Responding to the 2019 Close the Gap Campaign report released today – on National Close the Gap Day – Oxfam Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ National Program Coordinator Jimi Peters said:
“Today’s Close the Gap report highlights the urgent need for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to be front and centre in the delivery of services that will address the continued and unacceptable health inequality faced by Australia’s First Peoples.
“All sides of politics need to commit to supporting Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations to improve the persistent gap in health outcomes and lower life expectancy for Indigenous Australians.
“The latest report card tabled in Federal Parliament last month revealed that disappointingly, only two of the seven closing the gap targets are on track.
“Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations are proven to deliver more effective services and are also a key to self-determination. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples must be involved in developing the solutions for the problems faced by their communities and making decisions about the matters that affect their lives.
“This also means a proper investment in resources – unfreezing funding for Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, upgrading infrastructure and expanding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce in this network.
“The stories shared today by the Close the Gap report show that a genuine partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is the real answer to long-awaited progress on tackling this intolerable health inequality.”
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Note for editors: Oxfam Australia is a founding member of the Close the Gap Campaign—a coalition of almost 50 Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations launched in 2006. The new report, Our Voices, Our Choices, was funded by Oxfam and written by the Lowitja Institute.