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 –

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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)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

IMPRISONED BY THE US GOVERNMENT OR SILENCED AND VICTIMISED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE?

It is great news that the CIA whistleblower, John Kiriakou, has now been released from prison.  He was a CIA analyst and blew the whistle on the agency’s use of waterboarding and was subsequently locked up for 30 months.

The recent release of the report of CIA torture has demonstrated that what he reported was true and he feels vindicated.

He also points out the irony that he, as a whistleblower, was  charged and imprisoned whilst the people who carried out the torture remain free.  He says "that there is no prosecution of CIA officers who obviously violated the law; those CIA officers who were conducting interrogations in which prisoners were killed. I have no idea why there is no outrage, and why those officers are not being prosecuted."

Kiriakou's case highlights the issues for whistleblower - whether they are taken to court by a government or silenced in other ways by companies and organisations.

Kiriakou said that he did not set out to be a whistleblower  "No whistleblower really sets out to be a whistleblower. I saw a policy that I believed was not just wrong, but was criminal, and I decided to speak about it."
THOSE OF US AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE WHO REPORTED WRONGDOING AND MISCONDUCT DID NOT REPORT IT JUST BECAUSE IT WAS WRONG BUT ALSO BECAUSE UNIVERSITY POLICY DIRECTED US TO REPORT MISCONDUCT/ WRONGDOING.

Kiriakou has spent almost three years in prison, away from his family.
THOSE OF US BULLIED OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE HAVE SUFFERED HUGE FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIP ISSUES, AS WELL AS THE LOSS OF FRIENDS/COLLEAGUES.

Kiriakou and his family have suffered financially but have been supported by donations.
THOSE OF US BULLIED OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE HAVE SUFFERED FINANCIALLY - VERY FEW HAVE MANAGED TO GET BACK INTO THE WORKFORCE AND MANY OF US HAVE HIGH MEDICAL BILLS.

Kiriakou says "I have been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from average Americans across the country".
THOSE OF US BULLIED OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE HAVE HAD NO SUPPORT - IN FACT THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE HAS OCCURRED.  WE HAVE BEEN IGNORED AND OSTRACISED BY THE UNIVERSITY, PREVIOUS COLLEAGUES AND THE WIDER ACADEMIC COMMUNITY.

Kiriakou had the opportunity to present his case in court.
THOSE OF US BULLIED OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE HAVE NEVER HAD THAT OPPORTUNITY - WE ARE SILENCED.  OUR COMPLAINTS ARE KNOCKED BACK AND MANY HAVE BEEN 'GAGGED' BY THE UNIVERSITY - THEY HAVE BEEN PAID BY THE UNIVERSITY NOT TO DISCUSS WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM.

Kiriakou says that none of those responsible for the torture have been charged/punished.
THOSE OF US BULLIED OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE FOR WHISTLEBLOWING HAVE SEEN THE ACADEMICS WHO COMMITTED THE WRONGDOING OR WHO COVERED-UP THE MISCONDUCT NOT BEING HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR BEHAVIOUR - IN ADDITION, MANY OF THOSE ACADEMICS HAVE BEEN REWARDED WITH PROMOTION.

We are in no way attempting to minimise or dismiss Kiriakou's experiences which must have been overwhelmingly difficult for him and his young family.

WE ARE JUST TRYING TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE WAY THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE HAS TREATED THOSE OF US WHO WERE WHISTLEBLOWERS HAS HAD  DIRE CONSEQUENCES FOR US AS INDIVIDUALS, OUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, OUR WORK AND OUR CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY.

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