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Support National Close the Gap Day

Close the Gap is Australia’s largest campaign to improve health equality and to close the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

03 Feb 2017

 Close the Gap is Australia’s largest campaign to improve health equality and to close the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

Today, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live 10 to 17 years less than their non-Indigenous peers, and experience higher rates of preventable illness such as diabetes, kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. It is unacceptable that Australia’s first peoples are sicker and dying much younger than other groups within Australia.

 Achieving health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a priority for the Australian Medical Association. To help us achieve this goal, we work closely with key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations, and we are an active supporter of the Close the Gap campaign.

 With more than 200,000 Australians showing their support for the Close the Gap campaign, it is evident that the Australian public demand that governments, in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their representatives, meet the challenge of improving the health and life expectancy of Indigenous people.

For 10 years now, the Close the Gap campaign has shown that improvements to the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can indeed be achieved within a short time frame. And, while we have seen some progress over recent years, there is still much more to be done.

Each year, the campaign holds a National Close the Gap Day to bring the community together. It is a national day of action to raise awareness on the issue of low life expectancy within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia, and to pledge support for achieving Indigenous health equality by the year 2030.

2007 saw the first National Close the Gap Day with more than 300 community and State events being run across the country. Since then it has become an annual event and has grown alongside continued support from the public. Last year more than 160,000 people took part in over 1,640 separate National Close the Gap Day events across Australia.  This year, National Close the Gap Day is being held on 16 March 2017.

The AMA encourages all Australians to show their support for the Close the Gap campaign and get involved in National Close the Gap Day. This could include hosting a morning or afternoon tea in the office, a dinner party at home, or showing support through social media. No matter what the activity, all events play a part in building up support for health equality in Australia.

All activities can be registered online through the Oxfam website at my.oxfam.org.au/ctg, and all registered National Close the Gap Day events will receive a free resource pack. The details and locations of all public events are also available on the Oxfam website and are open for anybody to attend.

All funds raised as part of the National Close the Gap Day events go toward the Oxfam Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Program.

 

 

 


Published: 03 Feb 2017