Publication Details

Martin, B, Dilemmas of defending dissent: the dismissal of Ted Steele from the University of Wollongong, Australian Universities' Review, 2002, 45(2), 7-17.


The summary dismissal of Ted Steele from the University of Wollongong in February 2001 was the most significant case of its type in Australian higher education in half a century. The Steele dismissal case is placed in the context of academic freedom in Australia, the development of the University of Wollongong and Steele's own background. The moves made by key players in the drama - the university administration, the National Tertiary Education Union, the Department of Biological Sciences and Steele - are assessed in the light of possible alternatives. The case shows that rhetoric about free speech and academic freedom provides both risks and opportunities for all parties.