We haven’t closed the gap, but we have hope for the future
Thursday 14 February 2019
The Closing the Gap Report 2019 was released today, showing that after 10 years, only two out of seven targets are on track to address Aboriginal disadvantage.
Our CEO, Tim Ireland was part of a group representing several Aboriginal peak bodies which met with the Prime Minister late last year to call for a genuine partnership approach to closing the gap.
Together, we called on governments to work together with us to set new targets and goals to improve the wellbeing and opportunities of Aboriginal people. We also called for the Closing the Gap strategy and process to be accountable to our people and communities, and to recognise and build on our strengths.
In releasing the report, Prime Minister Scott Morrison acknowledged that the strategy had not adequately partnered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“This was not a true partnership — not with the states and territories, or with Indigenous peoples themselves.” Prime Minister Morrison told Federal Parliament today.
The Closing the Gap refresh provides a new opportunity to achieve a partnership approach, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies and community controlled organisations to drive lasting change. Governments across Australia have committed to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peaks as we move forward.
A particular goal for AbSec is to introduce a target to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal kids in the child protection system. Currently in NSW as well as across Australia, authorities remove our kids from their homes at 11 times the rate of non-Indigenous children. This is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.
We know that the solutions lie in our communities. By working in partnership with Aboriginal communities, and directing resources through Aboriginal community controlled organisations, we can affect real change.