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Journal article

The Closing the Gap (CTG) Refresh: should Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture be incorporated in the CTG framework? How?

First Peoples health Public health Cultural awareness Cultural diplomacy Closing the Gap Australia
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In recent years, Australia has seen the emergence and incorporation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture into national public health policies and frameworks as an essential requirement for the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. Nationally, this represents a significant shift in public policy because Indigenous culture was often dismissed as irrelevant from the development of policy. Despite these advances, a significant evidence gap remains concerning the significance of Indigenous culture to these frameworks, and how public policy makers can best enable, embed and enact Indigenous culture within public policies and frameworks. These concerns have been raised elsewhere in a discussion paper that asks whether the culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be incorporated into a refreshed Closing the Gap initiative and, if so, how.

This commentary article further explores these concerns by highlighting how Indigenous knowledge is intrinsic to Indigenous culture and vice versa. Understanding the relationship between Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous culture could bring greater meaning to culture when incorporated into public policies or frameworks. However, further investigation is a necessity to resolve a significant evidence gap when Indigenous culture is incorporated into a policy framework.

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