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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
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Perspectives on Closing the gap

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Abdolhosseini P, Bonner C, Montano A, Young YY, Wadsworth D, Williams M, Stoner L (2015)

Should the governments of 'developed' countries be held responsible for equalizing the Indigenous health gap?.

Global Health Promotion; Online before print(

Alford K (2015)

A cost-effective approach to closing the gap in health, education and employment: investing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing education, training and employment.

Canberra: Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives

Amnesty International Australia (2015)

A brighter tomorrow: keeping Indigenous kids in the community and out of detention in Australia.

Sydney: Amnesty International Australia

Osborne S (2015)

Families as foundation: Anangu perspectives on what else matters in remote education.

UNESCO Observatory Multi-disciplinary Journal in the Arts; 4(2)

Retrieved February 2015 from


Healey J, ed. (2014)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Thirroul, NSW: Spinney Press

Arabena K (2014)

The First 1000 Days: catalysing equity outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Medical Journal of Australia; 200(8): 442

Biddle N (2014)

Developing a behavioural model of school attendance: policy implications for Indigenous children and youth.

Canberra: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research

Curran L (2014)

Widening the gap - Indigenous affairs.

Dissent; 44(autumn/winter): 36-38

Dudgeon P, Walker R, Scrine C, Shepherd C, Calma T, Ring I (2014)

Effective strategies to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Canberra: Closing the Gap Clearinghouse

This report draws on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, theoretical understandings, and available evidence, to derive strategies that effectively address the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The paper provides an evidence based discussion of factors that influence the effective development, implementation and outcomes of initiatives to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing issues. The paper also discusses whether current investment in the area is aligned with available evidence on what works.

Abstract adapted from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Gracey M (2014)

Why closing the Aboriginal health gap is so elusive.

Internal Medicine Journal; 44(11): 1141-1143

Gray K, Tipps-Webster T, Moore R, Priday E, Gargett A, Dick D (2014)

Social Justice and Native Title report 2014.

Sydney: Australian Human Rights Commission

This publication, prepared annually in accordance with the Australian human rights commission act (1986) and the Native title act (1993), examines the enjoyment and exercise of human rights by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. The report covers the following topics:

  • social justice - year in review
  • Racial discrimination act 1975 - proposed changes to racial hatred provisions
  • native title - year in review
  • creating safe communities including justice reinvestment
  • nations - self-determination and a new era of Indigenous governance
  • the declaration within Australia of the United nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples and the benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The report provides recommendations to Government.

Abstract adapted from Australian Human Rights Commission

Hunter EM (2014)

Indigenous health: radical hope or groundhog day?.

Medical Journal of Australia; 200(11): 621-622

Medicus (2014)

Closing the gap targets need added focus: Indigenous mental health has to be front and centre of any future government strategy.

Medicus; 54(2): 21

Otim ME, Kelaher M, Anderson IP, Doran CM (2014)

Priority setting in Indigenous health: assessing priority setting process and criteria that should guide the health system to improve Indigenous Australian health.

International Journal for Equity in Health; 13: 45

Retrieved 7 June 2014 from

Russell L (2014)

Impact of the 2014-15 federal budget on Indigenous programs and services.

Sydney: Menzies Centre for Health Policy

This report provides an analysis of the Indigenous provisions in the 2014-15 federal budget. It considers current and past strategies, policies, programs and funding, and is supported, where possible, by data and information drawn from government agencies, reports and published papers. Similar analyses from previous budgets are available on the University of Sydney e-scholarship website. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Abstract adapted from author


Anderson PJ, Atkinson B (2013)

Closing the gap: using graduate attributes to improve Indigenous education.

International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives; 12(1): 135-145

Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee (2013)

Building on the Close the Gap platform: commitments for an incoming government.

Canberra: Australian Human Rights Commission

This report was prepared by the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee and outlines what the Committee sees as the key commitments and milestones for the newly-elected Commonwealth Government of the 44th Parliament. Commitments and milestones are set outlined for the first 100 days, first year, and throughout the Government's term; they will be monitored and reported on by the Committee through their annual progress report.

Broadly, the Committee calls on the Government to do the following, in partnership with Indigenous people:

  • reaffirm the Government's commitment to 'closing the gap'
  • renew the National partnership agreement on closing the gap in Indigenous health outcomes with a minimum $777 million investment
  • establish an implementation plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health plan 2013-2023
  • develop a whole-of-government approach to Indigenous health and the related social determinants
  • develop a Closing the gap target related to Indigenous incarceration
  • develop legislation for the reporting for Closing the gap
  • ensure long-term funding of these innitiatives
  • determine the appropriate Indigenous share of mainstream health services, based on population size and need.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Constable J, O’Leary J, Roberts A (2013)

Closing the work gap in corporate Australia: Indigenous perspectives on effective engagement between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the private sector.

