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)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Whistleblowing and retaliation

According to an article from the St James Ethics Centre  by Professor Steven Mintz 

"Retaliation against employee whistleblowers rose sharply. More than one in five employees (22 percent) who reported misconduct say they experienced some form of retaliation in return. That compares to 12 percent who experienced retaliation in 2007 and 15 percent in 2009."

Retaliation included 
  • exclusion from decision-making or other workplace activities, 
  • a cold shoulder from co-workers, 
  • verbal abuse from a supervisor or other manager
  • verbal abuse
  • not given promotions and raises
  • relocated or reassigned
  • demoted.
Not all the respondents from the University of Newcastle to our survey were whistleblowers but respondents reported very similar actions taken against them as those listed here.   In our survey, respondents also reported that they had lost their jobs due to reporting staff misconduct (despite the Uni's policy stating that staff must report this misconduct).

Professor Mintz states that 
"it is important to encourage whistleblowing especially when the public interest is at stake".

Those amongst us who are whistleblowers did this for the sake of the university and the public.  

Why has nothing changed at the University and everything has changed irrevocably for us?


  1. When retaliation takes the form of the destruction of someone's career for no good reason, it becomes criminal.

  2. Yes, it is merciless stealing of what is precious and the lifeblood of another. It is a shocking crime that warrants severe penalties.

  3. Yes, it is a big concern in the University, a lecturer verbally abuses an oversea (background) student or physically detriments a student's study process. However, not any other staffs in the University dear to / would like help or support the student. It makes students feel / fear such an environment / a "culture".

    The lecturer given such a power does anything he wants according to his thoughts and mercy

  4. In response to the above, quite a number of UoN lectures who were professional and ethical and loved by students and community have lost their jobs for being ethical and professional in their academic work.