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, December 29, 2011

Whistleblowing - is it worth the bullying, harassment and discrimination?

Standing up for the truth against unethical conduct within an institution - is it worth it?

Many would say "yes" - it is always worth doing.  Regardless of the consequences, these people say that they have maintained their self-esteem and have a clear conscience.

Many would say "no" - if they had known how soul-destroying it would be, they would not have done it.

A few months ago, ABC News had a short report on "whistleblowers":-
"In the wake of the story about Canberra whistleblower Debbie Scattergood, Kate Evans reports on the aftermath of whistleblowing. Is it worth it?"
The news report features Debbie Scattergood, a public servant, Andrew Wilkie, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and others.

As Andrew Wilkie in this news report said, "Most whistleblowers land up on a heap.  Most whistleblowers suffer terrible consequences for just trying to do the right thing."

So, if you knew and spoke about unethical conduct at the University of Newcastle and have been subsequently bullied and harrassed, do you still think it was worth it? 

Some of our "Stop the Bullying at the University of Newcastle Committee, would say it was worth it.

Some (including me) would say the fallout from it is too great a price to pay!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A season of goodwill wish

The staff in big organisations like the University of Newcastle are not just composed of bullies or those being bullied – that is obvious! 
BUT before the rest of you congratulate yourselves on not fitting into either of these categories, were you one of those watching, knowing, hearing about bullying and keeping silent? 
·        Did you join in when a colleague was given the silent treatment?
·        Did you side with your manager/head against a colleague, without knowing the reason?
·        Did you know who stole from a colleague?
·        Did you watch a colleague being bullied?
·        Did you support your manager/head when they “ignored” university policy?
·        Did you collude quietly with your manager/head when they “got rid of” someone for a fabricated reason?
Were you a bystander?   
·        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. Bishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Prize for Peace 1984

·        The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing...
Albert Einstein.
Bystanders are as guilty as bullies; being silent is the same as consent.

Bullying is cowardly and wrong - do you really want to be part of it?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Imagine this ......

Imagine this scenario
You trip over and graze both your knees badly.  They are raw and bleeding.  You clean them up and hobble on with your day.
Most activities are out - even driving your car opens the grazes – every time you bend your knees, it is very painful.
You realize that the day will be difficult – even getting up for a cup of coffee will involve pain.
BUT you know that the next day will be better and those raw knees will gradually heal.  The memories of the fall will fade away…...
Another similar scenario…
Someone trips you up, you fall over and graze your knees badly.  They are raw and bleeding.  As before, doing your everyday activities will be painful.  How can grazed knees interfere SO MUCH with your activities!!  You know that they will heal and you will gradually get back into your normal routine.
BUT the next day, someone trips you up and you fall over again and open up the wounds on your knees.  Wow it is really really sore to clean them and it is doubly painful as you hobble through your day.  Oh well, they will heal now – just bad luck to graze both knees again!
BUT the next day, the bad luck continues – you are tripped over again, fall over and both knees are raw and bleeding…..
This happens again the next day, and the next, and the next……… 
Everything you do is painful – it affects so many of your activities.  You become hesitant about everything in case it happens again… and it does, the next day and the next….
This is what happens if you are ostracized at work.  Everyday, it feels like the wound is opened up, like when….

Should we be smelling a rat??

The University is investigating a member of staff for possible research fund fraud.

Should we be smelling a rat?
  • Why is this particular person being investigated when there have been many cases of research fund fraud that the University has quashed?
  • Is this person being investigated because the Uni wants to get rid of them?
  • Have they made a complaint against one of the protected species at UoN?

What is the truth about this situation?
Will we ever know?  The university is so good at covering up the truth.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dear Santa....

Dear Santa

I have a wishlist for gifts this year - gifts for other people.

Please can you deliver a gift to the following men and women at the University of Newcastle:-

  • those who have bullied and harassed many of us out of our workplaces and jobs and destroyed our physical and psychological health
  • those who colluded and supported the bullies by intentionally ignoring what was happening
  • those who stood by, watched or knew about the bully and the bullying and who kept quiet to save their selves.

Please deliver a large mirror to each of them - a large self-illuminating mirror would be the best.

