National Close the Gap Day

Media Release 13 March 2017

The City of South Perth will join hundreds of other organisations in calling for an end to the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians, with a free afternoon tea hosted by Moorditj Keila Aboriginal Corporation at Manning Community Centre.

Community members are encouraged to attend the event, sponsored by Waterford Plaza, between 3 and 5pm on Thursday 16 March, to mark National Close the Gap Day 2017 and share in a renewed commitment to closing the gap by 2030.  

Now in its second decade, the Close the Gap campaign is Australia’s largest movement to close the gap on life expectancy, urging governments to take action to achieve health equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 2030. 

National Close the Gap Day is an occasion when Australians tell the nation’s leaders that they want progress on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality. The campaign is a coalition of Australia’s leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and human rights organisations all working together for a common goal.

The day includes events ranging from workplace morning teas, to sports days, school events and public events in hospitals and offices around the country. Anyone can take part and make a difference.

Close The Gap Campaign Co-Chairs Kirstie Parker and Mick Gooda are urging Australians from all walks of life to take part in the day.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live approximately 10 years less than non-Indigenous Australians. But there are practical steps we can take to change this,” Ms Parker, who is also co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, said.

“We need governments to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people because real and sustained engagement with our communities is one of the critical success factors.”

Mr Gooda, who is also Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, said new research into the high level of undetected chronic conditions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people demonstrates the significant impact chronic conditions have on life expectancy.

“We have a real opportunity to make relatively large health and life expectancy gains in relatively short periods of time if we detect and treat these chronic conditions.

“There is no room for complacency. Funding for anti-smoking initiatives must continue and we need to also fund new initiatives that target chronic conditions such as diabetes, otherwise momentum will be lost,” Commissioner Gooda said.

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