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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

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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

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A Nation of "Good Sports"'? Cultural Citizenship and Sport in Contemporary Australia

posted by David Rowe, Jul 24, 2014

The national government and its agencies tend uncritically to reproduce the mythology of universal Australian love of sport. David Rowe is head of a project in ethnically diverse Greater Western Sydney, exploring if it still can be assumed that sport plays a unifying role in this country.

As the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow gets up to full speed soon after the Socceroos have returned from the World Cup in Brazil, it is timely to consider what sport means to a nation such as contemporary Australia.

Sportspeople engaged in international competitions are regarded as actual and symbolic representatives of Australia, and sport itself a key – perhaps defining – national cultural institution.  But sport and nation do not stand still, and their relationship changes with the various social and cultural tides, such as the globalisation of pastimes, the development of transnational cultures, and the movement of people and media across national borders.

The Australian Research Council Discovery Project currently in progress of which I am Chief Investigator, A Nation of ‘Good Sports’? Cultural Citizenship and Sport in Contemporary Australia, addresses sport’s role regarding ‘cultural citizenship’, which broadly refers to how forms of culture (ranging from high art to cricket) operate in ways that foster a sense of inclusion or exclusion among citizens.

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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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