Let’s help to end Indigenous disadvantage | Close the Gap Day 2017
In 2006, Australia's peak Indigenous and non-Indigenous health bodies, NGOs and human rights organisations initiated the Close the Gap Campaign to achieve equality for the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by 2030.
The campaign was deemed necessary as Australia has one of the world’s worse life expectancy gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens.
IEUA-QNT Chapters are encouraged to hold a morning tea on Thursday 16 March to acknowledge the day and consider how we, as educators of the next generation, can contribute to better outcomes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of our community.
Close the Gap goals
As a response to the initiative, the National Indigenous Reform Agreement was established by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2008. The Reform Agreement outlined two health/medical goals and four educational/employment goals to be achieved in partnership with Indigenous community and health organisations. A further education target related to school attendance rates was added in May 2014.
- These goals were to:
- Improve Indigenous life expectancy to the Australian average by 2031;
- Halve the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous mortality rates;
- Ensure that 95% of all Indigenous four year olds are enrolled in early childhood education by 2025 (revised goal);
- Close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous school attendance by 2018;
- Halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for Indigenous students 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.
The latest Closing the Gap Report, released in February 2017, shows that little progress has been achieved, either over the past 12 months, or since the National Indigenous Reform Agreement was established in 2008.
Our union’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)
Our union’s acknowledgement and support of Close the Gap Day is one of the key actions outlined in our union’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Our union's RAP was endorsed by Reconciliation Australia in June 2016, acknowledging our ethical and professional responsibility to positively influence the perceptions and behaviours of future generations by working with members to support the process of reconciliation within their own school communities.
The actions incorporated within our RAP outline our belief that building and maintaining meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members and their local communities is an important and necessary step to achieving Reconciliation in Australia.
A morning tea
IEUA-QNT Chapters are encouraged to hold a morning tea to acknowledge the day, consider the many complex issues involved and contemplate how we, as educators of the next generation, can contribute to better outcomes.
Members are encouraged to share this event with our wider membership by emailing a high resolution photograph of your celebration morning tea to firstname.lastname@example.org, for inclusion in Independent Voice and our union’s digital publications and social media.
To register and obtain Close the Gap Day resources, visit the Oxfam website at Close the Gap Registration.