Daily BulletinHoliday Centre

The Conversation

  • Written by Sunanda Creagh, Head of Digital Storytelling
image

“I’ve found 2017 a really disturbing year.”

That’s the summary from writer, thinker and social researcher Hugh Mackay.

Mackay spoke in December with The Conversation’s FactCheck Editor Lucinda Beaman at the Sydney launch of The Conversation 2017 Year Book: 50 standout articles from Australia’s top thinkers. Among the essays featured in the book is Mackay’s enormously popular and thought-provoking article titled The state of the nation starts in your street.

The discussion, which you can hear in full on The Conversation’s Speaking With podcast above, touched on issues ranging from the rise of Donald Trump and what it means for Australian politics, to social dislocation and distrust in our institutions – and in each other.

Mackay said: “We’re now seeing many long term trends coming to fruition”.

“What is happening to Australian society is that we are edging in that same direction [as America]: more inequality, a growing number of people who feel as though the political narrative – such as it is – has got nothing to do with them,” he said.

“Fragmentation is the theme of 2017,” he said, citing concerns about loneliness and disconnected communities.

As for what we can do differently in 2018? Part of the solution, Mackay said, is getting off the screens and connecting with people in our local neighbourhoods.

“We don’t have to be prime minister, we don’t have to be in government, we don’t have to be the lord mayor of Sydney to produce changes that could transform our way of life and mental health,” he said.

“We’re like most species on the planet in our deep need of each other, our deep need to feel connected, to feel as though we belong to herds and tribes, neighbourhoods groups and communities.”

“So the first thing I would say is let’s recognise that this strange collection of people that I live with in my apartment block or in my street are my neighbours and the neighbourhood.”

“We’re all friendly with our friends and we all know how to be nice to people we like. The great thing about neighbourhoods is they’re full of people we may like or dislike, very different from us,” he said. “It’s very good for our moral development to have to learn how to rub along with people you didn’t choose.”

When you move into a neighbourhood, he said, “you have imposed upon yourself a moral obligation to engage with whatever that community turns out to be. Because in a crisis, you’re going to need each other.”

“If you know that someone in your street or in your apartment block is living alone and you don’t see much of them, make sure you’ve made contact. Just knock on the door and say ‘G'day, I’m Hugh, I’m not going to bother you but I’m here’,” he said.

“It’s a good time of year to be saying ‘what can we do?’. Because it’s the season when it doesn’t seem deeply weird to organise a street party, or to invite the neighbours in.”

Subscribe to The Conversation’s Speaking With podcasts on Apple Podcasts, or follow on Tunein Radio.

Music

Authors: Sunanda Creagh, Head of Digital Storytelling

Read more http://theconversation.com/speaking-with-social-researcher-and-author-hugh-mackay-on-2017-a-really-disturbing-year-89445

INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

The Conversation

Politics

Closing the Gap Statement to Parliament

Mr Speaker, when we meet in this place, we are on Ngunnawal country. I give my thanks and pay my respects to our Ngunnawal elders, past, present and importantly emerging for our future. I honour...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Alan Jones

ALAN JONES: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Alan.    JONES: I was just thinking last night when we're going to talk to you today, you must feel as though you've ...

News Company - avatar News Company

Prime Minister Bridget McKenzie press conference

PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon everybody. The good news is that the Qantas flight is on its way to Wuhan and I want to thank everybody for their cooperation, particularly the Chinese Government as...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Choosing the Right Coworking Space For Your Business

As the capital of Victoria in Australia, Melbourne is inhabited by millions of people and is known as one of the most liveable cities in the world. The latter is due to the city’s diverse community...

Sarah Williams - avatar Sarah Williams

What Should You Expect from A Carpentry Apprenticeship?

Those wanting to pursue a career in woodwork, whether it be to make furniture, construct buildings or repair existing wooden structures, will have to first commence a carpentry apprenticeship. This ...

News Company - avatar News Company

4 Tips To Choosing A Reliable SEO Company For Your Digital Marketing Agency

Working with a digital marketing agency Perth is the best bet in ensuring that your business is promoted well in the online space. If you are an app developer Perth, you may have to work closely wit...

News Company - avatar News Company

Travel

How to Be a Smart Frugal Traveller

You are looking through Instagram, watching story after story of your followers overseas at a beach in Santorini, walking through the piazza in Italy, and eating a baguette in front of the Eiffel ...

News Company - avatar News Company

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR GRADUATION TRIP

Graduation is the stage of life when a student receives the rewards of hard work of years. It must have taken sleepless nights and tiring days to achieve the task. Now, as you have received your cov...

News Company - avatar News Company

A Travel Guide for Vacations Overseas

There are two types of tourists. Of course, that's a sweeping generalization, and we could be talking about any possible part of traveling.  In this case, we're discussing those who stick to the ma...

News Company - avatar News Company

ShowPo