Safeguarding the future conference - Canberra, 23-24 May 2024

Hugh Mackay AO

We are very excited to welcome Hugh to the Get That Good Life! conference. Hugh will be talking about connections, community, and kindness.

About Hugh

Portrait of Hugh MackayHugh Mackay is a Canberra-based social psychologist and researcher, and the bestselling author of 22 books, including eight novels. His latest book, The Kindness Revolution, was published in 2021.

He has had a 60-year career in social research and was also a weekly newspaper columnist for over 25 years. He is currently an honorary professor in the Research School of Psychology at ANU and a patron of the Asylum Seekers Centre. Among other honorary appointments, he has been deputy chairman of the Australia Council for the Arts, the inaugural chairman of the ACT government’s Community Inclusion Board and an honorary professor at Macquarie, Wollongong and Charles Sturt universities.

Hugh is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and the Royal Society of NSW. In recognition of his pioneering work in social research, he has been awarded honorary doctorates by Charles Sturt, Macquarie, NSW, Western Sydney and Wollongong universities. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2015.

Hugh’s Presentation

Kindness, Connection, and Community

What we can all do to build a more connected community

Because we are social creatures, we are ‘hardwired’ for kindness and cooperation. It’s our natural state. The sense of ‘belonging’ is therefore essential to our mental and emotional health.

But the social changes of the past 30-40 years have been pushing us in the opposite direction. We’ve become more socially fragmented, less cohesive, and more isolated. The consequences are obvious: epidemics of loneliness, anxiety and depression.

In his presentation, Hugh will help us reconnect with the magic of kindness. He’ll explain how building connections can start with small acts of kindness in your neighbourhood. We hope participants will be motivated to use these techniques in their own lives.

Return to the main conference page


Contact Details

Learn more about Hugh

Some of Hugh’s Books

  • The Kindness Revolution – Published May 2021 – “Generous, erudite, optimistic and candid…Hugh Mackay encourages us to find the best in ourselves and in our society in both good and troubled times”
  • Australia Reimagined – Published April 2018 – “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.
  • The Good Life – Published October 2015 – “Hugh Mackay has spent his entire working life asking Australians about their values, motivations, ambitions, hopes and fears. Now, in The Good Life, he addresses the ultimate question: What makes a life worth living?”

Return to the main conference page