Happy As: Why the quest for happiness is making us miserable

Lisa Portolan In Conversation with Tony Maniaty

Sunday 26 August 2018
9.30AM – 10.30AM
Conference Room
National Library of Australia

Everyone wants to be happy, but is the relentless quest for that elusive state of being actually making us happy? After a lifetime spent actively searching for happiness as well as studying it, Lisa Portolan shares valuable insights into how we made happiness a science and an industry, created products around it and supported it with a whole heap of advertising to ensure that it works. In conversation with writer Tony Maniaty.

Lisa Portolan embarked on a doctorate on the link between happiness and its construction in 2015, and from there became interested in the links between happiness and identity. Since then she has progressed her doctorate’s focus to the study of socio-cultural paradigms, including happiness, love and success – examining the construction of these through communications, religions, dominant narratives and culture. She is also a freelance journalist whose articles have been widely published in magazines and blogs, including Huffington Post, Mamamia, Elephant Journal, Yoganonymouse, Rebelle Society and HerCanberra. Lisa has written three novels. Her first script, Pretty Girls, is in production. She lives in Sydney with her husband and daughter.

Tony Maniaty is a career communicator: author, journalist, screenwriter, photographer, speechwriter, academic and media advisor. Tony spent more than two decades as a field reporter, TV producer, news manager and foreign correspondent with ABC News, SBS News, the BBC and other networks, and his extensive reporting of post-Soviet Europe and was nominated for the Walkley Awards’ Best International Reporting. Tony has published two novels, a memoir and is currently writing a fiction trilogy. Tony has received numerous literary awards, including Australia Council Fellowships, the NSW Premier’s Writer’s Award, the Martin Bequest for Literature, and the National Short Story of the Year Award.