This second of its kind, the report fulfils the Prime Minister’s pledge in his Apology speech on 13 February 2008 to table an annual report to Parliament with details of the progress made in closing the gap between indigenous and non indigenous Australians.
The pledge to ‘close the gap’ encompasses six targets:
The Prime Minister commented briefly on each of the six targets referred to in the report, including the progress made in each over the past two years, the importance of the six targets to closing the gap between indigenous and non indigenous Australians, and new funding initiatives to help achieve these targets.
One initiative was the announcement of funding of $9.1 million over three years for ten new mothers and babies services. These new services are in addition to the 43 already funded under the New Directions program. This program gives Indigenous babies and their mothers better access to:
Justin Mohamed, Chair of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), said that this initiative is a further step forward in closing the life expectancy gap.
“This is welcome recognition by the Rudd Government of the further valuable work NACCHO can do when better resourced to meet the level of need in our communities.”
“While we welcome the rollout of programs such as New Directions to assist services to care for mothers and babies what we need ultimately is to be involved at the table when setting priorities, and developing solutions, in equal partnership with governments, if we are to close the gap,” said Mohamed.
Third Sector acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.