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Public Forum: Is Happiness a Matter of Survival?

Public forum: how do we promote happiness through personal change, community action & public policy?


Come join the conversation with 6 eminent speakers chaired by Heart 107s Dave Noonan to explore how we promote happiness through personal change, community action & public policy.

“In Australia, it’s estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety.”1

“Extensive research has shown that happiness is good for our health, for our relationships, happy people have more friends, make more money and are more generous; happy people cope better with stress and trauma; and happy people are more creative and are better able to see the big picture.”2

Kickstart Arts are producing a public forum asking the question “Is Happiness a Matter of Survival?” to investigate the consequences of the above mental health statistics and explore some possible remedies. What can we do as individuals and as a community to bring about positive change in mental health?

The forum explores the causes and conditions of happiness and how to promote them widely through personal change, community action and public policy. What would the benefits be for us as a society if we did? What would the costs be if we didn’t?

Happiness Project Creative Producer Richard Bladel explained the reasons behind the Public Forum: “We’ve met a lot of people who are doing it tough in 2016, we’ve just had an election, and a lot of people are disenchanted and concerned about the state of our health and wellbeing in our Tasmanian communities. We wanted to find a way to stimulate discussion about how communities can lead positive change in well being rather than waiting for some government department to do it. We’ve got to start somewhere, so we came up with the idea of the Forum.”

FORUM CHAIRPERSON: Dave Noonan, Radio presenter on Heart 1073

SPEAKERS: Dr Sonam Thakchoe, Senior Philosophy Lecturer at UTAS

Dr Bruno Cayoun, Clinical Psychologist & principal developer of MiCBT

Deborah Mills, Arts & Cultural Policy Advocate

Dr Nicholas Hookway, Lecturer in sociology School of Social Sciences, UTAS

Jami Bladel, Artistic Director & CEO of Kickstart Arts

Justin Robinson, Director, Institute of Positive Education, Geelong Grammar School


1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008) 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results (4326.0).

Canberra: ABS.

2. Greater Good, The Science of a Meaningful Life, University of California, Berkeley


HAPPINESS: [hap-ee-nis] 1. “The experience of positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful,and worthwhile.”

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Public Forum: Is Happiness a Matter of Survival?

Peacock Theatre
Salamanca Arts Centre, Salamanca Place, Battery Point, Tasmania, Australia

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