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About The Event

The Royal Oak Balmain - 36 College St
Balmain, NSW 2041 Australia
Monday, May 3, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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.

Social psychologist and prolific writer Hugh Mackay wants us to find the best in ourselves and in our society in both good and troubled times. On Monday 3 May at the Royal Oak Balmain, he’ll be talking with ABC journalist Richard Aedy about how we can go about this compassionately and intelligently. This in-person event is now fully booked. All those who registered have been contacted. (If you haven’t heard from us, check your spam.)

The event will also be simultaneously live-streamed for free via the Roaring Stories Facebook page, where it will appear on the home page as a post at the scheduled start time of 7.00pm.

It will also be made available after the event as a recording, accessible via the Roaring Stories YouTube channel.


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 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 sixty-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 of the Royal Society of New South Wales and has been awarded honorary doctorates by five Australian universities. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2015 and is currently an honorary professor in the Research School of Psychology at the Australian National University. He lives in Canberra.


Richard Aedy has been a journalist for more than 30 years. He has hosted a range of programs at Radio National, including Life Matters, The Media Report and Sunday Profile. Over the last few years he has also presented shows on class (Class Act), power (Who Runs this Place) and climate change (Hot Mess). Richard has made award-winning documentaries in Colombia, East Timor, the United States and the UK.  He is a former Reuters Foundation Fellow at Oxford.

This event is presented by Roaring Stories Bookshop Balmain with Allen & Unwin.
With thanks to our venue partner, the Royal Oak Balmain.


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