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)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Post traumatic stress disorder and workplace bullying

In a recent poll by the Workplace Bullying Institute, 30% of respondents (1,000) had been diagnosed as having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD symptoms include
  1. Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. 
  2. Recurrent distressing dreams of the event.
  3. Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes,including those that occur upon awakening or when intoxicated).
  4. Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
  5. Physiologic reactivity upon exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
  1. Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma
  2. Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma
  3. Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
  4. Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
  5. Restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
  6. Sense of foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)
  1. Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  2. Irritability or outbursts of anger
  3. Difficulty concentrating
  4. Hyper-vigilance
  5. Exaggerated startle response.
Many of the respondents to our survey reported at least some of these symptoms.  We did not include a question regarding PTSD but there are a number of us who have been diagnosed as having PTSD.
In Australia, PTSD seen in workplace bullying victims has been likened to those soldiers who fought in the Vietnam or Korean wars.  The difference for those of us with PTSD following the bullying at the University of Newcastle is that the bullying continues.  We remain isolated, ostracised, shunned by previous colleagues, etc.  This does not stop just because we have been bullied out of the uni.  For us, the trauma continues on and on.

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?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We shall overcome, we shall overcome, some day


Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there (Josh Billings)

We will keep sticking until we get bullying at the University of Newcastle properly investigated and dealt with.

Very very "Chilling Effects"

"The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse collects and analyzes legal complaints about online activity, helping Internet users to know their rights and understand the law".

"Chilling Effects aims to support lawful online activity against the chill of unwarranted legal threats."

We are still waiting for a response from "Chilling Effects" as to why four posts relating to Professor Nick Saunders were blocked from our blog on Friday 14th September  because they contained "allegedly infringing content that may violate the rights of others and the laws of their country."  Our blog continues to be guilty until proved innocent.
We are suffering from the "chill of unwarranted legal threats"!

ABC 7.30 report - Update

After 7.30's recent story on workplace bullying laws, we've heard many similar stories and the Federal Government fears it may be the tip of the iceberg as they await a report from their parliamentary inquiry.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

McConkey is on his way.......

The rumours are true - Professor McConkey is leaving the University of Newcastle at the end of October.

As expected, Caroline McMillen has given him a glowing tribute - "major improvements", "successful audit", "more opportunities", "significantly strengthened", "overseen the growth", "stronger connections", "strength to strength", "significantly expanded, "significant contribution",  and
"Professor McConkey’s commitment to the University and our community has had a major impact and he leaves a strong legacy. On behalf of the University I acknowledge his significant contribution, thank him most sincerely for his service and wish him well for the future."

McConkey's salary was huge ($415,000 p.a. in 2010) and he has presumably now also received a large payout.

As PVC Academic, Kevin McConkey has been named as being implicated in numerous cases of bullying reported in our survey, on this website or in submissions to the Parliamentary Workplace Bullying Inquiry.  

McConkey was also extremely involved in allowing the university to receive an "Employer of Choice for Women" citation.  As most of us who have been bullied are female, this was particularly difficult to accept.

Again, Professor McMillen, you have the opportunity to investigate the cases of bullying at the university in a thorough manner and to be prepared to face many of us who have been bullied at the University under the management of Kevin McConkey and Nick Saunders.  

"Silence implies consent".

Monday, September 24, 2012


We have had more than

60,000 visitors

to our blog!!

Bullying versus performance management

"LAWS designed to stamp out workplace bullying are being hijacked by disgruntled workers making wild and unsubstantiated claims, experts say."

" "Anecdotal evidence shows many managers are afraid to engage in performance management action due to fear of being labelled a bully," Comcare said."

Read submissions 8, 25 and 53  to the Workplace Bullying Inquiry by ex-staff of the University of Newcastle.

Does this sound like "performance management"?  
Tell us what you think.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Caroline, please can the University of Newcastle follow The University of Queensland?

"UNIVERSITIES are coming under greater public scrutiny than ever before. For vice-chancellors, this should not be a cause for concern. Instead, the challenge is to take greater public attention as a cue for self-examination and reform, where it is needed."

"Society expects our universities to hold the highest standards in relation to ethics and integrity." 

"Values such as respect, intellectual courage, professionalism and stewardship may sound old-fashioned for a university."

"As important public institutions, universities must hold the trust of the community. Unless we do, our academic and research achievements, and indeed our reputation more broadly, will not be sustained in the future."

