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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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Social September encourages us to press pause – disconnect from our digital lives and reconnect with each other and ourselves. The aim is to create spaces for face-to-face social connection, promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.

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Together we can stop the heartache

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This September big-hearted Australians are again invited to help save lives and make research possible by supporting the Heart Foundation Big Heart Appeal.

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Get blue

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Early diagnosis and research are the two ways to beat cancer. Blue September is raising funds for awareness of cancers affecting men and cancer research.

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Blog of the Day

Sergio Arzenis picture

Australian education: an OECD perspective

posted by Sergio Arzeni, Sep 19, 2014

Australia fares well in terms of youth and adult skills compared to other OECD countries. Dr Sergio Arzeni says the tasks ahead are tackling disparities and ensuring that education leads on to good employment opportunities for all.

Skills are increasingly being recognised as a key driver of today’s economy. OECD research shows that a high level of skills is not only linked to improved employment outcomes, but also improved social outcomes such as trust in others, political engagement and health. Accordingly, Australia has much to celebrate in the fact that it compares favourably to other OECD countries in OECD surveys of youth and adult skills (the Programme for International Student Assessment and the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies respectively).

This celebration, however, must be tempered by recognition of several ongoing challenges. Like other OECD countries, Australia has seen a significant increase in youth unemployment since the recession. Early exclusion from the labour market can have ripple effects throughout a young person’s life, affecting long-term career paths and future earnings prospects.  Additionally, data suggests that not all groups of young people have similar chances for success. Disparities, particularly for Indigenous young people, can be seen both in skills, for example in mathematic literacy, and in unemployment rates.

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Featured Forum


Education is a subject close to all of our hearts. Whether it is finding the best school for our children or choosing the right university, it is about shaping the future of the next generation.

Educational research is hard to read, and there is an abundance of opposing opinions and emotional debate around the subject. Independent or public? Mixed or single-sex? Does paying a lot of money for education actually get you a better result?

In our featured forum on Education we want to explore an array of issues, including the current state of the Australian education system, the future of higher education, new models of funding, education in the context of a deregulatory government, Australia’s position on the global stage regarding academic research, the quality of teaching and collaboration between business and academia.

The featured forum will be leading up to the Global Access Partners Annual Growth Summit on Education in Sydney on the 18th and 19th of September 2014 at NSW Parliament House with speakers and participants featured in this area.

If you would like to contribute a blog to join the debate, please contact Svetlana at sstankovic@openforum.com.au.

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