The Close The Gap initiative aims to achieve equality for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in focus areas relating to health, life expectancy and education. Over the years the targets set to achieve these equalities have had mixed successes, but unfortunately only two of the continuing targets are currently on track, these are:
- The target to have 95 per cent of Indigenous four year‑olds enrolled in early childhood education (by 2025).
- The target to halve the gap for Indigenous Australians aged 20–24 in Year 12 attainment or equivalent (by 2020).
All other targets relating to life expectancy, child mortality and numeracy and literacy skills, however, are not on track to meet targets and demand our immediate attention.
At Youth Off The Streets we have an Aboriginal Services team that equips young people and communities with the right tools to affect change in their lives.
Director of Aboriginal Services, Chris Sutherland, says the team is committed to empowering Aboriginal young people and communities to help us move forward to finally close the gap.
“Aboriginal Services continues to strive towards closing the gap for indigenous young people and families we support. We work in close partnerships with internal and external services to provide a holistic approach when working towards closing the gap for our clients in our communities.
Aboriginal Services will continue to support better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the 7 key targets for closing the gap. Just one way we do this is by promoting healing among our young people through connecting to culture and land.
We understand as a nation there is a lot more work to do, but initiatives like Closing The Gap Day, Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week are always a step in the right direction.”
This Close The Gap day, we must keep moving forward and acknowledging these vital issues Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still face. We must remove the barriers that prevent reconciliation and implement change within our communities. Youth Off The Streets commits to helping make these changes happen by continuing the conversation and celebrating Indigenous culture.
Link to sign the petition: https://antar.org.au/closethegap/background#node-campaign-full-group_takeaction