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, April 17, 2013

Use of tax payers' money by the University of Newcastle - response by Michelle Adams

I wonder how much money was spent by the UoN to get rid of me. Let's just consider the following (and I am including insurer cost as the UoN is SELF INSURED):
1. UoN sent me to two psychiatrists and 4 sessions, and the UoN Insurer sent me to three psychiatrists and a psychologist in attempts to get reports to support their case.
2. The UoN and their Insurer has had an external legal team (Solicitors and Barristers) to fight me against me in the Workers Compensation Commission, and the Industrial Relations Commission. I have forgotten how many hearings there have been, greater than ten at least. The UoN has not won any of these court cases against me. 
3. Even though I was fit to work, the UoN paid other casual people to take over my work duties, in fact one casual was my HOS wife! Then the UoN claimed I was no longer needed as there were no duties for me.....but the duties remained for the casuals.
4. The UoN commissioned an external legal agency to investigate my claims. The UoN defined the terms of reference to restrict the events that could be investigated to a specific and limited period of my claim, and also restricted which staff could be investigated in my claim. In particular I requested the actions of the then Vice Chancellor Nick Saunders and the then Chancellor  Trevor Waring be investigated, and I was told that these two were exempt from the investigation. The investigation involved 10's if not 100's of hours of personal interview, and huge report of 100's of pages, the cost.....well at least two solicitors at $300-400 per hour? An investigation that was flawed if not corrupted by the UoN from the beginning.

These exclude other medical, legal and other professional etc costs that have directly related to the way I was treated by the UoN.

My legal issues began with the UoN when I put a Workers Compensation Claim in for bullying. The bullying began after I reported an academic staff member for academic misconduct, in fact for plagiarising the work of an honours student. The UoN admitted in the Industrial Relations Commission that the ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT did occur. The Workers Compensation Commission ACCEPTED my claim for work place injuries caused by the UoN. 

Academic proven to to have engaged in ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT - promoted and supported by the UoN.
Student who was plagiarised - work never accredited back to them, and in fact remains credited to the  academic who stole it.
Me- I was terminated in 2011 by the UoN by email, giving me two days notice to clean out my office. I am still engaged in legal actions with the UoN, who still categorically deny any involvement and wrong doing in my case.

Am I the only one who has experienced this treatment. The answer is NO. 

That is what is so terrifying, how much tax payers money is the UoN willing to throw at covering up unethical and corrupt behaviour??

The ICAC - not interested in getting involved?
The Ombudsman - not interested in getting involved?
Our elected Parliamentary Representatives - not interested in getting involved?

The truth is the UoN is autonomous and not answerable to no one, so can use our tax money for whatever they please.


  1. I feel so sorry for Michelle Adams with the treatment she has had to experience.

    Losing a job because of this is so devastating, particularly in these circumstances. But one has to ask why do these government agencies not want to be involved.

    This must also have had an incredible toll on her family, children and husband/ partner. How are they dealing with this, I wonder.

  2. I have also been treated as worse as Michelle Adams. I feel so much for her and for the rest of the victims of bullying and victimization at this corrupt place, the University of Newcastle.

    To my knowledge, University of Newcastle is the number one corrupt place in its competition against the other institutes worldwide. This is, I believe the only thing that could UON compete against the other unis and win. UoN with McMillen's leadership could surely achieve 'the first rank'for their non-stop endeavors to destroy many talented and brave human's lives.

    The very low standards of this education company are not comparable in nothing good with the rest of the universities but in bullying and harassment specially uon has a reputation in sexual harassment according to the statistics of NUSA-student service.

  3. Interesting blog entry. Michelle, could you put in a freedom of information request (GIPA) requesting the amount UoN has spent on legal fees and mental health referals in your case?

    I suspect that if anyone else puts in such a GIPA it would be refused on the grounds that it infringes your privacy.

    Just a thought.