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Hugh Mackay in Bega for The Festival of Open Minds

By Ian Campbell 10 July 2018
Hugh Mackay will speak at The Festival of Open Minds on September 1 in Bega. Photo: Supplied.

Hugh Mackay will speak at The Festival of Open Minds on September 1 in Bega. Photo: Supplied.

Australia’s most respected and experienced social researcher, Hugh Mackay, believes something is wrong with our nation and in the lives of its citizens, and he is coming to Bega to explain what and why, but more importantly how he thinks we can change.

For his new book, ‘Australia Reimagined’, Mr Mackay drew on his 50 years’ experience of listening to Australians and watching some big trends play out.

Mackay examines specific forces, including:

  • Disappointment in our political leadership;
  • A loss of faith in once-respected institutions like the church;
  • Faltering education standards;
  • A fracturing of families;
  • The erosion of community;
  • A marginalising of the disadvantaged, including refugees;
  • The proliferation of social media leading, paradoxically, to more loneliness and less privacy.

Hugh Mackay joins a stellar line up of speakers contributing to The Festival of Open Minds on September 1 at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre.

Other speakers include Catherine McGregor who will share her compelling and inspiring story of gender transformation; Linda Burney, the first Aboriginal woman to serve in the House of Representatives and the first Aboriginal person to serve in the New South Wales Parliament and Gabbie Stroud, whose powerful and moving memoir ‘Teacher’ has captured Australia’s attention and is part of the current news cycle.

The festival theme is ‘change’ drawing on a program of local and visiting speakers; people experiencing change, people advocating for change, and people who have led change. Change across a range of interests and experiences.

The full program will be announced shortly.

Hugh Mackay adds real clout to this optimistic but challenging day of ideas, discussion, and community.

In his new book, Mr Mackay offers some compelling proposals for a more compassionate society, on September 1 he will deliver a call to action to everyone who loves Australia enough to want to make it a better place for all.

You may not agree with everything he says, but you won’t be able to ignore the intelligence of his argument or not be moved by the passion of his convictions, his warmth and easy humour.

With the support of Candelo Books, Mr Mackay will be signing copies of his new book on the day.

During the month of July tickets for The Festival of Open Minds are just $20 via South Coast Tickets. People 12 to 19 years (high schoolers) are free.

Everyday SouEasters will also have the opportunity to present their ideas and share their experience through the Change Bites program – highlighting bite-size stories of change.

Change Bites will be mixed through the speaker’s program giving locals 3 minutes to share their story or make their pitch.

Focused around three themes people from across the region are invited to submit an expression of interest now and claim their 3 minutes on stage.

Change Bites themes:

  • The day my life changed and how I responded;
  • My pitch for change;
  • Change – I just can’t take it any more!

Submit your expression of interest now via [email protected] outlining your idea in 50 words or less, spaces are limited, the Change Bites program will look to represent a range of ideas and experiences.

Come and engage in the conversation and share your wisdom.

Tickets for The Festival of Open Minds are on sale now via South Coast Tickets.

Thank you to Bega Valley Shire CouncilUniversity of Wollongong – Bega CampusTathra Beach House AppartmentsBega Valley Regional Gallery, and RiotACT for your support.

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