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)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Relax - all is now well at the University of Newcastle!

The staff at the uni have just received the following email from Kevin McConkey, entitled PROMOTING THE WELLBEING OF STAFF - A SAFE AND RESPECTFUL WORKPLACE:-

Apparently, the university has "the well-being of our staff community" as a top priority.  The uni is "commmitted to the values of honesty, fairness, trust, accountability and respect in our work environment".  

There are two resources that will ensure a "safe and respectful workplace that supports appropriate behaviours and is free from bullying and harassment".

1. Respect - Workplace Behaviour Workshop: These are the workshops mentioned previously on this blog - it gives "strategies for identifying and dealing with inappropriate behaviours, harassment or bullying".

2. EO Online: There is an online program that "provides an overview of broader equity principles and issues".

As the saying goes, "McConkey's in heaven, all's right with the world".


  1. Is it really? Just look at the NUSA website and see what students (domestic and international) think of the UoN. And the EO principles. How come they were not applied to me and at least half a dozen senior academics I know personally who were bullied out of the place and all of those who were forced to go elsewhere?

  2. I have a solution to the problem. We should start distributing detox tablet to those so poisoned by the system and hopefully, it may help those most affected. At the same time, we may ask a drug company to come up with a magic cure for the bullies. Maybe they are wired differently from their victims and there's some sort of birth defect in them.

  3. Judging from what we've been hearing on the ground, there'll soon been a public revolt against a certain senior manager for his persecution of many staff, academic and admin alike. He's a liability to the Uni and the new VC can't possibly be blind to this.

  4. I would have thought self-awareness is the ultimate sign of enlightenment. This is obviously not the case with this power-hungry maniac.

  5. From my personal experience at the UoN, 'honesty' to the leaders means lying to decent human beings.

  6. In one notorious faculty, the approval ratings for the faculty/school leaders and senior management by academic staff in a recent annual 'Your Voice' survey was unless than 23%. To the extent that management had to offer 10 iPads to "entice" people to participate in a research survey. What a pathetic lot!

  7. The bullying in this faculty is so notorious that most people just keep to themselves for fear of retribution by the bosses, who use their cronies to deliver their agenda, silencing professors with the highest international standing.

  8. Apparently, the university has "the well-being of our staff community" as a top priority. The uni is "committed to the values of honesty, fairness, trust, accountability and respect in our work environment".

    It's interesting the uni was so eager to sell the Chinese program to a foreign government without any community consultation. My two daughters had wanted to major in Chinese and we'd been planning that for the past three years. All of a sudden, we are told no one in the whole of the Hunter region can study Chinese beyond second year. Guess what, they had reduced it to a minor. We are from an overseas Chinese-speaking country and we don't want to be associated with any foreign government and its ideology. We live in Australia and want our kids to study an Australian program. Our friends who work at the uni told us this was all done in secret and they only told people when no one could do anything about it.

    Where is the uni's honesty, openness and accountability to the local community?