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.

User login

Site News

Explore the show


Royal Easter Show 2014 logo

The Sydney Royal Easter Show is running from 10 to 23 April 2014. It celebrates Australian culture, from rural traditions to modern day lifestyles. It is Australia’s largest annual event, attracting close to 900,000 people each year.


read more »

Our voice. Our impact.


It’s National Youth Week (NYW) from 4 to 13 April 2014, the largest celebration of young people in Australia. Thousands of young people aged 12-25 from across Australia get involved in NYW each year.


read more »

You imagine what you desire


19th Biennale of Sydney

From the 21 March to 9 June the Biennale of Sydney presents Australiaʼs largest contemporary visual arts event. Held every two years, the Biennale has this time gathered more than 85 artists from 28 countries, with an accompanying program of artist talks, forums, guided tours and family days.


read more »

Blog of the Day

Rachel Smiths picture

Do bicycle advocates need to act like Hollywood?


posted by Rachel Smith, Apr 17, 2014

What does Hollywood have to do with bike riding? Rachel Smith says we all need to get involved in collecting data if we want to see our dream of more people cycling come true.

Last week @Coxy tweeted me his dream; a cycleway on Brisbane’s Sylvan Road. I replied “Create an action plan of the things that you can influence & control – ignore the ones you can’t – then let’s meet for coffee”. “Not entirely sure what I can influence or control” he replied. Which got me thinking, if we really want our cycling dreams to be realised we need to work together to make them happen.

My friend Inke works in Hollywood. In the movies every last and final detail is researched to the last degree – no rock is left unturned. Everything that can be researched is researched.

So, do bicycle advocates need to act like Hollywood?

Yes, I think we do.


read more »

Featured Forum

Urban Planning


Australia needs a vision for its urban spaces. As our population grows and demographic changes, we need a sound strategy to ensure the sustainable future of our urban landscape. The pressure on our roads, on public transport and energy systems is intensifying. Infrastructures will have to be able to cope with the increasing demand.

In our featured forum on Urban Planning we will look at the organisation and design of our urban surroundings. How can we make sure that our public spaces accommodate the needs of our communities? How can we improve urban planning to ensure our cities are environmentally sustainable?

We aim to introduce diverse neighbourhoods and consider the practical versus the aesthetic needs of urban design. What are the challenges, where are solutions for our public transport system? We will inspect the Australian property market – the very essence of every Australian dinner party conversation.

If we want to preserve our urban heritage for future generations, we need to work together with directly affected community groups and experts alike. We intend to give a voice to both in this featured forum.

Does any of these topics inspire you, or is there another aspect that you think is vital for the debate? Please contact Svetlana at sstankovic@openforum.com.au to share your story, opinion or ideas.


read more »

Recommended Articles

Attitudes and evidence will underpin disability reform

Craig Wallace's picture

There still remain a lot of barriers in our urban landscape for people with a disability. Craig Wallace would like to see a national survey on community attitudes towards disability to give us solid evidence about what these attitudes are and what could leverage change.

Coming together as a nation

Alok Ralhan's picture

As a nation we are becoming more multicultural. Alok Ralhan urges Australians to build on common interests instead of focussing on differences that may hold us back.

A home for Brisbane’s multicultural community

Jeannie Mok's picture

The Multicultural Community Centre in Brisbane has re-opened its doors. Director Jeannie Mok invites the public to be part of the centre’s mission to support our multicultural communities.

Why most training programs are doomed to fail

Michael Stuer's picture

A lot of training programs don’t actually lead to a better performance back at the workplace. Michael Stuer explains how organisations can encourage a transfer of training to the work environment. 

Australia places four communities on the list of 21 to watch in 2014

Louis Zacharilla's picture

It was noticeable that when this year’s 21 Intelligent Communities were chosen worldwide, four of them were Australian. Louis Zacharilla from the Intelligent Community Forum explains what it takes to become a model community for the future.

Let’s not follow Europe’s model in integrating immigrants

Jean-Marie Simart's picture

Australia needs a long-term vision to achieve a complete integration of its immigrants. Jean-Marie Simart shares his views on how to adopt a successful model for a harmonious and fully integrated society.