NACCHO Aboriginal Health download the #ClosingtheGap report #Redfernstatement Post 4 of 5

ctg

 ” I thank you for your efforts to come together to identify the key priorities for Indigenous Affairs, and opportunities for Government and the community to work together more closely.

Your vision, and the call to action of the signatories of the Redfern Statement aligns with the Government’s commitment to do things with Indigenous Australians, not do things to them.

As we work together as a nation, all levels of government, to renew the Closing the Gap targets, input from the Redfern Statement Alliance will be critically important.

Our intention is to redesign the targets that are expiring in partnership with our First Australians.

We’ll work to ensure that the Closing the Gap initiatives are community-driven and recognise that Indigenous leaders are absolutely central – paramount – to finding the solutions in a way that supports identity and wellbeing.”

Prime Minister remarks at the Redfern Statement Breakfast The Great Hall, Parliament House

Download the Closing the Gap report here :

ctg-report-2017

This ninth Closing the Gap report showcases real successes being achieved at a local level across the country by individuals, communities, organisations and government.

However, at a national level, progress needs to accelerate.

Over the long term there are improvements across a number of the targets, however these improvements are not enough to meet the majority of the outcomes set by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

This is a report card on how we, as a nation, are meeting our responsibilities in improving outcomes for our First Australians.

This report recognises changes are underway and successes are being achieved, however, progress overall nationally, is too slow.

Progress Against Health Targets:

We are not on track to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031.

Over the longer term, Indigenous mortality rates have declined significantly by 15 per cent since 1998.

There have been significant improvements in the Indigenous mortality rate from chronic diseases, particularly from circulatory diseases (the leading cause of death) since 1998.

However, Indigenous mortality rates from cancer (second leading cause of death) are rising and the gap is widening.

There have been improvements in health care access and reductions in smoking which should contribute to long-term improvements in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Working collaboratively across governments, the health sector and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on local and regional responses is central to the Government’s approach to improve life expectancy.

OR View PMC website

This year we mark important milestones in the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the Australian Government.

It is 50 years since the 1967 Referendum which saw Australians overwhelmingly agree the Commonwealth had a duty to make laws to benefit our First Australians.

The past year saw the 50th anniversary of the Wave Hill Walk Off, in which Gurindji people petitioned the Governor-General for the return of some of their traditional land, and the 40th anniversary of the passage of Aboriginal land rights legislation for the Northern Territory.

In June last year I was honoured to hand the title deeds for some 52,000 hectares of land on the Cox Peninsula near Darwin to the Larrakia people as part of the Kenbi land claim settlement. Theirs is a story that epitomises the survival and resilience of our First Australians, and of the Larrakia people.

This ninth Closing the Gap report showcases real successes being achieved across the country—by individuals, communities, organisations and government.

For example, in response to the Prison to Work Report, we are collaborating nationally to explore ways to support reintegration of Indigenous prisoners into communities, address the barriers to employment and improve the coordination of services across and within all jurisdictions.

We have taken great strides in progressing financial independence for Indigenous Australians through the Commonwealth’s Indigenous Procurement Policy. In its first year, 493 Indigenous businesses were awarded $284.2 million in Commonwealth contracts. State and territory governments have agreed to explore similar policies in their own jurisdictions and the Indigenous business sector will continue to grow.

While we celebrate the successes we cannot shy away from the stark reality that we are not seeing sufficient national progress on the Closing the Gap targets. While many successes are being achieved locally, as a nation, we are only on track to meet one of the seven Closing the Gap targets this year. Although we are not on track to meet the ambitious targets we have set, we must stay the course.

We will continue to focus on key priorities—from preconception and the early years through school, providing a positive start to life, which of course opens opportunities for further study and employment. The high rates of suicide and disproportionately high rates of incarceration among our First Australians are issues that all governments, in partnership with community, need to work tirelessly to resolve.

We have listened to calls from the community. We will not shy away from our goal of supporting equal opportunity for First Australians. This is our national responsibility. Our commitment to the end goal will not waiver, but we must do things differently. We must build on what is working, and change what isn’t working.

Twelve months ago, when I tabled my first Closing the Gap report in Parliament, I made a commitment that my Government would do things with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, not do things to them and I am pleased to say we have made some real gains in that regard.

We are building a new way of working together with Indigenous leaders and their communities to create local solutions—putting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the centre of decision-making in their regions.

As I have said before, our greatest strides in Closing the Gap will come when we work together—all levels of government, business and the community.

The Empowered Communities model is now in eight regions across the country, in addition to other local decision-making models such as the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly in western New South Wales. Over the coming year we will continue to build the capacity and capability of communities and government to truly engage with each other and to jointly make informed decisions.

As part of the Government’s commitment to enable Indigenous leaders to develop local solutions, we have a responsibility to measure the success or otherwise of our policies and programs, and adjust where needed. And sharing this knowledge and evidence with communities enables local decision-making. We need to be patient and acknowledge that these things take time—but we are determined to get it right.

We must also recognise culture as paramount to finding solutions that respect, acknowledge and support identity.

We are on a path of an ambitious reform agenda for Indigenous affairs. Changing the way in which Governments work together, and with communities to deliver better outcomes.

I am heartened that we have bipartisan support to improve the wellbeing of our First Australians, and that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has recently agreed to work together, and with Indigenous Australians, to refresh the Closing the Gap agenda, emphasising collaboration and acknowledging that one size does not fit all.

