Matt Green: Like pissing on Gayle Woodford’s grave, except worse.

Wow.  Everybody here is lost for words.  😦

Even Paul Newman wouldn’t do something as low as this!

Rick Persse should resign for supporting this guy.  You’re embarrassing as:


Life as a Paul Newman underling: “It was like tending to a sinister, disgusting baby.”

It’s approximately a year since we witnessed yet more complaints about the SA Department For Education ‘Education Director’ Paul Newman spark his forced move from the APY Lands into Adelaide. In the city the Department has him on a short leash, to manage his uncontrollable bullying and harassment of staff, previously ignored for years while he ruled his little roost out in the desert schools of the APY Lands.

Has the Department For Education workplace culture changed in recent years? We spoke to one current employee who wishes to remain completely anonymous for fear of retaliation and one ex-APY Principal, we’ll call her ‘Britney’, who both gave permission for us sub-branch secretaries to tell their stories.

We believe starting legal cases against Paul Newman for what he has done to you is the only way to get anything done about him.

When DFE ignore our complaints and our members, it’s time to get real!


“He was a manipulative bully. He would turn red and stare right through people he didn’t like. We knew that person wouldn’t last long after that.”
Anonymous, APY Lands School

I’d had other jobs in the education sector before and felt this one, as a Leadership position on the APY Lands, was a step up. The school was quite successful at this point. There was a fairly high turnover of staff but I was told that this was completely normal for these schools out here. I worked there for 2 years.

Paul loved coming to the APY Lands as he got to turn off his phone and do whatever he liked. Like a kid in a candy store. We used to joke, “Thank God Newman wasn’t taller” because at least looking down at him gave us a sense of being more in control. He never set foot in the classroom, hardly ever – all his attacks came from his safe zone, usually the principal’s office.

I got a full briefing in the interview about him being a bully, from the people who worked with him. I remember giving that same chat myself when I was interviewing later: this is the reality. I think it is a bit alluring – you’re thinking, “I can handle that.”
I did get warned about him going after people for years and years. But that person was very gossipy and I didn’t think it was realistic – it sounded so out there. I just didn’t believe it, which feels a bit ridiculous now. They made a bit of a joke about him being a stalker, they’d say “Keep him away from your mobile phone number!”

Now I think: didn’t that seem strange, and didn’t that seem wrong? But people were talking affectionately, if eye-rollingly, about him: “Oh, that’s just Paul”. I didn’t think I could expect better: if everyone else was OK with it, who was I to make a fuss?
The conversation with Paul was very brief, because the principal in the school had already decided they wanted me. He said something I heard him say to a lot of people: “I have a very good instinct. I can always tell when I’m going to get on well with someone.”

I was told during my induction that you must never lie to Paul – he would know. He has x-ray vision, and once he gets the bit between his teeth, he won’t let it go. But he also chose people based on what he saw would be to his advantage. Like a North Korean dictator, one minute you were in, the next minute you were thrown in the gulag if Paul thought you were trying to damage him in some way. He was really unpredictable, people used to say he was unhinged.

There were two parts to the job. The real work had very little to do with him: there were a lot of projects, attending meetings, dealing with behaviour management, helping teachers, trying to meet contractors and others who wanted to visit the school. And there was the other part, which was his visits and dealing with him.
It felt like everyone was his assistant.

The philosophy was that the APY partnership runs best when Paul is happy, so you have to make sure things run smoothly. Meetings were made and cancelled or moved or ran late, at the drop of a hat, and he’d be furious with us even though he had caused it. Weekends weren’t relevant, evenings were not relevant. What Paul wanted Paul got, no questions asked, not to his face anyway.

My days were rarely the same, the only constant being that they were chaotic and demoralising. You would end up being proud of the strangest tiny things, like getting through the day without being bullied, or without him publicly undermining someone else – a teacher, an SSO. It was a horrible feeling to be targeted by Newman. But it was far worse to see him bully someone else who was trying to support families or kids.

Fighting back didn’t work with him, really, but you could intervene on someone else’s behalf and draw his fire. It was like tending to a sinister, belligerent, disgusting baby. His moods dictated so much that you constantly thought about whether he was tired, hungry, thirsty, cold.

I got told early on that he had made out with one of the female principals on the APY Lands. Sometimes he would pay way too much attention to her, in full view. Then she announced she won a 5 year contract to be a principal. The Education Union initially didn’t believe it but it’s true. She was emailing people using her DfE email to tell them so it must have happened. We all think she got a 5 year contract because of her personal closeness to Paul. I want to throw up thinking about kissing him. Is a long contract really worth it? Not to me, shoot me first before that.

Part of the reason there is a culture of silence, which is not unique to Paul Newman, is that in this environment you can be made to feel weak if you are uncomfortable with the bullying. This was definitely one way he could hide his behaviour: that it was your fault for being weak. A classic victim blaming response.

I saw him become obsessed with ‘hunting teachers’ he once called it. Anyone was fair game. People were so scared of him they would just step aside and be glad he was going after someone else, not them. As long as he wasn’t attacking them then it was okay to pretend you never saw or heard anything wrong.

I haven’t spoken out loud about this properly before. I felt this wasn’t about me: it is for those people who have been bullied by him to take up the story. But I don’t want to be in the business of protecting this kind of dangerous workplace culture either. And my perspective is useful. I can completely believe that people who worked for him, some at least didn’t know about the extent of his conduct.

He was a horrible, manipulative bully; he would deliberately go out of his way to tell lies about people knowing how much damage it would do to them sometime later down the track. We were all adults, but you were made to feel 13 at times. You had to think about it really carefully: how much is this job worth?

I used to have this horrible feeling of, what if my partner or family saw me ignoring this kind of thing and not speak up about it? It would be very humiliating. And this was all the time – not in the heat of one of his attacks. You couldn’t believe the good things that were said about him because you had witnessed the terrible things he did to people, most of the time in the background.

Fairly often his conversations involved a boast about himself: I can call the Chief Executive, and I can call the Minister anytime I like. He was telling us how important he was all the time. He used to say he could do what he liked, it was tiring listening to it over and over. Then he was removed from the APY Lands and we would all laugh about it afterwards.

Sometimes he’d put you down or make some sleazy sexist comment in front of someone you respected or had worked with, and that bothers me to this day – that they would let it pass. Everyone wanted to save their own job, and I understand that; but I feel sick that his bullying was allowed to flourish in public and no one ever said, “This isn’t acceptable.” If you raised it, you were laughed off as naive; there was the horrible underlying feeling that you were going to be next on his hit list. HR did nothing, Employee Relations did nothing, the Ethical Conduct Unit did nothing, the Incident Management Division did nothing.

Every part of the Department protected and supported him. This was – bluntly – horseshit; people were going on stress leave, others left teaching for good, people were really suffering but nobody wanted to help to try and stop it. We were completely on our own: helpless and vulnerable and nobody cared.

Plenty of stupid people could rise through the ranks, and plenty of great people were lost to the Education Department because of Paul Newman’s bullying. I think behaving as outrageously as he did, and nobody doing more than shaking their head or laughing nervously, made him believe he had all the power. He felt untouchable.

There was the odd person who stood up to him and weren’t scared to. They were always quite tall and educated, and they were resented and envied by Paul. His insecurities were close to the surface, and his awareness that he was not an attractive man was quite evident. He also felt less able to bully them – or maybe the bullying took a different form.

