Mailing lists

Mailing lists are a helpful way to send material to multiple recipients. These lists are identified by a single name, such as, and email messages are forwarded to all addresses on the list.

We use Mailman as our mailing list management tool. A directory of other University of Newcastle mailing lists can be viewed on Mailman.

Some mailing lists are open to anyone who wants to join them, while others require an approval from the list owner.

As a staff member you will be automatically subscribed to the all-staff mailing list.

Mailman is accessed online.

Members and prospective members are able to view publicised lists and public archives, subscribe and unsubscibe from lists (subject to approval) via the List Information area.

List configuration, subscription management and posting approvals are tasks performed by list administrators or moderators. These operations are available in the Administration area, which is password protected.

Managing a mailing list - Information for Administrators and Moderators


An open list means that any valid user can subscribe to the list. This list is suitable for publicity or open groups.


A closed list is one where only the list owner (moderator/s) can add new subscribers. Any 'subscribe' requests are automatically forwarded to the list owner for approval.

When requesting a mailing list, the applicant must nominate whether the list is to be open or closed.

Email mailing lists are used to distribute messages to a group of recipients, such as newsletters or team communications, within a workgroup. Subscribers to a mailing list may be internal University users or external users with Non-University email addresses.

A mailing list must have an 'owner' who is responsible for the management of the list. The list may also be configured to allow nominated 'moderators' to send messages, and to add and remove addresses.

To apply for a mailing list please click here.

Read the Delegation of Authority Policy to confirm who can approve a request.

The default settings for lists should be suitable in most cases. Unless you are confident about making changes to original settings, leave all default options ticked. It is best to leave your list configuration as simple as possible for easy maintenance. Please read the documents on the Mailman site before contacting the IT Service Desk for assistance.

Common settings for mailing lists

The following are recommendations for the most common areas a list administrator will need to access. You must be logged in to the Administration area to make these changes.

Setting owner and moderator addresses

Owners can perform all administrative and configuration actions on the list, including 'moderating' (approving or rejecting messages). The list may have more than one owner address if several people need to be able to do this.

Moderators can only approve or reject messages. Note that some lists do not need moderation at all, because they are simply set up to allow anyone on the list to send, or simply to reject anyone but the owner/s from sending.

  1. Click General Options
  2. Enter addresses, one per line, into the Owner and Moderator fields as required.
  3. Click Submit your changes

Note that the owners and moderators aren't automatically able to send to the list. You will also need to subscribe the owner/moderator address to the list and make sure the 'mod' (moderated) box is not ticked. See subscribe or unsubscribe list members below.

Setting administrator password

  1. Click Passwords
  2. Set the Admin and Moderator passwords.
  3. Click Submit your changes

Set description

  1. Click General Options
  2. Enter something in the Description section
  3. Click Submit your changes

Setting who can send to the list?

The mailing list can be set up in two ways:

  • newsletter or announcement (only the owner and moderators can send to the list)
  • discussion list (anyone can send to the list)

Newsletter or announcement list

  1. Click Privacy Options
  2. Click Sender Filters
  3. Under the heading Member Filters set default_member_moderation to Yes (if some members have already been subscribed you may also need to go to the Member Management section and set 'Set everyone's moderation bit, including those members not currently visible' to be On)
  4. Click Member Management
  5. In the list of subscribed users, make sure that the owners and moderators addresses do not have the box for 'mod' ticked (If the box for 'mod' is ticked it means messages from that address will be 'moderated' and so will be either bounced or held for approval).
  6. Click Edit the public HTML pages and text files
  7. Click Welcome email text file
  8. Remove these lines:
    To post to this list, send your email to:
  9. Click Submit changes
  10. Click Edit the public HTML pages and text files
  11. Click General list information page
  12. Remove these lines:
     To post a message to all the list members, send email to
              <A HREF="mailto:<MM-Posting-Addr>"><MM-Posting-Addr></A>.
  13. Click Submit changes

Discussion list

  1. Click Privacy Options
  2. Click Sender Filters
  3. Under the heading Member Filters set 'default_member_moderation' to No (if some members have already been subscribed you may also need to go to the Member Management section and set 'Set everyone's moderation bit, including those members not currently visible' to be Off)
  4. Or if you do want moderators to approve messages before they are distributed to the list tick Yes for 'default_member_moderation' and Hold for 'member_moderation_action'
  5. Click Submit your changes

Subscribing or Unsubscribing List Members


  1. Click Membership Management
  2. Click Mass Subscription
  3. Leave the options ticked
  4. Add the addresses, one per line in the first box
  5. Click Submit Your Changes
  6. View list members by clicking Membership List. Check that the 'mod' box is correct for your needs. If it is not ticked this person can send to the list. If it is ticked, the user is 'moderated' meaning that messages from them to the list will not be delivered.


  • To remove list members one at a time go to Membership List
  • To remove a large amount of addresses, go to Mass Removal and follow the directions similar to adding members (a tip for obtaining a plain text list of all addresses on the list, on per line, is to use the traditional Mailing List Commands)

Setting Up Archives

An archive is a copy of every message sent to the list, displayed as web pages. By default lists are created without archives to save space on the server. If you do require archives set them up as follows:

  1. Click Archiving Options
  2. For Archive Messages tick Yes
  3. For 'Is archive file source for public or private archival?', tick Public if you want everyone to be able to see all the archives, or Private if only list members should be able to see the archives.
  4. Click Submit your changes

Nested Lists

If you subscribe a list to another list there are some additional configuration settings you need to set. The default settings are set for security reasons, so you must explicitly state you do not want them to apply for nested lists.

Do not subscribe lists within lists to any great depth (ie do not subscribe list A to list B to list C to list D etc). In this case the mailing systems would need to through many 'hops' from address to address before reaching the final destination address. Most mailing systems will reject an address with too many 'hops'. Try to limit nesting to only one level, ie one list or lists subscribed to another list.

For the list to which other list/s are subscribed:

  1. Go to General Options
  2. For the 'umbrella_list' setting, tick Yes
  3. Click Submit your changes

For any list which is subscribed to another list:

  1. Click Privacy Options then Recipient Filters
  2. For 'require_explicit_destination' tick No
  3. Set 'max_num_recipients' to 0
  4. Click Submit your changes

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.