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)

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