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, June 10, 2015

Almost 200 people have been bullied at The University of Newcastle - like battered spouses?

"Being bullied at work most closely resembles the experience of being a battered spouse. The abuser inflicts pain when and where she or he chooses; keeping the target (victim) off balance knowing that [lateral] violence can happen on a whim, but dangling the hope that safety is possible during a period of peace of unknown duration. The target is kept close to the abuser by the nature of the relationship between them -- husband to wife or boss to subordinate or co-worker to co-worker.  WBI


  1. OMG That is exactly what it has felt like. The worst part is the period in which there is no attack, only a strange silence leaving you wondering when the next campaign will begin (and it always does). And just as in many cases of spousal abuse the outside world only sees the abuser as a smiling nice guy who has got their own back covered. However, in my experience of Newcastle those periods of silence are when they are working over someone else. I am tired of being told by HR that they can do nothing without a formal complaint but that they are powerless to protect me from further victimisation should I lodge that complaint. The university's best mechanism for protecting itself is its well-founded reputation for redoubling its attacks on anyone who complains. The university is in fact swimming in confidential complaints that people make but have to mark 'confidential' as they will otherwise be forwarded to the line manager -- who is usually the subject of the complaint. So those complaints sit there. And eventually the lucky staff get away to other jobs. I wonder that no one is looking at the pattern of departures in particular schools and asking why the most talented have departed. Do they know staff are looking for new jobs within the first 6 mths of starting work at Newcastle? But what can you expect from a university that even beats up a nice and well-meaning DVC and renders them mute?

  2. Stop the bullies