Who we are

Australia's peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous health bodies, health professional bodies and human rights organisations operate the Close the Gap Campaign. The Campaign's goal is to raise the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to that of the non-Indigenous population within a generation: to close the gap by 2030. It aims to do this through the implementation of a human rights-based approach set out in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner's Social Justice Report 2005.[231]

The Campaign Steering Committee first met in March 2006. Our patrons, Catherine Freeman OAM and lan Thorpe OAM, launched the campaign in April 2007. To date, almost 200,000 Australians have formally pledged their support.[232]

The Close the Gap Campaign is a growing national movement:

  • Every year since 2010 the National Rugby League has dedicated a round of matches to Close the Gap. The Close the Gap rounds are broadcast to between 2.5 and 3.5 million Australians each year.
  • In 2007 the first National Close the Gap Day was held. It involved five large State events and more than 300 community events. National Close the Gap Day has become an annual event since 2009. Australians across every state and territory participate in this event. Health services, schools, businesses, hospitals, government departments, ambulance services, non-government organisations and others hold events to raise awareness and show support for the Campaign and its goals. Reflecting the importance of the Campaign to nation, it has become the largest and highest profile Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health event in the country. On National Close the Gap Day in 2014, 1,300 community events were held involving approximately 150,000 Australians.

The current members of the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee are:

Co-chairs

  • Ms Kirstie Parker, Co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
  • Mr Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission

Members

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation
  • Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council
  • ANTaR
  • Australian College of Midwives
  • Australian College of Nursing
  • Australian Human Rights Commission (Secretariat)
  • Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association
  • Australian Indigenous Psychologists' Association
  • Australian Medical Association
  • Australian Physiotherapy Association
  • Australian Student and Novice Nurse Association
  • beyondblue
  • Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives
  • CRANAplus
  • First Peoples Disability Network
  • Heart Foundation Australia
  • Indigenous Allied Health Australia
  • Indigenous Dentists' Association of Australia
  • Menzies School of Health Research
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers' Association
  • National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
  • National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Physiotherapists
  • National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
  • National Coordinator — Tackling Indigenous Smoking (Dr Tom Calma AO - Campaign founder and former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner)
  • Oxfam Australia
  • Palliative Care Australia
  • PHILE Network
  • Public Health Association of Australia
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • The Fred Hollows Foundation
  • The Lowitja Institute
  • The Pharmacy Guild of Australia
  • Torres Strait Regional Authority
  • Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

[231] Calma T, Social Justice Report 2005, 2005. URL https://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/social-justice-report-2005-home.
[232] More than 195,000 people have signed the pledge at the time of writing: Oxfam Australia, Sign the Close the Gap Pledge. URL https://www.oxfam.org.au/my/act/sign-the-close-the-gap-pledge.