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The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet hosted one of more than 840 Close the Gap Day events taking place throughout Australia today.
This is the sixth National Close the Gap Day, and more than 120,000 people participated in events in homes, schools, workplaces, community halls, churches, public spaces, government departments, and Aboriginal and mainstream health services. These events help to increase awareness about Indigenous health and raise the profile of the Close the gap campaign.
The Close the gap campaign, co-chaired by Mick Gooda, Human Rights Commissioner, and Jody Broun, Co-chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, aims to achieve health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians by 2030.
In response to the campaign, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has committed to achieving key targets that include closing the gap in life expectancy by 2030 and halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five by 2018.
'This is a national issue on which the government must continue to focus - the public plays a critical role in maintaining the momentum to close the gap,' Mr Gooda said.
The Close the Gap Day event hosted by the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet this morning highlighted some of the important work being undertaken at Edith Cowan University (ECU) to end Indigenous disadvantage. These include initiatives to close the gap in health, early childhood and schooling undertaken by staff at ECU's Centre for Indigenous Australian Education, Kurongkurl Katitjin.
ECU Close the Gap Day presenters, from left: Professor Gary Partington, Associate Professor Caroline Barratt-Pugh, Mr Graeme Gower and Professor Neil Thomson.