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, July 31, 2013

ELEVEN months ago we received this email from Google:-


Blogger has been notified that content in your blog contains allegedly infringing content that may violate the rights of others and the laws of their country. The infringing content that has been made unavailable can be found at the end of this message."

The four posts referred to were removed from our blog.

Chilling Effects

After ELEVEN MONTHS, no information or reasons have been given to us nor has any investigation  occurred.  Apparently these (brief) comments have not been investigated yet, even though Google/Chilling Effects has managed to investigate other queries dated June this year.

It just shows what happens when you have access to the infinite amount of (taxpayer) funding that is available to the University of Newcastle Legal Office.

Are you wondering what secret and criminal information those posts contained?

All four posts related to Nick Saunders, the previous Vice Chancellor, moving to Bond University, information that was widely publicised by the Newcastle Herald and Bond University itself, as well as the University of Newcastle.

http://stop-b-uon.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/saunders-off-to-bond-university-as-dvc.html  "

Monday, July 29, 2013

Workplace Psychopath

Hiding and working in a workplace near you.....

"Workplace bullies, corporate psychopaths"

The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation reports that

"Results from surveys conducted by the WBI and Zogby International in 2007 and 2010 demonstrate the nature and extent of the problem.
  • 35% of workers have experienced bullying firsthand
  • Most bullies are bosses (72%)
  • 62% of bullies are men; 58% of targets are women
  • Women bullies target women in 80% of cases
  • Bullying is 4 times more prevalent than illegal harassment
  • The majority (68%) of bullying is same-gender harassment
  • 62% of employers ignore the problem
  • 45% of bullying targets suffer stress-related health problems
  • 40% of bullied individuals never tell their employers
  • Only 3% of bullied people file lawsuits"

"The physical and mental consequences are dramatic.  The intense stress resulting from deliberate and constant abuse can lead to hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, neurological disorders, immunological impairment, chronic fatigue, and diabetes.  The psychological consequences are equally debilitating, including anxiety, panic attacks, clinical depression, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Relationships with family, friends, and workplace colleagues often suffer as well, creating a greater sense of alienation and hopelessness in bullying victims.

Organizations are damaged as well by employee turnover, missed time at work, and impaired productivity of affected employees. When the overall extent of workplace bullying is considered (as many as 1 in 3 employees), the toll on the global economy is staggering, and unnecessary."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bullies often thrive in the workplace

Recent research has supported our findings that bullies often thrive in the workplace - they are rewarded and promoted.  We have many reports of bullies at the University of Newcastle being promoted and/or given rewards after they have successfully got rid of someone for behaving ethically.

Darren Treadway et al have investigated "how bullies can successfully navigate the social and political organizational environment and achieve higher ratings of performance".

"He said many people have either seen or experienced bullying at work because some bullies are skilled enough to figure out who they can abuse to get ahead, and who they can charm to get away with it.

“The successful ones are very, very socially skilled,” he said. “They’re capable of disguising their behavior.”

"Previous researchers have found anecdotal evidence that bullying often goes unnoticed because bullies “understand their environments and select their targets strategically. ”

Treadway's study has confirmed this - "bullies are socially savvy and this allows them to   "strategically abuse coworkers” while still getting good feedback from the boss.

The staff at the University of Newcastle that have been reported as being bullies have risen through the ranks, from lecturers to senior lecturers, senior lecturers to associated professors, etc, with some even rising dramatically to Pro-Vice Chancellor level.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Workplace bullying a factor in suicide

"Gavin was a doer and continually made a difference with students.
"At home was a man of integrity with standards and expectations.
"Bad manners were never acceptable.
"He would often say what goes around comes around.
"That philosophy reflects how he lived his life.
"Gavin treated others how he liked to be treated. "

This is how Andrea Malfliet describes her partner, Gavin Woods.  He was a deputy principal in Queensland.  She believes workplace bullying at two Queensland schools was a significant reason her partner took his life.

Wamuran's Andrea Mafliet, guidance officer at Woodford, with a photo of her partner Gavin Woods, who was deputy principal at Burpengary State School. He is the subject of an inquest after committing suicide. Bullying is believed to be involved. The photo was taken on one of their happier days. Taken outside Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Silencing and guilt

At least 16 people who have suffered various forms of harassment at the University of Newcastle have been forced to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Confidentiality agreement, gagging clause, silencing, ........