They can open their gifts and follow John McKay's advice:-

"I am a big believer in the 'mirror test.'
All that matters is if you can look in the mirror and honestly tell the person you see there, that you've done your best". 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What did we say

This website, via posts, comments or the survey, has highlighted issues surrounding the misuse of research funds at the University of Newcastle e.g.
  • researchers using funds for personal use (personal/domestic equipment),
  • supervisors using postgrad students' funds for themselves,
  • research assistants claiming for additional hours/expenses,
  • etc. etc etc.  
Frequently, people who have notified the university of the misuse of research funding have been bullied into silence.

The report in the Newcastle Herald today comes as no surprise: "Uni academic investigated for fraud".

The University has set up a "committee of inquiry... to investigate allegations that the applicant made fraudulent claims against research grant monies".  Setting up such a committee is considered to be "very unusual" and the allegations were therefore assumed to be "very serious".

This is good news - the University is taking steps in this case, even though the committee itself cannot impose "a disciplinary action".

We can give them a few other cases to investigate -  or at least remind them of the info on the fraudulent use of research/university money that they already have in our written complaints, protected disclosures, etc.

7th December 2011 - update: See additional information in today's article in The Australian.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New "Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying" Code of Practice

Safe Work Australia has published a draft code of practice on “Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying”.  This covers aspects such as what workplace bullying is and is not.  It also includes identifying and assessing the risk of workplace bullying. 
On our website, we have provided a forum for people to discuss their bullying; Safework Australia also suggests getting information on absenteeism, complaints, sick leave, staff turnover, exit interviews, workers’ compensation claims, etc , as these could indicate a bullying problem.  Leadership style (e.g. strict, directive) can also be a risk factor. (?University of Newcastle).
The document also has information on “Controlling the risk of workplace bullying”(policy, complaints systems, encouraging reporting, etc).  Many of us know that actually reporting wrongdoing or bullying or making a complaint at UoN means that you become the problem.

On the Safework Australia website, there is a response form for comments regarding the draft code of practice.   Anyone can comment on the code and many of us have learnt by bitter experience how bullying in the workplace should be managed and responded to (or rather should NOT be responded to).  If you want to read the draft code and make a comment, do it before the 16th December .

Monday, November 21, 2011

Plugging the holes......

The Stop Bullying group put up anti-bullying posters
  • So…the Banner and Poster Procedure was amended by Acting DVC(S) (a.k.a. Nick Saunders) 7 June 2011.
The Stop Bullying group listed the types of bullying which had been suffered by staff and students at this university.
  • So ….a new Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy was introduced, listing types of bullying which were virtually the same as the ones we had highlighted.  Approved, Vice-Chancellor (a.k.a. Nick Saunders). 23 June 2011.
The Stop Bullying group has continued to gather information on bullying at UoN using a variety of methods.
  • So…in the Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy, examples of harassment have been amended to include the displaying or sending offensive information such as posters, letters, e-mails, faxes, screen savers, websites or books etc. Amendment of wording Approved DVC(A&GR) (a.k.a. Kevin McConkey). 1 November 2011.
The Stop Bullying group put a video clip about bullying on Youtube.
  • So .. the University engaged legal experts to block the video clip.
Silencing any form of freedom of speech at the University of Newcastle - is this like trying to plug the holes in a sinking ship?

Sunday, November 20, 2011


On Thursday 17 November, in the Workers Compensation Commission,

the University of Newcastle Insurer accepted full liability for the injuries that Michelle Adams suffered as a result of the bullying and harassment at the University of Newcastle.

As Michelle always said
"the truth will win"!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Changes to policy by McConkey

In a previous post, we mentioned the email from McConkey, DVC at this University.  He spoke about the distress caused by anti-bullying emails and posters.

Remember that he said the  
"campaign goes against everything that the University stands for as outlined in our code of conduct - honesty, fairness, trust, accountability and respect."

Well, just after he sent the email, McConkey added some new examples of actions that are considered to be harassment (Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy 941).(Amendment of wording in Attachment 1, Approved DVC(A&GR) 1 November 2011).

"Behaviour which may constitute harassment may include, but is not limited to: .......................
  • displaying or sending offensive or pornographic information such as posters, letters, e-mails, faxes, screen savers, websites or books;
  • making offensive telephone, electronic mail, or other electronic communications;
  • unwelcome invitations especially after prior refusal."
THe Oxford English Dictionary defines "offensive" as "Giving, or liable to give, offence; displeasing; annoying; insulting."

