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The Forum > General Discussion > Closing the Gap 2020 Report

Closing the Gap 2020 Report

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The 12th annual 'Closing the Gap' report presented to parliament today by PM Morrison was sorry reading for all Australians. Only two of the seven targets set by the government to improve the well being of our Indigenous brothers and sisters has been met in the twelve month reporting period. The goal of 95% of four year old Aboriginal children enrolled in early childhood education by 2025 is on target only about 5 percentage points below the national average. As well, halving the gap in terms of Aboriginal kids completing Year 12 is also on track. These were the same two targets met in last years report.

However targets in Indigenous health and employment still fall well below expectations. In 2018, the Indigenous child mortality rate was twice the rate of that for non-Indigenous children. Life expectancy for Indigenous people is 8 to 9 years less than the rest of the community. The other areas of failure were school attendance, literacy and numeracy and employment. Incarceration rates for the Indigenous community are not targeted.

Scott Morrison and his Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyett attempted to put a positive spin and gloss on the report claiming black progress is being made, and the report is not indicative of that progress, others may disagree.
Posted by Paul1405, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 5:39:51 PM
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Paul,

Indigenous settlements have community councils, exercising 'self-determination', as they have done now for nearly fifty years.

Surely self-determination means that those councils have the responsibility - and the people in those 'communities' have the obligations - to make sensible decisions, correct mistakes and/or modify decisions, and to generally be responsible for the well-being of the populations there, especially the most vulnerable ?

Often there is no whitefella within cooee, except of course all of those employed to perform particular functions in health, education, etc. So who is stopping those councils from exercising 'self-determination' ?

And by the way, those life expectancy figures: given that urban, working Indigenous people have pretty much the same life expectancy as other non-Indigenous Australians, the much-shorter life expectancy of people in remote settlements is concealed by the figures - as so often in Indigenous statistics, the figures have to be differentiated: metropolitan, urban, rural, remote; working, non-working.

I would suggest that life expectancy in remote areas with little or no employment for Indigenous people is more like thirty years less than for other fellow-Australians.

Joe
Posted by loudmouth2, Thursday, 13 February 2020 9:31:37 AM
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The figures are not going to improve until aboriginal people start taking responsibility for their own health and education.
Billions of dollars have been poured into health centres, aboriginal health workers and extra staff for schools with indigenous pupils. There comes a time when support has reached its limit and only personal action is left.
In the north there are programs in some towns where support workers go to the homes of secondary students, wake them up, drive them to school, where they get breakfast, are provided lunch, then drive them home after school. And guess what, even then the kids frequently refuse to get out of bed or if they get to school, they abscond during the day.
In remote communities both breakfast and a cooked lunch are provided. In a few of the larger communities, swimming pools have been built, with a no school, no pool rule to try and encourage attendance.
Until parents value education and provide a supportive environment then attendance and performance arenít going to improve.
With regard health. Aboriginal people have a higher rate of smoking, higher rate of obesity, higher rate of no exercise and higher rate of poor quality diet. Also worse compliance with medications. Not one of these things can be changed by the government, only the people concerned. When I see tv ads for Aboriginal Health Services featuring obese health workers I can only wonder at the message that sends.
Posted by Big Nana, Thursday, 13 February 2020 9:41:02 AM
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I wonder by how much the Aborigine population outside Australia will be boosted due to the latest high Court ruling ?
Re closing the Gap, what exactly is this Gap that needs closing ? Aren't the Aborigines already receiving way more for way less ? I can only see effort as the only Gap that needs closing !
Posted by individual, Thursday, 13 February 2020 10:04:10 AM
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Hi Individual,

Yes, you're right - when my wife and I used to rant and rave about what could be done in this or that community, a close relative used to comment wryly, "Yes, just add the miracle ingredient - effort."

So many opportunities, so many chances, so much power to do so much, but so much disillusion.

Well, except for higher education, with close to 45-50,000 graduates so far, that total doubling every ten years or so, and currently around 25,000 students in the system. Overwhelmingly urban and women, rarely remote and/or male. So that's where the Gap is.

Joe
Posted by loudmouth2, Thursday, 13 February 2020 10:33:21 AM
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As expected the forums Usual Suspects on aboriginal matters will resort to deflection, finger pointing and playing the blame game, its all Darkies fault! None of that addresses the systemic problem of disadvantage that many of our Indigenous brothers and sisters face in their daily lives. Not much comfort to know there are those of your race graduating from university in ever increasing numbers, if your child dies at birth.
I listened to the speeches in parliament yesterday. I took a lot out of what was said;

Scott Morrison; "Mr Speaker, for 12 years, I have sat in this chamber and listened to Closing the Gap speeches. Itís a tale of hope, frustration and disappointment. A tale of good intentions. Indeed good faith. But the results are not good enough. This is sadly still true.....Despite the best of intentions; investments in new programs; and bi-partisan goodwill, Closing the Gap has never really been a partnership with Indigenous people. We perpetuated an ingrained way of thinking, passed down over two centuries and more, and it was the belief that we knew better than our Indigenous peoples. We donít. We also thought we understood their problems better than they did. We donít. They live them."

Hopefully a new approach will come about, and real improvements will eventuate.
Posted by Paul1405, Thursday, 13 February 2020 12:04:59 PM
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