The Teachers Are Blowing Their Whistles!


Why are Queensland teachers so vulnerable to workplace bullying?

How do the workplace bullies in Queensland schools get away with their behaviour?

Why are the 'official processes' to deal with the workplace bullying so ineffective?

Why do the workplace bullies seem to be promoted or to be given awards if teachers complain?

Why do the Queensland Teachers Union advise bullied teachers to "accept the things that cannot change"?

A Queensland public servant explains  -

As a lowly-ranked Queensland public servant I have to deal with the frustration of the increasingly inefficient, bloated and empowered Queensland public service management every moment of every workday.

A risk-averse, gutless government has resulted in a nil-risk public service full of yay-saying nodding dogs.

You can catch us every weekday morning marching in perfect stride, three abreast along George or Albert streets in corporate dress and running shoes.

We disappear into our office fortresses as we proudly don our government IDs (we are instructed not to wear ID in public lest we be accosted by kidnappers or terrorists).

The glass security doors glide open as we obsequiously submit to another day of self-perpetuating chaos.

We feel safe in the knowledge that our jobs are secure and our superannuation is accruing exponentially.

A rigorous regime of learnt helplessness trains us to dutifully close our eyes to an increasingly toxic culture where workplace bullying by workplace sociopaths is rewarded by promotion and plaudits by the powerful.

Management in cahoots with HR, design selection criteria that renders it virtually impossible for anyone other than insiders or worded-up mates and relatives to get a look-in on jobs. 

The "Code of Conduct" with its very strict rules and regulations is used as a big stick by management, effectively smothering any acting or thinking creatively or offering innovative solutions to Queensland's increasingly complex problems.

This all helps breed an environment of mistrust and backstabbing.

Depression and anxiety are rife, but with little choice and fear of the non-cloistered world outside, we stay put, hating our jobs, hating our colleagues and hating our lives.

Opinion : A ballooning public service has the perks but no job satisfaction, Allison Adani (name changed - by writing this article the writer is in breach of the Code of Conduct)), The Sunday Mail, 8 July 2018

I was a "Queensland Leader" - then I was bullied into ill health and out of work.

I was an Education Queensland teacher, regional manager, then teacher again.

I, too, was bullied, manipulated and gas-lighted.

I would be called to the principal's office on every "free" lesson I had and asked to explain my "behaviours" - not looking at people passing in the corridor, looking at people passing in the corridor - you get the picture.

I was a competent teacher, my work on One School was praised at the principal's conference - as a QLD leader.

My HOD entered my home "because she thought I had abandoned it" - really? - and then moved to "viewing" distance of my home.

Any conversation I had with anyone was recorded due to the gas-lighting, even at the petrol station in the little town where we lived.

I no longer live in Queensland.

I am no longer a teacher.

I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and have been diagnosed with Aspergers.

I live a simple life on the Disability Support Pension, growing veggies.

I have panic attacks anytime I go near schools or anyone wearing business clothing.

Simone-Lisa Fildes,

Queensland needs an independent agency to investigate public service workplace bullying and harassment.

I have experienced workplace bullying in a Queensland school.

I have experienced bullying in Queensland schools.

It has cost me thousands of dollars and my health.

The current Code of Conduct only protects those in the upper hierarchies.

I went to seek help from above but I was told that I had to leave my job because I was no believed despite several other staff experiencing bullying from the same principal.

Teachers in Queensland are particularly powerless because the Code of Conduct is used against them and minor things are twisted into something else.

Working in a Queensland school is like working in a minefield.

Mind you
, I have also seen one unfortunate new principal being bullied mercilessly by his established staff.

Monika Wienert,
The bullying I've seen in Queensland schools is endemic and staggering.

Queensland teachers are silenced by Education Queensland's 'Code of Conduct'.

What a laugh!

The bullying I've seen in schools from principals, HODS to teachers and between teachers is endemic and staggering.

There's plenty of academic research to back my comments.

The QTU will not support teachers to advocate for better working conditions and are in the pockets of bureaucrats in Education Queensland.

The whole system is dysfunctional and needs to be dismantled.



Mary-Jane, Reader's Comment, Editorial : Give teachers the power to design lessons to suit individual classrooms, The Courier-Mail, 6 February 2016

Ex-teacher : this has been happening for years.

Teachers have been bullied at work for years.

I was a first year teacher in the late 80's and was bullied by the principal and given no help with very disruptive children.

I only lasted a year.

And what did the mighty teachers' union do about it?

Stuff all.


Pb of Queensland, Readers Comment, Why are so many teachers fleeing the classroom? Brooke Lumsden,  8 October 2015

WorkCover may compensate Queensland teachers who have been bullied at work.

During the five years to July 2013, WorkCover Queensland have accepted the following claims for psychological injuries to Queensland teachers who have been involved in distressing and violent situations at school -


$141,653.54 - read full Ethical Standards Unit file and discovered secret allegations.

$109,992.45 - sent to work at a new school where there was a bully from a previous school.

 $55,073.34 - given a transfer, then told not wanted by new principal because of gossip.

    $7878.20 - hate mail put in personal pigeon hole at work.



Teacher stress costs millions, Tanya Chilcott, Page 6, The Courier-Mail, 15 July, 2013

Schools excel in mental anguish, Tanya Chilcott, Page 9, The Courier-Mail, 16 July 2013.

"The educational administrative bullies give lip-service to democracy and zero tollerance for bullying - but they seldom look at their own behaviour."
The more classroom-fodder they have waiting in the wings, the more control the educational administrative bullies have.
They love to give lip service to democracy and zero-tolerance for bullying in the schools but they seldom look at their own authoritarian behaviours.
But h*ll, would the sergeant-majors have got the troops over the top without threats and bullying?
The Union heavies are in the main just time-serving ALP drones waiting for their gravy-train rewards.
Cynical about the whole circus: who, me?
Sandfly of Townsville, Reader's Comment 23 of 25, Millions wasted training teachers, Justine Ferrari, The Australian, 25 March 2013
Gay and lesbian students in Queensland schools are 17% less likely to be bullied than their teachers.


Deidre Duncan, of the ACU, said state school principals received the worst rating for bullying.

"A total of 42 per cent of respondents in government schools said the bully was the principal."

Teachers also reported being bullied by parents.


Queensland Teachers' Union president Steve Ryan said teacher bullying was not as high as the voluntary on-line survey suggested but "it does represent an issue we are well aware of".


Robina Cosser says : So what have the QTU been doing about the workplace bullying in Queensland schools since 2007, Steve?


Education Minister Geoff Wilson said the research was a concern and he would ask his department to look into it.