Statements made by Professor Deborah Terry, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Queensland.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Learn from the University of Newcastle

We put up a brief You Tube clip about bullying at the University of Newcastle.  The clip contained facts and quotes, including a quote from Professor Nick Saunders (it can now be viewed via Facebook).

Our clip was blocked following a request to You Tube - the clip could not be viewed in Australia.

A film trailer for the anti-Muslim movie "The Innocence of Muslims" was uploaded on to You Tube.  This trailer has caused violent riots around the world.

Lawyers acting for one of the actresses in the movie have requested You Tube to remove the film BUT "YouTube has refused Garcia's requests to remove the film, according to the lawsuit".

Way to go, University of Newcastle - you can show them how to get clips blocked!!

PS - UPDATE; 22.09.2012 - Even after the lawsuit has gone to court, You Tube has refused to block the trailer of the anti-Muslim movie.  Violent protests continue around the world.

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."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Four easy steps to prevent freedom of speech

  1. Someone puts some facts on the web about you that you don't like (e.g. Professor Nick Saunders, ex-University of Newcastle and now from Bond University).
  2. You use your/your organisation's money to pay a lawyer to complain to Google.
  3. Google immediately removes the "offending" material.
  4. Do they check it first for defamation, copyright infringement, or whatever? No - they just remove the material with no reasons given.

Google may eventually give its reasons
but in the meantime
the website is presumed to be guilty until proved innocent.

The CSIRO and University of Newcastle - bosom buddies!

The CSIRO submission to the Workplace Bullying Inquiry has reported 60 cases of high-level employees who have been bullied or otherwise forced out of the organisation.

Our survey (also submitted to the Workplace Bullying Inquiry but not yet authorised for publication) has reported 195 employees and students who have been bullied or otherwise forced out of the organisation.

As the victims of bullying ourselves, we sympathise with and understand what the ex-CSIRO employees must be feeling.


Congratulations to the University of Newcastle - it has risen 23 places to be ranked 268 in the world in the 2012 QS World University Rankings.

BUT in our survey of 195 respondents who reported bullying

  • 72 employees were planning to leave
  • 41 had lowered their productivity
  • 21 had asked for a transfer within the university
  • 45 had attempted or considered suicide
  • 110 suffered from depression

No organisation can afford to have so many ill or dissatisfied employees.  Also, many of these are highly educated, hard working and ethical staff/students.  For details of three ex-academic staff who were bullied out of the uni see nos. 8, 25 and 53 on the parliamentary website.

The uni could have risen much higher in world rankings if the issue of bullying (past and ongoing) had been dealt with appropriately.

Some ideas for Caroline

Joydeep Hor, managing principal of specialist employment law firm People + Culture Strategies, states that
"Workplace behaviour must be treated as a strategic priority and adequate resources must be devoted to the regular evaluation and addressing of issues that may arise such as bullying or harassment. In fact, workplace cultures are referred to with increasing frequency in cases of workplace bullying or harassment, particularly when reported incidents are not escalated or addressed appropriately."

We and others have repeatedly drawn attention to the culture of bullying at the University of Newcastle.

"To effectively manage a workplace culture, employers first need to be attuned to signals of a problem or gap in the culture. Hor explains that an increase in staff turnover, grievances and absenteeism are key indicators that there may be an issue with the workplace culture."

We know from our survey that a substantial number of staff/ex-staff either have left or are considering leaving the University because of the bullying culture.

People + Culture Strategies have provided some advice concerning workplace culture.  

  • "implement regular staff surveys, including 360 degree reviews to monitor for culture issues
  • conduct exit interviews with outgoing employees to identify any culture issues
  • complete a regular analysis and review of employee leave patterns, especially sick leave
  • regularly evaluate the number of staff grievances and types
  • managers and supervisors should be trained to make informal observations and identify issues
  • regular training in behaviour and culture should be a prominent part of human resource’s deliverables, and
  • allocate adequate resources to achieve compliance, such as in budgets."
These strategies may be of use to you, Caroline, if you are at all concerned with dealing with the bullying culture at the University.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Why were those posts about Nick Saunders removed from our blog?

According to Chilling Effects (who act for Google against online content),  two of the possible defences against published defamatory communication are

  1. "Truth. This is a complete defense, but may be difficult to prove."
  2. "Fair comment on a matter of public interest. This defense applies to "opinion" only, as compared to a statement of fact. The defendant usually needs to prove that the opinion is honestly held and the comments were not motivated by actual "malice." "
The content of the posts removed from this website repeated facts already published in the media or on the Bond University website.  Also any opinion that was voiced was not motivated by malice - our aim is to prevent more people suffering the same bullying experiences at Bond University that we have at the University of Newcastle.

