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, February 18, 2013

Asking in vain

Three members of our group emailed Professor Caroline McMillen, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Newcastle.  We suggested a meeting with her to share the findings of our website survey of students/ex-students and staff/ex-staff.  The findings of this survey (based on 195 reports of bullying) was accepted as a submission to the parliamentary Inquiry into Workplace Bullying. 

McMillen replied that she has

"always followed a personal principle that I do not respond to anonymous letters.  That principle also extends to engaging with individuals who post anonymous messages on line".

Anonymous???  We gave our names in the email and she responded to us by name.

She also stated that "this is her personal position".  Is she not Vice-Chancellor of the University, acting on behalf (and hopefully for the good of) the University?

Not surprisingly, she declined to meet us.


  1. I complained on numerous occasions to McMillen about the bullying I was subjected to in my name as a staff member, but I was always given the silent treatment, by now her trademark management style.

  2. Yes, silence and a lack of action in areas that require basic moral conduct are the hallmarks of a true bully.