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, September 1, 2014

What happens when you make a complaint to the University of Newcastle?

What we know about the complaint system at the University:-

Of 195 participants who reported being bullied at the University of Newcastle, 

  • A high number of respondents (44% or 72 respondents) had filed a formal complaint about their bullying experiences.
  • Six respondents (3%) obtained a satisfactory outcome to the investigation of their complaint.
  • Twelve percent of respondents (24 people) were told that their complaint was unjustified.   
  • Eight percent (15 respondents) have been bound to silence/gagged by the university and thus were unable to provide information.
Thirty-two percent of the respondents had outcomes other than those listed.   
  • A number of respondents reported being ostracised and isolated after reporting their bullying.  Human Resources had been involved in attempting to stop the bullying of some respondents e.g. “HR were fully aware of the situation but have not done anything to help”, “The Head of HR told the bully (his personal friend) that he was implicated in complaint”.   
  • Some respondents had no help from anyone at the university, e.g. “The situation was 'resolved' by the university telling me to stop making complaints and threatening to expel me unless I accepted the abusive situation”.   
  • A number of respondents reported being “gagged” e.g. “Provided me a written policy that I was not allowed to discuss any information about my situation inside and outside the university”,”h ad to sign a document not to discuss or sue or take class action”.
 For more detailed accounts of the complaints process at the University of Newcstle, see the submissions to the Parliamentary Workplace Bullying Inquiry:-



Other submissions from University of Newcastle staff and students were kept confidential by the Workplace Bullying Inquiry.


  1. I complained about bullying to the University and they simply said that I was "dissatisfied with the outcome".

    All the head of school did was bully all the other staff, show pornography (his own) to students and walk around with an attack dog claiming we were the problem. I don't have any claim to be dissatisfied at all. I don't get a fair go either.

  2. My favourite film of this professor was the one with an Asian woman with a cricket bat inserted into her back area whilst the audience threw ping pong balls at her naked front area. He showed that to staff and students and management did nothing.