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, September 10, 2012

Nick Saunders' record of achievement

Nick Saunders, now DVC of Bond University, has an enviable record of achievements from his time as Vice Chancellor of the University of Newcastle.

Under his management,

  • 195 staff and students have reported workplace bullying
  • 56.4% diagnosed with depression
  • 23.1% (45 individuals) had considered or attempted suicide
  • 44% (72) had made a formal complaint about the bullying.
  • Human Resources was aware of at least 55 cases
  • 3% had obtained satisfactory outcome to their formal complaint
  • 15 individuals had been gagged by the university

Anti-bullying posters put up at the uni were taken down (anti-gay-bullying posters are allowed).
One member of our committee was stopped by security and prevented from putting up posters (according to security, Nick Saunders had ordered this). 

Youtube anti-bullying video blocked by the uni - not available to view in Australia
Bullying at the University of Newcastle reported in the newspaper (see links).
Hundreds of comments on these articles by other victims of bullying.

And the list here does not include Nick Saunders' previous "achievements" - the long history of bullying and removal of anyone who speaks out about misconduct.

A fish rots from the head down! *

Bond University, get ready and be prepared for the arrival of your new DVC.
Bond University, you will not be able to claim in future years that "you did not know" about Nick Saunders' history.

*(When an organization fails, it is the leadership that is the root cause).


  1. I wonder how much good old Nick got the uni to pay to have the anti-bullying YouYube clip blocked in this country.

    The uni under Nick paid top barristers to get his "jobs" done.

    Great achievement Nick!

  2. One glaring failure Nick was you inability to have this blog taken out of public view.

    You know you've won gigantically so you have given us the magnanimity of allowing us the little people to have our feeble voices heard.

    At least you appreciate one principle: live and let live (in a meagre way), and we appreciate the little freedom you have so generously granted us.

    You see, we have all been bullied out of the uni under your vice-chancellorship so we have all the time in the world to devote to the most worthy cause - making the UoN a bullying-free world and this blog has become our passion.

    We don't enjoy unemployment and living on government handouts. No one does and we would all love to be back in our former careers as the brightest academics. But we are ethical people and that was our problem in that place so our jobs disappeared mysteriously.

    We thank you for your mercy and we ask God for his blessings for our colleagues at Bond.

  3. I reported academic misconduct, which was proven to be true. For "dobbing in my mates" I was subjected to years of bullying and harassment leading to a Workers Compensation Commission determined permanent psychological injury. I asked Professor Saunders to intervene, he did, and I was subsequently terminated. I had only one meeting with Professor Saunders, where I felt like he treated me as nothing but dog crap, stuck to the bottom of his shoe, that he could not get rid of fast enough. The trauma of what happened to me for doing my job and reporting academic misconduct will stay with me for the rest of my life. Not so much the bullying and harassment that followed the initial report of the academic misconduct, but the way I was treated by the University after I asked for the bullying to stop.
    So I am sacked, and the person who was guilty of academic misconduct was promoted.
    My advice to everyone at Bond University (including the Chancellor), is never question or disagree with Professor Saunders. It was a hard lesson for me to learn that under some leaderships, academic freedom of speech does not exist.

  4. "Who does not know the truth, is simply a fool...yet who Knows the truth and calls it a lie, is a criminal."

    - In Galileo Galilei by Berthold Brecht (1898-1956)

  5. Autocracy defeated democracy!

    1. Who said this was a democracy?

    2. The press in this country focus all its energies on exposing dictators and despotic regimes in other countries and regions. It's high time it looked at what's happening in its own backyard and to its own people.

  6. Judging from the number of people who have been gagged (these are the ones who did the survey and to my knowledge, there have been many who didn't do it), the UoN must have a lot of secrets to hide.

    That was the hallmark of the Saunders regime. The question is: can the uni rid itself of these excesses or have these excess become part of its modus operandi?

    I wonder whether it's a standard practice at other Australian universities?

    There should be an immediate government inquiry into this.