• Politics and Policy

    Beyond GDP

    Warwick Smith |  June 27, 2022

    Australia’s new federal treasurer Jim Chalmers’ has the opportunity to draw a line under the Coalition’s narrow economic focus and follow the example set in New Zealand to build a well-being focused economy.

  • #StandwithUkraine

    King rat

    Jon Yuan Jiang |  June 27, 2022

    Vladimir Putin fancies himself the king of a resurgent Russia, occupying Eastern Europe and cowing the West, but like the Bond villains he so closely resembles, his own hubris, self-indulgence and bloated self-serving ambition will ensure his downfall.

  • Culture

    Spirit and song in the Kimberley

    Catriona May |  June 27, 2022

    The decade-long Junba Project in the Kimberley has helped revitalise the public song-and-dance tradition, strengthening community spirit and the confidence of young people.

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    Inside the 2020 Summit: A healthy look at the future

    editor     |      April 29, 2008

    Stephen Leeder

    The twelve years from now to 2020 will be constrained by demographic imperatives, economic realities, demands of sustainability, Asian development and climate change. Within those constraints we will have choices – how wisely can we make them, asks Prof Stephen Leeder.

    In proposing a national health strategy, major points of agreement emerged quickly among the hundred delegates in the Health Strategy Stream. The 17 years less life expectancy experienced by Indigenous Australians was unacceptable, and to ensure more equitable care for people in remote socio-economically disadvantaged Australia was urgent. A more energetic approach to IT for a portable, personal medical record was proposed, essential for the decades of care for people with long-term continuing health problems such as emphysema. The continuing value of research was acknowledged.

    Chronic illness scares everyone, especially mental problems, and better linked up care is critical between public and private, health workforce and Commonwealth and States.

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    Reflections on the Australia 2020 Summit

    editor     |      April 29, 2008

    Narelle Kennedy

    The Summit was unquestionably a success in engaging the imagination, but many questions have been left unanswered, writes  Narelle Kennedy.   

    The Australia 2020 summit with its catch cry of ‘Thinking Big' certainly had the sense of being an historic occasion.

    Led by the Prime Minster Kevin Rudd, it was a new collaboration, opening up the corridors of power to captains of industry, indigenous leaders, community activists, quiet achievers from rural communities, celebrities, youth, world class scholars, past and present political leaders and today's working journalists and politicians.

    The tone was about wider dialogue and fresh ideas – not through oratory and speechmaking, but by getting down to business with new solutions to the big issues affecting Australia.

    Working side by side and sharing the task, there was a sense of collegiality, passionate and robust questioning and distilling the essence of the new ideas that emerged and testing them. Not always harmoniously, and with many questions still left unanswered.

    The end products from each of the ten streams were pulled together, using typical processes of our management consultant facilitators, and summarised in an interim report presented to the Prime Minister. The full report – with more nuanced ideas and background thinking – is still to come.

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    Small business and creating technology ignored by Summit

    editor     |      April 23, 2008

    Russell Yardley

    Small business will provide the majority of new jobs and will be the core innovators in the next decade, says Russell Yardley.

    Having just had my knee operated on last week I spent a good deal of my weekend looking in at the summit on ABC2. It was clearly a wonderful exchange of ideas amongst a well informed and diverse group of people.

    The medical book (as in facebook) idea to share medical information with those who you choose was a clever twist on a proven idea that could solve the problem of the universal medical record that is consuming millions of dollars around the world.

    It was not so much an event to create new ideas (they don't seem to come when requested) but rather a powerful way to sift and sort the best ideas to help create a longer term agenda. I think this was acheived and will prove a substantial challenge for the Liberal Party in the coming few years.

    Nelson did hit on the obvious weakness in the selection of summitteers. In the entire broadcast I did not hear one single speaker raise issues impacting small business. The Productivity stream often spoke of business issues and on business but it was either educators, researchers or big business and they were as was specifically identified in their idea only thinking of the "top 100" businesses in Australia!

