• Politics and Policy

    Is democracy a victim of COVID-19?

    Tom Gerald Daly |  August 13, 2020

    The sidelining of state and federal parliaments during the COVID-19 crisis, and the emergence of a dominant National Cabinet has raised few public concerns, but is it weakening our democracy?

  • Human Interest

    Turning back the clock

    Zachariah Wylde |  August 13, 2020

    As modern medicine improves, so too does our ability to stave off disease. But can we overcome the most inescapable of afflictions – old age? Researchers around the world are trying to find out.

  • Science and Technology

    Robot wars

    Ben Knight |  August 13, 2020

    An armed weapons system capable of making decisions sounds like it’s straight out of a Terminator movie. But once lethal autonomous weapons are out in the world, there could be no turning back.

Latest Story

  • Year in review 2012

    Helen Hull     |      December 20, 2012

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Open Forum community for your support throughout 2012. You, our readers and bloggers play a major role in shaping the content of this website.

    I think it is important to highlight some of the most successful blogs of 2012 and I encourage you to spend the festive season exploring the wealth of content we have featured over the year.

    We started 2012 with the continuation of the strata laws consultation, which was supported by the NSW Department of Fair Trading. It was an amazing success and ultimately feed into the white paper produced by the government. The strata area and its related blogs were the most read content this year.

  • Made to measure holidays

    Peter Fritz     |      December 18, 2012

    Too often there is a one size fits all approach to travel. Peter Fritz explains his vision for made to measure holidays.

    I believe in a world which is ruled by mass production for individual taste where you have the ability to be able to choose to customise your experience to suit your life.

    I think travel is lagging behind in this area. You board a plane often akin to herded cattle and are given little choice or variety throughout your flight.  

    I am proposing to establish a new kind of experience, an internet service which allows individuals to tailor make their own trips. Would you like to go on a three day adventure to the Pyrenees, climbing the mountains and staying in small hotels? Through our service, a guide would be available to lead as few as a party of one, a family or a small group of friends.

  • Connecticut shootings: we must carefully define our response

    Douglas Ezzy     |      December 17, 2012

    The horrible tragedy of recent days in the United States has seen varied responses from the community. Associate professor Douglas Ezzy discusses the different ways society reacts to such a terrible event.

  • Promoting literacy in Laos

    Karlee Taylor     |      December 16, 2012

    There are many different ways that you can make a difference to a community overseas. Karlee Taylor shares her experience promoting creative literacy in Laos. 

  • The eye-opening experience of living abroad

    Katherine Kalas     |      December 13, 2012

    Moving overseas can be daunting, but imagine relocating at the tender age of 13. Katherine Kalas, now 20, shares how moving to London has influenced her life.

    Unexpected events, through choice or circumstance, can move us away from our roots. We leave our hometowns, we are torn from what we love, and we build new lives along the way. I soon came to realise this on the 5th September 2005, when I had an open-ended ticket to the United Kingdom.

    Bombarded by huge stores on Oxford Street, the lack of space and how vast everything felt; the bony and busy roads, the oversized buses and cars with oversized people driving them.  Even the English sounded unfamiliar.  For the first 5 days I was completely vulnerable about my surroundings.

  • Uncategorised

    Enquiry into future energy pricing and supply

    Helen Hull     |      December 13, 2012

    The Futures Project logo

    AGL and The Futures Project, a Global Access Partners supported initiative, is asking for your direct input to their enquiry on energy futures. You can help shape the better outcomes for energy pricing and supply over the coming years. Score your preferred energy supply scenario,  deliver feedback on energy issues and kickstart the process by having your say on what should be done today to create a better energy future for all. For further information go to The Futures Project.
  • The frustration with our politicians continues

    Ray Levin     |      December 12, 2012

    Ray Levin, member of the First 5000 networking group for mid sized businesses, looks at how there is a lack of understanding from our politicians in regard to what is best for the economy.

    Today consulting engineers are putting off young engineers. Mining companies are putting off engineers from their design departments.

    CEOs of mining companies are talking about how technology will enable the mines to increase productivity. This will mean less work for the unskilled and increased demand for skilled specialised labour.

    In the short term we have a shortfall in supply of labour, unemployed in one part of the country will not move to where the work is. Yet, the unions cry that if we allow in people on work permits “they are taking Australian jobs”.

    Labour not wanting to move or retrain will eventually become the long term unemployed.

  • Higher income support payments could prevent homelessness

    Nicole Lawder     |      December 11, 2012

    The inadequacy of income support payments is putting people at risk of homelessness. Nicole Lawder CEO of Homelessness Australia outlines what changes need to be made to government payments.

    Around one million Australians are recipients of non-pension allowance payments. Of these just under 600,000 are in receipt of the Newstart Allowance which contains a participation requirement to actively look for ten paid employment roles per fortnight. The payment equates to $35 per day for single people with an additional payment of up to $8.40 per day to assist people to meet the costs of renting a dwelling.

    More than 150,000 people are recipients of the even less generous Youth Allowance payment which provides just $29 per day for life’s necessities with an additional maximum of $8.40 per day to help meet the costs of weekly rent.

  • Think sustainably about your next holiday

    Rosemary Black     |      December 10, 2012

    Sustainable tourism and awareness of the effects of large numbers of visitors is on the rise. Dr Rosemary Black outlines things to look for while you are away and when planning your trip.

  • Beware of Dr Google

    Megan Munsie     |      December 9, 2012

    Associate Prof Megan Munsie says it is incredibly important to make sure you get the facts before you pursue any form of treatment and don’t rely on the internet for medical advice.

    Let’s face it. We all do it. As soon as we want to know more about something, we pull out our smart phones or reach for our computer and use our favourite search engine to access information online.

    Never has it been easier to do your ‘research’. But when it comes to our health, and particular new developments in medicine, should Dr Google be the answer?

  • How the budget airline business model manifests itself

    Marina Go     |      December 6, 2012

    What is it really like to fly with a budget airline? Marina Go, shares her recent experience with Air Asia.
    Last week I flew to Kuala Lumpur courtesy of the Asian Publisher’s Convention. For the past four years I have been invited to the conference as a keynote speaker on all manner of topics, from the economics of digital publishing to repurposing archival content.

    Some years delegate numbers have spilled over 500. Perhaps as a sign of the economic times in which publishers currently operate there will be just 150 attendees this year. And where speakers were once flown in via the national carrier of the host city with all of the trimmings and transfers, yesterday I boarded one of the world’s budget airline success stories, Air Asia.

  • Uncategorised

    Victoria hitting the right note: Music education in schools inquiry

    editor     |      December 5, 2012

    Music Educaion in Schools inquiry