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, 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 .


  1. former academic bullied out!!December 6, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    I (and I'm sure that I speak on behalf of the many staff members who have been bullied out of the University) sincerely hope that the University thoroughly exam this document. Bullying is endemic within the workplace and it takes guts for an organisation to accept this and do something to protect their staff rather than eliminating those that attempt to stand up and expose the bullies.

  2. The problem is that the biggest bullies are those at the top of the ladder so until an organisation eradicates bullies from senior management - bullying will continue.