So if you send anything to anyone that they do not want to hear, or anything that they feel annoys them, displeases them or offends them, it can be considered "offensive" and so you can be accused of "harrassment".

Yet another way of silencing dissent and preventing freedom of speech.

Of course, when McConkey sends emails about the latest promotions of bullies, plagiarists, etc, that does not displease or offend or annoy those of us who have suffered - so that is definitely not harassment!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Plagiarism and the University of Newcastle

Our latest straw poll from this website reveals some new information about plagiarism at this university.

Of 28 respondents,

  • 64% (18) said that they had been bullied for reporting plagiarism or for supporting a plagiarism complaint.
  • 7% (2) had possibily been bullied for reporting plagiarism or for supporting a plagiarism complaint
  • 28% (8) had not.

Yes, we know this is a straw poll.
Yes, we know that this is only a small sample.

BUT, with the history of plagiarism scandals at this university, even only one person being bullied for reporting plagiarism is wrong?
Is it because some of the plagiarism is by staff??

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Suppressing dissent

Once again the University of Newcastle achieves top marks!

Brian Martin, on his Suppression of Dissent website, lists some of the methods used against dissenters/critics:-
  • censorship of writing;
  • blocking of publications;
  • blocking of appointments;
  • blocking of promotions;
  • blocking or withdrawal of research grants;
  • forced job transfers;
  • reprimands;
  • denial of research opportunities;
  • legal actions;
  • ostracism and harassment;
  • dismissal;
  • blacklisting;
  • spreading of rumours.
We have had confirmation of each and evey one of these methods occurring at the University of Newcastle. 

Talk about a textbook example of the suppression of dissent!

100% for the University of Newcastle on their ability and willingness to suppress dissent.

Oh wait a minute - what about "Self-censorship" - this "occurs because people are worried about risking their jobs, promotion prospects or ability to live without threat in their community, or because they fear direct suppression".   We also have confirmation of this.

So the Uni also gets a double bonus for achieving this.

100% plus a double bonus for the University of Newcastle - is it a leader in its field?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jail possible for workplace bullies

Queensland may be the next state to introduce jail terms for workplace bullies, according to their Industrial Relations Minister.  A group has been established to examine
"how workplace bullying is being dealt with around Australia and internationally. Furthermore, the group will ensure that Queensland's framework for dealing with workplace bullying is kept up-to-date and effective.

"Brodies law" has already been enacted in Victoria.

Under the Queensland "Work Health and Safety Act 2011, commencing in January 2012, individuals involved in workplace bullying  " face a maximum fine of $300,000 and/or 5 years imprisonment for an offence under the Act".

New South Wales is lagging behind these states.

Is it because there are just too many people who will speak out about their bullying?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

".... it is essential that people remain in ignorance..."

Harold Pinter (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005) stated that

“the majority of politicians, ... , are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.”

Is this why those who expose the truth
 about staff and student mistreatment
 at this University are considered
 to be so “dangerous”? 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Money money money

According to the ABC, the University is investigating "a staff member for allegedly making fraudulent claims against research grant monies". 

Apparently the University has established a Committee of Inquiry to investigate these claims BUT this Committee cannot impose a "disciplinary sanction on the staff member and it will be up to the relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor to decide if there will be any action".
  • What about all the other "claims"/ "uses" of research money at this University - is anyone investigating those?
  • What about the taxpayers' money that the University uses to pay lawyers and barristers to quietly get rid of "undesirable" staff who refuse to behave unethically?
  • What about the money the University pays to external investigators to "objectively" investigate complaints?
  • What about the money spent on lawyers so that our Youtube clip could be blocked?
  • What about the money spent on engaging "external agencies" to "manage" the distress that anti-bullying emails and posters are causing?

 No wonder the Newcastle Herald stated that that the new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen "started amid controversies"........
and these money issues are only the tip of the iceberg!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"Memo to Executives: Let the Bully Go, Boost the Bottom Line"

To support  Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week, the Workplace Bullying Institute in the United states has asked executives (this could include management at the University of Newcastle) to end their relationship with Bob and Bobette, the bullies, that makes life miserable for everyone else.