He was good at currying favour too. He would search for people in positions of power and befriend them quickly. I would look at some of the people and think: they don’t really give a shit about you Paul, they’re using you more than you are using them. This explains why he has no friends in the Department, just people below him who still want to suck up to him. Incompetent principals who cling on to him like a badly beaten dog follows its abusive owner around because it doesn’t know anything else.

Pretty pathetic really, how destructive a person he is yet he is rewarded by the Education Department by still having a well paid job. They felt like transactional relationships; Paul never really made true friendships.

I believe those who have come forward and made their stories public on these blogs, because all those accounts make so much sense now. It’s horrible; how none of us connected together to complain about the severity of his bullying.

He used to say to young female teachers on the Lands, “See me like a king. I’m your pass to places.” He learned the things you wanted from the job, and he would hold that over you as a carrot, to do his bidding. But I left for a break because life was too short. I was beginning to feel a sense of shame for not helping people. I had wanted to be the sort of person who could “handle it”, but emotionally I couldn’t. I was very nervous all the time. I wanted to leave before I turned into one of those people, people like Paul Newman. They’re still here, in every school, sucking the life out of the job with their gossip and rumouring.

Paul Newman is not the only monster on the hill that we need to kill. The culture that allowed him to hide in plain sight still needs to be addressed, and I think that’s barely begun. It should be embarrassing for people to do what he did to employees, for the fate of an entire generation’s educational future to rest on a bully’s whims. If he hadn’t been able to steamroller, abuse and wreck people’s careers for so long before he was removed, maybe the APY Lands would be a place where people wanted to stay longer than a year or 2.

But I think the bullying and the culture of silence around it still flourishes. Mark Ames spent so much time idolising Newman and trying to be like him that it looks like the failed system of education out here will continue for years to come. I feel so sorry for those unfortunate Anangu kids and families dealing with this kind of crap for so long. They deserve so much more.


“A colleague came into the school one day, saying, Call the Education Department, Paul just attacked me! That was probably his last day.”
‘Britney’, ex-APY Principal

I worked for Paul Newman for almost 4 years in 2 different schools. When I came on board, it was a disaster. When I left it was still a disaster.
He did with me what he went on to do with many, many people: he offered me some favours that no other boss would have done and at that point he owned me. Where were you going to go?

You would see some terrible stuff. I remember one time Paul was holding a meeting in my office with a teacher he wanted put on performance management. It was completely one-sided, the teacher had no chance. People like me knew that if we stepped in to try and stop it or protect the teacher then we would most likely be next. I don’t know what the effect was on that woman, but it couldn’t have been good.

It’s fairly well-known that Mark Ames is desperately trying to be like Paul Newman. There was a moment at my school when I had to host a staff meeting with the 2 of them together. We had this awful teacher, he wasn’t the best in the classroom but he had the kids in the palm of his hand.

Newman hated him and Ames just did what Newman told him to do. We had to sit through the meeting and try not to laugh. Mark was like a little puppy, constantly looking to check if Paul was giving him approval for saying the right things to embarrass the teacher in front of his peers.

After they had gone I spoke to the teacher privately. He was really worried about the performance management strategy Paul had tried to force on him. I told him I knew how Paul worked and not to worry as I recognised it was only done to pressure him into leaving. I felt sorry for him so I helped him through it and Paul was none the wiser. Paul just wanted blood, he didn’t care about the specifics. Just to show him who was boss, to really hurt the guy.

A lot of people left in my time and later I was one of them. We had someone who came into the office one morning. Big guy, lovely guy. Scared and sweating, and saying, “Someone call the Department, Paul just attacked me.” He said Paul turned up to his class unannounced and verbally threatened him in front of his kids, and there were no witnesses (a Paul speciality, he once told me). That was probably his last day. I don’t think anyone called the Department.

They made many female teachers in the APY Lands cry or feel really uncomfortable or both. There should have been lots of apologies but there never was. I wasn’t around much it as it festered. My jaw didn’t exactly hit the floor when I started reading the accusations on these blogs. I believe everything to be true, and the degree of bullying and harassment was unsurprising.

I always think to myself: why does the Chief Executive put up with this kind of bullying from his managers? It makes no sense to me and many others I’ve spoken to. People get burned out and leave all the time, it must cost millions of dollars each year just trying to deal with the fallout from it.

I guess they don’t care because it’s just a limitless bucket of tax payer money to waste.
For me, working for someone like Newman and Ames was largely educational. It made me better at navigating questionable personal relationships. I’m a straight shooter, but there were lessons to be learned in terms of how to manoeuvre and how to survive under adverse conditions.

I would disagree with them, but most people didn’t. They ruled with an iron fist, and you did not want to lose your job because it was a great job, except for the poisonous environment. People could escape it physically; that’s the only way they were able to keep some of their teachers, because they were able to hop in a troopie and go and get smashed in Alice Springs or Marla for a night or 2.

They were such bad managers and so paranoid that there was no room for trust, even for people who were close to them in schools. It was always only ever Paul and later Mark, fighting the good fight in their minds. They trusted only a few people who they put there to do their dirty work for them.

To bully staff without complaint, to get rid of teachers they’d labelled troublemakers. But in the end, even their ‘chosen ones’ will get bullied eventually, it’s something in their DNA I think, to continually undermine and intimidate people to keep themselves at the top. Maybe it really is small man syndrome.


Paul Newman: “I crossed him but I would do the same again tomorrow.”

My teaching career in the APY Lands came to a halt after that. It’s a small place, and there were whispers and rumours. No one knew what had exactly happened, of course, but after several uncomfortable interviews, it became clear people didn’t want to risk upsetting Paul, and I couldn’t defend my reputation properly because no one would tell me what he was saying about me behind my back.

He is so insidious. He destroys your reputation with a few phonecalls and his hand picked group of obedient principals.

There will always be characters like Newman; we can’t deny the existence of these charismatic, sociopathic and dangerous characters, and they seem to people the top echelons of many government agencies. But as a society, we have a responsibility to make sure that employees are protected – and that if they are abused, they have true recourse.

If the Education System allows them to stay and do further damage after all the complaints, complaints that are able to be accessed once you start a legal case against him and the Education Department, then you have a much better chance of getting financial compensation for any damage he has done to you.

We can get a good lawyer for you, get the Union to help you and turn up ready to fight.
Talk to opposition politicians, talk to the media, talk to your consellor, talk to your friends and family, share your story so others are informed, drag the little bully into court often enough and one day it will be his contract that’s not renewed.

Don’t let the bastards get you down…..especially the little ones!

More Paul Newman? Ferg Ferguson, SA Government teacher, who beat Department for Education at Supreme Court sees end to hiding identity of ‘anonymous’ employees who made malicious allegations against him.



Taking on the bullies of the SA Department for Education and winning!

The judgement is here:

Ngaire Benfell and Dominic Rainsford are involved and looks like one other female teacher too after reading what the judge said.

Background: Ferg Ferguson teaches on the APY Lands.

He found out through Freedom of Information requests fellow employees had been telling and writing lies about him to damage his reputation at work.

He tried to find out who they were and what exactly they said and wrote.

The Department for Education refused to tell him.

They were more interested in protecting the liars than helping Ferg find out the truth.

We strongly believe Paul Newman is behind all this.

