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'Close the Gap' Indigenous Health Equality Summit Statement of Intent

Category: Event
Binomial Name: Australian Commonwealth Government
Date: 20 March 2008
Sub Category:Statement of Commitment/Intention
Location:Australia
Alternative Names:


  • Subject Matter:Health and Community Services | Reconciliation
    URL: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/Social_Justice/health/statement_intent.html
    Summary Information:
    The 'Close the Gap' Indigenous Health Equality Summit Statement of Intent ('the Statement of Intent') was signed on 20 March 2008 by representatives from the Commonwealth Government, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses, the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association and the Indigenous Dentists' Association of Australia, as well as by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

    A HREOC report (2008) also notes that a number of others signed the Statement of Intent on a separate sheet, namely:
  • the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson MP, Leader of the Opposition;
  • Dr Rosanna Capolingua, President, Australian Medical Association;
  • Ms Kate Carnell, Chief Executive Officer, Australian General Practice Network;
  • Dr Vasantha Preetham, President, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners;
  • Professor Napier Thomson, President, Royal Australasian College of Physicians;
  • Mr Andrew Hewett, Executive Director, Oxfam Australia;
  • Professor Michael Dodson, AM, Co-Chair, Reconciliation Australia;
  • Ed Coper, Get Up!;
  • Gary Highland, National Director, Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation;
  • Catherine Freeman, Catherine Freeman Foundation;
  • Ian Thorpe, Ian Thorpe's Fountain for Youth; and
  • Mr Andrew Schwartz, President, Australian Doctors Trained Overseas Association.

    The purpose of the Statement of Intent is to establish a collaborative relationship between the government and Indigenous peoples in order to 'achieve equality in health status and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians by the year 2030' (Statement of Intent 2008). At the time of signing, the life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was 17 years below that of other Australians.

  • Detailed Information:
    Context

    The Statement of Intent was the culmination of an Indigenous Health Equality Summit held in Canberra from 18-20 March 2008.

    The Summit was the result of a campaign by the Close the Gap Coalition - a group of over 40 Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations committed to achieving Indigenous health equality within 25 years. For a list of member organisations, see HREOC (2008) Indigenous Health Campaign.

    The Statement of Intent followed the Parliament of Australia's Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples (see link below), which referred to 'a new partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians ... [centred on] closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians on life expectancy, educational achievement and employment opportunities' (see Statement of Intent 2008).

    Nine points

    The Commonwealth Government, in collaboration with the other signatories, commits in the Statement of Intent to nine points, namely:

  • 'To developing a comprehensive, long-term plan of action, that is targeted to need, evidence-based and capable of addressing the existing inequities in health services, in order to achieve equality of health status and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians by 2030.
  • To ensuring primary health care services and health infrastructure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which are capable of bridging the gaps in health standards by 2018.
  • To ensuring the full participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their representative bodies in all aspects of addressing their health needs.
  • To working collectively to systematically address the social determinants that impact on achieving health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • To building on the evidence base and supporting what works in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, and relevant international experience.
  • To supporting and developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health services in urban, rural and remote areas in order to achieve lasting improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.
  • To achieving improved access to, and outcomes from, mainstream services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • To respect and promote the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including by ensuring that health services are available, appropriate, accessible, affordable, and good quality.
  • To measure, monitor, and report on [their] joint efforts, in accordance with benchmarks and targets, to ensure that [they] are progressively realising [their] shared ambitions.'


  • Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Partnership Agreement between The Fred Hollows Foundation and Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation
  • Agreement on South Australian Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing 2010-2015
  • Organisation
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation - Signatory
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission - Signatory
  • Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses - Signatory
  • Indigenous Dentists' Association of Australia
  • Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association - Signatory
  • Council of Australian Governments
  • Event
  • Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples by the Parliament of Australia
  • 'Close the Gap' Statement of Intent (Queensland)
  • 'Close the Gap' Statement of Intent (Victoria)

  • References

    Media Release
    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (20 March 2008) Formal alliance between government and Indigenous Peoples critical to eliminating the gap in life expectancy
    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (20 March 2008) New partnership paves way for health equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians
    Newspaper Article
    Kirstie Parker (26 March 2008) 'Equal by 2030' in Koori Mail
    Koori Mail (26 March 2008) Nine-point plan to fix our health
    Report
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner (2006) Social Justice Report 2006
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner (2005) Social Justice Report 2005
    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2005) Achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Within a Generation - A Human Rights Based Approach
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and the Steering Committee for Indigenous Health Equality (2008) Close the Gap: National Indigenous Health Equality Targets: Outcomes from the National Indigenous Health Equality Summit: Canberra, March 18-20, 2008
    Resource
    Indigenous Health Equality Summit (20 March 2008) 'Close the Gap' Indigenous Health Equality Summit Statement of Intent
    Oxfam Australia (2008) Campaigns: Indigenous Health
    Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) (2008) Close the Gap
    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2008) Indigenous Health Campaign

    Glossary

    Statement of Commitment/Intention (Australia) | Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia)

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