Sydney: Diversity Council Australia

This is the second research report which investigates Indigenous perspectives on effective community engagement for successful and sustainable employment in the private sector.

The publication reports on research that sought the opinions of Indigenous thought leaders and practitioners. The investigation and presentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives was seen as necessary to balance what was seen as a disproportionate focus on employer perspectives and experiences to-date.

The report presents eight key characteristics of effective engagement:

  • engagement premised on Indigenous perspectives
  • community conscious engagement
  • strategic engagement
  • engagement focused on two-way capacity building
  • culturally safe and inclusive engagement
  • clear and authentic engagement
  • taking time when engaging
  • engagement using the right metrics.

The reported findings - that Indigenous peoples' voices and knowledge are key to enabling Australian organisations build sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations - could be applied beyond private sector employment.

The report was produced by the Diversity Council Australia in partnership with Lend Lease and Reconciliation Australia.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Donato R, Segal L (2013)

Does Australia have the appropriate health reform agenda to close the gap in Indigenous health?.

Australian Health Review; 37(2): 232-238

Kehoe HC (2013)

So close, yet so far : how a lack of accountability undermined COAG's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health goals.

Master of Public Health thesis, Charles Darwin University: Darwin

Russell L (2013)

Closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage:an analysis of provisions in the 2013-14 Budget and implementation of the Indigenous Chronic Disease Package.

Sydney: Menzies Centre for Health Policy

This paper presents the author's analysis of the Indigenous provisions in the Australian Government's 2013-14 Budget in the context of current and past strategies, policies, programs, and funding support. The report also looks at the implementation and impact of the Commonwealth's Indigenous chronic disease package. The materials and data for this paper are from publicly available sources.

Abstract adapted from author Lesley Russell

Russell LM (2013)

Reports indicate that changes are needed to close the gap for Indigenous health.

Medical Journal of Australia; 199(11): 1-2


Australian Council for Educational Research (2012)

Review of the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators report for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision.

Canberra: Productivity Commission

Baum F, Fisher M, Lawless A (2012)

Australian experiences.

In: Raphael D, ed. Tackling health inequalities: lessons from international experiences. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press: 63-91

Hunter B (2012)

Selected issues for closing the income gaps between Indigenous and other Australians, 2001-11.

Canberra: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research

Jack S (2012)

Closing the gap on diabetes - a social determinants of health perspective.

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal; 36(1): 27-30

Martin JH (2012)

Intervention in Aboriginal life.

New Blackfriars; 93(1047): 505–515

Moore R (2012)

Whitewashing the gap: the discursive practices of whiteness.

International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies; 5(2): 11

National Congress of Australia's First Peoples (2012)

What does success look like? Measuring the success of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health plan.

Sydney: National Congress of Australia's First Peoples


Amnesty International Australia (2011)

Two ways to health: closing the gap on health in the Northern Territory.

Sydney: Amnesty International Australia

Australian Medical Association (2011)

Australian Medical Association federal budget submission 2011-12.

Canberra: Australian Medical Association

Calma T (2011)

Wangka Pulka newsletter guest editorial: Dr Tom Calma.

Wangka Pulka newsletter; (August 2011): 6-7

Carapetis J, Silburn S (2011)

Key factors influencing educational outcomes for Indigenous students and their implications for planning and practice in the Northern Territory.

Paper presented at the Australian Council for Educational Research Conference 2011: Indigenous Education. 7-9 August 2011, Darwin

Cooper D (2011)

Closing the gap in cultural understanding: social determinants of health in Indigenous policy in Australia.

Darwin: Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory

Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations (2011)

The future of remote participation and employment servicing arrangements: discussion paper.

Canberra: Australian Government

Eidos Institute (2011)

Professor Ian Anderson – full interview [video].

: Eidos Institute

Graham C (2011)

The elephant in the room: self-determination.

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal; 35(5): 12-16

Hsueh Y, Brando A, Dunt D, Anjou M, Taylor H (2011)

The cost to close the gap for vision.

Melbourne: Indigenous Eye Health Unit, the University of Melbourne

This report summarises a study which determines the direct medical and associated non-medical costs of providing full access to eye care services for Indigenous people focusing on three main eye problems; cataract, refractive error, and diabetic retinopathy. Methods were developed in the study to estimate resources currently spent on these services and estimate what extra resources are needed to Close the gap for vision for Indigenous people for each state and territory in the next five years.

The report is part of a series produced by the Indigenous Eye Health Unit, University of Melbourne, following the National Indigenous eye health survey and Access to eye health services among Indigenous Australians reports.

Abstract adapted from the University of Melbourne

National Congress of Australia’s First People (2011)

Statement of The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples on the Northern Territory Intervention.

Sydney: National Congress of Australia’s First People

Radio National Australia (2011)

Indigenous health: are we closing the gap? [Australia Talks podcast].

: ABC Radio, Australia

Tait PW (2011)

How can Australia do better for Indigenous health?.