Ferg sued in the Magistrates Court and initially lost his case. He appealed to the Supreme Court where a judge overturned the Magistrate’s decision to help the government hide those identities.

Here’s what the Supreme Court judge said:

“Teachers should not be deprived of the proper opportunity to defend themselves from malicious, aggrieved or mistaken complainants who make false allegations that could destroy careers.”

But the Department for Education says those teachers should be deprived of that opportunity because they support people like Ngaire Benfell and Dominic Rainsford, as you can see. 

Rick Persse and the Department for Education has spent nearly 4 years fighting this case.

They’ve also spent more than $130,000 so far: to deny a teacher’s right to know who’s telling lies about them behind their back.

SA Government pays Ngaire’s legal bills, Ferg has to pay his own.

For decades, the Department for Education has said employees should not know who makes allegations about them. Or what those allegations are. They’ve said those employees are protected, who enjoyed the benefits of confidentiality on their behalf without cost to them.

But we all know this encourages dangerous people like Paul Newman and his pathetic little helpers to write damaging lies about people they don’t like and then have immunity.

Not anymore!

If you write lies, you must pay the price.

If you promote those lies by sharing them with your friends, you must pay the price too.

Sounds fair to us!

The judge also said:

“One person objects to the release of that email on the basis that it does not accurately reflect what he said to the author of the email.”

Looks like the “author of the email” could be in heaps of legal trouble.


Ferg Ferguson also won “further discovery” which means he gets full legal access to heaps more emails in people’s email accounts. Even if they have been deleted because the government email system keeps a record of everything.

Everybody knows bullies like Paul Newman and Nick Papadopoulos do this stuff all the time.

And don’t forget the Nick Papadopoulos secret recordings he makes to ruin your career:

They think they are untouchable.

Almost everybody does it in this toxic Department for Education.

Maybe now some chickens are coming home to roost. Cock-a-doodle-dooooooo!


People who make malicious trouble will no longer get a free ride on the backs of those government employees they try to damage with their gossip bullshit.

Ferg Ferguson has successfully challenged the practice of the Department for Education hiding the names of those people from you, at the Supreme Court.

We know a bit about the history of this story.

I and others strongly believe Paul Newman is behind all this.

Can’t wait to see what else comes out of this case.

We’re praying for Ferg’s success.

It will help all our union members and employees in SA Government Agencies who fall victim to this kind of cowardly crap!

Here is a final note from another court case talking about a similar issue:

“Every day in hearings before the Fair Work Commission, employees are called as witnesses to give evidence against former colleagues accused of poor performance or conduct. Keeping the identity of these witnesses secret in the absence of some established threat or risk of harm to them runs contrary to the principles of open justice because it may promote the making of unsubstantiated, frivolous or vexatious allegations.

If employees are aware that they may be called upon to give evidence in legal proceedings, they are more likely to ensure that any allegations they make are based in fact and are not frivolous or vexatious in nature.

Time to get your house in order SA Department for Education!

Paul Newman has a “subclinical psychopathic personality”. Rick Persse has no excuse for ignoring it.

I went to my local library and found some books on bullying at work.

This will show everybody what Paul Newman is, what he is doing to you and some ways to help you take action: workers compensation and collecting evidence.

The Chief Executive Rick Persse and all of Human Resources already know what Paul Newman does, they just don’t care.

People have been complaining about Newman’s bullying for years and years.

I will show Rick Persse how easy it is to fix this expensive and destructive problem for the Department for Education. Or any Government Agency.

Paul Newman has a “subclinical psychopathic personality”.

This means he bullies people for fun: it is “serial, predatory and sadistic”.

Same as kids who torture puppies and kittens.


See how many items on these lists you can say: Paul Newman does that!



Rick Persse and the organizational culture he supports allows Paul Newman to continue bullying people without consequence.

Both men are responsible for your psychological damage.

Here is the process of what happens to most people who cross Paul Newman. Without support from the Department for Education you go straight to PHASE 5 super fast:


To help Rick and to save South Australia a heap of money to spend on better things like libraries, school resources, guide dogs, safe play areas for our kids, etc, I will show you how to stop Paul Newman’s bullying.

You should only read the last paragraph Rick: “proactively eliminating bullying”.

As you can see it’s a short text. You can read it in the same time it prolly takes you to think about and write one of your footy tweets:




Principals being ‘bullied’ by line managers

School leaders are victims of a ‘bullying culture’ within South Australia’s Education Department, claims the state’s top teachers union.

“A number of leaders emailed me saying they were fearful of commending the AEU for support they’d received, lest their line managers judge them negatively,” wrote Gohl – who is also a former assistant school principal.

“It is clear that leaders are being bullied by line managers. Many contact us with stories of being told to get their staff to toe the line – or else.”


In reply:

South Australian Education Department’s chief executive, Rick Persse, told The Educator that the Department “emphatically rejects” the AEU’s claim.

“Workplace bullying or harassment of any kind is not tolerated (unless you’re Paul Newman). We have strong policies and procedures in place to manage workplace issues (unless you’re Paul Newman)” Persse said.

Because they are never followed your policies are about as useful as wet dunny paper after a trailer load of spicy curry.

“Our focus is on supporting our workforce to work together constructively, (unless it’s with Paul Newman) and resolve issues when they arise (unless it’s with Paul Newman) to foster positive working relationships (unless it’s with Paul Newman).



Paul Newman: friends in high places. Rick Persse CE of Department for Education doesn’t want you to know the truth about Paul Newman. More legal threats same as Nick Papadopoulos and his secret recordings.

Rick Persse is paid almost half a million dollars.

Rick Persse salary amount


What value (and values) do we get for that money?

Threatening emails, lame footy tweets and continued financial support of expensive, career destroying, serial bully:

Paul Newman. 


Thankyou for your email Rick Persse.  Same bullying behavior as Paul Newman does.

Leading by example: Ignore the real problems, shoot the messenger instead, it’s much easier:


For Official Use Only

To whom it may concern

I refer to the email sent late Thursday 10 May 2018 from the above address to the schools within the Department for Education Torrens Partnership with the subject heading “paul newman”.

I wish to register with you that the references to Mr Newman within the email, and to Mr Newman and other Departmental employees within the wordpress blog referred to, are highly offensive, untrue and potentially defamatory.

The Department for Education intends to take action to address this matter and the State of South Australia reserves all of its legal rights.

Rick Persse
Chief Executive

Department for Education | 31 Flinders Street, Adelaide SA 5000

This email may contain confidential information, which also may be legally privileged. Only the intended recipient(s) may access, use, distribute or copy this email. If this email is received in error, please inform the sender by return email and delete the original. If there are doubts about the validity of this message, please contact the sender by telephone. It is the recipient’s responsibility to check the email and any attached files for viruses.


Rick Persse is the Chief Executive of the South Australian Department for Education. He has an MBA and expertise in many areas his bio says.

Rick Persse Bio

Your family and friends must be so proud of you Rick for threatening, intimidating and harassing female victims of lies, abuse and bullying in your Education Department because we tell the truth about your Education Director Paul Newman.

Honestly thankyou Rick for showing the world how much you care.

Next you’ll be threatening whoever told the truth about Nick Papadopoulos getting kids to feel his big hard manly muscles and his secret recordings in APY Lands schools:


Is no-one reading the news about teachers getting too close to kids and inappropriate touching?!!!!


