• Australian Curriculum online consultation

    Open Forum     |      March 7, 2013

    The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is conducting an online consultation on draft national curricula, from Foundation to Year 10, concerning health and physical education, Chinese and Italian language education, design and technologies, and digital technologies.

  • April Falls Day

    Open Forum     |      March 2, 2013

    April Falls Day, Wednesday 3 April, was initiated to promote falls prevention best practice in hospitals, communities and residential aged care.

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    Gillard launches national ‘reading blitz’

    Open Forum     |      February 25, 2013

    A new national ‘reading blitz’ for students between kindergarten and year three will be launched next year in an attempt to tackle the nation’s falling literacy standards.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a $1 billion program focused on teaching phonetics and providing reading support for all schools, across all sectors and in every state. 

    The intensive three-year program is part of the Federal Government’s National Plan for School Improvement to lift falling standards in struggling schools.

    Around 75,000 students failed to meet national minimum standards in NAPLAN last year. And in last year’s Progress in International Reading Literacy Skills (PIRLS) results, year four students came 27th out of 42 countries taking part.

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    Australian Women’s History Month

    Open Forum     |      February 21, 2013

    Australian Women’s History Month is now in full swing, commemorating the achievements of women in domestic, government and commercial spheres, and The Australian Women’s Honour Roll.

    This year’s theme is Finding Founding Mothers, celebrating the role of women in shaping Federation and the Australian Constitution.

    As the 20th Century dawned and the Australian nation was born, Australian women led in democratic reform, making the new nation among the first where women had the same rights as men to vote and to stand for public office.

    Events will be held throughout the month of March, alongside International Women’s Day on 08 March, as well as Constitution Day on 09 July and the Centenary of the founding of Canberra.

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    G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit

    Open Forum     |      February 14, 2013

    Young entrepreneurial business owners are being urged to apply to be part of the Australian delegation attending the 2013 G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) Summit in Moscow in June.

    The Enterprise Network for Young Australians (ENYA) will send 20 young entrepreneurs to the meeting in Russia that will develop a policy document for the G20 Leaders Summit executive, comprising recommendations to enable young entrepreneurs to better contribute to economic growth, job creation, innovation and social change.

    Young Australian entrepreneurs can apply at www.enya.org.au/win to be part of the Australian delegation and be in the running for a $5,000 business grant awarded by the ENYA expert panel.

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    2013 Barnardos Mother of the Year Awards

    Open Forum     |      February 11, 2013

    Each year Barnardos Australia recognises and rewards inspirational mothers in our community through the Barnardos Australia’s Mother of the Year Awards. Launched in 1996, the Awards recognise the enormous contribution that mums make in shaping Australia’s future through their role in the nurture of children. Nominations are currently invited from any Australian who knows an exceptional mum.

    A judging panel, comprising ambassadors and sponsor representatives will gather in March to assess the top 100 nominations, from which three finalists will be selected for each Australian state and territory.

    Nominations are now open and close on 01 March 2013.  

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    Chinese New Year Festival

    Open Forum     |      February 9, 2013

    Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the lunar calendar and 2013 is the Year of the Water Snake. Chinese New Year, beginning Sunday 10 February, is longest and most important festival in the Chinese calendar and is celebrated with a host of events in capital cities across Australia.

  • United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation

    Open Forum     |      February 4, 2013

    The United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation is being celebrated in 2013. The year is designed to raise awareness, both on the potential for increased cooperation, and on the challenges facing water management in light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation and services. It will act to highlight issues associated with water education, water diplomacy, transboundary water management, financing cooperation and national/international legal frameworks.

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    2013 election date announced

    Open Forum     |      January 31, 2013

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the date of the 2013 federal election, with all Australians to head to the ballot box on Saturday, 14 September.

    In a speech delivered to the National Press Club the Prime Minister stated the early election date would allow Australians to “plan their year”.

    "The benefit of fixing the date now is not just the end of speculation about election timing. It gives shape and order to year," she said.

    "And it enables it to be one, not of fevered campaigning but of cool and reasons deliberation.

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    Thank you Australia competition

    Open Forum     |      January 16, 2013

    Australia Day logoThe Australia Day Council of NSW (ADCNSW) recently launched the Thank You Australia competition, encouraging everyday Australians to upload a photo of themselves to the AUSSIEVAULT website. By posting a short message expressing why you are grateful for being Australian you can win cash and prizes. The Thank You Australia messages will form part of a national online gallery of everyday and well-known Aussies, including Kate Ritchie, Ita Buttrose, Geoff Huegill, and John Williamson to help celebrate Australia Day.

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    2012 Indigenous Engagement Survey

    Open Forum     |      December 4, 2012

    The Business Council of Australia has released its 2012 Indigenous Engagement Survey, the fourth annual report of BCA member company Indigenous engagement activities. BCA President Tony Shepherd said the 2012 survey attracted a record 81 per cent response rate from member companies (up from 74 per cent last year), with 76 per cent of respondents reporting they had formal Indigenous engagement strategies in place.

    The survey results show that Indigenous engagement is fast becoming an essential aspect of business practice among Australia’s large companies. Employers see it as a practical way of contributing to significant social change that simultaneously makes them better businesses, and employees are starting to really value and expect it in the workplace.

    Key findings from the 2012 survey include:

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    Wellbeing: Too many measures hamper progress

    Open Forum     |      May 31, 2012