Annual day bridges unhealthy divide

Oxfam’s annual Close the Gap Day – part of a campaign to achieve health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by 2030 – will be held on March 16.

Last year a record 1630 Close the Gap Day events were registered, including morning teas and sports days, and organisers hope this year will be just as successful.

Campaign coordinator Tom Widdup said: “This is a great opportunity for all Australians, regardless of their background, to come together and tell the Government we want the gap closed once and for all.”

He said closing the gap was about improving Indigenous health overall.

“It’s about halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five, ensuring access to early childhood education in remote communities, halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and tackling the gaps in literacy and numeracy.

“Our Indigenous suicide rates are among the highest in the world, and Aboriginal people are being locked up in prison at unprecedented rates.

“While some progress has been made, there is no room for complacency in bringing an end to the totally unacceptable inequalities which persist for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Close the Gap began in 2006 as a collaboration between 40 Indigenous, health and human rights organisations.

People who register an event this year will receive an information kit, Close the Gap posters, stickers and a t-shirt.

To attend or host an event, visit www.oxfam.org.au/nctgd

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