What is Closing the gap?
The Australian government adopted the goals of the Close the Gap Campaign in 2008, with a focus on meeting targets aimed to close the gap in health, infant mortality, education, and employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Very little progress has been made on any of the gap targets since its inception in 2008.
In 2020, it was acknowledged that things were not working so the Closing the Gap framework and strategy was significantly overhauled.
The 2020 National Agreement on Closing the Gap
The 2020 National Agreement on Closing the Gap strategy aims to improve the life outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The current agreement has been developed in partnership between the Australian Commonwealth Government, state and territory governments, Local Government Associations and the Coalition of Peaks (which is a representative body of around fifty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled peak organisations and members). Read the Close the Gap 2020 report here.
It marks a shift in the approach to the Closing the Gap Strategy, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people determining what is important to them.
The updated Closing the Gap agreement outlines 17 socioeconomic targets and four priority reforms and the most recent data on the targets is available via the Closing the Gap Information Repository Dashboard.
The 17 socioeconomic Closing the Gap targets aim to improve the following outcome areas:
- health and wellbeing
- land and waters
- languages and digital inclusion
What is CoAct doing to help Close the Gap?
As an employment service provider we have an important role to play in supporting the updated Closing the Gap targets and supporting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers to gain equity, particularly in the area of employment.
We can also broaden our support to encompass so much more than just closing the gap in employment.
We have the ability to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in all Closing the Gap target areas by encouraging participation in education, supporting our customers to access housing and health supports and supporting their digital literacy and digital access.
Some of the opportunities we’ve identified to help reach the Closing the Gap targets include working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers to:
- identify educational courses and encourage participation
- work with Allied Health and Health services to support health and well-being
- run digital literacy workshops to support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers
- use the Employment Fund to purchase phones and/or laptops to ensure digital inclusion
By providing these supports for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers we’re committed to ensuring that they can build their skills and capability and move towards sustainable employment.
Image source: closingthegap.gov.au
© Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet