Author Archives: Hugh Mackay

Hugh Mackay

About Hugh Mackay

Hugh Mackay AO is a social researcher, and the author of 13 books in the fields of social psychology, social analysis, communication and ethics, and eight novels.

HUGH MACKAY: How will widespread social isolation change us?

Social isolation is hardly a new problem for us: it has been high on the list of concerns for social scientists and health professionals for many years. But the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to confront the potential for loneliness … Continue reading

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HUGH MACKAY. What kind of society do we want to become?

Australia Day is widely regarded as a chance to celebrate what it means to be Australian. Perhaps, this year, we might turn the national day into a time of sombre reflection, and ask: are we the kind of society we … Continue reading

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HUGH MACKAY. A Culture of Compassion (Edited extract of Australia Day Address)

We humans are, by nature, social beings who need each other. We need the sense of belonging to communities that sustain, nurture, support and protect us and even give us our sense of personal identity – you can’t make sense … Continue reading

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HUGH MACKAY, FRANCES RUSH. Is the “Australian solution” catching on?

“The US president is indifferent to human rights.” That was the banner headline on the front page of France’s Le Monde newspaper last week, as if it were news. Donald Trump has amply demonstrated that indifference, and not only in … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 8 Comments

TONY DOHERTY. Review of Hugh Mackay’s “Australia Reimagined – Towards a compassionate, less anxious society”.

Hugh Mackay has spent almost his entire working life asking Australians about what makes us tick, what are our basic concerns, what gives us hope and meaning, why do we do what we do? His acute observation, honed by the skills … Continue reading

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SUSANNE ROBERTS. Hugh Mackay reimagines a more compassionate Australia (Book Review)

Esteemed social researcher Hugh Mackay’s latest book Australia Reimagined: Towards a more compassionate, less anxious society is exquisitely timed. As the daily headlines tell of bank and church scandals and failures in the health, education and housing systems, many of … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 1 Comment

HUGH MACKAY. Another kind of deficit

Here’s a quick Christmas quiz. (Warning: it’s not a very merry quiz.)

Posted in Health, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

HUGH MACKAY. What the Census really said about religion.

When the 2016 Census results were released, anti-religionists and anti-theists worked themselves into a lather of excitement about the apparent increase in the number of Australians ticking the ‘No religion’ box.  In the five years since 2011, that figure rose … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

HUGH MACKAY. The days of political stability and vision are gone.

From 1949 to 2007, Australian federal governments were defeated at the polls on only five occasions. Voters’ reluctance to rock the political boat over those six decades was not necessarily a reflection of great satisfaction with politics. Rather it was … Continue reading

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HUGH MACKAY. A policy that diminishes us all

  Occasionally in a nation’s history, horror over past events triggers a kind of national shame. Germany went through it – is still going through it – in the wake of the Third Reich. South Africa has not yet healed … Continue reading

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HUGH MACKAY. It’s time for a national conscience vote

  Whatever this ill-conceived double-dissolution (double disillusion?) election is about, it is clearly not addressing the issue that, more than any other, is redefining what it means to be Australian.

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

Hugh Mackay. The Art of Belonging.

We need communities to sustain us, but if those communities are to survive and prosper, we must engage with them and nurture them, writes Hugh Mackay. Aren’t you tired of being told that the deepest truth about human beings is … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

Hugh Mackay. Does every moral lapse make the next one easier?

The political decline of the Abbott government has been remarkable. No other federal government in recent history has fallen from favour so soon after an election, nor languished in the polls so intractably (consistently trailling Labor 47-53 for more than … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

Hugh Mackay. Immoral acts – that’s one way to stop the boats.

“No boats have arrived for 36 days!” That was the recent proud claim of our immigration minister, Scott Morrison, delivered in a tone that suggested we should all cheer such a wonderful accomplishment. In fact, given the strategies employed to … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 41 Comments