History of Closing the Gap

2021

Leadership and legacy through crises: keeping our Mob safe (Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee)

  • In August 2021, the Coalition of Peaks implementation plan and the Commonwealth implementation plan were released. These plans detailed how the Coalition of Peaks and the Commonwealth Government, respectively, would meet their responsibilities under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
  • In July 2021, the first Annual data compilation report to inform reporting on progress under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap was released. The report provided baseline data for all of the socioeconomic targets, and more recent data for seven targets where such data were available.

2020

Closing the Gap report 2020
We nurture our culture for our future, and our culture nurtures us (Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee)

  • In July 2020, the National Agreement on Closing the Gap was signed by the National Federation Reform Council (NFRC) and the Coalition of Peaks. The National Agreement marked a shift in the approach to the Closing the Gap Strategy, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people determining what is important to them.
  • In June 2020, A report on engagements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to inform a new national agreement on Closing the Gap was released. It provided detailed feedback on what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities across Australia had expressed they thought should be included in a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
  • In May 2020, the NFRC was formed (comprising the Prime Minister, state and territory Premiers, Chief Ministers, Treasurers and President of the Australian Local Government Association) and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) ceased.

2019

Closing the Gap report 2019
Our choices, our voices: close the gap (Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee)

2018

Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s report 2018
A ten-year review: the Closing the Gap strategy and recommendations for reset (Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee)

  • In December 2018, COAG released the COAG statement on the Closing the Gap Refresh, a draft of the strengths-based framework that recognises the importance of genuine partnership between the governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and outlined refreshed targets.
  • In February 2018, the Special gathering statement was released. The Special Gathering brought together prominent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide advice on future Closing the Gap policy priorities.

2017

Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s report 2017
Close the gap: progress and priorities report 2017 (Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee)

  • In June 2017, COAG agreed that the refreshed Closing the Gap strategy would adopt a strengths-based approach and ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were central to the development and implementation of the strategy.

2016

Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s report 2016
Close the Gap: progress and priorities report 2016 (Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee)

  • In December 2016, in acknowledgement of four of the seven targets expiring in 2018 and the relatively slow progress that was being made, COAG agreed to refresh the Closing the Gap strategy.
  • In June 2016, a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations released The Redfern statement: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations unite calling on the Federal Government to retain and establish national representation to facilitate meaningful engagement, and improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander outcomes in health and justice.

2014

Closing the gap: Prime Minister’s report 2014
Close the gap: progress and priorities report 2014 (Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee)

  • In May 2014, a target to close the gap in school attendance was added.

2008

  • In November 2008, COAG agreed to the National Indigenous reform agreement (NIRA).
  • On 18-20 March 2008, the National Indigenous Health Equality Summit was held in Canberra. At this Summit, the Close the Gap Indigenous health equality targets were presented to delegates. The Statement of intent was signed on 20 March 2008.

2007

  • On 20 December 2007, COAG committed to ‘closing the gap’ in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians. Importantly, COAG agreed to be accountable for reaching this goal within a specific timeframe. The strategy initiated at this time by COAG became known as Closing the Gap.
  • In April 2007, the Close the Gap campaign was launched.

2006

  • In March 2006, the National Indigenous Health Equality Campaign was developed in response to the Social justice report 2005 by a coalition of Australia’s peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous health organisations, non-governmental organisations, and human rights organisations.

2005

  • In November 2005, Professor Tom Calma, in his role as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, released the Social justice report 2005. This important report called for the governments of Australia to commit to achieving equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the areas of health and life expectancy within 25 years.
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