An additional point of relevance here is that 

"No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." This provision has been uniformly interpreted by the Courts to provide complete protection against defamation or libel claims made against an ISP, message board or chat room where the statements are made by third parties."

We are not responsible for comments made on our blog - we reserve the right to remove comments that we consider to be unhelpful or which constitute direct acts on individuals without factual support.  

We do attempt to balance 

"two important, and sometimes competing, rights: the right to engage in free speech and the right to be free from untrue attacks on reputation." (Chilling Effects)

Sunday, September 16, 2012


In March 2010, Professor Nick Saunders stated that "there was simply no evidence of a culture of bullying" (Newcastle Herald).

At the same time the unions said "there was a "large volume" of cases in which staff and students reported ongoing bullying and harassment on campus" (Newcastle Herald).

Professor Saunders said "bullying and harassment was not tolerated and it was clearly against the university's code of conduct".

"More than 20 people contacted The Herald in response to yesterday's report about an academic who says she suffered years of harassment after reporting plagiarism" (Newcastle Herald)

Under the management of Nick Saunders, 195 staff and students reported being bullied, victimised and discriminated against at the University of Newcastle, often for reporting misconduct.

The long history of intimidation and harassment at the University of Newcastle has been recorded in various publications (see chapter by John Biggs, paper by Brian Martin on Spautz, Don Parkes's book, etc - see links in right-hand panel).

Under the management of Nick Saunders, anti-bullying posters on campus were removed, a You Tube video about bullying at the university was blocked in Australia and four posts on this blog (regarding Nick Saunders) have been removed after a legal request.

So far three submissions of extreme bullying for reporting misconduct at the University of Newcastle have been approved for publication on the Workplace Bullying Inquiry website (nos. 8, 25 and 53).  There are others awaiting approval.

Nick Saunders said "he did not believe bullying or harassment was a problem at the institution" (Newcastle Herald).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

End of truth-telling??

Here is the official notice from Blogger.


Blogger has been notified that content in your blog contains allegedly infringing content that may violate the rights of others and the laws of their country. The infringing content that has been made unavailable can be found at the end of this message.

The notice that we received, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects athttp://www.chillingeffects.org. You can search for the notice associated with the removal of your content by going to the Chilling Effects search page athttp://www.chillingeffects.org/search.cgi, and entering in the URL of the blog post that was removed. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel.

The Blogger Team

http://stop-b-uon.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/saunders-off-to-bond-university-as-dvc.html  "

Three of these posts relate to Nick Saunders and his new post at Bond University.  The fourth one relates to Nick Saunders and his OAM.

If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.

Émile Zola (1840-1902) French novelist

Friday, September 14, 2012

No freedom of speech!!!!!!

We have been silenced again!

FOUR posts about Nick Saunders and his new post at Bond University have been removed from this blog, after Google received a legal request to do so.

These posts referred and quoted newspaper reports and announcements by Bond University.

Who would have thought that this would happen in a democratic country like Australia!
What does Nick Saunders have to hide from Bond?


Five whole days and the video that Nick Saunders had blocked previously can still be viewed (see link on right-hand side of this page)..

  • Has this "dangerous" video now miraculously become less "dangerous"?
  • Has the uni told Facebook to block the video but is Facebook not listening?
  • Is the uni hoping that the video will just disappear (as they hoped we would)?

Who cares what the reason is - at least this video on bullying at the University of Newcastle can still be viewed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

For Professor Caroline McMillen - GREAT LEADERS

Dear Caroline

As VC, you are undoubtedly a leader.  You could be a GREAT leader.