So what did your department find when they looked into the workplace bullying in Queensland schools, Mr Wilson?


Which suggests that gay and lesbian students experience 17% less bullying in Queensland schools than their teachers!


Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett warned yesterday that bullying of gay and lesbian students was a "real and present issue for young people in our schools".


What about the bullying of their teachers, Mr Garrett?


His comments were in response to concerns raised by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays-Brisbane about Queensland students being bullied.

And what concerns have been raised by Parents and Friends of Bullied Queensland Teachers?

Oh, that's right, Queensland teachers don't have a support group to lobby on their behalf!


The Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays-Brisbane group's president Donna Goddard cited a specific incident concerning one student at a state school, where teachers said they did not know how to help those being bullied.


One state school student? One student? One bullied student is being lobbied about - when 99.6% of Queensland teachers are being bullied?

Of course Queensland teachers don't know how to help students being bullied -  99.6% of them are living with bullying themselves, every working day of their lives.


The group has gone to the Department of Education, Training and Employment to seek help for students.


Who is asking for help for bullied teachers? Who?


Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates said while he had never heard of an instance of a teacher bullying a gay or lesbian student, teachers hadn't been provided with professional development on dealing with students bullying others on the basis of sexuality.

He said the QTU was planning to develop training for its members on the issue.



99.6% of Queensland teachers are being bullied at work - and the QTU plans to in-service teachers on how to deal with students bullying others on the basis of their sexuality?

How about in-servicing teachers on how to deal with the workplace bullies?

And how about the QTU actually dealing with some of the workplace bullies?


Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said Queensland leads the rest of Australia in the fight against bullying in our schools.


In what sense, Mr Langbroek?

Are fewer teachers being bullied in schools in 2013?


DETE deputy director-general Lyn McKenzie said -

- what Directors-General of Education have been chanting mindlessly since Robina Cosser first raised this issue in August 2001

Queensland state schools do not tolerate bullying in any form, treated any situation that threatened the safety and well-being of students or staff seriously and urgently and had an inclusive education policy -


 - and meanwhile, 99.6% of Queensland teachers are being bullied at work.



Bullying teachers, peers make school hell for gays, and Queensland is most homophobic of all, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 21 February 2013

Teachers bully each other at school, Elizabeth Allen and Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 13 May, 2009

Teachers are 'worst school bullies', Elizabeth Allen and Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, Wednesday 13 May, 2009

National teacher-bullying crisis, Bruce McDougall, Education Reporter, The Daily Telegraph, Friday 30 November, 2007 

Teachers "bullied more" in public schools, Tamara Davis, The Australian, December 15, 2007

QTU President Kevin Bates says that complaints of workplace bullying are relatively common among QTU members.


Bullies abound in school jobs, Andrew MacDonald and Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 15 May 2012

Queensland primary school teacher : submission 166 to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Workplace Bullying.

This Queensland primary school teacher qualified as a teacher in 1985 and worked in NSW till 1997 :

E.R (PDF K1,062B)  

She then began working with Education Queensland.

While in Queensland, she also gained double Masters of Education degrees.

After working for Education Queensland for three years, she became an Advisory Visiting Teacher - Behaviour Management.

She refused to falsify some documentation concerning a child.

She then found that she was being mobbed by certain principals.

They would tell her that there was nothing for her to do at their school.

She was told that her role would not be continuing the next year.

The story about her job for the next year was continually changing. 

Finally she was told that there would be no job for her the next year "at this time", but that a job might be found in the New Year.

The situation affected her health.

She made a WorkCover claim.

Falsified records of meetings, phone calls, etc. were produced.

The Queensland Teachers Union were unsupportive.

Her mental health was affected.

One principal explained to her privately that he and other principals felt pressured to join in with the mobbing.


So she moved to Brisbane Catholic Education because "I expected this to be a more supportive and ethical employer."

After two years her BCE principal offered her a contract for the following year and promised to try to get her permanency.

But a position as Support Teacher : Inclusive Education was advertised and she applied for the position.

The principal told her that he had planned for her to work at his school the next year.

He told her that accepting the ST : IE position would affect her future prospects.

She was offered and accepted the ST : IE position.


At the start of the next year the ST : IE position was reduced to three days a week.

Her new principal put her under pressure.

Later that year she was offered a position at another school, so she decided to take that job.


At this school she was told that she was a member of "the black group" of teachers who were victimised till they left.

The union later confirmed that they had received many previous complaints about the behaviour of this principal.

Students would be absent from her class, in discussion with the principal, providing him with reports on her.

She was warned that the principal was preparing a 'file' on her.

She contacted a solicitor.

The solicitor contacted the principal and requested that he not contact the teacher privately.

The principal stormed into the teacher's room and demanded that she attend a meeting with him.

She phoned her solicitor and he advised her to pick up her handbag and leave the school.


While she was on leave, she began to wonder what was wrong with her.

But now she realises that is nothing 'wrong' with her and that there are lots of bullied teachers suffering like her, desperate, ill and thrashing around, trying to get help.

"The unions, who we thought we paid dues to in order to help us at these times, do not seem able to assist."


She feels damaged.

Bullied teachers : you need to read submission 137 to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Workplace Bullying.

If you are a Queensland teacher who is being bullied at work, you need to read submission 137 to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Workplace Bullying : 


B.C (PDF 1,536KB) 

137.1 Supplementary Submission B.C (PDF 956KB) 

137.2 Supplementary Submission B.C (PDF 964KB)


This really well-written submission was actually written by a Victorian adult education teacher, but the points that the teacher makes seem to be pretty true for all teachers in all states of Australia.


The Victorian teacher writes -

There is a need for a fully independent authority to investigate and resolve workplace bullying complaints.

The present model is wasting teachers' time, their livelihoods, their work record, the value of their qualifications, their health, their family's well-being and cohesion, their money - and even their life.


It does not provide justice.

All sources fail to provide help when a teacher is bullied.

Reporting bullying is tantamount to lighting a fuse to your own destruction.

"Whatever it takes" seems to be the guiding principle, not ethics.

A bullied teacher is hit by a tsunami of false, never previously raised allegations as the employer tries to justify bullying.

The teacher is framed.

The perpetrators are emboldened.

And bullying spreads.

Principals have a bullying mentality. They bully teachers. They teach children how to bully.
Guess what? 
Bullying starts from the top down.
Remove the bullying mentality from senior levels of education all the way down to the school yard.
Schools are the breeding cesspool for bullies.
Students become bullies because they are taught to bully through the actions of the schools staff.
Principals are bullies.
Not only do they lord it over parents as if they are criminals but they intimidate good staff until they become good little followers.
Good teachers either have to fall into line or they leave education.
The root cause is the system.
Ned of Townsville, Comment 49 of 128, Queensland teachers call for help to deal with rising child mental health and behavioural issues, Tanya Chilcott, Andrew MacDonald, 11 May 2012
Darling Downs and South West : principal allegedly verbally and physically threatened members of his school and his community.

