Shared decision making key to advancing Closing the Gap
Reconciliation Australia welcomes the announcement by the Prime Minister for funding and measures to close the gap in life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
We acknowledge the inclusion of support for overdue initiatives such as support for Territories Stolen Generations Reparation Scheme, and building blocks for addressing juvenile detention, but we know there is much work to be done for children and families.
Our own research through the 2020 Australian Reconciliation Barometer shows a majority of Australians believe governments must do more to close the gap in outcomes for health, justice and employment:
- Health: 60% of the general community
- Justice: 57% of the general community
- Employment: 62% of the general community
The federal government’s new measures and funding, with shared decision-making under the National Partnership Agreement, will be the key to success in making lasting change.
We support the ground-breaking work done by the over fifty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled peak organisations and members who form the Coalition of Peaks, to partner with the Australian Government.
Greater control by First Nations peoples over their own affairs is the kind of substantive change that will propel us towards a more reconciled country.
Under the National Agreement this partnership means that not only do the deliberations around the Closing the Gap strategy and targets finally have meaningful First Nations participation and leadership, but also with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people sitting at the national table as partners.
We look forward to all future policy development, implementation and monitoring being undertaken in genuine partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their representative bodies.