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, July 18, 2012

Those bullied are misfits

There have been some angry responses reported in the media to comments made at the public hearing of the Workplace Bullying Review by Garry Black, Head of the Australian Federation of Employers and Industries.  Mr Black asserted that

  • some people who are bullied are misfits and should just leave
  • Brodie Panlock's bullying was the result of a love affair gone wrong
A brief report on Black's comments and the response from Brodie Panlock's parents was aired on Lateline.

It is alarming when people holding senior positions in organisations or companies not only grossly underestimate the problem of bullying but also get into the "blame the victim" game.  Is this the same sentiment as was expressed that women who are raped were "asking for it"?

Many of us at the University of Newcastle spoke out about misconduct (as required to do by the university's own policies) - are we considered misfits because we would not cover up the misconduct?  


  1. I happen to think Garry Black is a bully himself and a typical misfit. To say what he said to a whole roomful of people in a Parliamentary Inquiry is enough proof of what he is.

    It was very empowering to be at one of the hearings recently and know that 4 or 5 of the qualities that most of the victims of bullying have in common are:

    1. They have higher than average intelligence

    2. They are ethical

    3. They are full of live (not dead wood) and are generous and giving and are thus threats to those who are the opposite

    4. They don't play the power games favoured by employers

  2. If the above qualities make me a misfit, then I am a very proud one!