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Jessica Hickman on working in regional NSW, fighting bullying and creating ‘upstanders’

By Shandel McAuliffe | |5 minute read
Jessica Hickman on working in regional NSW, fighting bullying and creating ‘upstanders’

Jessica Hickman, the author of The Upstander Leader and founder and director of Bullyology, shared with The HR Leader what it’s been like to move to and work in Orange, NSW. She also shared what she’d like leaders to know about bullying in the workplace and what it means to be an ‘upstander’.


Ms Hickman talked about what it’s like to work on business culture in regional NSW, noting: “One of the biggest things I found moving to regional New South Wales, and I do a lot of work across the states regionally now, is there seems to be old-school mindsets and behaviours.” She added that she’s “Working with organisations where people have been leaders for 30, even 40 years, and looking at some of the big picture trends that are affecting leaders and workplace culture at the moment.”

Explaining to The HR Leader listeners what the ‘bystander effect’ is, Ms Hickman said that it refers to: “As human beings, when things get hard, challenging or quite toxic and difficult, our natural instinct and desire is to diffuse responsibility.” Ms Hickman then shared her thoughts on ‘upstander cultures’ which people can read about more in her book, The Upstander Leader.

The podcast conversation concludes with Ms Hickman’s vision for her work over the next five years, focusing on what she terms ‘the upstanding generation’.

For more information about Ms Hickman’s work around bullying in the workplace, you can visit https://bullyology.com/ and https://jesshickman.com/

Note from the editor: If you’re currently experiencing any of the issues discussed in this podcast episode and would like to reach out for help, you may wish to contact Lifeline: www.lifeline.org.au



Your organization's culture determines its personality and character. The combination of your formal and informal procedures, attitudes, and beliefs results in the experience that both your workers and consumers have. Company culture is fundamentally the way things are done at work.

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel has recently returned to Australia after working in the UK for eight years. Shandel's experience in the UK included over three years at the CIPD in their marketing, marcomms and events teams, followed by two plus years with The Adecco Group UK&I in marketing, PR, internal comms and project management. Cementing Shandel's experience in the HR industry, she was the head of content for Cezanne HR, a full-lifecycle HR software solution, for the two years prior to her return to Australia.

Shandel has previous experience as a copy writer, proofreader and copy editor, and a keen interest in HR, leadership and psychology. She's excited to be at the helm of HR Leader as its editor, bringing new and innovative ideas to the publication's audience, drawing on her time overseas and learning from experts closer to home in Australia.

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