In conversation with Hugh Mackay

Hugh Mackay will be in conversation with Alex Sloan on Hugh's new book, The Kindness Revolution. How we can restore hope, rebuild trust and inspire optimism. Hugh Mackay encourages us to find the best in ourselves and in our society in both good and troubled times.

Revolutions never start at the top. If we dare to dream of a more loving country - kinder, more compassionate, more cooperative, more respectful, more inclusive, more egalitarian, more harmonious, less cynical - there's only one way to start turning that dream into a reality: each of us must live as if this is already that country.

Following the ravages of 2020's bushfires and pandemic on our mental and emotional health and on the economy, Hugh Mackay reflects on the challenges we faced during that year of upheaval and the questions many of us have asked. What really matters to me? Am I living the kind of life I want? What sort of society do I want us to become?

Urging us not to let those questions go, and pointing to our inspiring displays of kindness and consideration, our personal sacrifices for the common good and our heightened appreciation of the value of local neighbourhoods and communities, he asks in turn: 'Could we become renowned as a loving country, rather than simply a "lucky" one?'

Absorbing, wise and inspiring, The Kindness Revolution is a distillation of Hugh Mackay's life's work. Written for our times, this truly remarkable book shows how crises and catastrophes often turn out to be the making of us.

Hugh Mackay AO is a social psychologist, and the author of 22 books, including eight novels. His non-fiction writing covers social analysis, psychology, communication and ethics. He has had a 60-year career in social research, and was also 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, has been awarded honorary doctorates by five Australian universities. Hugh is an Honorary Professor at the ANU Research School of Psychology.

Alex Sloan AM, the 2017 Canberra Citizen of the Year, is a regular conversationalist for ANU Meet the Author events.

Professor Frank Bongiorno AM, Head of the ANU School of History and author of award-winning books The Sex Lives of Australians: A History and The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia, will deliver the vote of thanks.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, registration for this event is essential and social distancing must be adhered to. Guests must check in on arrival using the CBR Check-In app.

This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop and 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 until 7.30pm.