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    Social networks in organizations: balancing risk, reward, and transparency

    Ross Dawson     |      April 22, 2008

    Lack of transparency has a negative impact on the company’s value.

    A rather popular topic these days is the risks to organizations of using social networks. An article in today’s Australian Financial Review examines the issue in detail, with an interview of me (excerpted below) hopefully balancing out the other opinions expressed in the article. Unfortunately the way I was quoted seemed to overemphasize my cautions relative to the benefits I discussed.

    I am finding it very tiresome to continuously hear security consultants and vendors with big PR budgets go on endlessly about risks, without ever mentioning business benefits. This drone gets into executives’ heads, and as a result discussion of social networks – and many other potentially valuable business tools – focuses on risk and not benefit.

    My Enterprise 2.0 Governance Framework explicitly addresses risks, benefits, and actions. It is critical to acknowledge, understand, and minimize risk, but executives are equally culpable if they ignore business value as if they ignore risk.

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    Can the ads

    editor     |      April 22, 2008

    Justine Hodge

    Last week the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) released its revised ‘Advertising to Children Code’ heralding "major changes". This was a great opportunity for the advertising industry to demonstrate corporate responsibility and to attempt to make significant impact towards improving the health of Australian children.

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    International Students (ELICOS)

    neil roberts     |      April 21, 2008

    According to the ABS: "Education services provided in Australia to international students were valued at over $9 billion in export earnings in the financial year 2004–05. This was the third highest export for Australia, and generated more than wool ($2.3 billion), wheat ($3.2 billion) and beef ($4.5 billion) in terms of value." http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts This is […]

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    Climate Change / Sustainability

    CourtG     |      April 21, 2008

    1.  CSIRO / Uni Alternative fuels / engines research with success qualifying for incentives & extensive IP rights to ensure the fruits of the research see the light of day! 2.  Biomass fuels developed from landfills / tips for both power generation and transport fuel requirements, soas not to dedicate farmland to the provision of growing […]

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    Controlling excessive financial rewards to public company board members

    KEITH O A JONES     |      April 20, 2008

    Criticism some time ago resulted in the treasurer of the day, Mr Costello, saying it was up to the shareholders to vote against the excessive rewards to public company board members.

    The average shareholder does not have the power to do this. He or she is outnumbered by the number of shares being voted by the fund managers.

    It should be made necessary (possible in this electronic day and age) for the fund managers to approach the people whose funds they are managing to obtain thier direction as to how to vote their shares. 

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    Australia, Ethanol and its dependence of Crude Oil

    GavanS     |      April 20, 2008

    The most impressive thing about search engines is that one can quickly find relative topics on subjects of interest within milliseconds. With 1000 "brain-stormers" in action on the weekend, I'm totally stunned  there is not a mention of Ethanol apart from the fact that one Australian car manufacturer is working towards exporting cars that include […]

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    HECS and Stopping the Brain Drain

    Robert_Pitts     |      April 20, 2008

    Putting HECS payments into a trust fund and potentially rolling them over into superannuation may help to slow or prevent the "Brain Drain" from Australia.

    There has been much talk about the HECS debt burden placed on students and how much it impacts on their lives. However, Australia suffers another problem with many of our best graduates being drawn overseas to pursue careers because of better remuneration.

    An alternative which might help to address both of these problems would be to maintain HECS fees in trust for a period of say ten years after graduation. After that time, if the graduate has residence and a job within Australia, the HECS monies plus interest are rolled into the graduate’s superannuation fund.

    If however the graduate is employed outside Australia by a foreign company, their initial HECS fee is retained by the government for the benefit of Australia.

  • User Centric ID management – Heading for New Zealand

    Malcolm Crompton     |      April 19, 2008

    The upcoming identity conference in New Zealand is going to be a high spot for ID management in this part of the world; indeed anywhere.

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    Fair go for the over 45’s

    Catriona     |      April 18, 2008

    The government should create mandatory protection for any investment or business purchase made by a person who is investing life savings or the family home.  If the investment is being made by an over 45 individual then this advice should be free but also tax deductable for every one.  Independent banking and legal advice should […]