The Prime Minister today tabled the 12th and final Closing the Gap report in Parliament before it’s set to be overhauled under a new framework co-designed by Indigenous communities.

Over the 25-year campaign, only two out of seven targets are on track, while the gap in mortality rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians has increased.

The new framework is being guided by the Coalition of Peaks, a group of almost 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled peak organisations. After consulting with Indigenous communities around the country, they will be working with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to co-design, implement, monitor and evaluate the next decade’s Closing the Gap policies.

The National Native Title Council’s Chief Executive, Jamie Lowe, is a member of the Coalition of Peaks and was in Canberra today for the Prime Minister’s address.

“For myself, and so many other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Closing the Gap is not some abstract policy framework. These policies and the inequalities they’re attempting to address are deeply personal and they affect so many areas of our lives, our families and our communities.”

“By and large, Closing the Gap has been a failure on many fronts and I think it’s really important we are honest about that so that we can get our heads out of the sand and governments can actually learn from their mistakes. We need to design policies that actually meet the real needs of our communities because we have a responsibility to them to finally get this right.”

“Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have lost faith in Closing the Gap, which is understandable. We were never consulted during the process, instead having policies implemented onto our communities in a top-down approach.”

“But we, the Coalition of Peaks, feel very strongly that we’re finally on the right track. We have a lot of work to do, and I’m sure it won’t be without its challenges. But the first step is always self-determination, and we are finally starting to get that right, so we are setting ourselves up for success.”

For more information please contact Megan Giles – or 0433 028 567

Note to Editors: Jamie Lowe is Chief Executive of the National Native Title Council and a Djabwurrung/Gunditjmara man. He is also an elected representative on the Victorian Treaty Assembly.

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