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)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Why comment here anonymously?

We have received the following comment on this blog:-

"Isn't the internet just fantastic! This 'group' (or is it only one person?) gets to say what they like about someone and not reveal who they are - why do the people commenting here do so under the 'anonymous' name - is it because they cannot stand up for what they believe is right because they actually know what they are saying is complete rubbish and defamatory? BTW I will reveal my name when each and every one of the Anonymous' has the guts to reveal who they are in a way that can be independently verified."

Neither we nor other websites can FORCE people not to comment anonymously.  However, why do people comment here "under the anonymous name"?

There are many reasons why people use "Anonymous".  Obviously, some commentators use "anonymous" as an easy way to say possibly controversial things without them, their work or family being affected.

However, for many people who comment on this blog, there are very real and very serious reasons why they may comment anonymously;

  • Some commentators may need to remain anonymous because they have been gagged by the University i.e. the University of Newcastle has been so concerned about what they have done to some people that the University has silenced these people with gagging clauses and threats of court action if these people speak out.   From our survey, there are at least 15 staff/students who have been gagged by the university.
  • Some commentators who use Anonymous may be doing so to prevent their family members who are still employed at the University from being harassed and discriminated against or losing their jobs.  Again, we have proof of this from our survey.
  • Some commentators who use Anonymous may be doing so because they are still students at the University and cannot afford to have their views aired publicly as this would affect them completing their degrees.
  • Some commentators who use Anonymous may be doing so because they are still working at the University of Newcastle and cannot afford to be named until they have secured themselves other employment. 72 individuals reported in our survey they they were actively seeking other employment or were leaving the University.
  • Some commentators who use Anonymous may be doing so because the harassment and victimisation from the University has had a huge effect on their mental and physical health and do not feel able to air this publicly.  45 respondents to our survey had attempted or considered suicide.  Others report depression, sleep problems, hypertension, palpitations etc.

Perhaps complaining about people using "Anonymous" shows naivety or a lack of understanding of the devastating and widespread effects of bullying at the University of Newcastle.Alison Ferguson speech pathology bully


  1. The reason I post anonymously is to protect myself from further bullying. Bullying which almost ended my life.

    If you criticise this blog please be certain that it is a lifeline for many victims. Victims who have had their livelihood destroyed by cowards who are pretending to be concerned for the welfare of others.

    Sociopaths love to target people. Unencumbered by a conscience they can stake and harass their victim until they are destroyed.
    This pattern of behaviour is a well established ritual in Newcastle.

    In posting anonymously I want to herald the truth without being further bullied.

    We are united under victimhood. I have never met any of the other contributors. We are not a group but a collective.

    Despite this I have shared their stories, felt their pain and offered support. It's lonely world post bullying. This is all some of us have left.

  2. It's very brave of a Carolyn crony to complain about anonymous posting anonymously given their wage, status and endless legal support from the University. The same legal team they use to discredit their victims.

    Dear University academic council member, please show everyone how concerned you are about human safety by identifying yourself. Otherwise I will assume you don't care.