"It will take courage, of course. Here’s why and how to do it.

From the Workplace Bullying Institute website
Bullies torment and abuse others with impunity. They do so because they have spent months, even years, groveling at the feet of a higher-ranking sponsor. That is, they torment down the org chart, but ingratiate (brown nose, ass kiss) up the ladder. All of their time is spent managing their sponsor’s impression of them. While targets keep their noses to the grindstone doing the work they love, the nose of bullies hover near the rear ends of their chosen sponsors. That’s how Bob makes himself indispensable.

On balance, several people have tried to tell you about Bob before. You didn’t believe them. They brought you news about Bob you couldn’t stand to hear. It hurt you to hear, but they were reporting the emotional abuse Bob foisted on them. You had several fired for daring bring this information to you. Others quit out of desperation. Bob convinced you that they all were faulty and he alone is competent.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"The YouTube video they do not want you to watch..."

From the British website "Bullying of Academics in Higher Education"

October 26, 2011

The management of the University of Newcastle in Australia somehow managed to ban this YouTube video clip. According to http://stop-b-uon.blogspot.com/, this clip can't be accessed in Australia! In addition, the Federal Police has been invited to investigate.

There are all kinds of questions to ask, some relatively obvious: What happened to freedom of speech? What scares the management of the University of Newcastle in Australia?

Have a look at the video clip at: http://youtu.be/GFtmRmtvhAQ

Also read: Newcastle uni bully claims: Academic says harassment led to illness,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spot the difference!

Alison Thirlwall from the University of Waikato in New Zealand collected survey data and interviewed workers from 10 New Zealand polytechnics and institutes of technology. 

Her research into

"workplace bullying aims to show how bullying starts, how it’s experienced and managed by targets and the way it ends.”

She has been awarded what?
An outstanding doctoral student award.!

The Stop bullying at Newcastle Uni Committee in Newcastle, Australia, collected survey data and comments from over 185 staff and students at the University of Newcastle, Australia. 

Their research into

workplace bullying aimed to gather information on who was bullied, what started it, their experience of it and the effects it had on them, what action they took and the response from the University.

The Committee has been awarded what?
Accusations of "distressing" staff and of cyber-bullying and harrassment and for going "against everything that the University stands for as outlined in our code of conduct - honesty, fairness, trust, accountability and respect. To protect our staff and students, we have engaged external agencies, including the Australian Federal Police, to help manage the situation."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Action by the University of Newcastle

We have been given a copy of a recent email circulated to University of Newcastle staff entitled "recent emails and posters".

The University is voicing their concern about the distress that these emails and posters are causing.  They also indicate that they have engaged "external agencies, including the Australian Federal Police, to help manage the situation". 

Our group is stated as being "faceless and nameless" - true, we do not put our names and faces on our blog (many people do not) but we have constantly invited anyone who would like to to have a coffee with us to discuss the situation.  This offer could have been taken up by anyone at the University, even the VC or Kevin McConkey.  In fact, no-one has been prepared to meet us.

The uni email states that "bullying is not tolerated" at this university and that people should contact the complaints office.  Unfortunately, although many staff and students have done this, the outcome has usually been unsatisfactory (see survey results).

We would like to confirm to those people who have completed our survey that we purposely, as stated, did NOT collect IP addresses.  Similarly, for people who have posted on our blog, we have not collected, nor intend to share,  IP addresses or any identifying information. 

We do not know what action the University will take - what we have done has been to collect information so that we could help to stop the bullying.  We have felt that it is our right to freedom of speech to alert people to this, just as many campaigns on the University campus have done.

What we can confirm is that over 185 people have described to us their bullying experiences at this University.  We hate the thought of anyone else being as destroyed as we have been.  All we ask is that the University take note of the information we have and act on it in a positive way.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Youtube clip blocked

The Youtube clip "Stop the Bullying at Newcastle University" (at right) has been blocked!

If you are in New Zealand, you can watch it!

If you are in the USA, can you watch it?

In Europe, can you watch it?



