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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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Rethink assessment and learning

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Global Mindset presents its 12th conference on Assessment and Learning on 29 October 2014. The conference is all about students and teachers and how they can improve learning through better understanding of the current state and the future of assessment and learning.

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Join the debate

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IQ2 hosts a live debate at the City Recital Hall in Sydney on the 28th October about “Society would flourish under female rule”.

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Party for a cure

Pink ribbon breakfast 2014

Pink Ribbon Breakfast is an annual, nationwide fundraising initiative of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. October is international breast cancer awareness month.

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Blog of the Day

Hsiao-Shan Fus picture

Why Australia needs a Multicultural Act

posted by Hsiao-Shan Fu, Oct 24, 2014

Australia's proposed move to ban the wearing of burqas in Parliament House has exposed cultural tensions and social distrust. Hsiao-Shan Fu says Australia needs to support its belief in a multicultural coexistence with a law.

Even if multiculturalism has been a contested term in current practices of social integration, the rapidly increasing number of immigrants into Australia is an undeniable fact due to the current immigration policy, especially through the temporary migration program.

Therefore, instead of generating incompatibility between Australians and immigrants with culturally and linguistically diverse background, the government should take responsibility to enact a Multicultural Act to uphold this multicultural society that a lot of people have strived for the past three decades to win. Although the latest research from the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion series states that 84 per cent of Australians support multiculturalism, the same report also shows the rise in the levels of opposition to immigration, and intolerance of diversity. Thus, immigrants, especially newcomers, might be prone to experience discrimination and social exclusion from the majority of Australian mainstream society.

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Featured Forum


Today school leavers are competing in a global race for the best jobs. Youth unemployment rates in Australia have reached a crisis point. The general unemployment numbers have jumped to the highest level in more than ten years with a surprise fall in job growth. Some argue that unemployment rates are even higher than officially recognised.

To stay employed we have to foresee change and adapt. In this featured forum on Employment we explore what changes in the labour markets we are facing and what we can do to lift productivity and compete in the global market place. One thing we know is that skills are fundamental. But we need the flexibility and resilience to apply these skills in different contexts and go on learning.

In which fields are the job opportunities and how can we counter-balance the decline in areas like manufacturing and mining? How can we match the ongoing growth in Asian countries, where large amounts of routine work is performed at significantly lower costs? How are new technologies changing the job market and which skills do we need to cultivate that are not easily replaced by technology? And as white-collar jobs in the post-information age are not only about remuneration anymore, where can we find meaning and transcendence in our work?

What are the most pressing issues around Employment according to you? Please contact Svetlana at sstankovic@openforum.com.au and share your ideas and concerns with the Open Forum community.

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