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)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Healthy University" strategy

In her blog of 14th March 2013, Caroline McMillen, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, has reported

"In 2013, I am particularly proud to champion a major 'Healthy University' strategy with my colleagues, John Germov and Tina Crawford. This initiative, will take an innovative and contemporary 'whole-of-university' approach to the important area of supporting our individual and institutional health. Evidence from literature and other sectors tells us how important good health and a positive culture are to build a resilient, grounded and productive workplace. The 'Healthy University' Steering Committee has started by recruiting willing colleagues from across the University to contribute to working groups focussed on understanding how we can act to ensure good psychological, physical and organisational health is a focus at UoN. Each working group would warmly welcome members from any part of UoN, as well as from our student body to contribute to this work and I encourage you to send your 'expression of interest' to HealthAndSafety@newcastle.edu.au

Does she also want to hear from those of us who have suffered ongoing psychological and physical ill-health as a result of the actions of the University?  We have much information from our survey that would be useful for the University to take into account.


  1. KH former geographer bullied out of UoNMarch 27, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    As a strong believer that we learn by past mistakes, then surely "understanding how we can act to ensure good psychological, physical and organisational health" it is necessary and pertinent to retrospectively examine and understand how UoN has caused past negative psychological, physical and organizational health.

    Re-addressing the wrongs done to former staff and students would be a good starting place

    1. I remember you Kate, you were an inspirational lecturer.

      I was a victim of bullying before I studied at UoN and my health was often poor. Yet your lectures were incredible!!!
      I remember the human geography course as a highlight and a really quality experience. I could have listened to you for hours.

      Later I was stupid enough to study music at the University. By then the bullies were in office and surely enough, being vulnerable they got me.

      I almost committed suicide it got so bad at the music faculty. I almost became a statistic. Not that they would lose any sleep over it.

      I feel sad that you are not at the University of Newcastle anymore. You were a jewel in their crown in my opinion.

  2. To our understanding, WHAT Professor McMillen was trying to say is that "we did not speak out about what happened to us or we did not complain in the University". This is not true.

    Most of those complaints (up to 200 cases) from our survey last year went through the University. What does Professor McMillen want to know or to do now?

  3. Devastated and victimised at UoNMarch 28, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    From personal experience, I am deeply concerned that staff who have colluded in harassment and victimisation and covered up bullying in the University of Newcastle should now be working with the VC to produce a healthy working environment.
    How will they be able to identify what is healthy and what is not healthy in an organisation?