Friday, October 14, 2011

Bullying in social work - University of Newcastle

An account of bullying within social work at the University of Newcastle has just appeared on Strong Silent Types - Stuff about Men

"Men Get Bullied, Too

As I have previously reflected upon on this blog, I was bullied by staff while studying social work at the University of Newcastle. That bullying had almost reached its ugly zenith when in late 1991, I was dragged into this weird and spooky inquistion meeting with two lecturers from the social work department, where I studied. For two, maybe three hours they harangued and hassled me and effectively chewed me to bits, telling me repeatedly that I was dumb, stupid, that I could not write and that I had absolutely no academic potential. In short, they had wanted me to withdraw from the course, since drumming people out who did not fit their prescribed, cod ordinary social work mold, was painstakingly common. I was, for one, the only male to graduate from that first cohort of students.
In my particular case, timing was indeed everything, since as both those lecturers well knew, I was at that moment stuck in the extraordinary bind of having my father diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and the delicate balancing act where we shared care responsibilities for, respectively, our wife and mother, was facing inexorable crisis. My mother had for eight years to that date suffered with early onset dementia and with my father’s death imminent, we were scurrying around to try and find her suitable nursing home care. One might expect that in such dire circumstances, social workers might do what social workers are supposed to do: ‘empathise.’ However, in true pathological form, the greater my distress, the more intensely I got bullied.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

University of Newcastle as an Employer of Choice for Women

It's that time again - McConkey wants the university to be considered as an Employer of Choice for Women.

To be considered for this, the University has to have policies and initiatives for
"Recruitment, Selection, and Promotion;
Training and Development;
Work Organisation and Conditions of Service;
Arrangements for Dealing with Sex Based Harassment and
Flexible Working Arrangements, including Arrangements for Dealing with Pregnancy."

We know that 61.6% of the staff and students who have reported details of their bullying to us are WOMEN - that is 114 WOMEN.  Other women have contacted us about bullying but are too scared to complete a survey.

So how do you think the University is doing on these aspects?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Right to protest on campus

Congratulations to the Queer Collective of the University of Newcastle on their colourful and thought-provoking display on the footbridge on Callaghan campus today.  We wholeheartedly support you in your fight against discrimination and bullying.

We hope that you get a great deal of support from the University of Newcastle ALLIES such as Kevin McConkey, Kim Foster, Brid Corrigan, Mike Calford, Belinda Munn, etc.

We are horrified about the extent of bullying at the University of Newcastle - 185 staff and students have told us about their bullying and this includes people who have been bullied because of their sexual orientation.

We would like to support you more openly but we have been prevented from displaying posters about our anti-bullying campaign (see previous posts on posters).

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Watch the latest clip on Youtube!

"Bullying at the University of Newcastle, AUSTRALIA has destroyed many good people. The only way to stop it is to stand together and say "it is not OK". Most people are too scared to speak out, but there are some of us who no longer fear the bullies....no longer fear our supervisors, our only fear is that we stop speaking out staff and students at the University of Newcastle will have to continue working in a toxic environment, where bullies are protected and rewarded and honest ethical people are eliminated."

Friday, September 30, 2011

University of Newcastle in the news!

The University of Newcastle is in the papers and on the radio - but not good news....

Germov was no sooner promoted to/rewarded with the position of PVC - Faculty of Education and Arts than he was embroiled in a crisis regarding the Bachelor of Arts degree - staff were apparently not given an opportunity to discuss major curriculum changes despite the review of the program being completed in April.  Furthermore, a

"redundancy would be offered to a lecturer in Chinese language studies and the course removed from the arts faculty to the Confucius Institute at the university".

 Well, Germov did state that

“I’m motivated by ‘making a difference’ to people’s lives".

From our online survey of staff and students who have been bullied, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences had more than its fair share of bullying whilst Germov was Head of School.  Germov has certainly made a difference in a number of people's lives, but not the difference they wanted!

McConkey has been in the newspapers and on the radio regarding the allegations of collusion made to international students in the Faculty of Business and Law.  This is ongoing - but McConkey has had to say SORRY.  Now there are accusations of discrimination against international students.

What's next......

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Academia versus Codes of Ethics?

Numerous academic disciplines have professional codes of ethics/codes of conduct to guide their members.

For example,

In the Teachers’ Code of Professional Practice (Australia), teachers must treat "..colleagues with courtesy and sensitivity to their rights, duties and aspirations" and act against "any form of harassment or unlawful discrimination managing and reporting perceived misconduct appropriately".

