The Secret to Satisfaction: Is everything we’ve been told about happiness wrong?

Free Public Lecture

The Secret to Satisfaction: Is everything we’ve been told about happiness wrong?

Carillo Gantner Theatre, basement
Sidney Myer Asia Centre


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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
    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
  • Dr Peggy Kern
    Dr Peggy Kern, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Positive Psychology
  • Associate Professor Brock Bastian
    Associate Professor Brock Bastian, Social Psychologist and author of 'The Other Side of Happiness', Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences
  •  Jill Stark
    Jill Stark, Author of 'Happy Never After: Why the Happiness Fairytale is Driving Us Mad (and how I Flipped the Script)'
  •  Lynne Malcolm
    Lynne Malcolm, Journalist and Broadcaster, Presenter for All in the Mind