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)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Newcastle Herald reported the following quote from Professor Caroline McMillen, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcstle.

"‘‘We can only request that organisers and supporters of today’s rally reflect on whether such consequences related directly to their actions and whether they could have been foreseen and mitigated,’’ Professor McMillen said."

FACT: The United Stand against Bullying movement received threats about the rally.  They took these threats seriously.  That is why they reported the threats (with written evidence) to the police.  What happened was not "related directly to their actions".  The rally was a peaceful protest against bullying in any form and in any situation.

Did the University know about these threats?
Is that why the venue of the hearing was so suddenly changed to Cessnock (about one hour's drive from Newcastle) ?


  1. Vice-Chancellor McMillen is continuing a longstanding tradition at Newcastle University of bullying, cover-up, denial and then blaming the victim, a tradition that goes back to the 'seventies. Blowing the whistle on plagiarism has almost always been at the centre of this unacademic and unethical behaviour by administration, starting with the victimisation of Michael Spautz who discovered a colleague had plagiarised his doctoral thesis. It is long past time the University was held to account on these matters and until it is, its academic reputation will be under a cloud, which must be extremely frustrating to those academics at Newcastle who are carrying out some world class research.

  2. The VC's comments blaming the victims for the consequences of the university's own behaviour were illogical and insensitive. Of course pre-VC Nick Saunders should be criticised for denying there was any problem at the university.