Close the Gap

Why is closing the gap so important?

Most Australians enjoy one of the highest life expectancies of any country in the world. This is not true for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Indigenous Australians can expect to live 10-17 years less than other Australians. Babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at more than twice the rate of other Australian babies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of preventable illness such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.

The mortality rates for Indigenous Australians is on par with some of the world’s most impoverished nations. The United Nations Report, The State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (2009) indicated Australia and Nepal have the world’s worst life expectancy gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Photo: Bonnie Savage, Oxfam AUS

Photo: Bonnie Savage, Oxfam AUS

Is this the Australia you want? With your help we aim to close this health gap and achieve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality within a generation.

What we’re campaigning for

The Close the Gap Coalition — a grouping of Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and community organisations — together with nearly 200,000 Australians is calling on governments to take real, measurable action to achieve Indigenous health equality by 2030.

With your support, we are asking for:

  • The implementation and monitoring of a comprehensive National Action Plan (developed in partnership with Indigenous communities and health organisations)
  • Statistics of shortened life expectancy are our mothers and fathers, uncles and aunties who live diminished lives. We die silently under these statistics

    Professor Mick Dodson, 2009 Australian of the Year and Aboriginal activist and lawyer

  • Meaningful partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and health services
  • Improvements to Indigenous participation, control and delivery of health services
  • A commitment to provide adequate and long-term financial resources including strengthening of the Indigenous health workforce
  • A way to address critical social issues that impact Indigenous health (including poor housing, nutrition, employment and education)

How you can Close the Gap

The Close the Gap campaign has achieved a tremendous amount since its launch by Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe in 2006. These outcomes include:

  • commitment by government and all major political parties to take action through the formal signing of the Statement of Intent
  • allocation of additional health funding through COAG; and
  • a stated intention to work in partnership with Indigenous health organisations and communities.

But this is just the beginning. Change will take a generation. We need sustained action from Federal and State Governments. This is where we need your help.

Take action now and support Indigenous health equality:

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Close the Gap merchandise

Now available online - including t-shirts, wristbands, posters, DVDS and more!