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)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Unpersons




David Yamada, on his website, has reminded us about George Orwell's notion of "unpersons".  These are people whose "past existence is expunged from the public record and memory,".  Orwell spoke about this practice used by modern repressive governments.

In Orwell's famous book, 1984, no-one knew where these unpersons went to - they just disappeared.  Real people could easily be made to just disappear.
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As Yamada states,

"Today, with websites often serving as the public face of an organization, the creation of unpersons and the emptying of institutional memory is as easy as editing a web page. Entire biographies and histories can be deleted in a few keystrokes. One day, all links lead to your page; the next, you don’t even exist (at least virtually)! "

This is how it feels to be "disappeared", "eliminated", "negated", "annihilated", "liquidated" or "vaporized". 

Is it easier for those who bullied us at the University of Newcastle if we disappear?  Is it easier for them if we can be erased and forgotten by using ostracism, gagging clauses, silencing of our videos and website, etc?

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