Is Marrickville really the most unhappy suburb?

I ride down the street with Fin on the seat in the back and an old Nonna on her verandah says hello to us and calls out “what a beautiful boy!”

We get a coffee in the morning and have a nice chat with Steve and Nicki in the cafe.

I meet up with five or so other Mums and their kids in the park and everyone is smiling in the sunshine.

I slow down on the bike as I see a guy pull out of his drive-way but he stops, reverses, and let’s us pass with a smile and a wave.

And this all occurs in Marrickville today just in the past few hours.

Last night ABC aired a programme called making Australia Happy. I was cheekily watching the finals of Junior Master Chef! Earlier this year Matt and I had been filmed sitting outside a cafe for this programme. We signed a waiver, and the woman explained what the show was about and how the footage would be used. I remember being suprised that Marrickville was one of the unhappiest suburbs, but quickly forgot about the show and that maybe we’d be on TV.

A few people have got in contact with us in the last day or so to say that yes, we are in it for a very brief moment at the beginning. Check it out here if you like – we are in it at around the three or four minute mark. They are talking about despite the growing afflunece of the area (cut to us – me playing with iphone and the three of us generally living it up in a cafe – oh happy affluent days!) it is significantly less happy than the rest of the country.

We all talked about this at our meet up in the park and were all a little bit perplexed. We were happy, the people around us are happy – so who are the people dragging our average down?

I will watch the episode on iView and see the story unfold over the coming weeks. While I understand the show is bigger than Marrickville’s unhappiness, and looks instead at how people can achieve happiness by going about things / looking at them in a different way – the Marrickville aspect is bugging me.

Our only hope is that unhappiness may make people weary of the place and keep our real estate prices down! Marrickville is not the new Paddington people. We are too busy being miserable.

The is quite a bit of unhappiness expressed on the Screaming Bridge



Filed under Marrickville

5 responses to “Is Marrickville really the most unhappy suburb?

  1. I had not realised that Marrickville people were more miserable then the rest of Sydney.

    I had thought the production company had just picked the suburb to film in. They had put flyers in mail boxes asking if you were unhappy and why. Saying they were wanting people for a doco.

    Forgot to watch it but will watch it on catch up tv

  2. kelpenhagen

    I was surprised at hearing it! Someone suggested today that it was North Shore stressed out execs that are more unhappy, but lie in the tests! Ha!

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  4. If they showed that Marrickville had more people diagnosed with depression, for example, than other suburbs, or more suicides, there might be some substance to the claim. But it’s based on the Australian Happiness Index, which I believe is very flawed. I blogged about this a couple of years ago here.

    Having said that, I think the program is pretty good. It’s got a lot of common sense, and isn’t as ‘happy clappy’ as some of the ‘positive psychology’ things I’ve read (and thrown away!).

    Keep being happy, Marrickvillians! 🙂

  5. kelpenhagen

    I agree @wittyknitter – I actually found the programme quite useful and very moving when the participants had breakthroughs.
    I love Marrickville as the people (well, the majority) as so happy. It’s a friendly place!

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