issues safety alert over dangers of texting while walking (Reddit) - "Makes me proud to be going to such a prestigious University when they release a safety alert like this, without even a hint of satire..." (Comment to Reddit).
  • Don't text & walk warns Newcastle University (Triple J)
  • Running With Scissors, 2.0: Uni Warns Staff Against Texting & Walking (Pedestrian) Mobile phones weren't named that for nothin'. Being able to go for a wander while messaging your mates is essentially a mandatory life skill in 2015, but the safety-minded folk at the University of Newcastle have deemed it fit to warn staff via email about the ~ v. dangerous ~ practice.
  • .Multiple University staff injure themselves due to texting and walking (Tweaktown - North America)
Nearly 200 staff and students describe their bullying at the University.
45 have attempted or considered suicide.

The University of Newcastle's  spin machine swings into action yet again.

Oh and be careful of bark and leaves on the path (according to the Uni's safety alert) 
That should be easy - according to the University's website,
"There are approximately 2,000,000 trees on our beautiful bushland campus!"

Image result for university of newcastle campus

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Priorities, priorities, priorities!

Nearly 200 respondents to our survey have reported and described the bullying they have suffered at the University of Newcastle.

"Bullying was described as “extreme and unrelenting”, “appalling, devastating, shocking” and “offensive and embarrassing”.  Respondents reported that bullying often resulted in sleep problems, depression, headaches and constant tiredness, as well as digestive disorders.  Of concern is the fact that 23.1% (i.e. 45 respondents) had attempted or considered suicide. A high number (40 respondents) had increased their alcohol and smoking intake; furthermore 42 suffered from hypertension and palpitations."

"Actual physical violence, although rare, was experienced by eight people and 12 incurred an injury as a result of violence. "

As a RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYER what does the University of Newcastle focus on?

TEXTING WHILE WALKING - no this is not April Fools Day.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald
"Associate director of health and safety Dr Maggie Goldie said two staff members had been hurt in "self-declared" text-walking accidents, and there were a handful of other suspected cases".
Image result for walking while texting  is worse than Image result for suicide
 So what does the University advise staff and student to do?
"Many of us are working on bushland campuses that have a number of hazards that we need to be conscious of such as leaf matter on paths, walking on uneven ground, other pedestrians including people on pushbikes and skateboards. We request that staff refrain from checking their emails and texting people on their smart phones while walking around campus so that they concentrate on getting to their destination safely."  Also contact the Injury Hotline, notify your supervisor and log an online incident report.

The usual University of Newcastle behaviour - when there is a real but difficult issue to deal with, do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to hide it - then focus on something utterly ridiculous like texting while walking. Alison Ferguson

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


"Women and people of color are more likely to be promoted to struggling companies, a new study finds. Worse, if they can’t engineer a big turnaround and performance declines during their tenure, they’re likely to be replaced with a white man, which the authors call the “savior effect.”

"Why would that be? They note that past research has found that decision makers view women and people of color as less capable of leadership than white men, but that poor performance may make them think they need different qualities. For example, they may want to bring in women because women are assumed to be sensitive and cooperative, which may be more valuable in tough times. Men of color are also thought to be more warm and relational." (to read more, click here).

"Why would that be? They note that past research has found that decision makers view women and people of color as less capable of leadership than white men, but that poor performance may make them think they need different qualities. For example, they may want to bring in women because women are assumed to be sensitive and cooperative, which may be more valuable in tough times."

Is this why the University of Newcastle has a female Vice Chancellor?

Is this why she deals with problematic issues by covering them up rather than dealing with them?

Is this why she does not want to meet anyone from our group - that would be to acknowledge that there is a problem of bullying and harassment at the University?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Secrecy, constant threats not to speak up about it, turn a blind eye.....


Sara Hanson-Young has spoken at a symposium at the University of Newcastle.  She has been very critical of the University's contract with Transfield Services, the company involved in the management of detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, where human rights abuses are alleged to have occurred.

She said that 
‘The secrecy has spread a culture that festers away, very similar, I must say, to the experience that we’ve seen in relation to child abuse in religious institutions".
‘‘The cover-ups, the constant threats not to speak up about it, not to talk about it, it allows an abusive culture to fester.’’