A Darling Downs and South West principal was suspended in 2011.

Right to Information documents state the principal "allegedly verbally and physically threatened members of the school and the community''.



Three Queensland school principals suspended in 2011, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 16 January 2012 :
Darling Downs school : several classroom teachers have been transferred, allegedly because of the very serious misconduct of their school principal.

Several staff from another Darling Downs school have transferred to alternative locations reportedly because of the conduct of the principal.

The "very serious allegations of misconduct'' substantiated against the principal have been blanked out in the RTI documents.


Three Queensland school principals suspended in 2011, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 16 January 2012 :
Indooroopilly State High School : Fiona Davies, former Indooroopilly SHS teacher, claims $915,839.85 from the State of Queensland for negligently causing her to be exposed to workplace bullying.

Former Indooroopilly State High School teacher Fiona Deidre Davies claims she was subjected to belittling comments, and aggressive and harassing behaviour by a fellow teacher Ms T----------- from 2001 to 2009.

Ms Davies also alleges that in or about late-2008, she became aware that Ms T-------- had directed two other teachers to falsify exams results for two students who had not sat an exam.

Ms Davies alleges the State of Queensland was negligent by causing her to work closely with Ms T---------  and by failing to adequately discipline Ms T----------  for her alleged conduct.

Ms Davies is claiming $915,839.85 for personal injuries.



Former Indooroopilly State High School teacher, Fiona Davies, suing state for $1m, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 1 December 2011

When you are bullied at work you learn that the published departmental policies are not the same as the practices - and that the law is not about truth or justice. It is about money. And you learn about the QTU.
Robina Cosser : What we read in Australian newspapers seems to be more and more influenced not by what is true or what is news but by the demands of the organisations who are pacing advertising in the newspaper.
Education departments pay for so much advertising in the newspapers.
Over the past ten years I have spoken to many, many Australian reporters about the workplace bullying in Queensland schools.
But little or nothing has actually been published.
The reporters seem to propose an article to their editors and (they tell me that)  their editors tell them the topic is too 'high risk' for publication.
But it seems that the arguments against the concept of workplace bullying are not 'high risk' - and so Richard Guilliat has been allowed to publish an article in the Australian, arguing that what is commonly called workplace bullying may not actually be workplace bullying.
The gist of Richard Guillat's article seems to be that people who make workplace bullying claims are nutters.
Well, 99.6 per cent of the teachers in Australia claim to have experienced workplace bullying.
And 99.6 per cent of Australian teachers are not nutters..
I have listened to the stories of many bullied Australian teachers and other public servants since 2004.
It is true that about ten per cent of the people that I speak to do seem to have mental health or thinking issues that may have actually triggered the problems in their workplace.
And, as the OP scores of Australian teachers are forced down lower and lower, and as student behaviour becomes worse and worse, I suspect that mental health and thinking problems among teachers will become a greater and greater issue in our schools.
But the huge majority of bullied teachers who contact me seem to me to be intelligent, genuine people whose lives have been destroyed by workplace bullying.
Richard Guilliat says that supervisors claim that people who complain of workplace bullying are 'argumentative, defiant and unhelpful'.
But a worker has the right to respond to any allegations that are made against them.
I know of at least one bully Queensland principal who concocted allegations against a Queensland teacher and then, when the teacher responded to the allegations and disproved them, claimed that she 'had to' put the teacher on Managing Unsatisfactory Performance because the teacher 'would not admit it'.
The MUP process was going to be abused to drive this teacher into ill health and out of work unless she stopped her 'argumentative, defiant and unhelpful' behaviour and agreed that she had done what she had not done.
Richard Guilliat says that investigators are called in to investigate workplace bullying complaints.
And they are, very, very relucantly, after many years of requests for an investigation.
But who pays the investigators?
Who tells the investigators what tiny portion of the complaint to investigate?
Who tells the investigator which evidence they are allowed to 'consider'. And which evidence must not be 'considered'?
Who has the power to give the investigator more contracts?
And who hands out the Australia day awards for services to ... ahem?
Richard Guilliat says that the bullied worker may spend hours at work making notes on the workplace abuse.
This, if it is correct, is not OK.
Workplace abuse should be recorded.
But it should not be recorded at work.
All records should be kept at home.
Richard Guilliat reports that managers complain that co-workers are frightened to talk to workers who have been bullied lest their conversation is "noted down" and used against them.
Firstly, a teacher who is being bullied may be deliberately isolated.
The bullied teacher's fellow teachers may be warned that they will get into 'very serious trouble' if they talk to a teacher who is being bullied.
This workplace isolation affects the teacher's mental health.
It is part of the bullying process.
Secondly, it is true that, if you whistleblow, people do seem to think that you are a nutter who will whistleblow about anything at all.
A whistleblower does find that they are isolated at work and also in their local community.
People treat whistleblowers differently.
Richard Guilliat reports that none of one bullied worker's colleagues would give evidence in support of her.
Most Queensland public servants would be afraid to speak up in support of a bullied worker.
They would fear - with very good reason - that 'payback' allegations would be made against them.
And there is mobbing - one bully can manipulate weaker, dimmer workers to 'go along with' the bullying.
And reward them with promotions, community awards, education awards, Australia Day awards, etc.
Richard Guilliat says that bullied workers end up unemployed, unemployable and in lots of debt.
This is correct.
Bullying destroys you mentally, physically, professionally and financially.
Many bullied workers are forced to give up all hope of justice when they run out of money.
The law is not about justice or truth, it is about money.
Government departments have bottomless pits of taxpayers money to pay for an army of lawyers and 'independent investigators' who will get them the result that they want.
Richard Guilliat says that campaigns to raise awareness about workplace bullying have produced an avalanche of claims that are at best dubious and at worst vexatious.
99.6 per cent of Queensland teachers claim to have experienced workplace bullying.
Teachers are not stupid people.
They know when they are being bullied.
Yes, some Queensland teachers do have mental health issues.
But so do many of the bully administrators.
We need a better promotion system to weed out the administrators with bullying problems.
Richard Guilliat says that it is better not to use the words' workplace bullying'.
I agree.
It would be better to be more specific about the abusive behaviour, eg-
"You have told many people on staff that I made a child put their face against a wall. This is not correct. It did not happen. I have told you before that you are making me ill with the malicious stories that you keep 'beating up' and spreading concerning me. Please check your facts before you gossip about me."
Richard Guilliat admits that Workplace bullying exists.
In 2005 NSW ambulance officer Christine Hodder, who endured years of torment in the "boys' club" atmosphere of her workplace, suicided.
In 2008 Alex Meikle, a 16-year-old apprentice working for a NSW railway contractor, killed himself after enduring "pranks" from workmates that included being set on fire twice.
In 2006 Brodie Panlock, a 19-year-old Melbourne cafe worker, threw herself from the roof of a multi-storey car park after months of ridicule, relentless insults, demeaning remarks about her appearance, physical assaults, holding her down and pouring oil on her, putting Ratsak in her bag at work and mockingly challenging her to suicide.


