Posted by VACCHO Communications Team on 30 July 2020
Tags: National Agreement on Closing the Gap, Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework, close the gap, coalition of peaks, CoP, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, VACCHO, Jill Gallagher, DHHS, Victorian Government, Aboriginal health
A new National Agreement on Closing the Gap will commit all Australian governments to change the way they work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through four priority reforms which will reduce structural racism and give our people more control over the way services are delivered.
This agreement signals a major turning point in the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and governments – one based on shared decision making on policies and programs that impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s lives.
The agreement commits governments to new partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country; strengthen community-controlled organisations to deliver Closing the Gap services; address structural racism within government agencies and organisations; and improve sharing of data and information with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to support shared decision making.
Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) CEO Jill Gallagher AO said she was pleased to see the National Agreement includes a new commitment to support the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector and promote shared decision-making in the priority policy areas of social and emotional wellbeing and early childhood care and development.
“For many years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities have asserted that solutions to the challenges that we face as First Nations people are found within our own communities. This is the first time we have been given the opportunity to develop these priority areas. The agreement aligns with the principles of self-determination that we have developed and have been committed to by the Victorian Government through the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework,” Ms Gallagher said.
“The agreement commits governments to change the way they work with our people through four priority reforms which will reduce structural racism and give our people more control over the way services are delivered.
“We welcome the Victorian Government’s commitment to working with the Aboriginal community-controlled sector to embed self-determination and reform the system. We look forward to seeing these commitments matched with financial investment.”
The new National Agreement and the work of the Coalition of Peaks complements efforts led by First Nations people across the country to improve the life outcomes of our people, including the implementation of the Uluru Statement of the Heart through a constitutionally enshrined voice to Parliament.
To read the full new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, head to the Coalition of Peaks website.
The Coalition of Peaks is a representative body comprised of around 50 other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled peak organisations that have come together to be partners with Australian Governments on Closing the Gap, a policy aimed at improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
For media inquiries or interview requests please contact:
VACCHO is the leading advocate for the health of Aboriginal peoples in Victoria and a peak organisation to its membership of 32 ACCOs. VACCHO also works closely with partner organisations, Government, non-Government community sector organisations across Victoria and nationally.