It does not matter what you call it.......

A gagging clause means that the University is guilty.

Otherwise why would they pay people to keep quiet???

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Bully boss"

Last night, the TV program "Today Tonight" aired this video about bullying in the workplace. 

The employees stood together against their boss and he "was charged by Victoria's WorkSafe for failing to provide employees with a safe working environment. He has appealed the conviction."

One of his employees said that

 "It's affected my life for the last six years and it still affects my life. I can't hold a job and I haven't stopped being depressed."

Many of us who have been bullied at the University of Newcastle have suffered from similar psychological and physical effects.  This is made worse by the fact that those that bullied us are rewarded and promoted.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A leopard .... and its spots

The "new" Stop Bullying website (note the original title) at the University of Newcastle has a variety of "new" resources.

You are referred to
  • "policies" (yes, as long as there is a policy.....)
  • a Code of Conduct
  • Healthy University Strategy.
To make the site up-to-the-minute and trendy, you can watch a video by John Germov or read a "blog" on bullying by Caroline McMillen.

Can a leopard change its spots?
Are these "new" resources changing the frequency and nature of bullying at UoN?

We would welcome really new initiatives by the university BUT why are people still contacting us about being bullied at the University of Newcastle?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Stop Bullying at University of Newcastle" - "Stop bullying with UoN"

The name of this blog is
"Stop bullying at the University of Newcastle".

Recently, on the University of Newcastle website, the following have been used:-
  • "Stop bullying with UoN" - a headline used to advertise the "Rock & Water Workshops" by the Family Action Centre.
  • "Stop Bullying" - a webpage on anti-bullying resources for the university.
A Google search still finds this blog, not the University's imitation.

"Respectful and collaborative workplace"

An updated webpage at the University of Newcastle declares

"We have recently updated our Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy, and will be undertaking a range of developmental activities in 2013 to ensure that UoN continues to build a respectful and collaborative workplace" (emphasis added).

Why are we still being contacted by staff and students 
who are currently being, or who have recently been, bullied at the University?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Australians and freedom of speech

A Youtube video clip giving facts about bullying at the University of Newcastle was blocked from view in Australia following a legal request.  No reasons given of actions taken.

Three posts on this blog about Nick Saunders and his new position at Bond University were removed  following a legal request. No reasons given or action taken.
At least fifteen (15) ex-staff from the University of Newcastle have been bound to silence/gagged by the university.

 "Australians are free, within the bounds of the law, 
to say or write what we think privately or publicly, 
about the government, or about any topic." 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bullies climbing higher and higher.....

A new study, published in the Journal of Managerial Psychology, has demonstrated that many workplace bullies achieve high levels of career success. 

"The study found that some workplace bullies have high social skill that they use to strategically abuse their coworkers, yet still receive positive evaluations from their supervisors."

“Many bullies can be seen as charming and friendly, but they are highly destructive and can manipulate others into providing them with the resources they need to get ahead,” says the study’s co-author, Darren Treadway, PhD. 

 The study also hypothesizes why bullies thrive, despite increased awareness and efforts to stop such abuse and harassment.
It also hypothesizes why bullies thrive, despite increased awareness and efforts to stop such abuse and harassment. - See more at: http://www.citytowninfo.com/career-and-education-news/articles/study-finds-bullies-finish-first-13070302#sthash.eFc4zFpm.dpuf
It also hypothesizes why bullies thrive, despite increased awareness and efforts to stop such abuse and harassment. - See more at: http://www.citytowninfo.com/career-and-education-news/articles/study-finds-bullies-finish-first-13070302#sthash.eFc4zFpm.dpuf

 The results showed a strong correlation between bullying, social competence and positive job evaluations. 
This finding comes as no surprise to many of us who have been victimised and bullied at the University of Newcastle.  The bullies have been rewarded. 

We have observed the people who bullied us, or colluded in the bullying, being promoted and/or receiving awards.  Lecturers have been promoted to senior lecturers, senior lecturers to associate professors, and the latter to professorships or higher.  Some staff have risen meteorically to the top of their schools or faculties.  Even those people who have been "counselled" for wrongdoing have been promoted.

Does this mean that the higher echelons of management at the University approve of the behaviour demonstrated by these bullies?