Journos are correctly asking the Public Service to justify their spending. Rick Persse doesn’t want you to ask the same questions about his Education Department.  He would prefer you didn’t know how much of your taxes support Paul Newman’s bullying and harassment of employees……prefer you don’t ask how much this costs the State of South Australia.  Rick thinks its okay to threaten people who ask him to justify his personal friendship with Paul and all the free Education Department money and time he gives Paul.

Maybe Rick will be emailing journo Caleb Bond too with more legal threats, same as the one above, for asking the same questions? 

Or same as Paul Newman, does Rick Persse just like threatening the little people?


Caleb Bond: It’s time for the government to cut back the ever-growing public service

Caleb Bond, The Advertiser
May 30, 2018 7:41am
ADELAIDE is fast on the way to becoming a one company town. And that company is the government. There are about 750,000 people employed in this state. The State Government has 106,118 of them on their books.

About a seventh of SA works in the state public service. It is the biggest employer in the state by a country mile. For a bit of perspective, the largest private employer in SA – Peregrine Corporation, which owns On The Run – employs 2400.

It’s astounding. All these people working for the same outfit on the public purse. For those of us in the private sector, this is where our taxes are going – and these people don’t come cheap.

The government employs 1300 executives on exorbitant six figure salaries. PAUL NEWMAN IS ONE OF THOSE EXECUTIVES. When The Advertiser last checked, 27 of them were earning more than Premier Steven Marshall, who gets $374,648.

SA Health chief Vickie Kaminski, who will quit in November after being put in charge of the shambles known as Transforming Health by the previous Labor government, is on $540,000 a year.

If the public servants had their way, chief executives would be paid as much as $637,000.

Imagine what we could buy for all the money those executives are on. More nurses, some hospital beds, funding for roads – on and on it goes.

I have no doubt Ms Kaminski’s job is a difficult one. She is in charge of one of the state’s most important outfits. But we have every right to question the value we get out of the other 1299 government executives.

What are they all doing? There are not 1300 departments. Who are they in charge of? Do they actually need anyone under them?

And then you have the rank and file public servants. The people who fill the offices and do the paperwork and stand around the water cooler – 104,818 of them. Honestly, how much work can there possibly be for all these people?

The average public servant is on $80,148 a year, which is well above the Adelaide average. A typical household brings in about $56,000 a year, according to the ABS.

And it’s not just what they do – or don’t do while they’re at work. It’s what’s happening when they’re not there. The average public servant takes 10.1 sick days per year according to government data, which is unusual when you only get 10 sick days.

Do a few sums and you’ll work out that’s 1,071,791.8 days of lost productivity. Just thinking of that number makes me feel a little sick.

And how much to support and protect the likes of Nick Papadopoulos too?  Slipping in and out of schools secretly recording private conversations and kids on his phone.

In the private sector, many of us worry about taking sick days. We just want to get the work done and sometimes we feel bad about leaving our workmates in the lurch if we take a day off. I’ve taken one sick day in two years. It was a legitimate one, too. Many people don’t have the luxury to just call in sick, but I guess it’s easy when there are 100,000 other people around who could step in for a day.

Everyone I’ve spoken to has reacted to the number with incredulity.

The sickie is, of course, a great Australian tradition – but when more than a million sick days are being pulled on our money, it’s fair to ask questions….(unless you’re asking them about Paul Newman.)

The one thing the public service does appear to be good at is employing women. Almost 70 per cent of public servants are women.

In fact, a study by Malcolm Turnbull’s “nudge unit” found public hirers were more likely to hire women than men. It found hirers were 2.9 per cent more likely to shortlist women and 3.2 per cent less likely to shortlist men. Even 48 per cent of executives are women, which is significantly higher than the private sector.

I suspect the public service is a comfortable place for women. They can leave to have a baby and know they’ll come back to a job.

It’s employment of Aborigines is not as stellar, though. Only 1.9 per cent of public servants are Aboriginal, compared to 3.3 per cent of the Australian population. 1.4 per cent of its employees are disabled, too.

Trouble is, the public sector is growing when it should be shrinking. Employee numbers last year went up by 2000. It was the most significant increase in years.

We now have a new Treasurer – Rob Lucas – and it’s time for the government to crack down on the public service. Of course, no one likes losing their job, especially if it’s forced. But much of the private sector is facing redundancy and restructure as the world changes around us.

There are undoubtedly people in the private world who have made careers out of doing nothing and been entrenched in businesses and workplaces.

Those people are gradually being weeded out as belts begin to tighten. But the public service has no commercial imperative, so it’s much easier to dip into the endless pot of cash and keep people in a job. But they should not be immune.

Any treasurer would worry about a revolt of the public service if he tried sacking people. Imagine if 106,000 people decided to go on strike for a day (though that may just prove they don’t do any work). But he doesn’t have to.

Instead of forcibly removing people, he could just let them leave. Wait for them to go, whether it be for retirement or another job, and don’t replace them. Not a single person would have to be put out of a job and Lucas can still gloat that he’s shrinking the public service.

In a perfect world, we’d slash and burn. Give fat cat executives the punt now.

But 106,000 people make up a fair chunk of the voting population – and if you put them off side, you’re in big trouble.

Politicians are scared of the public service – of their own employees. They worry about the ramifications of sorting them out.

At the very least, the government ought to assess what these people are actually doing. If the government needs 106,000 people to get work done then I’m a Russian astronaut.

As Master Builders Association chief executive Ian Markos says: “If I was the state treasurer or indeed the premier, I’d want my public servant executives to be that responsive that they feel like cats on a hot tin roof”.

Fat cats on a hot tin roof, perhaps.



Department for Education Director Paul Newman: how much money does his lies and abuse really cost us?


4 in the SA Employment Tribunal and 1 in South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT).  No.6: He is also implicated in a current Magistrate’s Court case too.

More and More Money wasted

“Kids are being raped in Mimili right now but Department for Education is giving Paul Newman many hundreds of thousands of dollars and spending countless hours of time on him so he can continue to harass people from Adelaide. Why?!”

On Friday 30 March, a 14-year-old boy from South Austalia’s remote APY Lands was charged with the sexual assault of a child, ­believed to be a nine-year-old girl, who was transferred to Alice Springs Hospital.

The alleged incident occurred last Tuesday 27 March at Mimili, just 160km from the NT border, with the 14-year-old refused bail amid an ongoing police investigation.

Communities, families, schools and kids need urgent help and government financial assistance yet Paul Newman is being fully funded and supported by government lawyers and other people in Department for Education to continue bullying and harassing people.


A teacher who wants to remain anonymous for fear of Department for Education retaliation said:

“We need to see funding focused on schools and the kids in communities, not spent on Paul Newman’s 6 year APY Lands attack on staff he doesn’t like.

There are so many problems in APY Lands schools which need that money, why is Department for Education giving so much to Paul Newman?

Why is he more important than Indigenous kids and their education?

It makes us all angry at our schools that Newman is still being fully supported to try to ruin people’s careers even after he was removed to the city and no longer works here.”

So lets add up the dollar cost to taxpayers of propping up SA’s 6 million dollar waste of money man:

Paul Newman.


