What is OpenForum?

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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Clear your head, make a difference

Dry July

You don’t often get the chance to raise money for charity by not doing something! Give up alcohol for a month for Dry July to support adults living with cancer and their families to improve their quality of life.

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What do you need to know about diabetes?

Diabetes Australia logo

Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease with 280 new cases every day. 12 to 18 July 2015 is National Diabetes Week. Its aim is to raise awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and the growing number of people who have it.

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Learn, Respect and Celebrate

Celebrating NAIDOC week

It’s NAIDOC week from 5 to 12 July 2015. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields.

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Blog of the Day

Rebecca Rumbuls picture

Digital solutions in an accountable democracy: Tools for empowerment or exclusion?

posted by Rebecca Rumbul, Jul 08, 2015

Having access to information in principle is not the same as equality of access in practice. Dr Rebecca Rumbul, Head of Research at mySociety, wants to hear your ideas on how to engage a more diverse community in using online tools to exercise an enhanced democracy.

Those of us lucky enough to live in developed ‘westernised’ countries tend to be quite pleased with the quality of our democracy, especially in comparison to developing nations. However, readers of this and many other blogs know that the democratic mechanisms that govern us are very far from perfect and require constant scrutiny, challenge and change.

One of the key ways in which the quality of democracy is enhanced is in the accountability and transparency of government. How can citizens trust government if they are unable to access the decision-making process or to review how the government chooses to spend taxpayers’ money? How can government be accountable if you cannot access the right channels to address issues that the government exists to resolve?

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Featured Forum

Australia's health

For the next two months we will discuss Australia’s health in this forum.

Life expectancy in Australia is still among the highest worldwide. We have a functioning health system with competent and dedicated health professionals. But we need to do better with a multitude of challenges the sector is facing.

Healthcare costs are rising fast at a time when government is financially squeezed on multiple fronts. This year’s federal budget revealed significant cuts from the health system. At the same time the government has committed to a new e-health system, bringing the information management of our health data into the 21st century. Can myHealth lead to savings of billions of dollars as forecast by some?

We have a serious health gap problem, where poorer people, those living in remote areas and indigenous Australians are still not getting the full benefit of our health system.

And how healthy are we? The good news are that we live longer, smoke and drink less. But obesity rates are climbing and we don’t exercise enough. Chronic diseases and dementia numbers are rising.

How can we address the challenges in Australia’s health system? How can we improve patient outcomes? Are there any other pressing issues around this topic you think should be discussed? Please contact Svetlana at sstankovic@openforum.com.au and share your ideas and concerns with the Open Forum community.

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Australia's health

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