Last week was National Close the Gap Day with more than 900 events held around the country by ordinary folk wanting to show their support for ending inequality in Indigenous life expectancy. Close the Gap was invited by the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) to be the charity partner for this year’s Centenary of Canberra celebration. The 3 day celebrations were themed Music Markets and more with one day at each of the 3 Canberra campuses (Bruce, Reid and Woden)
Each day was blessed with sunshine and the amazing talent of “Hidden Desire”, “Yung Warriors” and ‘Yidinji” (Greg Joesph) as well as market stalls, food and a great atmosphere. On the first day we had an unexpected visit from the Honourable Bill Shorten, who dropped by to launch a new employment website for apprentices and while he was there stopped by to sign the Close the Gap pledge.
Day 2 of the festivities involved a formal afternoon tea with Close the Gap steering committee representative Dr Tom Calma invited along as guest speaker. Jenny Dodd, acting Chief Executive of Canberra Institute of Technology publicly signed the Close the Gap pledge. To end the celebration we all shared a special Close the Gap cake which looked and tasted amazing!
Over the 3 days we tattooed numerous students and staff with our very gorgeous Close the Gap tattoos, we also had heaps of hands artistically decorated by those wanting to show their support in more creative ways that by just signing a petition, we gave away numerous stickers and in the end signed up more than 200 people to the campaign. So my heartfelt thanks goes out to CIT for their passion in supporting Close the Gap day as well as for the great entertainment, the good food and fun of attending your Music Market and More days.
Debbie Hunt is the NSW/ACT Campaign Coordinator for Oxfam Australia