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)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Financial advice for the University of Newcastle

The government has announced 2 billion dollars worth of cuts to tertiary education.

According to the ABC, "Caroline Perkins, the executive officer of the Regional Universities Network says the cuts will make it difficult for students from regional areas to enrol in courses and for those who are financially disadvantaged."

Here is some friendly advice to help the University of Newcastle save money so that it can deal with this shortfall of funding.

·         Stop gagging staff who have been victimised and bullied.  15 people reported in our survey that they had been gagged by the University.  We estimate that each of these were given around $250,000 or more e.g. additional funding into their super.  This amount is low compared to the payouts of senior executives who have had their contracts paid out - these executives earn over $350,000 per year.

·         Stop funding barristers and solicitors to fight legitimate claims of harassment and victimisation brought against the Uni.  Fees for barristers in Australia range from $5,000 to $8,000 per day.

·         Stop funding barristers and solicitors to protect individual senior management staff that have broken Australian Workplace and OH&S and other laws to cover up misconduct at the UoN

·         Stop employing external investigators to investigate complaints.  External investigators' fees range from $80 per hour and more.  The corporate investigators that the University of Newcastle use are Sydney-based and often involve legal firms that provide two or more senior solicitors to access claims, so it is realistic to have hourly rates around $400 per hour per investigator. The University of Newcastle always decide on the terms of reference for the investigations, and in so doing ensure their outcome if favourable.

·         Stop funding such a large legal unit within the University, particularly as the turnover of staff from this unit (with associated payouts) is high.

·         Stop funding psychiatrists to examine and re-examine staff and students until they get the report required. Even if that means writing to the psychiatrist providing deliberately false information to sway the opinion against the staff or student concerned

·         Deal with the high rate of harassment and victimisation in the university so that the University of Newcastle's on-campus Health Centre is not inundated with staff and students who are suffering from physical and psychological ill-health.

·         Deal with the high rate of harassment and victimisation in the university so that the University counselling services are not inundated.

·         Deal with the high rate of harassment and victimisation in the University so that the Mental Health Unit at the Mater Hospital is not overwhelmed with patients.

The University also costs the taxpayer a substantial amount of money in wasting the resources of Workcover, legal advice centres, Australian Human Rights Commission, Workers' Compensation, trade unions, Ombudsman, Industrial Relations Court, Fair Work Australia, etc. 

This represents a substantial amount of taxpayers' money that is NOT being used to educate students or conduct research. 

As tax payers we should be able to ask for an investigation on why our resources for the education of future Australians are being redirected by Senior University of Newcastle Management to deliberately cover up misconduct and corruption.


  1. KH former senior lecturer in geographyApril 16, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    According to the Parliamentary Inquiry Report into Workplace bullying it was stated "that workplace bullying costs the Australian economy between $6 billion and $36 billion every year". And that the direct costs of workplace bullying cost individual employers "an average of $17,000 to $24,000 per case".

    There has been too many cases of workplace bullying at the University of Newcastle. It is time that the University admits to just how much bullying has cost them and more importantly just how much has been spent in covering up workplace bullying.

  2. The University paid for an external investigator to find out whether I had been bullied out of the uni because I made a Protected Disclosure to Nick Saunders - the investigator concluded that I had been bullied out because I complained about being bullied out!

    What good use of tax-payers' money!