The Secret to Satisfaction: Is everything we’ve been told about happiness wrong?
Free Public Lecture
Carillo Gantner Theatre, basement
Sidney Myer Asia Centre
For years, the concept of happiness and wellbeing has been popularised, monetised and exploited. But still we strive as a society for that elusive opportunity to be ‘truly happy’.
Rates of mental illness are on the rise and now represent a larger share of the mental health burden worldwide. This raises the question of whether we are approaching the issue of wellbeing and happiness in the right ways.
Should we strive for happiness? Can happiness increase or is this just an elusive goal? What is the role of pain and suffering in promoting happiness? Do we have the tools as a society to talk about our less happy experiences in life, and is this important for wellbeing?
Join our expert academics and thinkers for this unique panel discussion on happiness in western culture.
Professor Mark Wooden, Director of the HILDA Survey Project, Australia's first large-scale household panel survey, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
Professor Mark Wooden
Director of the HILDA Survey Project, Australia's first large-scale household panel survey, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
University of Melbourne
Mark Wooden commenced an appointment as a Professorial Fellow with the Melbourne Institute in March 2000. He was previously Professor and Acting Director at the National Institute of Labour Studies, Flinders University of South Australia, where he was employed for 19 years. In that time he developed a reputation as one of Australia's leading commentators on contemporary developments in the labour market. In 2000 he commenced work as the first director of the HILDA Survey Project , Australia's first largescale household panel survey, a position he still holds today. In 2010, Mark was appointed a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia. Currently he is also a chief investigator on two ARC Discovery Project grants: • Working at the margin: the consequences of nonstandard employment • The intergenerational transmission of joblessness
Dr Peggy Kern, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Positive Psychology
Dr Peggy Kern
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Positive Psychology
Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne
I am a senior lecturer at the Centre for Positive Psychology within the University of Melbourne's Graduate School of Education. I was originally trained in social, personality, and developmental psychology. I received a BA in Psychology from Arizona State University, with minors in Spanish and Communication. I earned a Masters and PhD in social/ personality psychology from the University of California, Riverside, with additional postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. My research draws on multiple fields of inquiry, including health, positive, social, personality, and developmental psychology, and public health to address the question of thriving across the lifespan. I incorporate a lifespan perspective, innovative methodologies and interdisciplinary collaboration. I have published over 70 articles and chapters and two books. I actively translate my research for organisations and lay audiences, bridging gaps between research and practice. I have given talks around the world and developed several wellbeing measures. For details on my research and projects, see my research page. I strive to live out a healthy lifestyle. I enjoy being active running, cycling, and other outdoor activities. I have enjoyed periods of competition, including winning the Charlottesville Marathon and numerous smaller races, and completing the Ballarat half Ironman in 2016. I am now enjoying simply being active and experiencing the world around me.
Associate Professor Brock Bastian, Social Psychologist and author of 'The Other Side of Happiness', Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Associate Professor Brock Bastian
Social Psychologist and author of 'The Other Side of Happiness', Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences
University of Melbourne
Brock is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He is trained as a social psychologist and his research broadly focuses on the topics of ethics and wellbeing. In his research on wellbeing, he has addressed questions such as why promoting happiness may have a downside, the cultural factors leading to depression, and why valuing our negative and painful experiences in life is a critical pathway to achieving happiness. Brock’s research on behavioural ethics broadly focuses on the various motivations that shape our ethical decision making around important social issues and how people resolve conflicts of interest. This extends to issues such as the treatment of animals and the environment. Broadly, Brock’s research seeks to understand the link between ethical behaviour and personal wellbeing, and why this link is critical to meaning and fulfillment in life. Brock completed in his Ph.D. in 2007 and since then has published more than 100 peerreviewed journal articles and book chapters. His work has been featured in outlets such as The Economist, The New Yorker, TIME, New Scientist, Scientific American, Harvard Business Review, and The Huffington Post, among many others. His innovative approach to research has been acknowledged with the Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize, and his contribution to psychology has been recognized by the Australian Psychological Society and Society of Australasian Social Psychologists early career researcher awards. Brock’s research has been supported by over $2 million in research funding. Brock is not only passionate about building scientific knowledge, but also about communicating that knowledge. He has written for popular press outlets, such as The Conversation; delivered popular talks, such as at TEDx StKilda, The Ethics Centre Sydney, and Effective Altruism Australia; and appeared on radio shows such as The Minefield. His first book, The Other Side of Happiness, was published in January 2018.