Richard Guilliat says that people are making claims for compensation for workplace bullying.

But they do not understand what workplace bullying really is - workplace bullying is not an isolated difference of opinion.


I agree.

And, in addition, I believe that Queensland teachers should have the professional right to engage in professional discussion / differ in their opinion without being threatened with Managing Unsatisfactory Performance.

If a Queensland principal puts a Queensland teacher on Managing Unsatisfactory Performance for trying to deal with the numbers of children missing from classrooms, roaming about the school and disrupting the other classes, that's workplace bullying.


Richard Guilliat says that workplace bullying can be terribly debilitating and terribly costly for an organisation.

Workplace bullying can change the focus of an organisation for the period of time it takes to resolve.

And the effect it has on the individuals involved can be absolutely traumatic.


I agree.

But the focus should not be on resolving workplace bullying.

It should be on dealing with workplace bullying -

The CMC 'devolution process' should be funded properly to ensure that complaints are properly investigated.

Investigations should be properly conducted by a truly impartial body.

The Education Queensland promotion selection process should be improved to weed out dim, illiterate, lazy principals.

The Queensland Teachers Union should support bullied teachers. 

Bullied classroom teachers should be given QTU-funded access to independent legal support.


The workplace bullying in Queensland schools will stop when principals know that the Queensland government and the QTU want them to stop bullying teachers.


Nadine Flood, national secretary of the CPSU, says that although awareness campaigns have raised the profile of bullying, they have also led many workers to erroneously believe that launching a grievance claim will somehow make their office a happier place.

"In my view, encouraging people down the legal path when there are simpler, quicker solutions doesn't do them any favours," she says.


My understanding of a QTU organiser's advice to me in 2000 was that he had never known a Queensland teacher's Grievance to be upheld.

And my own experience also suggests to me that the Grievance / investigation process has been corrupted.


Grievances frequently spiral into compensation claims for stress.

Workplace regulators report that these cases are among the most difficult they deal with.

Not only are they protracted and emotional, but most of them are ultimately dismissed.


Because the law is not about justice or truth.

It is about money.

Questionable claims are clogging up the system.

Genuine cases may get overlooked.


Richard Guilliat says that Brodie Panlock's suicide highlights the messy 'reality' underlying many bullying cases.

Brodie Panlock was in a s-xual relationship with her chief tormenter at the cafe, Nicholas Smallwood.

Richard Guilliat says that this is 'an important element of the story which often goes unreported'.

Brodie killed herself after an incident in her own flat, when she drunkenly allowed Smallwood in and had s-x with him, then became distraught after he ignored her pleas to stay.


Perhaps Brodie hoped that Smallwood would protect her from the bullies if she allowed him to have s-x with her.

Does Richard Guilliat really mean to suggest that if a fellow worker allows you to have s-ex with her it makes it OK to subject her to months of ridicule, relentless insults, demeaning remarks about her appearance, physical assaults, holding her down and pouring oil on her, putting Ratsak in her bag at work and mockingly challenging her to suicide?

Is this Richard Guilliat's tdea of a normal boyfriend-girlfriend relationship?

Or was Brodie Panlock so utterly desperate to stop the workplace bullying that she was even ready to have s-x with one of her tormentors in the hope that this would spark a little compassion for her situation?


Michael Tooma, a workplace lawyer with Norton Rose and a writer on occupational health issues says he agrees with Grace Collier that the majority of workplace bullying claims appear to be about relatively trivial issues.

"The reality is that many of the cases that are brought are just someone being upset because they are being performance-managed ..."


On the contrary, Mr Tooma, in my experience, the Managing Unsatisfactory Performance Process seems to be being abused to 'pay back' Queensland teachers who try to deal with issues at their schoool.

It seems to be quicker and easier for a Queensland principal to put a classroom teacher on Managing Unsatisfactory performance than to deal with poorly behaved students and their abusive parents.

Teachers are trapped by the Education Queensland Code of Conduct.

Teachers can't complain.

But poorly behaved students and their abusive parents can complain.


Jillian Ramsden is suing WorkSafe, the very organisation charged with stamping out workplace bullying in Victoria.

Ramsden's written complaints were ignored.

When other colleagues lodged complaints, Ramsden says her managers criticised her for inciting trouble.

By July, her dread of going to the office had become so acute that she found herself standing on a footpath "wondering whether I could get killed by a bus or a truck so that I wouldn't have to go to work".

Ramsden's solicitor, Josh Bornstein of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, freely admits using the media to publicise such cases, which he says have left him with a "visceral" sense of outrage.

"I unashamedly will publicise terrible cases of bullying because I've had a gutful of seeing people who are chopped liver," he says.


I think Mr Bornstein has the right idea.

The Queensland Teachers Union needs to publicise cases of workplace bullying in Queensland schools.

The QTU need to demonstrate that they will give legal support to bullied Queensland teachers.

Then the bullying will stop.


Workers at war, Richard Guilliat, The Australian, 26 November 2011
The Queensland Teachers Union knew that Queensland teachers were being bullied into ill health and out of work in July 2002. UNE researchers found that workplace bullying was 'rife' in Queensland schools in 2007. Why are Queensland teachers still being bullied at work in 2011?
Queensland teachers are vulnerable to workplace abuse.

Few teachers escape being buffeted by critical parents, sniped at by ungrateful students, judged by other teachers and eyed unfairly by superiors at some point in their careers.

Teachers are treated like our society's whipping boys: blamed by students, parents and principals for the problems in Queensland schools.

And they are not allowed to respond.

Silence is their "Code of Conduct".

It is as appalling as it is insidious.

Teachers are observed, their work interfered with and constantly subject to claims by outsiders that they would do better, or differently, or with more aplomb.

The official line is that bullying of Queensland teachers is not a problem and that when workplace abuse emerges it is stamped on - but those at the blackboard will tell you that it continues.

The abuse comes from within and outside the system, online and in person, from the shadows and up front.