Australian Association of Social Workers states that "Social workers will relate to both social work colleagues and colleagues from other disciplines with respect, integrity and courtesy," and "will address suspected or confirmed professional misconduct, incompetence, unethical behaviour or negligence by a colleague through the appropriate organisational, professional or legal channels."

Speech Pathology Australia states that "We treat our colleagues with honesty, fairness, respect and good faith. In particular, we....identify and act on concerns we may have about colleagues’ professional competence or conduct".

Friday, September 9, 2011


"We were pleased that the university was at last acknowledging that they had serious problems in dealing with plagiarism. The university’s approach to date appeared to be motivated more by a desire to avoid damage to its reputation than to impartially investigate allegations." (NSW Ombudsman's Annual Report 2003-2004).

This was stated by the Ombudsman after a complaint of plagiarism by a postgraduate students was quashed by the University.

Our survey reveals that many of the staff/students have been bullied because they reported plagiarism or because they supported students whose work had been plagiarised.

2011 - has anything changed?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Comments on "Bear Gryllis" and the University

The Newcastle Herald highlighted the youtube video of Bear Gryllis surviving the Callaghan campus.

Seems like readers quickly realised that he would never have survived the real dangers lurking at the University of Newcastle.

Here are some comments posted to the Newcastle Herald website.

  • "Fantastic video, but the real dangers don't lurk outside the doors at the University. Next video I hope Bear ventures into the real danger areas where management is hiding, ready to destroy any ethical and honest people who dare venture out to speak the truth" (Staff member)
  • "Yes @ Staff member you are unfortunately spot on." (steve)
  • "Well done, law students! So good to have a laugh about the uni. Can you do another one please where "Bear Gryllis" reports staff misconduct/plagiarism and how he uses his survival skills to avoid security, not get gagged, not lose his job, not lose his family and friends. Now that would be the REAL challenge at the University of Newcastle.." (ex-staff member)
  • From Blog.Petaflop.de
  • "I found those same mosquitoes as Bear Gryllis did but the ones I found were disguised as senior management. These ones suck you dry if you are an ethical member of staff or a student - they take all you blood, your income, family, friends etc" (sucked dry).
 Perhaps some brave person will make a video (as suggested) about the dangers to "ethical and honest people" - would "Bear Gryllis" or "Fair Gryllis" (female) survive??

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bear Gryllis vs Callaghan Campus

Bear Gryllis has tried to survive Callaghan Campus!

He has taken on the mosquitoes, the lack of parking spaces, the difficulty of finding cheap food and drink.  He has also tried to get security to help him.....
Would he survive if he reported plagiarism at the University of Newcastle?
Would he survive if he spoke about misconduct at the University of Newcastle?
He would not just be lying on a bench - he would be gagged, lose his job in teaching survival skills, removed from campus, lose his health, his family and his friends.

He has some survival skills - but not enough to survive bullying at the University of Newcastle.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bullying - the only response is to stand up against it

John Gustavsson has suggested these steps for school children and their parents – they have been adapted here to apply to bullying within the academic world.  They are not meant as a first step; they are meant to be applied only if you’ve tried to talk to the bully, your manager etc and they refuse to do something. 

The first thing to do in order to solve a problem is to expose it. By using these steps to call attention to the situation, you as a victim can make sure that others know that bullying occurs. They won’t be able to deny knowing about it.
Also, by standing up for yourself, you can preserve your self-esteem and also become more respected by others.

1) Do fight back.  “Bullies are just misunderstood and if you just hug them enough, they’ll be nice to you”.  That’s not true. Well, maybe at kindergarten.  Bullying can never be allowed to be free, and unless you fight back against the bully, it will be. “But what about turning the other cheek?” – If a burglar broke into your home, would you allow him to take what he wanted and not at least call the police to stop him?  This is the same with bullying: if a burglar-bully comes to steal your physical and mental health, your job or career, your relationships, your family, your income, etc, you have to fight back and stop him/her. 
Stealing your health, job, family relationships, friends, income..........

2) Terrorise your university or college’s administration.  Go into the

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gathering all the facts......

Stop Bullying at University of Newcastle
needs you.

If you have been bullied at this university, please complete our survey (see right).  We want to make sure that everyone who has suffered like this has a chance to have their say.