‘‘The sense I’m getting, at least from the outside, is that the University’s management are willing to kind of turn a blind eye and keep the contract, but of course that’s only as long as they don’t believe there’s enough community pressure,’’ she said.

She offered to speak to Caroline McMillen about Transfield - hope she has better luck with meeting McMillen than we had - McMillen said she did not meet anonymous people, even though we gave her our names!!!

The management at the University of Newcastle are the supreme masters of turning a blind eye about anything that anyone reports that is even vaguely wrong at the university.  A brief look at this website will confirm how desperately they destroy and gag anyone who reports misconduct or corruption. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The University of Newcastle continues to excel at not taking any action against staff misconduct

As reported on this website previously, the University of Newcastle is an expert at passing the buck. 

If there is academic staff misconduct, the uni does not deal with it and allows the problematic staff members to continue their careers unhindered at other universities - and the University of Newcastle also thus allows the perpetrator to continue their inappropriate and unethical behaviour.
  • A University of Newcastle professor was accused of the sexual harassment of students, especially international students.  The head of school managed to quash this but the professor has gone on to other universities and has been accused of sexual conduct against female staff.  He was removed as head of school at this last university but he continued as a full professor there.  He has now left that university after only one year because of "research work pressure".
  • The head of school involved in this episode had a complaint of misconduct upheld against him and had to leave the University - so now he is working at another higher education institution but.... he has still maintained his full professorship at the University of Newcastle and he continues to work at the uni one day a week.
  • Another professor from the University of Newcastle bullied a senior academic - no surprise for what happened.  The academic staff member lost her position and was (of course) gagged by the university.  The professor has now moved to Western Sydney University where he has again been accused of bullying and has been sidelined.
  • Image result for passing the buck
    passing the buck
  • Another professor who worked previously at the University of Newcastle behaved unethically and managed to spend a great deal of university money - he "had to leave" and his professorship was revoked.  He has subsequently continued to use his (revoked) title and has recently been taken to court by the College of Building Ltd.
University of Newcastle - flying high in the "Passing the buck" ratings internationally!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Petition - Injured Workers' Support Network

The Injured Workers' Support Network has started a petition which you may want to sign.

"For the past year Injured Workers have been pushing for an inquiry into the impact the workers compensation system is having on them and their families. We need your help to make this a reality in 2016.

We are asking you to sign our petition: https://www.change.org/p/nsw-upper-house-members-it-s-time-for-an-inquiry-into-the-real-impact-on-injured-workers demanding a NSW Upper House inquiry.

Workplace injuries continue to rise in NSW with an unfortunately constant average of 120’000 per year being injured while working. The impact of these injuries is deeply felt by the worker, their family and their community. The stress and strain placed on them by the current workers compensation system is enormous.

Injured Workers in NSW are suffering and its time an inquiry was held to find out why they are suffering, to find the true impact of these laws without the rhetoric.

The trap doors placed there by this government are active - doctors can’t deliver support until an insurer says so. Workers are being fired after six months whether they have returned or not. Regional injured workers are being kicked off whether there is any hope for a job within their community.
Injured worker's health is in the hands of the insurance companies who, just as in Victoria, are receiving bonuses to kick people out of care as soon as possible, whether they are recovered or not.
Insurers reign supreme and the health and well-being of the injured worker and their families takes second place to private company bureaucracy.

Our members are ready to tell their stories to an inquiry. They want to tell the truth about  how this system is failing them in NSW. Our members just want to know when they can tell their stories.
Help us show the NSW parliament that injured workers need more than just lip service. They need and deserve to have their stories told and force this workers comp system to place its focus back on the injured worker where it belongs.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Google loves us!

Google Head Office in Mountain View loves us so much they had to visit us five times in one day.

How much does the University of Newcastle pay Google to watch us? 
Did student fees increase to pay for this (and other ways to prevent bad news leaking out)?

Mountain View, California arrived from google.com on "Stop Bullying at University of Newcastle (Oz): May 2011".
21:49:58 -- 1 day 10 hours ago
Mountain View, California arrived from google.com on "Stop Bullying at University of Newcastle (Oz): December 2013".
21:49:41 -- 1 day 10 hours ago
Mountain View, California arrived from google.com on "Stop Bullying at University of Newcastle (Oz): September 2012".
21:49:38 -- 1 day 10 hours ago
21:48:36 -- 1 day 10 hours ago