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, September 19, 2012

In a recent Law Report on ABC Radio, Kim Sawyer (a former associate professor in economics and finance at The University of Melbourne, and himself a respected whistleblower) was asked why Australia seems to stick its head in the sand and not deal with corruption. He feels that Australia has shown a remarkable reluctance to deal with corruption or other similar issues.
He stated that
"There’s a lot of issues wrapped up in it. I think...in the early days I thought it was the mateship culture, that you simply don’t dob. I think that’s disappearing, I think there’s a recognition now that society as a whole needs to be protected, so I think that is dissipating, but I think the second issue is an immaturity here in Australia, that there’s been this faith in an old-style regulation rather than recognition that we now live in a much more complex world where market regulation’s required and not mandatory regulation, so I think it’s an immaturity in policy-making and I think thirdly there’s an extraordinary recalcitrant stubbornness to recognise the importance of whistleblowers." (emphasis added).
He went on to say
'I think the reluctance is part of a cultural problem; somehow they think whistleblowers have to sacrifice themselves for the public interest or for the public good, which I think is a completely unrealistic proposition. They need to understand that everybody needs to be compensated in this world for the risks they take. That’s the way our world operates."


  1. Kim Sawyer is a true visionary this country desperately needs.

    The VC should invite him here to give a public lecture.

  2. The question that has to be asked is would life be worth living if you didn't blow whistle?

    What do you do when you feel conscience pricked constantly?

    It's a hard one, isn't it?

  3. We just pretend corruption/bullying/discrimination doesn't exist so as to get out pay check and then when someone commits suicide, there is a public outcry.

    At the UoN, "politeness," (such as small talk) "respect" and buttering up to the powerful is valued far more than decency and the courage to face up to misconduct.

  4. Is one's dignity and conscience worth it?