In 2008, the Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) launched Closing the Gap, a national framework that aims to provide a coordinated strategy to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Closing the Gap strategy works to seven target areas; child mortality, early childhood education, school attendance, reading and numeracy, year 12 or equivalent attainment and employment and life expectancy.
Each year the Prime Minister makes his Closing the Gap Report to Parliament and accounts for how each target is tracking.
After more than a decade of Closing the Gap, the strategy did not have sufficient success in closing the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous people.
Following some early positive success, after 10 years only two of the Close the Gap targets were on track, and the life expectancy gap was once again widening.
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.