What Is the National Agreement on Closing the Gap

As part of the partnership agreement, the Coalition of Peaks sat down with Australian governments and looked at what had worked on closing the gap over the past decade and what was not, what things could be strengthened and needed to be changed. The National Gap Reduction Agreement (the National Accord) has 17 national socio-economic objectives in all areas that affect the outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives. Progress towards the goals will be monitored by the Productivity Commission and will help all parties to the national agreement to understand how their efforts contribute to progress over the next decade. On the 20th. In December 2007, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), which includes leaders from federal, state, territorial and local governments, committed to closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians. It is important to note that COAG has agreed to be responsible for achieving this objective within a certain period of time. The strategy currently initiated by COAG is known as Closing the Gap. The Close the Gap campaign is the “public face” of the National Campaign for Indigenous Health Equality [341]. This public awareness campaign was officially launched in Sydney in April 2007 and organized by NACCHO, ANTaR and Oxfam Australia. It brought together the voices of more than 40 organisations calling on state, territory and federal governments to commit to bridging the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians within a generation. The Australian government adopted the objectives of the Close the Gap campaign in 2008[4], as part of a strategy known as “Closing the Gap”.

[5] Rudd and Health Minister Nicola Roxon signed the “Bridging the Gap” Mou to address this gap. This document has two objectives: first, as a formal agreement between the australian government of the day and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; and secondly, as the embodiment of a human right, as a model for achieving equality in health. [6] The strategy was funded by the government to develop a long-term action plan focused on health services to achieve equality in aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and life expectancy. [7] The Coalition of Peaks, in collaboration with all Australian governments and the Australian Local Government Association, signed the new National Gap Reduction Agreement (National Accord). The national agreement was built around what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people said was important to improving their lives. It includes four priority reforms to change the way governments work, new government accountability measures, and joint monitoring and implementation agreements. National Partnership Agreements (NPAs) are agreements between the Commonwealth of Australia and the states and territories. They ensure that all levels of government commit to the same framework of results, progress measures and strategic directions. NPAs build on existing initiatives, fill gaps and can provide additional funding.

Six agreements were originally included in the Closing the Gap policy: Megan Davis, deputy deputy vice chancellor of the Indigenous UNSW, criticized some aspects of the agreement, particularly the idea that the participation of the Coalition of Peaks provides a “voice” and thus constitutes self-determination. It points out that these bodies are contracted service providers who depend on State resources to manage their organisations. She says: “Unlike the Uluru Dialogues, which invited communities to imagine and shape their future with the Constitutional Change Platform, the Coalition of Peaks, which bridges the gap, aims to refresh imperfect politics.” [22] Leaders reaffirmed that improving the lives of Indigenous Australians is a priority on COAG`s strategic agenda for the future and agreed that the Closing the Gap framework has played an important role in promoting unprecedented national efforts to improve Indigenous outcomes. As the current framework approaches its 10th anniversary and some goals will expire in 2018, leaders have committed to working with Indigenous leaders, organizations and communities to update this agenda with a greater focus on joint efforts, evaluating, and building what works in each jurisdiction. [35451] The National Congress of First Peoples of Australia is the nationally representative voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Congress was developed following consultations and submissions to a steering committee supported by the Australian Human Rights Commission. The first Board of Directors of the National Congress of First Peoples of Australia was appointed in April 2010. [31983] Call on the federal government to maintain and establish national representation to facilitate meaningful engagement and improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander outcomes in the areas of health and justice.

In March 2012, the National Congress of First Peoples of Australia proposed adding a new justice objective to the existing closing the gap objectives overseen by Australian governments [24792]. This objective was to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system. Implementation plans define how policies and programmes are aligned with the national agreement and what steps will be taken to achieve priority reforms. They will also contain information on funding and deadlines for actions. The Coalition of Peaks came together as an act of self-determination and demanded to be formal partners of Australian governments to bridge the gap. Members are national, state or territorial Aborigines and senior bodies controlled by Torres Strait Islanders (some independent statutory authorities) with boards of directors elected by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or organizations. The Coalition of Peaks` responsibilities focus on policies, programs and services that align with closing the gap. In 2011, the National Health Leadership Forum (NHLF) was established [30931]. The NHLF consists of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organizations and the De Close the Gap Steering Committee. .