Ernabella teacher Ferg Ferguson’s case first:

Ferg’s salary and housing and extra APY Lands payments and utilities for 2 years as Ferg has been trying to go back to work at his school, estimated: $350,000

Multiply that by 2 because somebody else has to teach Ferg’s class and have their own house and benefits and the heaps of other stuff, estimated: $700,000

The huge amount of work time Paul Newman has spent on Ferg’s case ALONE so far: emails, phone calls, meetings, creating witness statements, travelling costs, turning up to be a witness in the Employment Tribunal, talking to people about it, more emails, more phone calls, more meetings…..the list goes on and on only for Ferg, estimated: $300,000 but prolly more.

The bill so far for Paul Newman’s stalking (yes it looks like stalking to us) of teacher Ferg Ferguson for the last 2 years at least, conservative estimated:


Next we add up the hidden costs: so much time wasted on government lawyers who clean up Newman’s piles of shit he leaves everywhere, sky-rocketing medical bills for psychologically damaged teachers, advertising costs for all the new staff after everybody leaves the Lands because of him, removalist costs, HR dealing with all his piles of shit too….and more…..

What about the other teachers who are currently taking Paul Nemwan to the South Australian Employment Tribunal?  The bill just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger.  And more legal cases are coming a rumour tells us.

All the money spent on him, for what benefits you might ask?

What benefits does did Paul Newman bullying teachers and AEWs give to communities and their kids and families?

We all know how bad the NAPLAN results are when Newman was in charge of APY Lands schools for 6 or 7 years.  The results speak for themselves.  Of course Newman blames the principals and AEWs and teachers and families for that.  Never himself.

These are only the financial costs, there are heaps more social costs related to Indigenous kids and families from Paul Newman’s bullshit.  But Department for Education doesn’t care about that.  They only care about giving Paul Newman more and more money to waste on his lies and abuse and vendettas against staff he doesn’t like while Indigenous kids are in desperate need of help and a good education.

More and more money for Paul Newman flushed down the drain!


Workplace Bullies like Paul Newman are far too expensive to keep!

And every day – workers, their families, and workplaces – are bearing the health-related and financial costs of keeping Newman the workplace bully. It’s not easy for a ‘target’ to break the silence about the workplace bullying they’re enduring, and speaking directly to a workplace bully is not only ill advised, but fraught with the possibility of increased bully retaliation.

Continuing to ignore his negative impact on staff wellbeing as well as the ever-increasing amount of money being spent to protect him and his dirty work is bordering on insane. But of course it’s easy to waste tonnes of money on Paul Newman when it’s not coming out of your own pocket, Mr Chief Executive.

How bullying from Paul Newman affects organizations like the Department for Education:

Each of the individual consequences listed above can be very costly for the organization. Costs of bullying generally fall into three categories:

1. Replacing staff members that leave as a result of being bullied, cost of training new employees.

2. Work effort being displaced as staff cope with bullying incidents (i.e., effort being directed away from work productivity and towards coping).

3. Costs associated with investigations of ill treatment, potential legal action and loss of company reputation.

Bullies like Newman do not run good organizations or offices; staff turnover and sick leave will be high while morale and productivity will be low. Stress, depression and physical health problems result in time away from work that is costly in terms of workers’ compensation and lost productivity.

The health problems experienced by targets of bullying result in a sense of helplessness and negative emotional states. Low self-esteem and a negative organizational climate suppress creativity and hamper employees’ abilities to respond to difficult situations or challenging goals.

ROBBING PETER (Anangu schools) TO PAY PAUL (newman)

The decision to pay Paul Newman to assist the PYEC to deliver education on the APY lands is bad enough because he always stops Anangu people he doesn’t like from working in schools.

Remember, Paul Newman was the genius who tried to have 52 weeks per year teaching for Anangu kids and families. He’s paid more than $200,000 a year to think of that!

What an expert!

While at a PYEC meeting last year it’s reported that Newman spent the whole time on the phone to government lawyers trying to get his lies and abuse straight for his next court case against classroom teacher Ferg Ferguson from Ernabella.

This is stealing of money and time from the APY lands communities and PYEC to give it directly to Paul Newman to help his court case.

PYEC were never asked if they wanted to donate Newman’s time to this and they haven’t been told about Ferg’s case either.

Education policy was formalised for the APY Lands in an agreement between the Minister of Education, Anangu Education and the Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Education Committee (PYEC), giving PYEC Policy and operational control of education on the APY Lands.

Individual communities and their Governing Councils have a strong role to play in decisions associated with the education of their children. It is part of the responsibility of school principals and all staff to ensure that this link between school and community is maintained and developed so that genuine empowerment of the community in matters relating to education and school occurs.

Each community on the APY Lands also has representatives who serve on the PYEC. This body is a sub-committee of Anangu Pitjantjatjara and gives direction to Anangu Education. PYEC meets regularly to make determinations related to policy and operational matters associated with education across the Lands.

Department for Education and Rick Persse dont care about PYEC. They are supporting stealing money and time from PYEC to give it to Paul Newman. Why would they do that? Why does Newman get all the money but schools and communities have to do without basic services?

Rick Persse and Department for Education don’t care about Anangu communities and PYEC. They want them to fail. They steal money from them and give it to Paul Newman.

Newman should have been working hard to help communities. Instead he was working hard to help himself and get rid of people he didn’t like. He is not paid to do that but he is using his time at work to do that.

If a teacher was paid to teach and used their time instead to harass people on Facebook while they should be teaching they would be fired.

Why was Paul Newman paid to help communities and schools but use his time instead to harass and bullying people and tell lies about them and why he is not fired for that?

Instead of dragging him back to Adelaide where he can’t do as much damage he should be fired for stealing money and time from Anangu communities and families and kids.

Why Mr Persse? Why? Why did you let Paul Newman do that to so many people?

Why do you still give Paul Newman heaps of money to fight his bullying court cases?

There are many cases against Department for Education in the SA Employment Tribunal, check here to see them every day:

Ferg has had 6 government lawyers working against him in 3 different cases. Other people suing Newman for bullying and bad behaviour have 3 government lawyers and barristers, they are not cheap!

Behind every one of these cases are teachers who have had their careers, lives and health blighted in the course of simply trying to do their job and improve the lives of children and young people.

Ferg also had heaps of Department for Education staff come to his courtroom dates and in meetings. All of these people are being paid to sit and watch the case. Sometimes there are 5 government people against Ferg on his own, all because of the lies and abuse of Paul Newman forcing Ferg to fight him in the Tribunal. Hundreds of thousands more dollars wasted because of Paul Newman.

Look at the $1 million wasted on Paul Newman every year he has been on the APY Lands bullying people. APY schools could have gotten one of these every year for that same money:

10-15 pre-school teachers salaries

between 16-20 AEW salaries

10-15 teacher salaries

10-15 counsellor salaries

20 SSO salaries

loads of new computers and software

heaps more resources

new busses and troopies

The lack of both appropriate accountability and enforcement of rules against Paul Newman is forcing many of our members to have to seek redress, including through the courts.

This is symptomatic of a system where the Department for Education feels they can disregard the rights of the workforce, to discriminate against them, to fail to meet their health and safety obligations and to harass and victimise teachers with impunity.

Other teachers suffered occupational stress as a result of “a sustained period of harassment and bullying by Paul Newman” and quit the profession with a “significant and debilitating psychiatric injury”. One of them is going to sue Paul Newman too.

It is of deep concern that many of the claims could have been avoided if the Department just abided by their statutory duties and responsibilities and stopped Paul Newman early on.

Let’s hope they’ve learned their lesson with this expensive mistake.