The finger of blame began turning towards teachers when the cane began to be phased out in the 1980s and was finally banned in state schools in 1995.

While no one wants children physically hurt, discipline is now a nebulous nothingness at school and engagement has gone downhill.

Any kind of physical handling is taboo; verbal dressings down are cause for outrage.

For example : Teachers are constantly warned not to humiliate a student in front of their peers.

However uncooperative the student, however much the student abuses and humiliates the teacher - almost anything the teacher says or does to the child in front of his peers can be described as 'humiliating a child'.

And this allegation can be used to justify putting a teacher on Managing Unsatisfactory Performance.

Teachers are instructed to tell poorly-behaved students that they will speak to them about their behaviour 'later'.

But teachers are not allowed to speak to a child alone -a teacher who speaks to a child alone risks an allegation of child abuse.

These Department of Education directives are impossible for teachers to follow.

Teachers are left with no tools for guidance, no room to deal with trouble, no way of handling the wayward or wild.

They are disempowered and their students know it.


Endless bullying unfair to teachers, Jane Fynes-Clinton, The Courier-Mail, 20 October 2011


Robina Cosser :  By 11.10am Sunday 23 October 2011, this article had been 'recommended' 630 times.
Ex-High School teacher : Why doesn't the school principal deal with the bully who is making your child's life a misery? Because the principal is afraid that the bully's parents will bully him!
I spent 10 years as a high school teacher in the state system.
School principals today are governed by fear.
They stick up for the bullies, because in many cases the parents are also bullies.
Stoney of Brisbane, Reader's Comment 26 of 151, Schools leaving students at the mercy of psychological bullying , Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 23 February 2010
Students are being bullied because their teachers are being bullied. The problem is systemic.
Who is going to address the epidemic problem of principals and senior management bullying teachers?
A culture of bullying starts at the top, so until bully principals are exposed and punished, the students will not be safe in a bully-free environment.
CB of Brisbane, Reader's Comment 135 of 151, Schools leaving students at the mercy of psychological bullying , Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 23 February 2010 
It is simple - don't take up teaching in Queensland unless you are desperate - and even then, think again!

The simple fact is that bullying at all levels - management on staff, staff on staff, staff on students, students on students on staff and students on students, is endemic at all levels of education queensland.

Why would you expect change?

Simple - don't take up teaching in Queensland ... unless you are desperate for work ... even then think again!


Bufo Marinus at large, Readers' Comment, Queensland falling behind on tackling bullying : expert, Amelia Bentley, The Brisbane Times, 30 August 2010 

Queensland Education Minister Cameron Dick has inherited a minefield of workplace bullying in the Department of Education and Training.
Bullying in the Queensland Department of Education and Training is a BIG issue - the bullying starts at the very top and filters down - Principals are also bullied by the Regional Directors who are suppose to be astute leaders in the field of education.
Until such time as fair and natural justice is provided to all members of the Smart State Education system, no reference group will solve the problem.
Unfortunately Education Minister Cameron Dick has inherited a complete legal minefield of bullying with his senior members of Department Education and Training.
Get rid of the lot, start afresh and reinstate the hundreds of good people who have left to simply get away from the cancerous culture of the Queensland Education Department.
In agreeance of Central Queensland, Reader's Comment 7 of 7, Why Cameron Dick’s workplace bullying reference group will fail bullied Queensland teachers - again, Robina Cosser, My Sunshine Coast, 6 August 2011 :,22438
Your public service job will be reliant on your compliance with workplace abuse, either as a victim or as an observer.

Queensland's Parliamentary service is riddled with a culture of physical and mental abuse with jobs reliant on compliance, whether you're the victim or an observer.

If Education Minister Cameron Dick is serious about ridding workplaces of thuggery he could well start with his own environment.

Its the tip of a very large iceberg and its already cost Queensland taxpayers millions in compensation payments.


Cath of Indooroopilly, Workplace bullies may face jail in Queensland as laws strengthened, Renee Viellaris, The Sunday Mail, 10 July 2011

Education Queensland employee : I needed an ambulance several times because the workplace bullying was affecting my health.
I was a victim of Education Queensland's thugs as an employee and when I got to the stage I needed an ambulance several times due to the toll it was taking on me, that was it.
There were inquiries and cover-ups and denials along with promises.
And it continues.
Full of lies and cover-ups along with deliberate administrative decisions to remind me never to speak up.
Newswatch of Sunshine Coast, Comment 9 of 92, Workplace bullies may face jail in Queensland as laws strengthened, Renee Viellaris, The Sunday Mail, 10 July 2011
Ex-teacher : Queensland Education is a terrible employer for bullying and no one will stand up to the bullies.

Queensland Education is a terrible employer for bullying.

If you are a new teacher but not permanent, you get treated like dirt and given all the worst jobs.

When you ask for help or an explanation why you are getting all the cr_p jobs, they never give you a straight answer.

They string you along for jobs that never materialise.

I had a co-worker at my former state school outright bully me in front of other teachers and the admin and nothing was done about it.

She is a terrible bully, not only to staff but to students.

She gets people on her side because they are all too afraid of not being with her for she is vile and vindictive.

I left the state school system last year and could not be happier.

I tried to talk to people - even the councillors and union reps, but no one will stand up to the bullies.


Former State teacher of Brisbane, Comment 83 of 91, Workplace bullies may face jail in Queensland as laws strengthened, Renee Viellaris, The Sunday Mail, 10 July 2011 

Parent and teacher : our small country Queensland school is being destroyed by a bully principal.
We have a Principal who is the biggest and most devastating BULLY I have ever met.
She is destroying students and families.
I am disgusted that she could think that what she is doing comes within the code of Ethics- she is not even coming within the code of morals!
Our small country school is splitting apart at the seams.
Devastated Parent and Teacher, Reader's Comment, Queensland schools take a stand against bullying on national day of action, The Honourable Cameron Dick, Minister for Education and Industrial Relations, 18 March, 2011
Indooroopilly State High School - WorkCover claims after alleged workplace harassment.

Former staff of Indooroopilly State High School have made WorkCover claims after alleged workplace harassment.

Their WorkCover claims have been accepted.

One former staff member is suing another teacher at the school for defamation after allegations of a s_xual assault.

It has also been claimed that a former staff member assaulted two other staff on school grounds by slapping one in the face and punching another in the chest.

The Courier-Mail has spoken to more than half a dozen former staff of Indooroopilly State High School who described the situation at the school as "toxic" up until early 2010.


Their claims have been backed by former Rob Wiltshire, former Workplace, Health and Safety Officer at Indooroopilly State High School.

