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Home > News > 2018 > March > Ending Indigenous disadvantage: Close the Gap Day - 15 March 2018

Ending Indigenous disadvantage: Close the Gap Day - 15 March 2018

Close_the_Gap_2.JPGAustralia continues to have one of the world’s worst life expectancy gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens.

The Close the Gap campaign, launched a decade ago, aims to combat this shameful situation by achieving equality for the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by 2030.

IEUA-QNT Chapters are encouraged to meet on Thursday, 15 March to acknowledge the campaign on Close the Gap Day and to consider how we, as educators of the next generation, can contribute to better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of our community.

The Gap continues

The most recent Closing the Gap Report, released in February, shows little progress has been achieved since the National Indigenous Reform Agreement was established in 2008.

The report states the target to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031 is not on track. Between the periods 2005-2007 and 2010-2012 there was a small reduction in the gap of 0.8 years for males and 0.1 years for females.

Over the longer term, Indigenous mortality rates have declined by only 14 per cent since 1998. Significantly, the Indigenous child mortality rate declined by 35 per cent between 1998 and 2016.

However, improvements in key drivers of child and maternal health over the past few years suggest further gains are needed.

According to a report by the Australian Medical Association, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders do not benefit from mainstream health services to the same extent as other Australians because:

  • Health services are not accessible to many, and particularly remote, Aboriginal communities;
  • Mainstream health services often lack cultural sensitivity and remain unwelcoming places for Indigenous peoples;
  • It fails to address other root causes: more than 200 years of dispossession, racism and discrimination have left Indigenous Australians with some of the lowest levels of education, highest levels of unemployment, poorest health and most appalling housing conditions.

Chapter action IEUA-QNT Chapters are encouraged to mark Close the Gap Day on Thursday, 15 March by holding a ‘Close the Gap Day’ morning tea.

You can register your Chapter event with Oxfam to acknowledge the day, consider the many complex issues involved and contemplate how we can contribute to better outcomes.

Members are encouraged to share this event with our wider membership by emailing a high resolution photograph of your event to communications@qieu.asn.au for inclusion in our union’s publications and social media.

To register and obtain Close the Gap Day resources, visit the Oxfam website

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.