 If you find yourself bullied by Paul Newman or someone like him please speak to a lawyer and use this resource to help you:

What is career-rape? Ask Paul Newman and Rick Persse (SA Dept For Education Chief Executive)

Gerald Ridsdale rapes your children:

gerald ridsdale

Harvey Weinstein rapes your female actors:

harvey weinstein

Jimmy Saville rapes/raped everybody:

jimmy saville

Ridsdale, Weinstein and Saville are 1. rape below.

Paul Newman rapes your teaching careers:

paul newman

Newman is 3. rape below.

Read this definition, these rapes are different:

rape (rāp)

  • n.1. The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.
  • n.2. The act of seizing and carrying off by force; abduction.
  • n.3. Abusive or improper treatment; violation: a rape of justice.

Paul Newman’s behavior is labeled “Career-rape” because if he doesn’t like you he f*cks your career without your consent. A rape of career.  It is abusive and improper. It is a violation. This shares imagery heaps with 1. rape. It is abuse of power. Just like Catholic Priests who molested children in their care were moved when the Church found out. Paul Newman was also moved to a new partnership after his abuse of people and their careers on the APY Lands became too much.

Paul Newman’s favorite principals are telling everyone:

Here is an extract from one email:

Dear Staff,

Blah blah blah

Firstly, Paul Newman, Daniel Balacco and Kerryn Jones were lucky enough to win the Flinders Park partnership in the new shuffle of DECD. While the APY lands team is still being organised Mark Ames will set up as Acting Education Director.





Newman did this openly to local Anangu people and many non-Anangu people. All of them are employees of DECD but DECD only protected Paul Newman and his friends. Therefore DECD assisted in your Career-rape and is partly responsible. The Catholic Church pays millions of dollars to victims for ignoring their cries for help.

DECD under Rick Persse will have to pay too for protecting Paul Newman and his friends.
Here is an example:

Gang rape (not Paul Newman)

Gang rape occurs when a group of people participate in the rape of a single victim. Rape involving at least two or more violators (usually at least three) is widely reported to occur in many parts of the world.

Gang career-rape (yes Paul Newman)

Gang career-rape occurs when a group of ‘DECD Leadership’ participate in the career-rape of a single teacher. Career-rape involving at least two or more ‘Leadership’ (usually at least three) is widely reported to occur in many parts of the State but is much more common in the APY Lands where Newman and his buddies just do what they like to you.

Serial Rape (not Paul Newman)

Serial rape is rape committed by a person over a relatively long period of time and committed on a number of victims. Most times this type of rapist is unknown to the victim and follows a specific and predictable pattern of targeting and assaulting victims.

Serial career-rape (yes Paul Newman)

Serial career-rape is committed by an Education Director over a relatively long period of time and committed on a number of victims usually teachers but also others he doesn’t like. Most times this Director is known to the teacher and follows a specific and predictable pattern of targeting, harassing and intimidating victims.

Payback career-rape (yes Paul Newman)

Payback career-rape, also called punishment career-rape or revenge career-rape, is a form of career-rape specific to certain organizations, particularly Government ones. It consists of the career-rape of an employee, usually by a group of several males in Leadership (although female bosses regularly participate in this behavior too), as revenge for acts committed by members of a lower class of employee, such as teachers or SSOs. The career-rape is meant to humiliate the employee, as punishment for their prior behavior (sometimes complaining about them or submitting grievances or alerting outside organizations to what’s really going on in schools) towards the perpetrators. It also serves as a visible warning to other employees who might be thinking of complaining about any of the perpetrators in the future. The message is clear: We will f*ck your career. Payback career-rape is sometimes connected to tribal fighting between ‘DECD Leadership’ and employees under them in the organizational hierarchy.

War Mentality career-rape (yes Paul Newman)

War Mentality career-rapes are committed by School Leadership, Directors and various DECD corporate employees during perceived conflict or when they adopt a war mentality when dealing with ‘enemy combatants’ (so-called ‘troublemaker teachers’). It also covers the situation where female teachers are forced into psychological career-slavery by an Education Director like Newman. He helps you one time and you find yourself in debt to him for years, especially when he recruits you to support getting rid of a so-called ‘troublemaker teacher’ for him.

During this war mentality stage, career-rape is often used as a means of psychological warfare in order to humiliate the enemy (teachers) and undermine their morale. They are often systematic and thorough, and Adelaide based DECD Leaders may actually encourage their Director and principals to career-rape teachers Newman hates. Likewise, systematic career-rapes are often employed as a form of complainers-cleansing whereby anyone who complains is cleansed from the APY Lands and moved somewhere else. During this process their reputation will be trashed with false stories, spreading of made up rumors, fake negative performance management results and tales of bad behavior, none of which is true but helps to make it almost impossible for the teacher to return to work.

Career-Rape by Deception (yes Paul Newman)

Career-Rape by deception occurs when the perpetrator gains the victim’s agreement through fraud. In one case, a person in Leadership pretended to be a friend of Paul Newman. They claimed they had power to cause negative impacts on the woman’s career in order to pressure her into telling lies about another teacher. Both teachers’ careers suffered because of this and it was later exposed that the Leadership had no real power after all.

This career-rape by deception breaches the Code of Ethics for Public Servants and DECD’s Code of Conduct. These prohibitions are reinforced by the Public Sector Management Act. Unfortunately these kinds of career-rapes are regularly not prosecuted by DECD, unless you are a so-called ‘troublemaker teacher’ and then look out!

The courts would find that this Leadership had falsely represented themselves and thus used career-rape by deception against the woman.

Corrective career-rape (yes Paul Newman)

Corrective career-rape is targeted against non-compliant teachers as a punishment for violating their position in the DECD employment hierarchy. The Education Director tells everyone the so-called ‘troublemaker teacher’ is at the bottom of the pecking order but the so-called ‘troublemaker teacher’ doesn’t follow these orders. The corrective career-rapist justifies the act as an acceptable response to the victim’s perceived position and as a form of punishment for standing up to him. Often, the stated argument is that the career-rape will put the person back in their place, ‘correcting’ their defiant behavior, i.e. make them conform to the Education Director imposed norms.

Again like Payback career-rape this type of career-rape is strongest when it is public. This ensures that everybody can see what will happen to them if they try to stand up to the Education Director and his friends.

Status career-rape (yes Paul Newman)

Resulting from differences in hierarchy or perceived social class. This kind of public show career-rape reminds everybody who is the boss and is done primarily for pleasure. Like some of the others it serves as a good reminder who is the boss around these parts to the lower class employees. Partners of teachers or SSOs are vulnerable to this kind of career-rape too.

Narcissistic friends of Paul Newman who were protected by him also participate in this behavior. Nicholas Papadopoulos was one of the worst for this kind of “I’m better than you because I’m DECD Leadership and I’m a friend of Paul Newman” behavior. He also joined in on Gang career-rape with New best friend boss.

Emotional and psychological

Frequently, victims may not recognize what happened to them was career-rape. Some may remain in denial for years afterwards. Confusion over whether or not their experience constitutes career-rape is typical, especially when victims suffer psychological damage. Women may not identify their victimization as career-rape for many reasons such as feelings of shame, embarrassment, fear of retaliation from DECD, reluctance to define the perpetrator as someone who f*cks their career or because they have internalized victim-blaming attitudes. The public perceives these behaviors as ‘counterintuitive’ and therefore, as evidence of it not happening at all.

