Between September and December 2019, Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Peak Organisation (the Coalition of Peaks) in partnership with the state, territory and federal governments, led engagements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their representatives about the next phase of Closing the Gap.
This is a review of the Coalition of Peaks' approach to engaging representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their organisations about the next phase of Closing the Gap.
The purpose of the review was to ascertain if the approach had met the objectives of the community engagements and determine if the activities were undertaken in ways that were fair, accessible and transparent. It was also to include an analysis of engagement materials including completed meeting records and participation evaluation sheets.
- Historically, Indigenous communities have struggled with being consulted about policies and programs that affect them, and a lack of follow up and follow through.
- On review of the materials provided by the Coalition of Peaks, it is evident that the most important objective of the national engagements was to ensure opportunities were provided to representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their organisations to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences about Closing the Gap including its future.
- The approach undertaken by the Coalition of Peaks demonstrates a genuine focus on engaging broadly across communities and including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in critical discussions and decision making that affects them.