‘When it comes to our future, misplaced optimism is as dangerous as blind faith. What is needed is the courage to face the way things are, and the wisdom and imagination to work out how to make things better.’
Hugh MacKay

Dr Hugh Mackay has dedicated his life to uncovering what makes Australians tick. The best-selling author and renowned social researcher shines lights on who we are, how we live, the relationships we create, and the thread of our social fabric.

Join Ngara Institute and Hugh MacKay as we delve into the social and cultural shifts, both big and small, that have spread through society over the past few generations, creating increasing distrust, disillusionment and fragmentation.

Last year, as he entered his ninth decade, Dr Mackay published his “most outspoken” book ever on a topic he is passionate about: rebuilding social cohesion. The title says it all: Australia Reimagined: Towards A More Compassionate, Less Anxious Society.

Dr Mackay says the recent negative, dishonest and ruthlessly competitive election campaign did not help! A strong civil society depends on people genuinely engaging with each other in mutually respectful ways. It depends also on close, inclusive and supportive communities finding their way to common ground.

Despite a sense of doom and gloom he feels is prevailing in society, Dr Mackay is endlessly optimistic about what the future holds.

“Whenever I spend time with younger people, the much-maligned millennials, I think they are much better equipped to deal with the changes in society. They understand the need to work more cooperatively, to be less competitive, less individualistic. They are the keys to a better future.”

The evening will open with the presentation of the Australian Activist of the Year Award to Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes of the Climate Council. This Award is given with the support of Enova Community Energy. Will Steffen will give a short talk, followed by Mayor Simon Richardson launching the Byron Shire Human Rights Charter, a co creation after Ngara Institute’s 2018 Annual Lecture by Gillian Triggs.

For an evening of intelligence, hope and insight join Ngara Institute at the Civic Memorial Hall, Saturday July 20, 7.00-8:30pm. Tickets now on sale.

Doors open for food and hot drinks at 5.30 p.m. Music by Elena B Williams from 6.00 p.m.

JULY 20, 2019
Civic Memorial Hall, Mullumbimby

From 5:30pm
Heart warming eats by Barrio Byron Bay
Hot drinks and sweet treats by Pure Melt

6pm – 7pm
Soulful tunes by Elena B Williams

7pm – 8:30pm
Will Steffen & Lesley Hughes – The Climate Council
Hugh MacKay