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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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Rethink assessment and learning

Global Mindest logo

Global Mindset presents its 12th conference on Assessment and Learning on 29 October 2014. The conference is all about students and teachers and how they can improve learning through better understanding of the current state and the future of assessment and learning.

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Join the debate

IQ2 Australia logo

IQ2 hosts a live debate at the City Recital Hall in Sydney on the 28th October about “Society would flourish under female rule”.

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Party for a cure

Pink ribbon breakfast 2014

Pink Ribbon Breakfast is an annual, nationwide fundraising initiative of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. October is international breast cancer awareness month.

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Blog of the Day

Lauren Odgerss picture

Conditions for children in immigration detention don’t improve

posted by Lauren Odgers, Oct 23, 2014

The treatment of children in detention centres has been a political topic of debate for some time. Lauren Odgers says the Government needs to prioritise the physical and emotional wellbeing of children over finances and petition for votes.

Children seeking asylum ending up in detention centres with or without their parents, as well as the conditions of detention centres have been issues of contention for some time. There is extensive literature to support the suggestion of poor living conditions for adults and children in detention centres. Children being detained in detention centres is not right; this is a breach of their human rights, and being vulnerable already due to their age combined with the conditions they are forced to exist in results in extremely poor outcomes for them.

This year we have seen a national inquiry into children in immigration detention. There is mounting evidence to suggest children experience detrimental impacts as a result of their time in detention. Some of these include anxiety, depression, self-harming, developmental issues, decreased physical health, decreased education opportunities etc (AASW, 2014; Corlett et al., 2012).

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Featured Forum


Today school leavers are competing in a global race for the best jobs. Youth unemployment rates in Australia have reached a crisis point. The general unemployment numbers have jumped to the highest level in more than ten years with a surprise fall in job growth. Some argue that unemployment rates are even higher than officially recognised.

To stay employed we have to foresee change and adapt. In this featured forum on Employment we explore what changes in the labour markets we are facing and what we can do to lift productivity and compete in the global market place. One thing we know is that skills are fundamental. But we need the flexibility and resilience to apply these skills in different contexts and go on learning.

In which fields are the job opportunities and how can we counter-balance the decline in areas like manufacturing and mining? How can we match the ongoing growth in Asian countries, where large amounts of routine work is performed at significantly lower costs? How are new technologies changing the job market and which skills do we need to cultivate that are not easily replaced by technology? And as white-collar jobs in the post-information age are not only about remuneration anymore, where can we find meaning and transcendence in our work?

What are the most pressing issues around Employment according to you? Please contact Svetlana at sstankovic@openforum.com.au and share your ideas and concerns with the Open Forum community.

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