Report calls for new framework to Close the Gap
On Close the Gap Day – Thursday, 19 March 2020 – our union will support First Nations people in having their voices heard on solutions to address the significant life expectancy gap between First Nations and non-First Nations people in Australia.
In 2020, the Closing The Gap report alarmingly revealed that the target to close the life expectancy gap for First Nations people by 2031 is not on track.
The report states the life expectancy gap between First Nations and non-First Nations men is as high as 8.6 years and for women 7.8 years.
These statistics are of great concern to the overall goal of closing the gap, which is why the Australian Local Government Association, in partnership with representatives of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations, are working to develop a new Closing the Gap framework and targets.
The new framework
The new national agreement will call on all relevant parties to maintain a commitment to achieving the goals set out in the new framework, with a higher level of accountability on First Nations communities for progress.
A Joint Council on Closing the Gap has been established, which is the first time a COAG Ministerial Council has included non-government representatives.
Ms Pat Turner AM, CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation said the collaboration required for the new framework is a never before seen opportunity for First Nations people.
“Never have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies from across the country come together in this way, to bring their collective expertise, experiences, and deep understanding of the needs of our people to the task of closing the gap,” said Ms Turner.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to change the lived experience of too many of our people who are doing it tough.”
The new framework will be developed to draw on First Nations designed and led initiatives when it comes to health, as First Nation’s people know what works best for their own lives, families and communities.
Success in this area will rely on a strong partnership between governments and First Nation’s people to work towards a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap over the next ten years in an attempt to accelerate positive progress.
As part of our union’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), we have committed to marking Close the Gap Day by raising awareness of the issues faced by First Nations people.
IEUA-QNT Chapters are encouraged to hold a morning tea on Thursday, 19 March to acknowledge the day, consider the many complex issues involved and how we, as educators of this generation, can contribute to better outcomes for First Nations people given the critical roles childhood health education, physical activity and educational standards ultimately have on life expectancy.
Members are encouraged to share their events with their colleague members by emailing high-resolution photographs of Close the Gap events to email@example.com for inclusion in our union’s publications, social media and website.