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.

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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)

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". 


  1. Dear Santa,
    Please grant me two xmas wishes:stop bullying,discrimination, harrassment in Australian higher education and please ask the Australian Government to implement strict guidelines to prevent this inhumane treatment throughout higher education.

    Santa, don't forget to forgive the University for there role in affecting students' and staff members' mental health, safety and wellbeing.

    I pray this type of inhumane treatment stop soon.

  2. Dear Santa,
    Please grant me one wish. Please show me that the fight against bullying was worth the complete destruction of my life, by simply giving the new VC at the UoN support, stamina and strength to change the the endemic anti-social behaviours that infect the UoN. The first step is acknowledgement the failings of the previous management. The second is to ensure they don't continue to occur, and this can only be done by cleansing the UoN of all those staff who follow the bullying management style. A task that can only be taken on by a true leader.
    I pray our new VC is truly a leader.

  3. All an ex-academic woman could want for Christmas...December 10, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Dear Santa
    I would like you to deliver a special gift to Professor Kevin McConkey. He is very keen to be seen to enhance the careers of women and to get UoN awarded another Workplace of choice for women award. He also awards Career Enhancement Fellowships for Academic women.

    Please give him a new type of fellowship to award to women - "2012 Career Reinstatement Fellowships for Academic Women". These awards will hand careers back to the numerous academic women like me who have been bullied out of our careers on McConkey's watch.

    Thank you, Santa - this gift to him will be a gift that keeps giving. Also it will be light and easy for your reindeers to carry.

    PS If McConkey could include the S-word (i.e. the SORRY word) on our fellowship awards, that would be a bonus.

  4. former female academicDecember 12, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Dear Santa
    I am a former female academic who supports the wish of the ex-academic woman.

    Yes, it would be wonderful for the Unaiversity to instigate a "2012 Career Reinstatement fellowship for Academic Women".

    I would also like a second wish - that all staff at the University that utter the 'b' word (the BULLYING word) are listened to and supported.

    I lost my career because of the ineptitude of senior management (including K McConkey) in dealing with my allegation of bullying

  5. Dear Santa, it's my post-Christmas wish that you grant the deputy vice chancellor (a) the wisdom to reinstate my career as an academic destroyed for reasons that have not been explained to me and to reinstate the careers of all my fellow female academics of the U who have been bullied out of their jobs. I pray every day that the new Vice Chancellor have the determination to deal with the bullies in senior and middle management so the uni can move forward.