Mr Wiltshire went on sick leave in February 2010 after he raised concerns about asbestos at the school.

He has since lodged a WorkCover claim for psychological injury.



Staff room turns into war zone as Indooroopilly State High School calls in mediators, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail : 26 November 2010

Ex-teacher : I quit teaching in disgust twelve years ago. I am still angry every day at the treatment I endured.

I found reading parts of your website very revealing and I just don’t understand why nothing like this has appeared before.

I quit teaching in disgust twelve years ago after enduring systematic bullying from parents, students and (most of all) people masquerading as Administration Officers – principals and deputy principals - at various Queensland Secondary Schools.

Even though it was a long time ago I still am angry every day at the treatment I endured. 

Most of all I am angry with myself at not fighting back – even though I realize that doing so would only have made things worse for me.

I had a complete breakdown at one school. 

I attended a rehabilitation course and re-entered the workforce – at first as a part-time basis (which consisted of being at the workplace for four days a week even though I was half-time)

After this I was transferred to another school (the other was closing down) and was offered a position at a school in a different area.

I wanted this to get away from an area that held so many bad memories.

Two years later I realized the main reason I was being systematically bullied, humiliated, undermined and devalued was that my current Principal was great pals with the Principal previously responsible with my breakdown (and that of about 8 other teachers that I later knew about). 

I won my case with workers compensation due to the previous Principal's reputation, only to pay for it later.  

I was absolutely powerless to do anything about it at the time. 

The only action open to me was to resign.

I feel so much better now to be able to tell a small part of my story.  

The opportunity has never been there before.


Story emailed to

Julieanne Gilbert of the Queensland Teachers' Union : accusations of bullying among staff are swiftly addressed in the Queensland Department of Education.

Julianne Gilbert of the Queensland Teacher's Union said any accusations of bullying among staff were swiftly addressed in the public school system.


"There is a very good code of conduct in place for everyone in state schools from the janitor, to the cleaner, teachers to the principals," said Julieanne Gilbert from the QTU.


"It sets out a professional standards about how employees conduct themselves and there is a confidential employee adviser service for anyone who has concerns."



Robina Cosser : This is a very, very strange comment by Julianne Gilbert.

Her comment is in conflict with the UNE 2007 research finding that 99.6 per cent of Australian teachers had experienced workplace abuse, and that workplace abuse was 'rife' in Queensland schools.

It seems to be difficult for the Queensland Teachers Union to deal with workplace abuse because both the teachers are their abusers are in the same union.


Ask your union organiser -

It is true that the department has anti-bullying policies?

Can my principal read these policies?

Does he or she apply these policies to his or her own behaviour?

Or do principals just do what they like because they know that the union will not support a bullied teacher?


Are departmental investigations 'set up' to fail to find any evidence of the workplace abuse?

Are 'confidential' employee advisers obliged to tell the principal what teachers are complaining about?

Are teachers 'paid back' for speaking to the 'confidential' employee advisers?



Queensland teachers urgently need some independent research into their working conditions.



Claims school staff bullied, Roanne Johnson, Townsville Bulletin , 21 September 2010

Bullying is endemic at all levels of Education Queensland.
The simple fact is that bullying at all levels - management on staff, staff on staff, staff on students, students on students and students on staff, is endemic at all levels of Education Queensland.
Why would you expect change?
There was a hope when Paul Braddy then Minister for Education attempted to introduce his bottom up model of management, inverting the pyramid so to speak, but that lasted for a very short time and was never really implemented and certainly wouldn't be implemented under the current regime of federally imposed funding conditions.
Simple - don't take up teaching in Queensland ... unless you are desperate for work... even then think again!
Bufo Marinus at Large, Readers Comment, Queensland falling behind on tackling bullying : expert , Amelia Bentley, 30 August 2010
Classroom teachers move motion of no confidence in "Bully" principal.

A Queensland primary school principal was moved from one Queensland school to another, following complaints that he was "bullying" the classroom teachers.

At the second school he allegedly raised his hand to strike one of the female teachers.

The principal was 'disciplined' after this incident.

The Courier-Mail understands that the 'discipline' consisted of sending him to work in Education Queensland Head Office.

You have to wonder how many bully principals are working in Education Queensland Head Office, and if this form of 'discipline' is appropriate.

Then the principal was sent to be principal of a third school in the Redlands area - in Brisbane's south-east - where he has been working for the last six years.

The classroom teachers at this third school recently moved a motion of no confidence in the principal.

And Education Queensland have confirmed that a principal is under investigation for bullying.

Education Queensland has a Duty of Care to protect classroom teachers from workplace abuse.

This story suggests that Education Queensland's "principal discipline process" is failing.


School principal investigated over claims he 'bullied" teachers, Alison Sandy, The Courier-Mail, 11 March 2010

Union organiser : when Queensland classroom teachers complain about workplace bullying, the principal is promoted to an office position. So Education Queensland Head Office is a sort of prison for bully school principals.

In a previous life as a union organiser, it was my experience that there were quite a few principals who were bullying their staff.

Staff were too scared to make a complaint as they were often not taken seriously or because they feared further ramifications.

It was my experience that if these matters were able to be brought to a head by staff members making a complaint, the principal was promoted to an office position for a while and then moved back into the system.

Senior management don't like to admit that their processes have failed.

And they often look after their own.


Barcy Doug, Reader's Comment 18 of 26, School principal investigated over claims he "bullied" teachers, Alison Sandy, The Courier-Mail, 11 March 2010

Teacher : it is not just school principals, bogan parents bully classroom teachers as well.

I am a school teacher and today I had a parent removed from the school grounds as she wanted to bash my head in.


Because I dared to question her child's very high, unexplained absenteeism.

The child has had more than 25 days absent and we have only been at school for 33 days.

It is not just school principals and the children who are bullying the teachers.

It comes from the parents towards the teachers as well.



Why do I teach? Reader's comment 22 of 26, School principal investigated over claims he "bullied" teachers, Alison Sandy, The Courier-Mail, 11 March, 2010

Teacher : in Queensland, classroom teachers who speak out are hit with a 'Code of Conduct' violation - and then 'investigated' by their bully principal.

The Principal that I work under hides behind the "Code of Conduct" system.

Anyone who has spoken out in the past has been automatically hit with a "Code of Conduct" violation.

Funny thing is, we only have one "Code of Conduct" investigator on staff and guess who it is - the principal!

Education Queensland get principals to watch over the teachers but no-one watches over the principal.

Well done to the Redlands school that spoke out!


Teacher of North Queensland, Reader's Comment 21 of 26, School principal investigated over claims he "bullied" teachers, Alison Sandy, The Courier-Mail, 11 March 2010

Experienced teacher : Workplace bullying is endemic in Queensland schools.

