10 years ago, Cathy Freeman OAM and Ian Thorpe OAM launched the Close the Gap campaign to highlight the disadvantages that Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders face in Australia. In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to six ambitious targets, namely: close the gap in life expectancy within a generation (by 2031); halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five by 2018; ensure access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities by 2013; halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for children by 2018; halve the gap for Indigenous students in Year 12 (or equivalent) attainment rates by 2020; and halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and other Australians by 2018.
Last month, when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull handed down the annual report to Parliament on progress in Closing the Gap he stated: Under successive governments, under both sides, progress against the Close the Gap targets has been mixed. Whilst acknowledging that reducing child mortality and improving Year 12 attainment rates were both on track, he also highlighted that the life expectancy gap was still around 10 years and that this target was not on track.
PeakCare encourages our members, supporters, eNews subscribers and the community at large to take some time out of their day today to give some thought to the contribution we should all be making towards closing the gap.
You can Pledge to Close the Gap here