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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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Opportunities for SMEs

G20 Australia 2014 logo

Australian and international thought leaders discussed the role SMEs can play in meeting the G20’s target of 2% growth above trend at the invitation of the Honourable Bruce Billson MP, Australian Minister for Small Business, and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

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Have a night in to get the word out

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Friday 25 July is White Ribbon Night. The event raises funds to help stop violence against women. Communities across Australia are asked to have a night in to get the word out.

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Clear your head, make a difference

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Give up alcohol as part of a team or as an individual for Dry July and raise funds for adults living with cancer and their families to improve their quality of life.

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Blog of the Day

Alycia Gawthornes picture

It’s about what is wrong and what is right

posted by Alycia Gawthorne, Jul 25, 2014

Politicians from both major parties keep using asylum seekers to score political points. Alycia Gawthorne from GetUp says that instead of operating on our most base human emotions, fear of the unknown, our actions should reflect our nations true values of mateship and a fair go.

Earlier this year Australians witnessed what was a breaking point for many who had become incensed over Australia’s increasingly cruel treatment of asylum seekers.

Rising tensions between Papua New Guinea locals and asylum seekers on Manus Island came to a head on February 16, resulting in violent clashes inside the detention centre. The next day, a man was dead. His name was Reza Barati and he was just 23 years old.

Reza wasn’t the first person to die under our care. There are countless others, who when driven to the depths of despair have taken their own lives.

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Featured Forum

Sport in Australia

Sport plays a fundamental role in Australian culture. It is an integral part of our social fabric. Australians love sport, both as spectators and as participants.

According to surveys, more than 11 million Australians aged 15 or over participate at least once a week in physical activity for exercise, recreation and sport— that’s almost 70 per cent. Australia has more than 120 national sporting organisations and thousands of state and local bodies.

Leading up to the World Cup in Brazil and beyond we explore this fascination with sport. It brings people together from different careers, cultures and age groups. It exposes the best and worst of us and strips back the layers of social standing. Sport levels the playing field of life.

Does professional sport mirror our society? If yes, what does this say about us, if we consider incidents of sexism, corruption, performance-enhancing drugs and racism? But we also want to highlight the essentially Australian notion of giving a ‘fair go’, of mateship, bringing communities together and the tolerance towards cultural and racial differences displayed in sport.

Sport reflects our changing society. It can be argued that it reveals the Australian character. Cultural values are expressed – sometimes magnified – through the lens of sport. Please share your thoughts with the online community and contact Svetlana at sstankovic@openforum.com.au to discuss your blog idea for this forum.





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Recommended Articles

Australia, we need to talk

Alycia Gawthorne's picture

Australians are kind and generous people, but like anyone, we are prone to fear what we do not know. Alycia Gawthorne from the community advocacy organisation GetUp says it is up to us to start changing the way we talk about asylum seekers.

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Australia is no backwater in world sport and hosts big international tournaments each year. Daryl Adair says a balance of global and local events is important for the sustainability of the Australian sport marketplace.

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Australia no longer has a carbon price, after it has been repealed in the Senate. Paul Twomey delivers the eulogy for a scheme that had passionate origins, but eventually found an untimely death.