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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Light, music and ideas


Vivid Sydney 2015

This year’s Vivid festival will run from 22 May until 8 June 2015 in Sydney. For 18 days the city will be transformed with light, music and ideas.


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How to live?


Sydney Writers' Festival 2015 logo

The Sydney Writers’ Festival 2015 takes place from 18 to 24 May. It is an annual literary festival that includes author talks, conversations, film screenings, panels, readings, workshops and various events for children. This year’s theme is ‘How to live?’


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Kiss Goodbye to MS


Kiss Goodbye to MS logo

Kiss Goodbye to MS calls on people with multiple sclerosis (MS), their friends, family and colleagues to raise funds for research into a cure of the disease. During the month of May, MS Australia asks everyone to wear red lipstick and share the message with events throughout Australia.


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Blog of the Day

Roger Beales picture

How do we protect our future prosperity?


posted by Roger Beale, May 01, 2015

Australia is facing a host of serious but manageable challenges. Roger Beale says we need to develop the understanding of the community and be persistent, patient and fair.

After close to a quarter century of uninterrupted growth in incomes, wealth and the economy we face a new and difficult world. The problems – decline in the price of iron and coal, low productivity growth, workforce growth that is totally dependent on continued migration, the ageing of the baby boomers, growing intergenerational disparities in wealth, unwillingness to address climate change, a riskier regional strategic outlook, a fragile budgetary position at federal and state levels and a creaky federation – are serious but manageable if we take measured sensible action. 


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Featured Forum

Vision for Australia featured forum


Today we are reaching out to every Australian as we embark on a major initiative to create a narrative and execute a vision for Australia. In 2015, we are developing a robust 'big-picture' vision and a roadmap for Australia's increasingly diverse society over the next decade and longer term.

At Global Access Partners (GAP) we have been running Taskforces and Consultative Committees for 14 years. The GAP alumni comprises of about 5,000 members. 500 of them are active in ongoing projects. We have a strong online community. And now we are bringing it all together to create a synthesis of your views on the future of Australia. For this we want your input – your voice will be heard.

We will collect your ideas and produce a report that will be presented at the GAP Annual Growth Summit in September. Please contact Svetlana at sstankovic@openforum.com.au with your blog idea and help us actively shape the future of Australia.


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VISION FOR AUSTRALIA featured forum

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Climate change dialogues: denialists and the disadvantaged

Megan Bonetti's picture

Many individuals and communities feel disempowered or ignorant when discussing climate change. Megan Bonetti says we need to foster a non-judgemental culture of awareness to make key stakeholders sit up and listen.

The need to design social policy for climate change refugees

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So far the Australian government doesn’t seem to regard climate change as a primary issue. Elisabeth Stafford says we need a national conversation to pressure the Australian government into action to create social policy on a variety of climate change fronts.

Indigenous ‘lifestyle choices’ and the LNP’s paternalism

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Tony Abbott recently described living in remote Indigenous communities as a lifestyle choice. Jordan Ayres says Australian social policy under the Liberal Party continues its paternalistic approach to the difficulties rural communities are facing.

On Rainbow Street

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Seven years after the Northern Territory Emergency Response – the Intervention, as it came to be known – many communities are still struggling. Xenia Girdler tells the story of the remote East Arnhem community Ngukurr.

The Anzac appeal: helping veterans and their families in times of need

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This Anzac Day is an opportunity to remember the fallen on the centenary of the Gallipoli landing. Major General David McLachlan explains how the ANZAC Appeal assists current and former service-men and women in need.

All life is precious: We must remember them

Brigadier Tim Hanna AM's picture

On this year's Anzac Day Brigadier Tim Hanna had a very personal reminder that every life is precious. He says as a mature and caring society we should continue to reflect on the loss of lives and its far-reaching impact on communities.