• Environment

    Logging must stop in Melbourne’s biggest water supply catchment


    David Lindenmayer |  November 18, 2018


    The Thomson Catchment is the only one of Melbourne’s large water supply catchments open to logging. Given the critical importance of the Thomson Catchment, the Victorian government needs to cease logging and prioritise the supply of water to the people of Melbourne.


  • Environment

    Preparing for our new extremes


    Greg Foliente |  November 18, 2018


    Australia has a well-earned reputation for being a land of extremes – from cyclones to bushfires and floods to drought. This high variability can make it difficult to prepare for all eventualities. But scientists are gaining a better understanding of the likelihood and consequences of extreme events.


  • Health

    South Australian law reforms propose clearer access to surrogacy


    Open Forum |  November 18, 2018


    Reforms proposed to South Australian surrogacy laws recommend an updated and improved non-commercial system of domestic surrogacy to protect the interests of all parties, especially those of the surrogate child.


Latest Story

  • Building Resilient Cities

    Scott Ludlam     |      March 11, 2009

    Somewhere within the featureless expanse of brick and tile sprawl relentlessly consuming the Swan coastal plain, someone has taken the time to build a sustainable home.  

    "The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet" ~ William Gibson

    Take a drive an hour south through the rapidly expanding growth corridor fusing Perth to Mandurah, and you’ll fly past a road sign at once hopeful and heartbreaking.

    ‘Sustainable Mandurah Home’ it points cheerfully. Somewhere within the featureless expanse of brick and tile sprawl relentlessly consuming the Swan coastal plain, someone has taken the time to build a sustainable home.

    I have no issue with the house itself; it’s an intelligent blend of the state of the art and the bleeding obvious, it didn’t cost a fortune to build and it gives visitors a sense that energy and water-efficient homes are comfortable, practical and inexpensive to live in.

  • Where are the Exciting Careers in IT?

    David.Talamelli     |      March 10, 2009

    If you think recruitment is the problem, then it may be time to re-evaluate how you're interacting with recruiters.  

  • Women’s Day, blink and you miss it

    sally.rose     |      March 9, 2009

    If you think International Women's Day is an irrelevance, then you probably have the most cause for celebration.

    International Women's Day seems to have lost its nerve. It was Sunday, but you might have missed it.

    This year I didn't see a single woman out and about donning the green and purple and spied only the most cursory mention of it in the weekend papers, as an aside in a report of an alleged sexual assault; hardly inspiring stuff.

    Perhaps it is because younger women no longer feel the day is relevant to them or maybe it has just slipped so far off the radar of social consciousness that they aren't even aware of the day's significance. 

  • Corporate greed and bringing these disgraceful companies to their knees

    JohnC55     |      March 8, 2009

    The current financial crisis has been brought about by corporate greed and the insatiable quest these aloof corporate leaders have to service their already large egos.

    Their goal of corporate profits beyond the level of fair and appropriate, which then drives these gouls to sacking workers, or transferring our jobs offshore, are beyond belief and absolutely disgraceful.  What is more infuriating is that they then pat themselves on the back for a job well done and reward themselves with large, excessive pay rises.  Not through creating a sustainable and value adding company, but through the misery of the poor people who used to work for the company.

  • Should uninsured bushfire victims receive donated or government money to rebuild their homes?

    MikeM     |      March 5, 2009

    Is it fair for government or donated money to rebuild uninsured homes, given that it leaves little incentive for homeowners to insure their homes in future?

    Close to 2000 homes have been destroyed by the Victorian bushfires, and fires are still burning. It is suspected that while many of these homes were insured against fire, a large minority were not. Is it fair for government or donated money to rebuild uninsured homes, given that it leaves little incentive for homeowners to insure their homes in future? And when it comes to that, why is property insurance in Victoria so darned expensive anyway?

  • How old is old enough to … get pocket money ?

    Catherine Fritz-Kalish     |      March 5, 2009

    Does getting pocket money teach children the value of money and from what age can this lesson be taught with confidence that the message is getting through?

    My 6 year old son has a tuck shop at his school and now and then he asks me for money to buy a treat at lunch time. Once in a while I oblige. On the days that I don’t think it is necessary, he tells me that his friends all get pocket money and that they don’t have to ask their parents for money to buy things at the tuck shop, they just use their pocket money when they want for what they want.

    So, how old is old enough to get pocket money?

  • What is privacy really all about?

    StephenWilson     |      March 4, 2009

    You can expect national security advisers to have some disdain for privacy, but they cannot simply re-define it.

  • Open Source and SMEs

    Leo Silver     |      March 3, 2009

    A few years ago you did have to be a techy to run on Open Source, now it's relatively easy. SMEs should make the most of it.

  • When it comes to online safety – it’s not just kids who need education

    Julie Inman Grant     |      March 3, 2009

    There is a clear need for a program to help educate parents, teachers and carers on how to help children stay safe online.

    My last Open Forum blog was on the subject of cyberbullying and some of the surprising findings about the extent of the problem in Australia. A Microsoft-sponsored survey, performed by Galaxy Research, found that even though a quarter of children surveyed reported they had been cyberbullied, a startling 83% of parents did not know what to do in response to the problem.

  • Poetic Justice and a Child’s World

    foggy     |      March 2, 2009

    Poetry and storybooks give the imagination space to roam in a way computers never will, for adults & children alike.

    The imagery in a poem especially, of flowers, stimulates the faculty of an adult’s imagination much like the reading of a bedtime story does a child’s. Below is an excerpt from one of my favourites: lines 78-93, Acon and Rhodope; or Inconstancy, by Walter Savage Landor:

  • Postcard from Argentina

    Katie.Silver     |      March 2, 2009

    Combining work and play is a shortcut to getting  under the skin of another culture.

    When I arrived in Argentina to begin my AFS community service exchange, after only three weeks of Spanish classes, I even couldn’t even spell much less pronounce the name of my host family or hometown.

    Oh dear!

    But nobody held it against me and living with the Nachtriebs of Gualeguaychu has been nothing short of delightful.

    Living with a family, studying and volunteering has meant that rather than just being a tourist, I’ve developed real relationships within the community. 

  • Intelligent Protection

    Robert.Pregnell     |      March 2, 2009

    Only strong combination of artificial and human intelligence will protect you from the threats you can see, as well as those you can't.