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, July 30, 2012

"Don't shoot the messenger!"

Today, July 30th, is International Whistleblowers' Day".

Almost one-third of respondents to our survey (total of 195 respondents) had been whistleblowers - they had identified wrongdoing of some kind and reported this.  According to the University of Newcastle's Policy 969, staff and students "should report any wrongdoing they witness within the University of Newcastle".

Furthermore, according to the Uni's Code of Conduct, "members of the University community: 

(i)  are encouraged to seek advice on reporting any behaviour by
staff, students, or others (who have a significant association
with the University), which could be considered unfair, unjust
or unreasonable; and
(ii) should report behaviours or activities that could be considered to be
corrupt conduct, maladministration, serious and substantial waste of
public money, misconduct or illegal".

These people followed university policy - so what happened to them?  They were then bullied and many subsequently lost their positions or had difficulty continuing with their studies.

The University of Newcastle has an extensive library of policies (have a look) - are these just for show so that senior management can say "We've got a policy for that"?


  1. Isn't it a serious problem when the Complaints Managers, the Equity and Diversity Unit rely on the DVC academic and global relations for promotions?

    How can we trust their integrity and independence?

    It's a joke!

  2. Unfortunately, too many messengers have been shot dead - they've been bullied out of the uni for following these "policies". What are they? Invitations to walk into traps!

    Do the UoN managers really want me to praise them for ruining my life and career for following their "policies"?? Give them to fools.

  3. When I told the Director of Equity and Diversity that I was preparing a complaint about a senior manager of the uni and would send her a copy, she told me "don't send; not interested."

    That was how far I got even before I made it to the complaints process. I was too disgusted to want to waste my time and make the complaints managers look like they were worth their fat salaries.

    They are turners.

  4. When I reported research irregularity to my Head of School, I started being mobbed by the head, all of his deputies and those in the top administration. They hounded me like a pack of wolves until I got kicked out of the uni.

    They colluded by protecting each other and by denying everything. Most of the bullies have since been promoted!

    The UoN is a place where bullies thrive and they play with other people's lives as a blood sport.

  5. How shameful that people in high places of learning become so dishonest in order to serve their own 'hollow' careers and agendas.

    They deny and distort the truth if it threatens to topple them. Sadly, those who uphold an honourable standard are trampled upon with no mercy. It really shocks and numbs as it is hard to comprehend that people can be so cruel.

    Yet, exposure of the truth must be pursued by the brave to bring change in the future. Moral behaviour must survive for our own survival.

    This website is an excellent forum to show how cruel and destructive bullying is but it promises to give hope for a better future if not for oneself but for others.

    No one has the right to destroy the career of another to protect one's own.

    Greater awareness of the corrosive impact of
    bullying behaviour in the workforce along with protective law reform must occur for the betterment of all.

  6. Where is the link to the survey? as an ex employee of UoN who was bullied I have PLENTY to say!!!!!!!

  7. former geography senior lecturerAugust 3, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Bullying is very complex and very insidious we are bullied (or mobbed as certainly once it starts the mob quickly gangs up with the initial bully) for diverse reasons.
    Still not sure why I was originally targeted, I was a very productive and enthusiastic (but non-ambitious) academic. However, as soon as I supported two whistlebloweres who were being treated dreadfully by the University, the bullying became so intense (from the highest levels of the Uni) that it destroyed my career and my self-esteem.
    So being a whistleblower is bad news at UoN, but demonstrating integrity by supporting the whistleblowers is equally as bad and the punishment - hounded out of the University is the same!!!!