This report informs a retrospective review of the last 10 years of Closing the Gap. The project examines and reports on the effectiveness and appropriateness of the overarching Closing the Gap policy framework, with specific attention to critical components of the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA) Closing the Gap (CtG) in achieving its objectives.
The story of Closing the Gap is an ongoing story of dispossession and its effects, and a movement for equality and recognition for Indigenous people.
- Analysis of the literature and consultations significantly note that central to the success of Closing the Gap is culture and partnerships with Indigenous people and communities.
- The Closing the Gap approach to monitoring has also been criticised because it focuses on the needs of government rather than the aspirations of Indigenous Australians, highlighting problems and deficits rather than strengths and opportunities.
- The negative impact of racism on health and wellbeing is well documented and was raised in consultations. In fact, the majority of those consulted spoke of the impacts of racism in the context of policy and service delivery.
- The data from the literature and viewpoints from the consultations highlighted the intergenerational impacts that the loss of culture has on the health and economic wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.
- It is evident that for Closing the Gap targets to be met they need to be the right measurements of the right targets, set by Indigenous leaders and community. Targets need to be Indigenous led in design to ensure applicability and appropriateness. The Indigenous communities need to have confidence that the targets will make a difference in their lives and therefore need to be specific to the community.