Having worked in schools over 15 years, I can attest to the endemic bullying in Education Queensland.

The practice is ignored by most principals in their role as business managers.

They dismiss workplace bullying as 'personal issues', to the detriment of all.

Staff and students perceive this failure to address the issue as carte blanche to bully.

The results are that good staff are lost, students are out of control in the absence of appropriate modelling and there is an institutionalised acceptance of this deplorable behaviour.

The demoralizing truth is that it cannot change until this becomes a voting issue.

With so many other issues on the agenda it is unlikely to change.


Dragunov, Reader's Comment, Qld teachers complain of bullying, Sunshine Coast Daily, 30th November 2009

Bruce Flegg speaks out about bullying and aggressive behaviour by teachers (Editor : I presume he means school principals) against teachers.

Figures released by the Queensland Government in November 2009 showed that the number of formal complaints of bullying and aggressive behaviour by teachers against other teachers had increased by more than 40 per cent over the past two years.

Dr Bruce Flegg, Opposition education spokesman, said that teacher-bullying is a systemic problem that requires government action.

 * In 2007, 26 Queensland teachers made formal complaints to the education department about the behaviour of "other teachers".

I would presume that most of the bullying and aggressive "other teachers" are actually school principals.

 * In 2008, 30 Queensland teachers made formal complaints.

 * In 2009 (to November), 37 Queensland teachers made formal complaints.


Opposition education spokesman Bruce Flegg said he had been approached by a number of teachers who were concerned about being told by other teachers to keep quiet about school problems.

"There's pressure to cover up ... I don't think there is any doubt whistleblowers are being bullied," Dr Flegg said.

"The agenda is about controlling the public relations rather than fixing the problems."



Teachers bullied to keep quiet on problem schools, AAP, 30 November, 2009

Ex-teacher : I quit teaching because of bullying by parents.

I recently quit teaching.

I was intimidated and bullied by the parents of children who I disciplined.

The children knew their parents would back them and attack the teacher.

The smug little things then continued to dare me to discipline them again, forcing me to back off and second guess every basic decision I made.

I could no longer do my job and so quit in disgust.

These were grade 4 students in a very well-to-do area.

It's the parents that are causing the problems, the blame must surely be laid at their feet.


  • Rachel Oliveri of Brisbane, comment 55, Readers Comments, School bullies out of control, Bruce McDougall and Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, I June, 2009
We are told that workplace bullying is not tolerated in Queensland schools - but the Education Queensland investigation process tells a very different story.

Bullying is rife in Queensland schools all right - not only amongst students but staff as well.

It is also rife in other state government departments.

The current methods of dealing with workplace bullies make the victim feel worse.

And the bully rarely suffers any consequences because the bully has the right to "natural justice".

What everyone fails to understand is that bullies ingratiate themselves on people, they become the most likable person in the world, their bullying behaviour often goes unseen.

And the bully usually plays the "poor me....I am the victim here" card.

We are told bullying is not tolerated, yet the methods of investigating and dealing with bullies tolerates these behaviours.

Zero Tolerance must be enforced.



  • Ned of Nth QLD, Comment 17 of 84, Readers Comments, School bullies out of control, Bruce McDougall and Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, I June, 2009
Experienced teacher : whistleblowers are driven out of work.

A school registrar misappropriated a new computer by saying that it was stolen during a break-in by hiding it in the school with a view to retrieving it later for personal use.

When it was found by a third party and reported to the principal, the whistleblower was given such a hard time she resigned.



  • Fred, a teacher with 30 years of classroom experience, quoted by Des Houghton in Teachers' view on the "missing" , p. 54, The Courier-Mail, May 30-31, 2009
How many classroom teachers have been subjected to trumped-up investigations and then driven out of work?

How many teachers are subjected to trumped-up investigations that were never substantiated but still drove them from the profession?


  • Keith from Bargara , quoted by Des Houghton in Teachers' view on the "missing" , p. 54, The Courier-Mail, May 30-31, 2009
It is time to expose the workplace bullies in Queensland schools - and punish them so that classroom teachers can feel safe at work.

Des Houghton asks why so many Queensland teachers are not working as teachers.

For the large part of the answer to this mystery refer to the research by Dan Riley of the University of New England (UNE) which was released this month:

The UNE research proves that teachers are being driven out of the profession first and foremost by bully principals (male and female) in both our state and private schools.

It is time to expose and punish these bullies, so good teachers feel safe enough to stay and deliver quality education.



  • Posted by: CH of Brisbane, Comment 14, A blackboard black hole, Des Houghton, The Courier-Mail, May 23, 2009
Experienced teacher : when a principal with a long history of workplace bullying is moved from one Queensland school to the next, it destroys the morale of the staff.

After many years of teaching and working with a variety of different principals, I feel that it is a shame that a bullying, ego-centric principal can have such a detrimental effect on a school.

It is even more of a shame when a principal who has a long history of bullying behaviour goes from one school to the next, destroying the morale of staff and students.

The question we should be asking is why district office staff knowingly allow this sort of behaviour to continue.

And why they threaten teachers with "code of conduct " violations for speaking out when they see management practice that is detrimental to the best interests of students.

No doubt the minister will sweep this one under the carpet as it is a bigger problem than the public realize.



  • Posted by: RB, Comment 47, Readers' Comments: Teachers are 'worst bullies', Elizabeth Allen and Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, May 13, 2009
When a teacher is bullied at work, the only thing that they can do is to quit. 

I've decided not to practice teaching.

Many of my classmates from University went on to become teachers.

Two have burnt out, retrained, and gone on to other jobs because of workplace bullying in their schools.

Others have moved into supply teaching to avoid the workplace bullying in their first state government schools.

It is not just the school principals who bully, it is often other teachers who are the bullies.

It is rife within the system.

Given the difficulty of establishing a case against a bully and that standing up to them, even as a group, is most likely to result in retaliation, the only thing to do is to quit.

Perhaps schools need to start looking at psychological screening?



Veronica Chan of Birkdale, Comment 14 of 50, Teachers bully each other at school, Elizabeth Allen and Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail , 13 May 2009.

Retired teacher : as the academic standard for entry to teaching has fallen, academically talented teachers have become increasingly at risk of being bullied by their anti-intellectual fellow teachers - and anti-intellectual school administrators.

As a retired teacher (I am concerned about a growing trend towards) anti-intellectualism in the teaching profession.

The trend has become increasingly evident as the academic standard for entry to teaching has fallen.

This means that academically talented teachers are more at risk when it comes to bullying from fellow teachers.


