Searching for that ever-elusive sense of satisfaction and well-being? If Melbourne’s a city that often experiences four seasons in a day, most of its residents face much the same experience internally. Our panellists Sean Dooley, Catherine Deveny, Jonathan Daly and Anne Manne investigate happiness, contentment and joy.
They explore the nature of happiness in relation to faith and belief, meaning and depression. When Dooley asks urbanist Daly whether our cities are conducive to human happiness, the latter expresses his distaste for the bland suburban sprawl of Melbourne. (Those with fonder feelings for the city’s suburbs will find solace in Manne’s rebuttal.)
And then there’s the question of whether depression is consistent with a more accurate understanding of the world, facilitating an emotional entry point into darker realities. Finally Dooley asks: should we actively pursue happiness, or is happiness about living in the moment?
Jonathan Daly is an urbanist and behaviour change consultant with a focus on the human, social and cultural capital of cities.
Sean Dooley is a Melbourne author who works as a television comedy writer. He has a weekly spot with 3RRR Breakfasters and regularly contributes to The Age and ABC radio about birds, the environment, sport and, well, anything really.
Catherine Deveny has been a comedian, writer and professional speaker for 23 years.
She’s the author of seven books and over 1,000 columns for the Age newspaper, and is an ABC regular. She has appeared on Q&A five times — sitting next to John Elliott, Tony Abbott, Corey Bernardi, Peter Dutton and Archbishop Peter Jensen.
Anne Manne is a Melbourne writer. She has been a regular columnist for The Australian and the Age. More recently, her essays on contemporary culture such as child abuse, pornography, gendercide and disability have all appeared in The Monthly magazine.