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)

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Bullying on steroids"

In a review of a new book entitled Overcoming Mobbing (Duffy, M. & Sperry, L. 2013), Sophie Henshaw reports that

"Mobbing is “bullying on steroids,” a horrifying new trend whereby a bully enlists co-workers to collude in a relentless campaign of psychological terror against a hapless target."

"Mobbing is more likely to occur when a number of workplace factors are present.....

Organizations that are driven by bureaucracy, e.g., government departments, are arguably the most toxic. They appear to have policies and procedures to ensure a safe workplace, but they will redefine bullying as a “personality conflict” and end up offering no real protection. In essence, bad behavior is tolerated and left to escalate."

Note that UoN has a vast collection of policies and procedures (the most of any uni in Australia?).  It has recently flaunted its anti-bullying procedures and blurb.  However, the outcome of  bullying at UoN is that the bully is rewarded and remains in employment whilst the victim is further harassed by the complaints system and will lose their job.

Reports to us indicate that this mobbing is the most commonly occurring type of workplace bullying occurring at the University of Newcastle - employees collude with each other and with managers at higher levels to victimise and destroy the victim.  According to Hemshaw,

"Targets are usually anyone who is “different” from the organizational norm. Usually victims are competent, educated, resilient, outspoken, challenge the status quo, are more empathic or attractive and tend to be women, aged 32 to 55".

At the University of Newcastle, you only need to be conscientious and refuse to be involved in unethical behaviour to become a target of relentless bullying and ultimately be "removed" from your job.


  1. ...and the evidence of the University's craft is in the decades of cover ups, rebranding of policy and gagging of ex-staff.

    I amongst many others feel it is time for an external investigation similar to what the church is doing with the sexual abuse scandal.

    Until then the University will crop up with bullies who should have been stopped ages ago, low moral standards and literally hundreds of innocent victims.

    Time has proven me correct. The University targets women and anyone who has the courage to follow their own moral convictions.

  2. I accuse the leaders of the University including the dean of students of deliberately deceiving public opinion of the university. I also accuse the same people of using their positions for promotion and power only.

    The same leaders know that the University is about to fold, all of the evidence suggests this. This is the result of poor national and local economics and a general modus operandus that has existed at the University ever since it was founded. The University struggled in times of properity, now it is barely able to float.

    The University of Newcastle days is coming to an end.

  3. If I could tell you my story openly I would.

    I have been prevented from telling my story. What I witnessed at the University was so shocking that if I tell they will make sure I stay quiet.