Please be assured that the survey is completely anonymous, no IP addresses are collected and no identifying comments will be used.  If you are unsure about the survey and its origins, please contact us at our email address stopbullyingat-newcastleuni@live.com - we are happy to meet for coffee and answer your questions.

We already have over 170 responses from people who have been bullied at this University.  We want to put all the results together for our upcoming meetings.

So, if you have been bullied here, have your say today!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Workcover are waiting for your call! 13 10 50

Ref: WC00956/11
Stop Bullying at the University of Newcastle Committee

To whom it may concern

I refer to your email regarding bullying and harassment at the University of Newcastle that was sent to a number of Members of Parliament. As the issue of bullying and harassment in the workplace falls within the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister for Finance and Services, the Hon Greg Pearce MLC, it was forwarded to him. The Minister has asked me to respond on his behalf.

Please be assured that WorkCover takes the issue of workplace bullying very seriously. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000, employers have a general duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. Behaviour that constitutes bullying, harassment or intimidation is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Generally, any worker experiencing such treatment should report the matter through their employer’s internal grievance or occupational health and safety procedure in the first instance. However, if it is not appropriate to follow this process, or if the matter is not dealt with effectively, the worker can contact the WorkCover Assistance Service for advice. If necessary, the enquiry officer will refer the worker to an Inspector who can attend the workplace and make enquiries to determine whether a risk to health and safety has been, or may be, posed by workplace bullying and harassment, and undertake prevention and enforcement activity where appropriate.

In investigating complaints, WorkCover’s jurisdiction is limited to breaches of occupational health and safety legislation. Workplace bullying and harassment allegations are generally investigated from the perspective of the systems of work that are in place to prevent or address such instances. This includes examining the policies, procedures and training an employer has in place to deal with such issues.

As such, I would strongly encourage anyone who has information about these new allegations, or who has experienced bullying at the University, to contact the WorkCover Assistance Service on 13 10 50.

Yours Sincerely 
4 August 2011
WorkCover NSW ABN 77 682 742 966 92-100 Donnison Street Gosford NSW 2250 WorkCover Assistance Service 13 10 50 Locked Bag 2906 Lisarow NSW 2252 Facsimile 02 4325 4145 DX731 Website www.workcover.nsw.gov.au

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Full marks for the University of Newcastle, Australia!

The University’s new “Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy” identifies the following behaviours as “direct or indirect bullying”.
In red are the percentages of the 166 respondents to our survey that reported these behaviours.
     i.       physical or verbal abuse towards a person or group of people; - (insults or offensive remarks 37.1%, teasing mocking, sarcasm or jokes 18.9%, physical violence 4.9%)
   ii.       yelling, screaming or offensive language;-  (being shouted at 27.3%)
   iii.       spreading rumour or innuendo about someone;-  (gossip and rumours being spread 46.2%,
  iv.       excluding or isolating staff;  - (opinions and views ignored 70.5%, exclusion, isolation, freezing out, ostracism 58%),
    v.       intimidation;  - (pressure not to claim entitlements 32.2%, hints to quit your job, intimidating behaviour from others 42%,  feeling threatened in any way 42%, threatened regarding promotion etc 25.9%, employer not following procedures 53.2%)
   vi.       assigning meaningless tasks unrelated to the job;
vii.       giving staff tasks that are impossible to complete.  - (given unmanageable workload/deadlines 39.9)
viii.       unjustified criticism or complaints;  - (persistent criticism of your work 30.1%)
   ix.       deliberately excluding someone from workplace activities;  - (given little or no feedback on performance 45.5%, prevented from expressing yourself 39.2),
    x.       psychological harassment  - (continual checking up 40.6, humiliated, undervalued or ridiculed 54%),
  xi.       undermining work performance by deliberately withholding information that is vital for effective work performance;  - (withholding of information 47.6%)
xii.       setting tasks that are unreasonably outside or unrelated to an employee’s job; - (removal of responsibility 59%)
xiii.       deliberately changing work arrangements, such as rosters and leave, to inconvenience a particular employee;  - (treated unfairly compared to others 62.2%)
xiv.       setting timelines that are very difficult to achieve.
So the University has successfully identified the behaviours their staff use to bully other staff and students.

BUT how successfully did the University respond to these bullying behaviours?