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Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


The National Agreement on Closing the Gap is underpinned by a Partnership Agreement which expresses the agreed arrangements for formal partnership between all Australian Governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, represented by the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (Coalition of Peaks). The Partnership Agreement commits Parties to conduct annual 'health checks' to support continual improvements to the partnership as it evolves and matures.

The 2021 health check has been prepared by independent reviewer, ABSTARR Consulting.

Key findings:

  • Generally, positive sentiment from both the Coalition of Peaks and government parties that after two years, the partnership is progressing steadily - yet there are several opportunities for further strengthening key aspects of the Partnership.
  • The transition over the past year from negotiating the National Agreement, to implementing a new approach, through to jointly developing jurisdictional implementation plans is a significant milestone.
  • Most participants acknowledged that the principle of shared decision-making is not always supported due to timing pressures created by ambitious objectives under the National Agreement.
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