REIMAGINING: Hugh Mackay paints the picture of an anxious and unhappy Australian society.
REIMAGINING: Hugh Mackay paints the picture of an anxious and unhappy Australian society. Alan Benson

Anxious Australians needs to hear Mackay's message of hope

PIONEERING social researcher Dr Hugh Mackay will deliver the Ngara Institute's annual lecture this Saturday, July 20, at Mullumbimby Civic Hall.

Last year, Dr Mackay turned 90 and published his most outspoken book ever on a topic he is passionate about - rebuilding social cohesion: Australia Reimagined: Towards A More Compassionate, Less Anxious Society.

"When it comes to our future, misplaced optimism is as dangerous as blind faith,” Dr Mackay said.

"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.”

In his lecture Dr MacKay will 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.

But despite a sense of doom and gloom he feels is prevailing in society, he 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,” Dr Mackay said.

"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, supported by Enova Energy, to Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes of the Climate Council.

Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson will also launch the Byron Shire Human Rights Charter, a co-creation after Ngara Institute's 2018 Annual Lecture by Gillian Triggs.

From 5.30pm there will be food by Barrio Byron Bay and hot drinks and sweets by Pure Melt from 6pm and music by Elena B Williams from 7pm.

Go to: www.events. humanitix.com.au/annual -lecture-2019-hugh-mackay -or-australia-reimagined -a-culture-of-compassion.