  • Posted by: Matilda of Brisbane, Comment 18, Readers' Comments: Teachers are 'worst bullies', Elizabeth Allen and Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, May 13, 2009
Many teaching graduates are driven out of the profession by workplace abuse.

I left a private school due to the bullying nature of the principal and head of department - sent me into a nervous breakdown.

Many others in my graduating class from uni have left teaching citing similar examples.

I graduated in 2002 with 15 others in my particular subject area.

Only three remain as teachers today.



Had Enough of Brisbane, Reader's Comment 25, Teachers are 'worst bullies', Elizabeth Allen and Tanya chilcott, The Courier-Mail : 13 May, 2009

Ex-teacher : I quit teaching early because of the actions of bully school principals.

Bullying by the principal was the reason I quit teaching early at age 57 from a school where there were lovely children and beautiful parents in a privileged area.

I was fed up with the lack of equity in the school I was teaching at.

Year in year out only favourite teachers were given the classes they wanted.

Negotiation does not exist in many State Primary Schools.

You have to teach the class you are given and the curriculum you are given regardless of what you assess as the children's needs and interests.

One year I was given the largest class in the school in the smallest space.

In 20 years of teaching in Queensland State Schools I experienced 2 principals who were fair and equitable and 6 who were definitely not.



Sue Frampton, Reader's Comment 12: Teachers are 'worst bullies', Elizabeth Allen and Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, May 13, 2009

Ex-teacher : Bullying of classroom teachers by school principals is out of control.
  • Maybe Education Queensland needs to spend some time thinking about WHY there has been a jump in the number of resignations over the past five years.

    Bullying of teachers by school principals / deputies etc is out of control and the department just doesn't care.

    People become principals, etc. because they can't stand the classroom anymore.

    Good teachers never become principals because they love the classroom too much.

    Principals are just bad teachers when you get down to it.




  • Posted by Ex-Teacher of Brisbane, comment 5 of 9, Readers Comments, Grey nomads lured to boost Queensland teacher numbers, February 9, 2009,
  • Ex-teacher : Bullying of classroom teachers is out of control in Queensland and the Education Department just doesn't care.

    I agree with Ex-Teacher (above) - bullying of teachers by school principals / deputies etc is out of control and the department just doesn't care.

    Add to this teachers injured in the classroom and quickly fobbed off with early retirement without any form of rehabilitation.

    Add more... newly qualified teachers jumping through hoops to get a full time position, only to be left on waiting lists.

    Why wouldn't you look for a profession elsewhere?



  • Posted by another Ex-Teacher of Queensland, 9:09 AM Wednesday 11 February 2009. Comment 10 of 10, Readers Comments, Grey Nomads lured to boost Queensland teacher numbers,
  • Good, moral Queensland classroom teachers leave the profession. Backstabbers are promoted.

    The culture of bullying in the Education Department leads to so many good, moral teachers leaving the profession, while backstabbers move up the departmental ladder.



    Posted by Ned of North QLD, Comment 3 of 23, Readers' Comments, Teacher numbers don't add up, Saturday 24 January, 2009, The Courier-Mail

    Workplace bullying is endemic in Queensland schools. Staff who report the bullying are discredited as 'stressed' or 'unstable'.
  • Ned of North Queensland is correct.

    Bullying is endemic in Education Queensland at the staffroom, school and department levels.

    When staff assert themselves and report the matter, they are discredited as stressed or "unstable".


  • Sybellia of Brisbane, 8:32am January 25, 2009, Reader's Comment 4 of 27, Teacher numbers don't add up, Saturday 24 January 2009, The Courier-Mail
  • Mature-aged graduate teacher : I went 'bush' to get a full-time teaching position - and I was hounded out of work.

    I can empathise with those Queensland teachers who are unable to get full-time work.

    I had to move to the "bush" to obtain a full-time position after I graduated as a mature-aged teacher.

    Then I was hounded out of the profession by small-minded people whose image of the profession I did not fit.

    This calculated bullying lost me the profession I had long worked for, and at the same time ruined my health.

    I thank providence for the real world outside this sort of workplace.

    Queensland teacher's letter to the Editor of The Sunday Mail: GOOD POINT, YOUR SAYname and address supplied, Page 72, The Sunday Mail, 21 December, (2008, I think)

    Robina Cosser : Queensland teachers can be isolated, threatened and subject to impulsive and seemingly irrational punishment by school administrators.

    A former Cairns school teacher claims that Queensland classroom teachers are bullied by school administrators.

    And then the classroom teachers are threatened when they complain about the bullying.

    In breaking her silence about the abuse, Robina Cosser said that Queensland classroom teachers were being driven to despair by the bullying and threats.

    Ms Cosser, a teacher for 30 years, said that the Education Queensland "grievance" complaints process was inadequate.

    "Teachers are being punished for making complaints about workplace abuse.

    And they are being advised that there's no hope of justice," she said.

    "Bullied classroom teachers are being isolated, threatened and subject to impulsive and irrational punishment by school administrators."

    "Classroom teachers are being driven into ill health by the bullying."

    Ms Cosser said that, although Queensland classroom teachers who were trapped in the system were silenced, retired teachers should speak out.


    Ms Cosser plans to establish an organisation that will try to protect Queensland classroom teachers, especially teachers who are dealing with workplace bullying, harassment, mobbing, discrimination and victimisation or "payback".


    Ex-teacher says bully tactics rife, Regina Titelius, Chief Reporter, p.3, The Cairns Post, 23 February, 2004.

    The Queensland Teachers' Union ( QTU ) has known since at least 25 July 2002 that 'more and more' Queensland teachers were being bullied into ill health retirement.

    "...With the average age of the teacher workforce now into the late forties, the union is seeing more and more members, who are the victims of bullying and harassment, retiring on the grounds of ill-health out of the workforce, unable to comprehend what has happened to them.

    Some of those members had exhausted all avenues open to them with no avail. ..."

    Bullying - Beyond a joke, Leah Mertens, officer responsible for WH&S issues, p.13, Queensland Teachers'Journal, 25 July 2002.


    Ask your QTU Organiser :

    What have the QTU been doing about workplace bullying since 2002?

    Are fewer Queensland teachers being bullied out of work in 2009?



    Queensland classroom teachers who are worried about workplace abuse may find the following website useful :

    Bullyproof Yourself - a Guide for Queensland Teachers.


    Classroom teachers who are being bullied at work may not realise that the bullying is affecting their health.

    Bullied classroom teachers need to Get Legal Advice as soon as possible.


    How to contact the editor of this website.

    Edited by Robina Cosser, M.Ed of Far North Queensland: 


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