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, April 2, 2012

In the radio program "Encounter" over the weekend, John Bottomley spoke about his research about another largely forgotten aspect of suicide – people who feel driven to suicide because of their work.

Bottomley states that
"Suicide has been captured by the medical profession…. which focuses on mental illness and pays very little attention to the social factors and the economic factors that might contribute to mental illness".

His research shows that work factors are a critical factor in understanding suicide today
"because work has such an important place in people’s sense of identity, when something goes wrong in the workplace, if there is injustice, where there’s bullying, where there’s retrenchment and discrimination – all these things contribute to a violent attack on people’s sense of identity and can lead to mental illness, depression in particular … ".

Frighteningly, this research supports our survey findings that over 37 staff and students have considered suicide because of the bullying that they have received at the University of Newcastle.


  1. Thank you for bringing this much neglected root cause of suicide to the forum. I have tried to kill myself several times and when things get tough, and they do, I might end it all one way or another because I simply find it impossible to accept the bullying, discrimination, victimisation and the way I have been rubbished by the uni, which hurts 24/7. I am sure if you do another survey now, the percentage of those who have considered suicide will be higher. I didn't even participate in your last survey (about two years ago?) as I was frightened of retribution by the uni and I know several people I worked with then wanted to, but didn't for the same reason. They would all participate in one now because things have worsened for all of us - me and the people I discussed the matter with recently. Thank you for keeping up the fight for all the innocent victims of bullying at this university.

  2. former geographerApril 4, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Bullying is soul destroying but unfortunately reporting bullying at the UoN means being thrown out of the Univesity. For most people theircareer is what defines you - creates your sense of identity. To lose your identity, your finanicial status and often your social network often represents the end of your world that you once knew. I so agree with this item on how bullying can lead to suicidal thoughts and worse

  3. A tax-payer funded public institution where a culture of bullying thrives should have its operating licence revoked.