Jill Stark, Author of 'Happy Never After: Why the Happiness Fairytale is Driving Us Mad (and how I Flipped the Script)'
Author of 'Happy Never After: Why the Happiness Fairytale is Driving Us Mad (and how I Flipped the Script)'
Jill Stark is an awardwinning journalist, author, media strategist and naturalborn storyteller. With a passion for equality, social justice and mental health, Jill is fascinated by the complexity of the human experience and has a unique ability to bring the issues that matter to life. Jill’s career in the media spans 20 years, with a decade on staff at The Age covering health and social affairs as a campaigning senior writer and columnist. Prior to that, she cut her teeth in newsrooms in Scotland, where she grew up, before moving to Australia in 2001. Jill’s latest book, Happy Never After: Why the Happiness Fairytale is Driving Us Mad (And How I Flipped the Script), is a forensic examination of our age of anxiety and the relentless pursuit of happiness. In it, she explores why in a western world with more opportunity, choice and wealth than ever before, so many of us are struggling to find calm and contentment. With humour, insight and compassion, she sets her own lifetime of mental health battles against the backdrop of a stressedout, “always on” modern world that has learned to view sadness and failure as abnormal. And she asks the question, what if the key to contentment was letting go of the happy ever after fairytale and rewriting the script? Jill’s first book, the bestselling debut memoir, High Sobriety: My Year Without Booze, investigated Australia and Scotland’s binge drinking culture and was shortlisted in the Kibble Literary Awards and longlisted in the Walkley Book of the Year Awards. Jill is also a sought after media consultant, bringing her journalistic eye to an organisation’s brand, transforming its public image and helping to tell powerful, thoughtprovoking stories that leave a lasting impression. She is a coveted public speaker, working as a host with The School of Life, and delivering keynote addresses in the corporate, academic and notforprofit sectors. As a freelance writer, Jill’s work appears in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Saturday Paper, ABC Online, SBS Life and SBS Sexuality. She is also a respected radio commentator, having cohosted The Conversation Hour with Jon Faine on ABC Melbourne and making regular appearances on JOY 94.9 and Triple RRR. Her television appearances include The Project, Sunrise and ABC 24.
Lynne Malcolm, Journalist and Broadcaster, Presenter for All in the Mind
Journalist and Broadcaster, Presenter for All in the Mind
ABC Radio National
Lynne Malcolm is passionate about people and their personal experience and when she least expected it she discovered the power of radio to tell their stories. She is a graduate from the University of Sydney, majoring in psychology, education and anthropology, and has a graduate diploma in communications from the University of Technology in Sydney. She has been producing and presenting radio across a range of programs over many years in the areas of science and health and has received a number of media awards, including bronze and gold Medals in the New York Radio Festivals International Awards, the Michael Daley Award for Journalism in Science and finalist status in the Eureka Awards. She has also won two Mental Health Services media achievement awards for All in the Mind, one in 2007 for her series on schizophrenia, and one in 2013 for two programs on youth mental health. In 2014 she was awarded The Mental Health Matters media award for her contribution to mental health awareness on All in the Mind. She was awarded the 2017 Mental Health Services in Australia and New Zealand Media Award in the category of Sound/Vision Journalism for a series of three programs from All in the Mind, titled ‘Understanding and Destigmatising Mental Illness”. She has been on a range of media award judging panels and she regularly hosts and speaks at public events in relation to the mind and mental health.