Medical Journal of Australia; 194(10): 501-502

Viswanathan R, Franklin E, Phillips J (2011)

A better way: building healthy, safe and sustainable communities in the Northern Territory through a community development approach.

Sydney: Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR)


Awofeso N (2010)

The 2008-2030 National Indigenous Health Equality Targets: suggestions for transforming potential into sustainable health improvements for Indigenous Australians.

Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin; 10(2)

Retrieved 21 April 2010 from

Business Council of Australia (2010)

Common ground, uncommon results : closing the gap.

Melbourne: Business Council of Australia

Calma T (2010)

2010 Chalmers Oration - What's needed to close the gap?.

Rural and Remote Health; 10: 1586

Retrieved from

Calma T (2010)

Departing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma reminisces on his term [podcast].

: Australian Human Rights Commission

Close the Gap Steering Committee for Indigenous Health Equality (2010)

Close the gap partnership position paper.

Melbourne, Vic: Oxfam Australia

Dockett S, Perry B, Kearney E (2010)

School readiness: what does it mean for Indigenous children, families, schools and communities?.

Canberra: Closing the Gap Clearinghouse

Gooda M (2010)

Towards a reconciled Australia [transcript of speech].

Retrieved from

Iannuzzi A (2010)

The new “Indigenous health” incentive payment: issues and challenges [letters].

Medical Journal of Australia; 192(6): 354

Ingamells A (2010)

Closing the Gap: some unsettling assumptions - a remote case study.

Journal of Social Inclusion; 1(1): 7-22

Kildea S, Kruske S, Barclay L, Tracy S (2010)

‘Closing the Gap': how maternity services can contribute to reducing poor maternal infant health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Rural and Remote Health; 10: 1383

Retrieved from

Manning R (2010)

Is the PBS playing its part in “closing the gap” in Indigenous health?.

Paper presented at the 7th Annual Future of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Forum. 22-23 April 2010, Sydney

Merritt AD, Roberts-Witteveen AR, Durrheim DN (2010)

Closing the gap — better health intelligence is required [letter].

Medical Journal of Australia; 193(5): 309

Standen J (2010)

Closing the gap: using evidence-based environmental interventions to improve health.

Sydney: NSW Department of Health


Altman JC, Biddle N, Hunter BH (2009)

Prospects for 'closing the gap' in socioeconomic outcomes for Indigenous Australians?.

Australian Economic History Review; 49(3): 225-251

Anderson I (2009)

Close the Gap: National Indigenous Health Equality Council.

Medical Journal of Australia; 190(10): 546

Arney F, McGuinness K, Robinson G (2009)

In the best interests of the child? Determining the effects of the emergency intervention on child safety and wellbeing.

Law in Context; 27(2): 42-57

Banks G (2009)

Are we overcoming Indigenous disadvantage?.

Retrieved from

Business Council of Australia (2009)

Many connections, one goal : closing the gap.

Melbourne: Business Council of Australia

Cooper D (2009)

From ‘Close The Gap' to the Rudd Government's ‘closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage': what gap are we closing?.

Canberra: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research

Couzos S, Thiele DD (2009)

Closing the gap depends on ACCHSs (letter).

Medical Journal of Australia; 190(10): 541

Hoy WE (2009)

“Closing the gap” by 2030: aspiration versus reality in Indigenous health: (mind the gap - viewpoint).

Medical Journal of Australia; 190(10): 542-544

Hudson S (2009)

Closing the accountability gap: the first step towards better Indigenous health.

Sydney: Centre for Independent Studies

This monograph is a critique of the current National Indigenous health policy, coupled with recommendations on how a co-ordinated care model could deliver better health services to Indigenous communities. The author stresses the need for government to be more accountable and transparent in spending, and for Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) to demonstrate better governance and clinical effectiveness. The proposed co-ordinated model would draw on bottom-up consultation and top-down change processes to prioritise the health needs of individual patients.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Moran T (2009)

Forging new partnerships to address Indigenous disadvantage in Australia.

Retrieved from

Pholi K, Black D, Richards C (2009)

Is 'Close the Gap' a useful approach to improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians?.

Australian Review of Public Affairs; 9(2): 1-14

Reconciliation Australia (2009)

From good intentions into action that works: measuring the contribution of reconciliation actions in closing the gap [discussion paper].

Canberra: Reconciliation Australia

Reconciliation Australia (2009)

Reconciliation Australia position paper.

Canberra: Reconciliation Australia

Robertson G (2009)

Geoffrey Robertson's hypothetical: Closing the Gap.

: National Indigenous Television

This resource includes a guide to assists students to understanding the range of complex Indigenous issues confronting 21st century Australian society in closing the gap and to explore the facts of the real-life events and situations behind the fiction of the case studies and scenarios of Geoffrey Robertson's hypothetical.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Last updated: 23 October 2015
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