Hugh Mackay to talk about our ‘ten desires’

Published 28 October 2010

hughmackHugh Mackay, the well-known social researcher and writer, will be in Armidale next week to talk about the insights into human nature he has gained during a lifetime of listening to people talk about their dreams, fears, faith, hopes, disappointments, frustrations, and fantasies.

He has documented those insights in his latest book, What Makes Us Tick? The ten desires that drive us, published by Hachette Australia earlier this month.

In a public lecture organised by the University of New England’s School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences, Hugh Mackay (pictured here) will address questions such as: “Why do we seek change, yet resist it?”, “Why do we want more of the things that have already failed to satisfy us?”, and “Why do we fall out of love?”

The lecture, on Wednesday 3 November, will be in the Armidale Ex-Services Memorial Club at 7 pm.

Hugh Mackay’s many books include Reinventing Australia (Angus & Robertson, 1993), Right & Wrong: How to decide for yourself (Hodder, 2004), and Advance Australia … Where? (Hachette, 2007). His fifth novel, Ways of Escape, was published by Hachette in 2009. He is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a Fellow of the Market and Social Research Society of Australia. His publication The Mackay Report was the benchmark of social research in Australia for more than 30 years.

In his previous books, he has documented the trends that have been reshaping our society. In What Makes Us Tick? The ten desires that drive us the focus is on us as individuals. Each of the ten “desires” mentioned in the title is dealt with in one of the ten chapters of the book.

“Let’s call them our ‘social desires’,” Mackay says, “that are linked to our sense of personal identity, our relationships with other people, and our place in society. They influence our approach to love and friendship, family life, work, power, and our connections with neighbourhoods and communities.”

For more information about Hugh Mackay’s public lecture in Armidale on Wednesday 3 November, contact Helen Creagan on (02) 6773 3012 (e-mail: