What is OpenForum?

Open Forum is an independent collaborative think-tank built around an interactive discussion website hosted and moderated by Global Access Partners (GAP). It provides a platform for focused dialogue on social, political, economic, ecological and cultural issues and challenges.

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Clear your head, make a difference


Dry July

You don’t often get the chance to raise money for charity by not doing something! Give up alcohol for a month for Dry July to support adults living with cancer and their families to improve their quality of life.


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What do you need to know about diabetes?


Diabetes Australia logo

Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease with 280 new cases every day. 12 to 18 July 2015 is National Diabetes Week. Its aim is to raise awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and the growing number of people who have it.


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Learn, Respect and Celebrate


Celebrating NAIDOC week

It’s NAIDOC week from 5 to 12 July 2015. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields.


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Blog of the Day

David Colemans picture

The status of Australia's compliance with the Refugee Convention


posted by David Coleman, Jul 01, 2015

In recent months, a situation which may amount to genocide with the Roingya in Myanmar has emerged. David Coleman says the status of Australia's compliance with the Refugee Convention is in crisis.

A refugee is a person that cannot return to their home country because they face persecution in their home country. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), there were 16.7 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2013, but it is currently estimated to be above 50 million because of the international political situation in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. 

Over half of the registered refugees are children. For the first time since WWII, the number of refugees in the world has risen above 50 million. In recent months, a situation which may amount to genocide with an ethnic minority called the Roingya in Myanmar has emerged. Tony Abbott infamously said “nope, nope, nope” when asked if Australia would direct any resources to assisting Indonesia with the Roingya refugee application.


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Featured Forum

Australia's health


For the next two months we will discuss Australia’s health in this forum.

Life expectancy in Australia is still among the highest worldwide. We have a functioning health system with competent and dedicated health professionals. But we need to do better with a multitude of challenges the sector is facing.

Healthcare costs are rising fast at a time when government is financially squeezed on multiple fronts. This year’s federal budget revealed significant cuts from the health system. At the same time the government has committed to a new e-health system, bringing the information management of our health data into the 21st century. Can myHealth lead to savings of billions of dollars as forecast by some?

We have a serious health gap problem, where poorer people, those living in remote areas and indigenous Australians are still not getting the full benefit of our health system.

And how healthy are we? The good news are that we live longer, smoke and drink less. But obesity rates are climbing and we don’t exercise enough. Chronic diseases and dementia numbers are rising.

How can we address the challenges in Australia’s health system? How can we improve patient outcomes? Are there any other pressing issues around this topic you think should be discussed? Please contact Svetlana at sstankovic@openforum.com.au and share your ideas and concerns with the Open Forum community.


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Australia's health

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