Great leaders, according to Aad Boot, 

  • "Use criticism as fuel for improvement
Great leaders see criticism as an opportunity. They embrace it and use it to engage people, to create awareness for change, to facilitate dialogue. They use it as fuel for change. 
  • Engage critics and keep them informed
Great leaders engage their critics actively in the change process. They challenge them to come up with ideas and alternative scenarios... they invite the critics to ‘step on the train’ and to add value. In case it is not possible to actively engage critics in the change process they pro-actively keep them informed on the progress and the results, and invite them to give their feedback."
Caroline, what an opportunity you have.  You could use the issues of workplace bullying and coverup at your university as an opportunity to stop the bullying culture at the University of Newcastle.  You could engage with us, involve us, allow us to give feedback.  We have many constructive ideas on how to improve the system of identifying and dealing with workplace bullying.
What an opportunity you are missing by refusing to engage with us.  We are, like you, educated and hard working.  Most of us are female.  You see we already have lots in common.
Just think how you will be remembered as VC - Will you be remembered as the VC 
  • who faced and dealt with the problem of workplace bullying?
  • or 
  • put her head in the sand and tried to pretend the issue did not exist (like the previous encumbent of your position)?
The decision to be a GREAT leader rests solely in your hands.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lawyers question workplace bullying protections

On the ABC 7.30 report last night, MOIRA RAYNER, LAW INSTITUTE OF VICTORIA stated that 
" I have always regarded bullying as a failure by management and all our bullying laws is unsatisfactory because they don't give the individual a personal right of redress. If they make a WorkCover claim or a WorkSafe claim and it doesn't end up because of technicalities in addressing their problems, then the person who's been bullied, victimised and psychologically if not physically harmed may well have on top of that a sense of grave injustice."

Thie 7.30 Report discusses the horrific setting alight of a young apprentice.

Watch TV report here
If victims cannot be protected from such dangerous physical bullying, what hope is there for those of us who have been psychologically bullied, victimised and ostracised? 

Monday, September 10, 2012


Our You Tube video on bullying at the University of Newcastle was blocked by the university, under the management of Nick Saunders, the previous VC.

You now have another opportunity to view this video - see right hand panel.....

Grab this chance to watch the video and decide for yourself why the university had it blocked in Australia.

Grab this opportunity whilst the offer lasts!!  We do not know how long you will be able to view it.  We cannot guarantee that the university won't take action again and have it blocked.

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).

Friday, September 7, 2012

Disproving the seven myths about workplace bullying

Josh Bornstein of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, has launched a "provocative attack today on the state of Australia's legal and policy approach to workplace bullying, describing it as a failure for employees and employers alike".

He spoke at a forum in Melbourne, saying that legislation like Brodie's law is "useless in about 95 per cent of workplace bullying cases."
He also rejected the use of criminal law to address workplace bullying.
He also addressed the seven workplace bullying myths:
1. Workplace Bullying is illegal."Many employees assume that bullying is unlawful and actionable. The assumption is wrong. There is no statutory scheme in Australia that proscribes bullying". 
2. Workplace Bullying is a misguided reference to a personality conflict.
"While it has become fashionable by some to claim that bullying allegations are unfounded and simply the result of a personality conflict or relationship breakdown, this is a myth generated principally by jaded OH&S regulators and bottom-feeding consultants seeking to drum up work."
3: There is no definition of Workplace BullyingMost OH&S regulators use working definitions of bullying that are remarkably similar. Safe Work Australia defined the term to mean 'repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety'.
4. Workplace Bullying is a safety issue"Confining it to the realms of OH&S hasn't worked and won't work."
Law reform must allow victims of workplace bullying to take a complaint to a tribunal or court well before the situation has escalated to the point of damage to an employee's health."  
5. Employers should address Workplace Bullying by codes of conduct and policies"The era of the workplace policy or code of conduct being the key to managing workplace culture is well and truly over."
It is one thing to have a policy - "It's altogether another to actually manage workplace culture. The gulf between culture and policy can and is often significant." 
6. Workplace Bullying should be criminalised
"I couldn't disagree more. Criminal law should only intrude into the workplace in extreme situations. Most bullying cases are not criminal matters.
The criminalisation of workplace bullying is a misguided and ineffective way to address workplace bullying and provide victims with remedies".
7. The way forward"The fact that something is difficult is no reason not to address it properly. This issue can be addressed, and in order to reduce the incidence of workplace bullying, a new policy and legislative approach is overdue"
Mr Bornstein concluded by stating that an educational campaign together with law reform would save millions in lost productivity, healthcare costs and social welfare payments.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Bond University appoints new DVC and Provost"

Bond University has happily announced on their website that

"Emeritus Professor Nicholas Saunders AO has been appointed to the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Bond University, bringing with him a distinguished and outstanding record as both an academic scholar and senior manager."


