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Closing The Gap Strategy

The ‘Closing the gap’ strategy has so far been taking its toll at a slow pace. This strategy is a set of national actions aimed at reducing Indigenous Disadvantage. Although some success in health and care have been achieved, greater engagement of elders and shorter time frames are being demanded. There are numerous aims and strategies that need to be considered if we are planning to close the gap in the next 2 years. Currently, the policy has been going off at a slow start, never the less, many new implements have been introduced thorough out the years, so that we are able to reduce the gap at a faster pace.

Closing the gap strategy was introduced for a number of reasons, which involve the improvement of indigenous disadvantage. In 2005, Tom Calma, who is an Australian Aboriginal elder of the Kungarakan people published a report listing strategies and aims of closing the gap for indigenous disadvantage, which includes the equality for Indigenous peoples in health and life expectancy. Later on, the Australian Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, apologised for the wrong doings of Indigenous peoples, and singed a report saying that people all around the world are now taking action to reduce Indigenous Disadvantage (Australians Together, 2013).

There are countless reasons for the set up of Closing the gap, including the life expectancy of Indigenous peoples. Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people expect to live 10-17 years less than other Australians. The Close the gap campaign has fought for Indigenous health equality for a long time, and finally there has been some changes in the way people conduct themselves towards Indigenous and Torres Strait islanders.

To achieve this, there needs to be more focus on the accessibility of healthcare services for Indigenous and Torres Strait islanders, to be able to help those people in need. Many actions so far have been introduced, but others still need to be finalised or even started. There are innumerable strategies and aims, for Closing the gap to be fully undergoing. Many include the hospitality and care of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders, but others also include employment and education for adults and young children (Oxfam Australia, 2016).

The COAG (The council of Australian Governments) have predicted that if we are planning to achieve the targets that have been implemented, that the mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander children under 5 years of age would need to fall from 221 deaths per 10000 (2008) to around 147 deaths per 1000 in 2018, which is a reduction of 33% (Naccho, 2014)Many strategies that have been applied, require teamwork and co-operation, so that Closing the gap will be a smooth and steady procedure.

Some strategies and aims include; halving the gap in mortality rates, more educational options for indigenous and Torres Strait islander children, and access to hospitals and health facilities which also includes the waiting times for appointments. To work systematically, we need to address the social determinants that impact on achieving health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders. (…… ) The Close the gap campaign calls for urgent address for the capacity of the Australian Governments to assess progress against the COAG life expectancy. Naccho, 2014).

During this time, many strategies and aims have been successful, on the other hand multiple more still need to be introduced and finalised, so that the Closing the gap strategy can be concluded and put to an end. So far, the Closing the gap strategy has not been going to plan, and seems to be moving at a slow pace. Tom Calma says; “That the results are not the best but isn’t despondent. ” There are still many areas that need improving.

Many would suggest that the Strategy needs an urgent calling to engage with Aboriginal Leaders. (SOURCE 5). It has been 7 years since Kevin Rudd apologized to the Stole Generations and signed off a document that included the equality of school, education, employment and health. (Copied from: SOURCE 5). Not long ago, Malcolm Turnbull said:” Now we are the most successful multicultural society in the world, it is equally important we listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people when they tell us what is working and what needs to change.

They are planning to stay to the course and focus on key points and priorities such as: The transformation, and power of education, he fulfilment that comes from employment, safety, domestic violence, especially in women and children! ” The prime minister told Parliament that the closing the hap statement is crucial because it forces us to stay committed. They need to rethink about the way we move forward and the goals. (SOURCE 11).

Many of the goals that have been set, have been well achieved, nonetheless many of the most important targets still need to be reinforced and gone over. In march 2010, Professor Ian Anderson of the national Indigenous health equality council announced that indigenous child death rates are improving and may in fact halve in 2018, which is a positive. But on the negative side child abuse has worsened. In 2009, overcoming Indigenous disadvantage report has revealed that there has been disappointing progress.

Since 2003, child abuse has nearly doubled since 1999 and 2000. Although there are some fall backs to improving Closing the gap, recent reports have shown that $20 million has been added into funding over 2 years, for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies, which shows that the Government is trying to fix the problem. Recently, the current Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull stated “When we close the gap, we make ourselves more whole more complete, more Australian. ”

For the Closing the gap strategy to work, there needs to be better organisation and better preparation to be able to succeed and be complete by the end of 2018. The government needs to address many more strategies for us to follow, as we are not meeting up to expectations when trying to close the gap. Closing the gap isn’t about reducing Indigenous Disadvantage, it is about making the world a better place, and more sufficient wile dealing with equality. If these expectations are met, then everyone will get along, and more people will want to participate in certain events that they feel uncomfortable in now.

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