PRIME MINISTER MEETS WITH COALITION OF PEAKS ON CLOSING THE GAP
The National Native Title Council’s (NNTC) Chief Executive, Jamie Lowe, was one of the 15 Coalition of Peaks members to meet with the Prime Minister in Canberra this morning to discuss the new Closing the Gap priorities, which aim to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Coalition of Peaks – a representative body comprised of around 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled peak organisations from across various social sectors and industries – met with the Prime Minister and his ministers at Parliament House.
This morning’s meeting follows the signing of the Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in March 2019, which saw the Coalition of Peaks bringing their communities’ wishes to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on what the new Closing the Gap priorities should focus on over the next decade.
The formation of the new Closing the Gap priorities is significant as it is the first time they are being formed through shared decision-making between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Australian governments.
CEO of the National Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Pat Turner said:
“Never have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies from across the country come together in this way, to bring their collective expertise, experiences, and deep understanding of the needs of our people to the task of closing the gap.”
CEO of the NNTC, Jamie Lowe said:
“The previous Closing the Gap targets saw success in some areas and in other areas we saw little improvement. Of course, we know that the missing ingredient was shared decision-making. How can you expect policies to improve the lives of communities on the ground to be successful when you don’t know what challenges they’re facing because you haven’t had genuine consultation? That’s what this process will overcome. We have a lot of work to do but we’re on the right track.”
“The government has committed to developing the new priorities in partnership with communities, and they’re prepared to be held accountable. Each of us is accountable to our communities. From my perspective, I aim to make sure the voices of Traditional Owners are captured in this process.”
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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.