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, January 23, 2013

The scars remain....

A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. 

Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. 

That is what happens when a child bullies another child (or an adult bullies another adult) they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home. 

There are many of us who have suffered at the hands of power-hungry workers at the University of Newcastle - the scars remain.  

The fact that university management collude and cover-up the bullying, rather than dealing with the frequent bullying, makes these scars even deeper.

21 comments:

  1. The scars remain? This is the understatement of the century!

    I'm still bleeding from my wound and I don't see the end of it.

    Even if the bullies who "executed" me go to prison for what the did to me, it will not be the end of it.

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  2. So many people (students including myself) were victimised from discrimination and bullying in University of Newcastle. What should we do rather than looking at the wounds or scars? We should do something. We should not let them stay there and target on other students in future. Donot you feel guilty while they are still there?
    One of the staffs who repeatedly targetting on students especially on the overseas (background) students in the program in UoN had very bad name in the previous University he serviced. While he came in this University in 2005, nobody in Human Resources checked his Employment History.
    This person was promoted to associate professor in 2009 with dozens of complaints at the School, the Faculty, and University Complaint Manager (Dean of Students) including poor teaching performance and "poor administration" and no research publications while he was promoted.
    Such a person is still there in this position.

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  3. Dear Fellow Overseas Student,

    I totally agree with you in that those of us, innocent students (and staff), should take concrete actions against the University of Newcastle bullies. The university is funded by the public using tax-payers' money so the government should make the uni accountable for its unspeakable actions against innocent students and professional staff.

    It is interesting you mention the university Complaints Manager and the Dean of Students. The bullies against us and our lecturer were promoted to very high positions and we think it is specifically because they helped some big shot achieve some goal that got himself and the university a lot of money at our expense.

    The uni promotions deliberately don't check with the complaints managers and the dean of students because they would not have been able to promote the bullies and they would not have got money in their own pockets and more payrises, bonus pay, big mansions and contacts to get their terrible articles/books published or get themselves invited to posh conferences at public expense.

    The dean of students and the complaints manager also need a promotion so they work together in the big stew where everybody turns a blind eye to the problems and nobody is responsible for anything. Whenever there is a crisis, they all gang up and close ranks.

    To the unsuspecting onlookers, particularly overseas students like us, it is bad organisation, but after you've been victimised for a long time and you've been to see all the people that you have been told are employed to solve your problems and they caused ever worse problems for you, you know it is all deliberate. It's an unspoken rule called silence.

    The bullies thrive in this sort of organisations and the UoN is a definite champion in this game!

    We were recently shown an article written by a little lecturer who's been promoted to Associate Professor and we were horrified by the review of the article written by a big European professor who totally discredited the recently promoted Associated Professor in a very famous international journal. We wondered why the promotions committee didn't pick up on this!?

    Do you want to know why? Stay tuned for our next instalment when we dig deeper into how that place works.

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  4. Wow, this site is a real eye opener!

    I think the important thing is to publish a list of those mediocrities promoted so students know to avoid them.

    As a postgraduate student, I am particularly worried that the supervisors allocated to us are not credible scholars. I must say I found some of my lowly paid lecturers much more knowledgeable and approachable than those above them, but they are not paid half as much and they can't get anywhere because of the dreadful pecking order there which is stifling.

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  5. Just for the record, the complaints manager took cues from the head of the school and the dean of the faculty when we complained about our hours being cut and she never asked any of us students to verify the facts. She definitely sided with the powers, not the complainant. That's how newcastle uni complaints mechanism works. That is why we are all very cynical.

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    1. One entire class of speech pathology students made statutory declarations about major problems with the exam paper set by their lecturer. They gave them to the Dean of Students but nothing happened - the marks for that course were simply "adjusted" and the students' complaints were hushed up.

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    2. The Dean of Students and the lecturer concerned should have been sacked and 4 Corners and 60 minutes should have done a story. This is so typical of that place.

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    3. A Speech Pathology degree at the UoN wouldn't be worth much then. I personally wouldn't want to be associated with that program because I'd be worried about where to find a job.

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    4. We gather the lecturer in question is still going strong or shall we say has thrived!?

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    5. They haven't learnt their lesson from the scandal of the NGSB, have they?

      Someone should have their ass kicked.

      What were the head of department and the dean doing then?

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    6. the person had been reported such as poor quality of teaching and administration, and no publications, at the School, Faculty, and University levels, but he was still promoted.

      Heads of the School / Faculty in UoN were not simply blinded at the time, there must be some reasons behinded...

      This was corruption and should be investigated ...

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    7. This stuff should be reported in the papers. How come Newcastle Herald hasn't picked it up?

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    8. What was the university's chair of ethics doing? Wasn't there one in-house in Speech Pathology at the time?

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    9. That school is filthy with all sorts of skeletons in the cupboard. I'm not at all surprised by this latest revelation.

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    10. They have law on to themselves, knowing no one can do anything about them.

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  6. Moral decay is what characterises that place where seemingly good people knowingly do wrong to the innocent in their care.

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  7. Are they cheating within rules (creative cheating) or outside of them?

    It's cheating nonetheless!

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  8. We should not only stay at this level, talking about their behaviours on the wetsites.

    We should do something, for instance, we get together, strike on these people by exposing their behaviours, and bring public or ICAC's involvement against these corruptions in UoN.

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  9. Wow, Newcastle Uni has skeletons in its cupboard.....

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  10. I am pretty horrified to stumble upon this website. If the place is rotten, why hasn't anyone done anything about it? They owe it to the students and the community to clean up the mess, which looks shocking to say the least.

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  11. KH Former Geographer bullied out of UoNJanuary 31, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    The crucial difference in the story about the piece of paper and our experiences of bullying is that the children were told to say sorry. Saying sorry acknowledges the hurt and the injustice done against an individual. Remember the impact of Kevin Rudd's apology to those of the Stolen generation and more recently Julia Gillard's apology to children who had been sexually abused.

    Without an apology, the healing cannot begin. Without healing - the wound remains open and festering. When will the University apologise to those who have lost their careers and health due to bullying and have been eliminated from their workplace because they had highlighted unethical misconduct and/or bullying?

    Until that day - there will be no healing and subsequently no scars, only deep wounds from the savage treatment they received at the University of Newcastle.

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