Three schools who love National Close the Gap Day

Campaigning for change, Educating for change, Indigenous Australia article written on the 05 Feb 2015

As National Close the Gap Day is fast approaching, let’s have a look — a #TBT (or throw back Thursday) if you will — at some of the fantastic schools who participated in 2014.

Close the Gap is an Indigenous-led campaign to achieve health equality for all Australians. It’s a horrible fact that in 2015, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are likely to die 10–17 years younger than other Australians.

As part of the Close the Gap Coalition, Oxfam Australia and its Schools Program works hard to support the hundreds of schools around the nation who hold events on National Close the Gap Day. Together, we’re making sure young people are at the forefront of the growing movement to close the gap in health outcomes and life expectancy by the year 2030.

National Close the Gap Day will be held on Thursday 19 March this year — and it’s quick and easy to register your event at your school. After you register, you’ll also receive a free school resource pack.

Check out just some of the incredible schools from across Australia who inspired us, made us cheer and warmed our hearts last year — no matter how big or small your actions, every school makes a difference.

1. Nowra High School, Nowra NSW

Ranging from their DIY photo booth, a beautiful hand print mural and the classic sausage sizzle, Principal Angela Byron told us: “For us, it was a wonderful opportunity to promote social justice in our school community, and have a genuine dialogue about our hopes for the future of our country.”

Other teachers said many students discovered that “their voice is really important”, and found a new or strengthened interest in the issues many within their community experience.

Photo: Peter Izzard/OxfamAUS

Photo: Peter Izzard/OxfamAUS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nowra High School’s brilliant event in 2014 even got media coverage in their local paper and the Koori Mail! You can also watch footage of the Nowra High Close the Gap journey.

2. Canley Vale High School, Canley Vale NSW

Check out the difference one class, a double period lesson and a lunchtime can make!

Teacher Hannah Tran said: “My 10V Geography students created posters in class, then held a short demonstration during lunch to raise awareness among the rest of the school. As a class, they successfully informed other students about the issues in health and life expectancy of Aboriginal people, and consequently collected 276 pledges during that short time.”

We say: Awesome!

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Photo: Canley Vale High School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. St John the Evangelist Catholic High School, Nowra NSW

St John the Evangelist Catholic High School held a marathon week-long event, complete with singing performances, student presentations, sausage sizzle and mass pledge signing sesh, and a visit from the Aboriginal Medical Services who spoke to the students about health issues. They also spread the Close the Gap message to the wider community outside, receiving support from many local businesses. Great work guys!

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Photo: St John the Evangelist Catholic High School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling inspired already? Good news — our 2015 materials are ready to go. Register your school today, and find loads of fun ideas you can incorporate into your school’s event, by visiting the Close the Gap School Resources page.

To send photos of your events, especially any upcoming NCTGD events, email schools@oxfam.org.au, along with a completed photo release form.