"Bond University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford said he was delighted that Professor Saunders will join Bond.
“Professor Saunders is highly respected within academic, health and government networks both in Australia and internationally,” he said.
“He has led a remarkable international career in medical education and research and has contributed significantly through his participation on councils, committees and government review boards.
“I personally look forward to working with Professor Saunders, particularly given our backgrounds and skill sets are complementary.”"
Saunders - photo used by Bond University
Saunders - photo used by the University of Newcastle
Does Bond University and Professor Brailsford realise that so far three ex-academics from the University of Newcastle, under the management of Saunders, have had their submissions to the Workplace Bullying Inquiry published on the parliamentary website?  
These ex-academics were all bullied out of the university for reporting staff misconduct to senior management headed by Nicholas Saunders.  Their submissions can be read on the inquiry website - nos. 8, 25 and 53.  
More evidence of the bullying culture at the University of Newcastle under Saunders is still waiting to be authorised for publication on the Inquiry website.

STOP PRESS: "The University of Newcastle congratulates former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Saunders AO, on his appointment to Bond University in Queensland.

Professor Saunders will take up the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost next month."

The Vice-Chancellor, Caroline McMillen has stated that
“Bond University is fortunate to have secured someone of such high calibre and we wish Professor Saunders well in his new role.” (emphasis added).

Female bullies

A recent article in the International Herald Tribune on female bullies states that 

  • "workplace bullying is four times more rampant than sexual harassment and 
  • 40 per cent of the bullies ... women!"

"Gossip Girls", "Death by exclusion", "Silent but violent", "Lady Psycho" etc.

These bullying behaviours have been reported to us as happening at the University of Newcastle - playground behaviour by educated adults.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Saunders off to Bond University as DVC

"NICHOLAS Saunders has been appointed deputy vice-chancellor at Bond University.
Professor Saunders retired as vice-chancellor of the University of Newscastle at the end of 2011 after eight years in the role."
"Professor Saunders will commence at Bond on October 8."
What can we say to Bond University?

Read the posts and comments relating to Saunders from this website here.
Bond University, our gain is your loss!
Be alert AND be very alarmed! 


In a new initiative, the University has set up "ENGAGE NEWCASTLE" - "the University of Newcastle is committed to the pursuit of meaningful community engagement".  This initiative is
  • "designed to facilitate and enhance the University’s community engagement mission" and
  • "will also help in creating sustainable University-community partnerships and programs that add value to our communities.”

Our blog has been alerted to one of these impressive community engagement initiatives that benefitted students, the University and local patients.

This engagement took the form of therapy groups which were set up to provide therapy to people with chronic aphasia (i.e. communication difficulties following stroke) and also as an adult experience placement for third year speech pathology students.  The groups also provided an opportunity for first year student observation.  The groups' continued existence was dependent on the university funding a clinical educator for the students placed with the groups. 

For four years, these groups provided weekly therapy for around thirty people with aphasia who were no longer able to access ongoing speech therapy services.  The outcome measures of these highly successful groups demonstrated that this therapy had a significant effect on personal identity and communication.  These results were highly-praised at a Think Tank at the Aphasia Institute in Toronto, Canada, which was attended by leading international aphasia specialists.  These groups also provided students with a rare opportunity to participate in aphasia group therapy which is becoming increasingly prominent in speech therapy practice worldwide.

This excellent example of community engagement was suddenly axed by the speech pathology department.  
Why was this?  There was money. It was successful. It benefitted the students and the patients.

The reason was solely to get rid of the clinical educator (a whistleblower).  An additional "benefit" was the fact that the group members are people whose very difficulty prevents them from speaking out about what has happened to them.

So much for community engagement!  So much for the code of ethics of "do no harm"!

A perfect example of community DISENGAGEMENT by the University of Newcastle!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We are not alone!

Our youtube clip on bullying at the University of Newcastle was blocked almost immediately and is not available to be viewed in Australia.

It is "heartening" (in a bizarre way) to hear what has happened to the website "A Workcover victim's diary"
"Yesterday, a workcover victims diary was off line most of the day, in particular access was impossible in the afternoon and most of the evening. Our host service provider explained to us that there was too much traffic on our site and this can be caused by an intentional attack or simply by over-popularity of the site. Given the history of certain WorkCover Authorities and Allianz workers comp insurer’s of attempting to make entire copies of our site, we would not be surprised that a WorkCover Authority, MP and/or agent was responsible for the “traffic jam”."

The attack on our website and on other similar ones clearly demonstrates that speaking the truth is VERY SCARY to many of the organisations involved.