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)

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."