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)

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?


  1. An overt sign of an authoritarian regime is this: they beat their victims. When the victims cry, they beat them harder. When the victims complain, they are blacklisted as trouble makers. This is a very effective way of silencing dissent and before the victims notice it, they are already ostracised with no hope of return to their community of colleagues. Sounds familiar? Well, it's happened to me and I don't want anyone else to be a victim. It's no fun. You think you are a self-respecting human being, but they all have other ideas about you. Tough luck. This is academia.

  2. I was asked at a Court hearing once, what I thought the University wanted me to do. The answer was simple, in my opinion the University wanted me to commit suicide, so they could claim I was just a poor delusional woman, and they were just the caring employer who tried everything they could to do the right thing. Do I really believe this? Yes. The reason is, in my opinion, I think the University of Newcastle simply does not care for individuals. We are all replaceable, and it is easier to get rid of "troublemakers" then to deal with the issues. In the last month I have written to the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor twice asking could our concerns about bullying be taken to University Council. Not because I want to cause problems, but because I believe by addressing the problems the University can move forward in a more positive way. There was no response. The University is a powerful institution, but treating us as invisible is not the answer, because were are not invisible, and we believe what we are doing is the right thing. Not for our own future, but for others who will face the same fate if positive change does not occur.


  3. Wow - I personally have been subjected to many of the actions on the suppressing dissent list.

    A recently promoted professor at the University of Newcastle has

    1 blocked my appointment
    2 denied me research opportunities
    3 subjected me to legal actions
    4 ostracised me from the discipline and my profession
    5 dismissed me from my position
    6 blacklisted me amongst her friends and colleagues throughout Australia
    7 spread rumours about me so that I cannot work in my profession in Australia.

    Well 7 out of 13 isn't bad - no wonder she got promoted.

  4. Well, not in competition with anyone, but the following is what happened to me! The irony is everyone around me think I am the mildest poor little thing around. They even wondered whether I have faked anything, but then they heard the truth one day and I had my honour and distinction restored. Damn it!

    1. censorship of writing;
    2. blocking of appointments;
    3. blocking of promotions;
    4. blocking or withdrawal of research grants;
    5. reprimands;
    6. denial of research opportunities;
    7. ostracism and harassment;
    8. dismissal;
    9. blacklisting;
    10. spreading of rumours.

    God knows how many were promoted doing those dreadful things to me and others.

  5. Perhaps the even sadder part is that the government agency charged with workplace safety engages in the same type of behaviour!

    Members of its current and former executive team of the WorkCover Authority of NSW have had bullying allegations levelled at them time and time again yet they remain in their jobs. Heck, even the CEO has been named in parliament as a bully.

    The suppression tactics listed in this post are also used against any injured worker who chooses to challenge the system. Be warned, WorkCover is not there to assist the injured worker, it is there to suppress and malign them.

    Bullies at the University of Newcastle, bullies in the upper echelons of the WorkCover Authority of NSW – they’re everywhere.

    Keep up the fight. Bullies must be brought to justice!

  6. University of Newcastle: Australia's Top Bully Factory