Journal article

Closing the Gap and the Sustainable Development Goals: listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Aboriginal Australians economic conditions Closing the gap Indigenous health Sustainable development Australia

Despite efforts to reduce the disadvantage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, some indicators of health, education and employment are flatlining or going backwards. The 2018 end date for the initial targets of the Closing the Gap framework has passed, and the possibility of new relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians generated through Prime Minister Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generations is fading. The 2019 Closing the Gap Report calls for refreshment of the framework and confirms the Australian Government’s commitment to achieving equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in health and life expectancy.

The Australian Government has also committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 SDGs are the core of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, and reflect recognition that human wellbeing and dignity depend on the health of planet earth and redirection of development trajectories of every nation. The SDGs include goals for healthy lives and wellbeing, equitable and quality education, productive employment and decent work. These goals, together with the over-arching concern of leaving no one behind, align with those of the Closing the Gap framework.

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