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Best-selling Author Hugh Mackay Launches New Community Forum

Source: Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 21 Feb 2019
Ever heard the saying “democracy begins in conversation?” Council is launching Big Ideas, a new quarterly forum engaging the local community in the robust exchange of ideas.

The first forum will be held on Wednesday 6 March at Glen Street Theatre by acclaimed social researcher and bestselling author Hugh Mackay AO.

Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said the forum will engage the local community to discuss global topics at a community level.

“I’m excited about the launch of this new community forum for the Northern Beaches as it will ensure a healthy exchange of ideas.

“Hugh Mackay has over six decades of experience in social research and will be discussing Why Neighbourhoods Matter,” Mayor Regan said.

At each forum the community will hear from passionate thought leaders on a variety of topics including mental health, environmental sustainability and the challenges of ageing.

“Unlike online forums, ‘fake news’ and comments sections overrun with polarising opinions, there aren’t too many places left for the local community to come together and discuss these important issues in person.

“I encourage people of all ages to come along and participate in local democracy,” Mayor Regan said.

At the first forum, Hugh Mackay will discuss the challenges of social fragmentation in Australia.

“Social fragmentation is the greatest challenge we now face because fragmentation leads to isolation and, since we are essentially social beings, isolation leads to a heightened risk of anxiety and depression,” Mr. Mackay said.

Mackay argues that we need to become “ambassadors for compassion”, rebuilding trust in our local neighbourhoods and communities through a disciplined commitment to exercising kindness and respect - especially towards those with whom we disagree.

 
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