Close the Gap Campaign
The Close the Gap Coalition is a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and community organisations who – together with 200,000 Australians – are calling on the Australian government to take real, measureable action to achieve Indigenous Health equity by 2030.
Statistics show that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are significantly disadvantaged in their access to appropriate health care, housing and education, particularly those in rural communities. This is largely the result of decades of government inaction, and a continuing lack of access to appropriate services.
What is proposed?
The Close the Gap Campaign calls for:
- The implementation and monitoring of a comprehensive National Action Plan (developed in partnership with Indigenous communities and health organisations)
- meaningful partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and health services
- improvements to Indigenous participation, control and delivery of health services
- a commitment to provide adequate and long-term financial resources including strengthening of the Indigenous health workforce
- a way to address critical social issues that impact Indigenous health (including poor housing, nutrition, employment and education)
To read more about the Close the Gap campaign visit: https://www.oxfam.org.au/what-we-do/indigenous-australia/close-the-gap/
Uniting Church Involvement
The Uniting Church in South Australia is committed to working alongside Indigenous communities to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. We are committed to prayer and advocacy for increased financial and cultural support for Indigenous health care, housing and education. We continue to work alongside Congress to improve how the Uniting Church supports remote first people living in the APY lands.
In July 2008, the Rudd Government established the National Indigenous Health Equality Council, and in November of that year COAG approved the National Indigenous Reform Agreement which set out six Closing the Gap targets:
- to close the life expectancy gap within a generation
- to halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade
- to ensure access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities within five years
- to halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for children within a decade
- to halve the gap for Indigenous students in year 12 attainment rates by 2020 and
- to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.
Close the Gap campaign progress
The most recent reports reveal mixed progress towards meeting the targets by 2030. The goals of halving the gap in child mortality and year 12 attainment are on track to be met by 2018, but there have been mixed results in the other areas.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull conceded that the annual Closing the Gap report showed that there is considerable work to be done if the targets are to be met by 2030. In February 2016, the government renewed its commitment to a “new future” for Indigenous Australia, pledging to partner with Indigenous people and communities.