Prime Minister's 2019 Statement on Closing the Gap

The long and short of the PM's Closing the Gap Report and speech this morning is that we have gone backwards on closing the gap in the last 12 months. One year ago, as a nation, we were on track in 3 out of the 7 targets.

This year the PM announced in his annual report to Parliament that there are now only 2 targets that can be considered on track - efforts to close the gap in early childhood education and Year 12 attainment seem to be on track but sadly, child mortality has once again slipped.

Beyond the bland (and depressing) reporting on such limited success, the PM spoke about the current and hopefully game-changing efforts to form a genuine partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to determine how to fix this national strategy.

Now, as much as ever, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends, family, colleagues and fellow citizens need us to be standing with them to call on our governments to make fundamental changes.

I'll be saying more on all of this in the coming days and weeks.

For more Close the Gap campaign background and resources visit on our website.

Support Close the Gap: Take Action


To mark the start of our campaign for National Close the Gap Day 2019 we've started a new blog. ANTaR President Dr Peter Lewis, Former President Janet Hunt and I have brought together a range of perspectives on the status of Close the Gap and where the focus should be in 2019.

Enjoy the further reading and please do send any thoughts, comments and feedback my way, I'd love to hear from you.

Where are we at with Closing the Gap? - Paul Wright, ANTaR National Director

A Reminder of Unfinished Business - Dr Peter Lewis, ANTaR National President

The Gap that must be Closed: a Voice in Decision-making - Janet Hunt, ANU Associate Professor

So what more can you do?

National Close the Gap Day will be held on Thursday 21 March this year and there are number of things you might consider doing…

Take action: Australia’s universal health system has been failing First Australians for far too long. Support the National Close the Gap days key call to action.

Share: We really need people to share the Close the Gap pages on the ANTaR website -

Register: On the ANTaR website you can find details about the Campaign, you can register your National Close the Gap Day event and you can download resources to support your event on the day.

Donate: With your help though - we can continue to fund year round advocacy for Close the Gap.

Over the next 6 weeks, we’ll communicate more information about the Campaign and National Close the Gap Day and if you have any questions please contact the ANTaR team at - [email protected]

We want to continue holding governments to account on their responsibilities to ensure we have a health system that is free of racism, that is culturally safe and providing world class care for all.


Paul Wright

National Director


Take action on Close the Gap