Denial is not uncommon. Fear of not being part of the group is also a strong driver of silence in these situations. Once labeled a ‘troublemaker’ by Paul Newman or others it is very difficult to shake off because DECD doesn’t support teachers in these situations, further damaging the poor employee.

Meanwhile people like Paul Newman continue to believe they are getting stronger and stronger and continue to career-rape more and more employees under their responsibility. DECD becomes more and more culpable as time goes on and they continue to do nothing when alerted.


DECD has a strong career-rape culture. It is a sociological concept used to describe a setting in which career-rape is pervasive and normalized due to attitudes in DECD about Education Directors, principals and those below them in the hierarchy.

Behaviors commonly associated with career-rape culture include victim blaming, so-called ‘troublemaker teacher’-shaming, objectification of us females, trivializing the career-rape, denial of widespread career-rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by much of the behavior, or some combination of these.

REMEMBER: Behind Every Boss Such As Paul Newman There Are Many Enablers

There is so much more work to do if we want to protect Anangu Education Workers, teachers and their partners from the predatory and retaliatory behavior of people such as Paul Newman.



Paul Newman, Larry Nassar, 2 peas in a power-pod.

aly raisman

larry nassar

Paul Newman is to DECD what Larry Nassar is to USA Gymnastics

Both men in positions of power, both protected by their bosses, both abusing people in their care.

IMPORTANT: Paul Newman is only accused of employment abuse, not sexual abuse of any kind. The parallels between these men (including Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, et cetera) is only that they got away with their disgusting behavior because they were male and were protected by others.

Nassar is finally facing his victims in court after decades of sexual abuse. Unfortunately just like the Catholic Church does with its sickening pedophile priests, Paul Newman was quietly moved away from the APY Lands to a new educational parish in the city after complaints about him became too much to hide anymore. He did the same terrible things in the Northern Territory for many years too. A bully like him can’t change his spots.

All of us stand arm in arm with brave beyond words USA Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman as she confronts her abuser in court. Listen carefully to her words, they give us hope that Paul Newman will face court for his disgusting employment abuse and for trying to destroy people’s lives.

We love you Aly!

These words were said to Larry Nassar but could easily be talking about Paul Newman:

“The effects of your actions is far reaching, the abuse goes way beyond the moment.”

“You made me uncomfortable and I thought you were weird.”

“Imagine feeling like you have no power and no voice.”

“If over these many years just one adult listened and had the courage and character to act this tragedy could have been avoided. I and so many others would have never ever met you.”

“When people came forward, adult after adult, many in positions of authority, protected you.”

“Being told you were mistaken is like being violated all over again”.

“You were put on advisory boards or committees to come up with policies that would protect people from this kind of abuse. You are the person they had take the lead of athlete care” (same as Paul Newman in charge of APY teacher wellbeing!)

“False assurances from organizations are dangerous.”

“You’ve taken on an organization that is rotting from the inside”. (for Rick Persse, Chief Executive)

“Continuing to issue statements and empty promises will no longer work.”

What happens when people speak out about Paul Newman? Ask Ferg Ferguson.

DECD have tried to silence Ferg and damage his career. We think Aly and Ferg are very similar.

Good luck with that, DECD.


Please watch Aly’s powerful speech here:



Paul Newman – the FAQ tell all


Update on Ernabella teacher Ferg Ferguson who is fighting back against Paul Newman/DECD bullying in the South Australian Employment Tribunal on the other blog: HERE.


A new page (also in the top right hand corner of this blog): click to read it:

The Conor Test

A guide for DECD Education Directors who only know how to lie, bully and harass staff (too late to save Paul Newman who’s been removed against his wishes from the APY Lands but perfect for Mark Ames and whoever takes over from him).



Pic from the other blog: Thankyou whoever did this!

CELEBRATIONS for APY Lands but feel sorry for who gets Paul Newman next….more lies and abuse for them.  😦



Email acknowledged by Rick Persse.  The clock is ticking, tick, tock, tick, tock……



A friend emailed Mr Persse the Chief Executive of DECD today to ask him to do something about Paul Newman.  This is DECD’s Harvey Weinstein moment we all hope, when finally something will get done.  Everyone knows the SA government is looking at this blog and the other blog

Question is, will they continue to look the other way as they have done for so long?  (It’s called wilful blindness and legal negligence I’m told)


we know you're watching



Don’t die laughing like we all did. Paul Newman has lost the plot. Word is he will claim at Ferg’s court date on 7 December “if you take some time off and don’t teach for a year then you forget how to teach”.


Sorry all you teaching mums who took maternity leave, back to teacher training school for you!


ha-ha-ha-ha what a joke!  Mr Persse can we get a new Education Director pls, a real one who knows what they’re talking about? Pretty pls?  Maybe this is why all your APY schools are in such bad shape?


If you haven’t died laughing already and you want to hear more Paul Newman Lies, this time in person?

Come to the South Australian Employment Tribunal in Adelaide on 7 December to watch Ernabella teacher Ferg Ferguson question Newman on the witness stand in his case.

Is Newman stupid enough to lie under oath? Prolly.

This is Paul Newman:


DECD only protect Leadership and their friends, the staff under them are lied about, bullied, mentally/emotionally and professionally abused and lose their jobs if they complain too much, and sometimes so do their partners.  Please read this link: DECD TEACHERS LIE IN COURT.

Friends with the Education Minister? You can do whatever you like to your staff and then blame them, just make sure Minister Close has some nice photos for her Facebook page to keep her happy.

Why make this blog?  Please read the FAQ and @ the top right corner.

All photos taken from the public internet.

This blog copies the model of other Education Department blogs:

Teachers With Intergrity


South Australia APY lands schools

Bad Apple Bullies

A Dingo Named Gerald

Bullshit Lies & Bullies NT

Schmoooz and guarantee it’s not your job you lose!

Schmoooz 3

Schmoooz 2

Schmoooz 4

Premier Jay Weatherill should understand the legal consequences of continuing to ignore Paul Newman’s behaviour, he’s a lawyer!

Schmoooz 1

Silence is Paul Newman’s (and Mark Ames’s) best friend. Those who know, must speak up.

Whether or not the large amount of complaints against Paul Newman are true, it’s clear that Open Secrets in DECD only exist because people stay quiet.

“It’s unbelievable,” an HR person said when asked if she’d heard how many people had left teaching or been forced out because of him. “He’s such a nice guy”, she went on, “Maybe there’s something wrong with all those teachers, maybe they’re not the right people for the job out there.”

Not unbelievable to us, what’s really unbelievable is the protection from DECD Newman’s gotten.

A powerful man being accused of bullying and harassing teachers both in and out of the workplace is an entirely believable scenario.

A powerful man being accused of doing all this 1500kms away out in the desert where nobody really cares much about what goes on is an entirely believable scenario.

A powerful man being accused of hand picking his ‘yes men’ (and women) on selection panels so he can continue his workplace abuse is an entirely believable scenario.
Those who never get a job in the APY Lands after crossing Newman will understand and there are lots of those people.

The gloss of the cultural experience in the APY Lands and its mythology cannot hide what is happening out there. This has nothing at all to do with the teachers, it is not their fault. This is about Leadership, this is about power.

