National Close the Gap Day 2022. Courtesy of ANTaR, 2022.
The life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people is sadly approximately 10 years lower than the rest of the Australian population. This gap stems from social determinants of health such a parents level of education, where you are born and availability of jobs in communities, all things children are born into and can’t change. This is why holistic change and support is needed within Indigenous communities to close the gap, not just improvements within healthcare (Close the Gap Campaign Report 2022, 2022).
Early learning. Courtesy of ALNF, 2022.
This years campaign theme ‘Transforming Power: Aboriginal and Torres Strait-Islander-led Transformation, Gender Equality and Allyship' acknowledges the incredible strength and resilience of Indigenous communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they have been “leading the way in transforming health and community services, policies, and programs, by rebuilding them with the foundations of culture and Country at the centre.”(ANTaR, 2022).
This important theme shines a light on the wisdom and capabilities of First Nations communities. The 2022 Close the Gap report features nine case studies that show the integral role of Indigenous led decision making, and the need for this to be carried into government and mainstream services. As reported by ANTaR (2022) each case study is:
“an exemplar of cultural strength, which lifts expectations of what can be achieved for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing through innovative, culturally safe, community driven solutions”
So how can you get involved and support the Close the Gap campaign?
- Post on your social media to raise awareness. Use the hashtags #ClosetheGap #ClosetheGapDay
- Take action by signing the Close the Gap pledge and ask your friends and colleagues to do the same. You can find the pledge here.
- Support the Close the Gap Campaign by donating. Every donation big or small helps Close the Gap securing healthy, just and fair futures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Donate here.
Today let’s all take a moment to acknowledge the incredible strength of Indigenous communities have shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the continued support that is needed before there are equal health outcomes for all Australians.