Yesterday's post was a parochial one dealing with the proposed redevelopment of Astrolabe Park. This has energised the small Daceyville community. This is another shot of of the Bayside Council information session. The woman on the left is the Council GM, beside her in the jeans stands the project manager for the Sydney Water, UNSW, Cricket NSW and AFL consortium In that post I mentioned that in the few weeks since the protest started I had met more people in Daceyville than in the previous three years.
On 30 January 2017, Australian social analyst Hugh Mackay delivered the Gandhi Oration on the topic the state of the nation starts in your street. In April 2018 he returned to the the broad topic in a new book, Australia Reimagined. On 17 May 2018 he explored his ideas in an ABC Radio National Program, Conversations with Richard Fidler. This one is on-line so you can listen to his views.
On objective measures, he suggests, Australia has done very well. And yet Australians have become more insecure, edgier: :"We are a society in the grip of epidemics of anxiety, obesity and depression."
"How did this happen? Where did this edgy, anxious, too-violent society come from? This uneasy blend of arrogance and timidity?"Noting that the problem is not unique to Australia but can be found in other Western countries, Mackay provides various explanations including:
- growing social inequity that affects those involved but also Australians' perceptions of themselves with a growing disconnect between those perceptions and external reality
- rise of individualism creating a me first mentality, a decline in real social connection, a focus on the pursuit of happiness
- a decline in respect for our social institutions
- a growing feeling of powerlessness accentuated by the growing rumble of the three big threats – climate change, international terrorism and the threat of a major global economic disruption.