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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Ten-year review of Close the Gap campaign released

Date posted: 8 February 2018

The Close the Gap Steering Committee has released a ten-year review of the Closing the Gap strategy. The review makes 10 recommendations, including that Australian governments must join forces with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to address widening life expectancy gaps for Australia's First Nation people.

The Close the Gap campaign was created in 2008 to reduce inequalities in health, education and employment between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people.

Close the Gap Campaign Co-Chair and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar AO, said the strategy began with great promise but has failed to deliver. 'The life expectancy gap has in fact started to widen again and the Indigenous child mortality rate is now more than double that of other children,' said Commissioner Oscar. 'This is a national shame and demands an urgent tripartite health partnership...'

Last year's report on the Closing the Gap strategy reported that six out of the seven targets were 'not on track'. Because of a lack of progress on these targets, the Australian Government has recently announced a Closing the Gap refresh, which is considering the addition of new child protection and justice targets. They are currently seeking feedback from stakeholders.

Close the Gap Co-Chair, and Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Rod Little, supports the refresh process. 'The Close the Gap campaign is led by more than 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous health and human rights bodies. No other group can boast this level of leadership, experience and expertise. We stand ready to work together with Federal, state and territory governments. We have the solutions,' said Mr Little.

'While the approach has all but fallen apart, we know that with the right settings and right approach, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people leading the resetting of the Strategy, we can start to meet the challenge of health inequality, and live up to the ideals that all Australians have a fundamental right to health,' said the Closing the Gap Campaign Co-Chairs.

The ten year review of the Closing the Gap campaign is available to access here, or via the links below.

Source: Human Rights Commission, ABC


Last updated: 8 February 2018
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