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    Meet the author - Hugh Mackay

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    Event description

    Hugh Mackay will be in conversation with Virginia Haussegger on his new book, The Way We Are. Lessons from a lifetime of listening, in which Australia's leading social psychologist examines our society today and asks timely and urgent questions about its future

    Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes are uncertain. Yet none of our differences—whether based on ethnicity, politics, religion, cultural tastes and preferences, or gender—are nearly as significant as the humanity we share. Amidst our epidemics of loneliness, anxiety and depression, and the impacts of entrenched poverty and ubiquitous technology, The Way We Are examines the major trends that are shaking the foundations of the Australian way of life.

    Drawing on thousands of interviews over a lifetime of research, Hugh Mackay presents a compelling portrait of Australia today. He celebrates the march towards gender equality and explains the stubborn persistence of misogyny, the anti-social consequences of social media, the complex legacy of the Baby Boomers, and the 'fake wisdom' that guides too much of our thinking. Exploring the steady decline in religious faith and practice, Hugh identifies the many gods we continue to worship, and points to the positive role that dreaming can play in our lives. Though some of his observations may not be easy reading, Hugh's analysis is suffused with affection for our country.

    Inspiring, provocative and powerfully argued, The Way We Are is the most important—and uplifting—book you'll read all year. It will encourage you to reflect deeply on the question: What kind of society do we want to become?

    Hugh Mackay AO is a social psychologist and bestselling author. His non-fiction covers social analysis, psychology, communication and ethics. He is also the author of nine novels. Hugh has had a 60 year career in social research and was a weekly newspaper columnist for twenty-five years. He is a fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and the Royal Society of New South Wales and has been awarded honorary doctorates by five Australian universities. He is currently an honorary professor in the School of Medicine and Psychology at the Australian National University.

    Virginia Haussegger AM is an award winning journalist, broadcaster & former ABC News anchor in Canberra. Virginia is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra and Deputy Chair of the media think-tank PIJI, the Public Interest Journalism Initiative. In 2019, Virginia was named ACT Australian of The Year, in recognition of her community leadership and women's rights advocacy.

    The vote of thanks will be given by Frank Bongiorno AM Professor of History ANU and President of the Australian Historical Association.

    This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the Cultural Centre foyer. Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm, and available again after the event.


    Registration is required for this event.

    Accessible parking spaces are available around campus should you require them.

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    A podcast will be made available after the event.

    Symposium by University House Wine bar (Shop 13, 152 University Avenue, Acton, which is just next to the Kambri cultural centre) will now be open for dining after meet the author events. Food and wine details at No bookings necessary.

    TEQSA Provider ID: PRV12002 (Australian University) | CRICOS Provider Code: 00120C

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