Close the Gap

The Close the Gap campaign is the result of the Australian public’s overwhelming support for improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Close the Gap Campaign for Indigenous Health Equality is a highly regarded movement that has shaped government policy. It is led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and supported by mainstream health and advocacy organisations from around the country.

Why is closing the gap so important?

Most Australians enjoy one of the highest life expectancies of any country in the world — but this is not true for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can expect to live at least 10 years fewer than other Australians. Babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at more than twice the rate of other Australian babies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of preventable illnesses such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. The mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is on par with some of the world’s most impoverished nations.

Is this the Australia you want? With your help we aim to close this health gap and achieve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality within a generation.

New National Agreement on Closing the Gap

In July of 2020, a New National Agreement on Closing the Gap was announced between the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations, and all Australian Governments (the Federal, State and Territory governments and the Australian Local Government Association). The parties have committed to a new way of developing and implementing policies and programs that improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. The objective of the National Agreement is to overcome the entrenched inequalities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, pushing for equality in life outcomes for all Australians.  Read more about the New National Agreement, including the four Priority Reform Areas, and the 16 new targets.

What we’re campaigning for

The Close the Gap Campaign — a grouping of Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and community organisations — together with nearly 200,000 Australians are calling on governments to take real and measurable action to achieve Indigenous health equality by 2030.

With your support, we are asking for:

The right to access health care in the location of choice

  • The outcomes are better when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are in control of their own health.
  • Community-controlled health services are holistic, appropriate and accessible.
  • Primary health care and prevention must be culturally safe to avoid hospital admissions and premature deaths.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be able to access the care they need, provided by a doctor they trust, close to where they live.
  • Long-term primary health care service delivery strategies must be informed by the evidence base supporting where services are needed most.

A healthcare system that responds to health needs

  • Mainstream health services need to do more to be culturally safe, accessible and responsive.
  • All health care workers need the right training to deliver culturally safe health care.
  • More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are needed in the health workforce.
  • Institutional racism across the health system must be identified, measured and ameliorated.

Good housing for good health

  • Overcrowded, unsafe and inadequate housing creates health problems.
  • Healthy housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will help to close the gap in life expectancy and health outcomes.
  • Consistent investment in safe and affordable housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is needed by all Australian governments.