Teachers in the APY Lands feel helpless, they feel like they have no access to justice when they complain. It’s too easy to be bullied again after you complain so many people suffer in silence. It’s too easy for DECD to cover it all up then after Newman has told more lies about you and discredited your story, which HR and ECU lap up like a cat with a bowl of cream, then he turns on you and you have nowhere to hide and nobody to help you.

What people do have, though, is access to the internet. People can speak out with some protection but everybody knows if you put your name to anything it is still seen as pretty much a career-terminating move. Newman will know where to find you.

But for a teacher’s career to end, more than one person has to be complicit in an unspoken agreement that certain behaviour is just part of the deal of working in the APY Lands. The fact that Newman mixes with politicians including Jay Weatherill changes nothing.

But sometimes even those staff ganging up on you with the support of powerful people can still come unstuck: read DECD TEACHERS LIE IN COURT.

The misplaced notion that lying about you in the background to damage your career, bullying, harassment or the other kinds of inappropriate behaviour that Newman and his hand-picked cronies have committed is all fine and dandy disguises a level of collusion that is very worrying. Workplace bullying is still not career-terminating for men like Paul Newman but being vocal about being bullied is. And then there’s all the sleazy sexist comments and slimy touching of arms and shoulders.  Some people would call that bordering on sexual assault.

There should be no self-congratulatory back patting here just because this DECD Open Secret has now been published on the internet but it is the beginning of taking back some power.

The shut-down of brave individuals who speak out is galling. Everybody knows that for change to come, silence has to be broken. “Your silence will not protect you,” someone once said. “Silence = death” as Aids activists used to chant.

Not being overly dramatic here but if those who are paid to protect employees (AEU, DECD HR and ECU to name some) are not speaking out about the abuse of teachers and AEWs then they are part of it. The silence that still hangs around such bullying and harassment in DECD will surely break. But for now it speaks volumes.

Open Secrets can only be maintained by complicity. Who wouldn’t want to play a part in breaking a story about more teachers and DECD employees being abused?

Just look what silence and looking the other way did for the victims of Jimmy Savile.

Why onlookers hold the key to standing up to bullies.

As a victim of bullying in the APY Lands I think the best way to prevent it is to use the same peer pressure that brings it about.

Unofficial polls often show that more than half of school teachers say bullying is a problem in the APY Lands. This, depressingly, is not in line with official polls on the subject – this shows that people are scared to speak out.

It is also worthwhile to think about the lived experience of bullying.

One of the most painful things about being bullied is not so much the intimidation, humiliation and fear of losing your job – though obviously that’s a large part – but the confusion. Why is this person doing this to me? What did I do to deserve it?

There are a number of motivations behind bullying: First, and most confusingly of all, is the fact that some people simply enjoy bullying for its own sake. To exert power and cruelty over someone weaker than you, or different, is a big kick for a certain kind of person, and such people are not particularly rare. Paul Newman fits into this category.

A related point is that bullying is often an activity that is collectively enjoyed. The group – or mob, if you want to think of it that way – loves to find a scapegoat. It doesn’t matter that the victim is innocent – the point is, the person being bullied provides an “outsider” who can help give the group identity. Such bullying happens not only in schools, but also in workplaces, and pretty much any place where you put more than a dozen people together. It is rife in the APY Lands, made much worse by the isolation and geographical location. Paul Newman thrives on this part of his bullying.

What should one do if one is being bullied? There is no easy answer. Dobbing in your assailant violates the bully’s warped code, but it’s a possible way out – or, like the other option of fighting back, it can simply make things worse. Others become jokers or fools. Or you can just tough it out and hope the bully will get bored and move on to someone else. Unfortunately once Newman has you in his sights you are pretty much done for, or so he would like everybody to believe. In this way he prevents many from fighting back because they are scared it will get worse and DECD won’t protect you.

But bullies like Paul Newman get a lot of their power from our silence and this is one of the greatest weapons bullied victims have – their voice – as long as the employer is listening. If the employer won’t listen and you keep all the documentation to prove it then tell the Office for Public Integrity about DECD misconduct.

There is a school of thought that suggests we should have some sympathy for the bully – that being bullied makes you into a bully in the first place. But the idea that bullies have been bullied themselves is largely a myth. According to evolutionary psychologists, bullying appears to be hardwired, and on the whole bullies are socially, that is to say, evolutionarily, successful. Many species bully, and not only primates. It’s a way of riding up the dominance hierarchy or, if you’re a chicken, the pecking order.

So what can I say to console or advise any DECD teacher who is being bullied? If there’s any positive side to it all, it may be true that it can help build resilience, as many of my parents’ generation believed. But that’s only if, sooner or later, you make a stand against it.

Perhaps the solution isn’t really in the hands of the bullied – it’s in the hands of other, often stronger, onlookers, the non-bullied, who may pretend not to notice, either because they enjoy the spectacle or they are afraid of being bullied themselves.

The most effective solution would be for those employees to withhold approval and condemn the perpetrator – and to be encouraged to do so by schools and DECD. If we collectively “name and shame” bullies, bullying would fall. Nothing in the end is stronger than peer pressure – and in that fashion, the same force that often brings about bullying, can also make it cease.

The other option is to document all your stressful situations, regularly speak to a counsellor, get them to document it all too, then speak to a lawyer who specialises in workplace psychological injuries.

If you can prove (and we all know they do this every time) that DECD knew but looked the other way and did nothing when you complained about Paul Newman, causing your psychological injury then you might be in line for a huge payout, like these teachers/employees were:

Teacher Peter Doulis wins $1.3m payout after unruly students drive him to the brink

Emily Portelli, Herald Sun September 16, 2014 1:30am

A VICTORIAN teacher driven to the brink by unruly students including one who made a flamethrower in class will pocket close to $1.3 million from taxpayers.

Peter Doulis has today been awarded more than half a million dollars for lost future earnings, increasing his total taxpayer-funded pay check to around $1.3 million.

The Department of Education was also ordered by the Supreme Court to fork out for the former Werribee Secondary College teacher’s legal costs, which could total up to $380,000.

Australia: Employee bullied by CEO receives $1.4 million compensation

Last Updated: 4 October 2017

Article by Paul O’Halloran

Colin Biggers & Paisley


The recent decision of the Supreme Court of Queensland to award a psychiatrically injured employee significant damages provides a stark reminder for executive teams, shareholders and boards: failure to identify and address bullying behaviours could cost you millions.


In Robinson v State of Queensland [2017] QSC 165, the Supreme Court of Queensland has awarded an executive employee $1,468,991.11 in damages (plus costs) after finding that she had been subjected to “repeated managerial mistreatment” by her boss, the CEO of a health organisation in Queensland. The employer was held to have been liable in negligence for failing in its duty of care to provide a safe system of work.

The Court found that over the period of a year, the CEO engaged in “unjustified blaming, humiliation, belittling, isolation, undermining and contemptuous disregard” towards the employee, which resulted in the employee ceasing work permanently and developing a serious psychiatric injury.

The bullying conduct fell into the following categories:

  • isolating the employee and flippantly excluding her from decision making and team meetings
  • unjustified blaming and humiliatingly loud and public “dressing down” of the employee in front of other staff
  • failing to inform the employee of allegations made against her and failing to provide allegations in writing despite repeated requests
  • making decisions impacting upon the teams managed by the employee without consulting her and communicating these decisions to staff without advising her


For other tips for a successful legal claim for bullying against DECD and Paul Newman read this: