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, July 2, 2014

Smoking ban versus bullying ban?

The University of Newcastle is moving towards a total smoking ban. 

What would save more money and benefit more people - a smoking ban versus a bullying ban/

Smoking results in increased medical costs - usually after people have been smoking for many years and would therefore not be so much of a burden to the University itself.

In contrast, bullying results in
  • increased medical costs (blood pressure, migraines, insomnia etc), 
  • family and relationship breakdown (and associated costs)
  • depression (and associated costs).
  • unemployment ( and associated costs and the loss of expertise and experience).
  • paying employees to silence and gag them so they don't speak about the bullying they suffered. ($250,000 to 400,000 each)
BUT University of Newcastle is very skilled in bullying people out of their jobs and destroying them and putting the medical, health and other costs firmly on to the person who has already suffered from bullying.

So why should we be excited about a smoking ban - people who smoke have a choice - those of us bullied out ot the university of Newcastle and whose lives have been destroyed HAD NO CHOICE.  Silly us, we were following university policy.


  1. The irony is not lost on me. Governments collect a huge excise on cigarettes and some of this is used to fund a management agenda which has damaged so many innocent lives. Many disadvantaged people smoke, higher than other socioeconomic groups.

    Perhaps the University in all of its wisdom should explain how the measure to protect people's health is achieved by such a process.

    Addiction is unhealthy but even worse is institutionalised exploitation.

  2. How I would solve the bullying problem at University of Newcastle.

    a) create a sound, moral doctrine on why bullying is wrong and its effects. Not a detailed vernacular on what bullying actually is but a credos which reflects the rights of every human being.

    b) video footage of management / chancellory members explaining what bullying means personally to them and their own strategies for avoiding it. Many senior management types are not actually familiar with what happens to many students at the University of Newcastle.

    c) tough anti-bullying penalties issued by the University to staff and students who bully. Part of the agenda against bullying could be that the victimiser should write an apology which underlines the importance of empathy and the victim's feelings.

    d) collaboration with a recommended external agency on bullying which has a code of transparency with the University and has the authority to run background checks on staff and their claims. If a staff member is constantly complained about then perhaps they are a problem not the person complaining. Mediate not victimize.

    e) a university blog reflecting what has actually been done to prevent bullying including case studies with names and other personal details redacted.