Skip to main content

We say: No more preventable deaths

Aboriginal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice
Jenny Ebsworth smiling in front of Aboriginal Art.

The Close the Gap Campaign has warned that only systemic reform will make up for the harrowing failure of the last 12 years of government policy on closing the gaps in health equity, social and economic disadvantage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The 2020 Close the Gap Campaign report, again written by the Lowitja Institute and released today, sets out a blueprint for change, presenting 14 recommendations for Australian governments that must be urgently implemented to avoid further preventable deaths and protect Indigenous health, wellbeing, culture and Country.

“Our report details some great programs and initiatives designed and led by our communities – but we are achieving these solutions inside a system that is not designed for us. This cannot continue.

“The Close the Gap Campaign membership is growing in strength and we cannot – and we will not – stand by and see more preventable deaths and the ongoing neglect of Indigenous people’s health, wellbeing, culture and Country.”

The report welcomes the new shared decision-making agreement between COAG and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations.

“We are heartened by the developments last year with COAG and the Prime Minister agreeing to a formal partnership with the Coalition of Peaks on the Closing the Gap strategy,” said June Oscar and Karl Briscoe.

“Indigenous involvement and participation is vital - when our peoples are included in the design and delivery of services that impact their lives, the outcomes are far better. However, now that partnership is in place, governments must commit to urgent funding for Indigenous health equity and solutions to prevent further entrenching our social and economic disadvantage.”

The media pack for the 2020 Close the Gap campaign report (including the report) is available to download here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/n9qwzljbkhogp4o/AADbVy01G5QKWdIXKCUpVt27a?dl…

The 2020 Close the Gap campaign report will be publicly available from 7AM at:
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-is…

The Close the Gap Campaign is cancelling its public events to mark Close the Gap Day on Thursday 19 March 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to endure higher levels of illness and higher levels of comorbidity. We have three times the rate of preventable admissions to hospital, overcrowded housing and a lack of access to basic health services in many areas.
Our increased incidence of pre-existing health conditions is due in large part to governments’ failures to close the gaps in health equity for Indigenous people in Australia.

Today is National Close the Gap Day (19 March 2020) – instead of holding live events, the Close the Gap campaign is encouraging people to sign the pledge at
https://antar.org.au/closethegappledge and hold online events instead. Follow #CloseTheGap, #closethegapday @closethegapOZ for more details.

You can read more about the Close the Gap Campaign on the ANTaR website at
https://antar.org.au/close-gap

Media contact: Liz Stephens 0430 366 529 – liz.stephens@humanrights.gov.au