With the tenth anniversary of Closing the Gap approaching in 2018, it is timely to look at what we have learned. What has worked and where we need to focus efforts to drive greater change. Over the decade there has been greater collaboration and national focus on Indigenous outcomes than ever before. This will continue, this must continue.

Last year, as part of my commitment to bring Indigenous Affairs to the forefront of government, I established the Indigenous Policy Committee of Cabinet. The Committee will support better engagement with Cabinet Ministers, their portfolios and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including through collaboration with the Indigenous Advisory Council.

With the term of the inaugural Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council having recently ended, I take this opportunity to thank all Council members for their hard work and dedication to improving the lives of Australia’s First Peoples. I look forward to building on that legacy with the new members for the Council’s second term.

As Aboriginal and Torres Strait leaders have said for a long time, it is not all about what you seek to achieve, it is equally about how you achieve it. The ends we seek from our efforts are non-negotiable; the means by which we achieve them can differ but must always be in concert with the wishes of Indigenous people.

Well thank you very much Jackie and Rod, and thank you Matilda, for your very warm Welcome to Country.

We are on the lands of the Ngambri and the Ngunawal people and I pay my very deep respect for the traditional custodians, for you, your elders, today, in the past and as we saw, the little children in the future.

I want to welcome and acknowledge all the leaders of our First Australian communities here today, acknowledge and pay our respect to them, as we do to all Indigenous Australians.

I also welcome the First Ministers and their representatives who have gathered with us today to demonstrate the responsibility, the opportunity, for Closing the Gap in partnership with our communities, rest with all levels of Government, with all Australians.

I acknowledge my many parliamentary colleagues, our Indigenous parliamentary colleagues, Ken Wyatt, Pat Dodson, Linda Burney, Malarndirri McCarthy, Jacqui Lambie. I also acknowledge the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and the Leader of the Greens and of course our Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion, who has been working so closely with the authors of the Redfern Statement.

And we are of course, Kevin, here with you on the day after the 9th anniversary of your Apology to the Stolen Generation, which we acknowledged in the Parliament yesterday.

I thank the National Congress of Australia’s First People for its leadership in bringing together the Redfern Statement Alliance.

I thank you for your efforts to come together to identify the key priorities for Indigenous Affairs, and opportunities for Government and the community to work together more closely.

Your vision, and the call to action of the signatories of the Redfern Statement aligns with the Government’s commitment to do things with Indigenous Australians, not do things to them.

As we work together as a nation, all levels of government, to renew the Closing the Gap targets, input from the Redfern Statement Alliance will be critically important. Our intention is to redesign the targets that are expiring in partnership with our First Australians.

Now, in the last six months, I believe we have built a new relationship with Congress. In the

year ahead, I want us to strengthen that further. I’ll be asking members of the renewed

Indigenous Advisory Council to work with the Redfern Alliance so that a broad range of views are heard and brought to bear on improving not only what we do, but the way we do it.

We’ll work to ensure that the Closing the Gap initiatives are community-driven and recognise that Indigenous leaders are absolutely central – paramount – to finding the solutions in a way that supports identity and wellbeing.

We want to have more local decisions-making models and we’ll continue to build the capability of governments and communities to engage in a better way of working together.

Now, I know you’ve commenced discussions, as you noted Jackie, with Nigel Scullion the Minister, on holding workshops to discuss practical solutions and work in more detail on a plan for the five key topics proposed in the Redfern Statement.

I believe this shows the way we’re approaching a new relationship in good faith. The Indigenous Affairs Cabinet Policy Committee will attend the workshops along with Nigel Scullion, the Minister, as appropriate.

I also want us to take a moment to reflect on the progress made in addressing Indigenous disadvantage over the 50 years since the ’67 referendum.

There are more Indigenous Australians in school, in universities, in employment, in business, living longer lives and in better health. We have come a long way over the last 50 years since the ’67 referendum, but we have not come far enough.

There are still significant challenges that remain. That’s true. But let’s ensure we continue to celebrate the successes along the way. Because they are the stories that encourage and inspire and pave the way for those who will come after.

Last night, I had the privilege of meeting with many Indigenous Australians who have pursued their dreams and are succeeding. They were doctors, lawyers, nurses, disability advocates, scientists, business leaders, officers in our Defence Forces, senior public servants and so many more.

Those bright Indigenous Australians, bright and often young Indigenous Australians, reflect the diversity of experience and aspiration that exist in our communities.

It’s vitally important that the narrative is not solely one of deficit. It must also recognise and reflect the success, the inspiration, the enterprise, the leadership.

Now, I’ve had the privilege in the last year of meeting with many Indigenous Australians in very a wide diversity of settings. The Indigenous Digital Excellence Conference in Redfern, full of budding young entrepreneurs.

Helping to get kids to school in Yalata and Fregon.

Meeting Indigenous business-owners in Brisbane. Handing back the title deeds of the Cox Peninsula to the Larrakia people in Darwin. Speaking and consoling grieving parents from the Kimberley who is suffered the pain of their children’s suicide.

Now on each occasion and many more, it gave me an opportunity to listen to your stories, to understand, in awe, the resilience of our First Australians and to build a stronger bond between the Government I lead and our First Australians.

This is a relationship we’ll continue to build and we look forward to working with you all, in the year ahead.

I want to thank you for your ongoing commitment, your tireless and ever-optimistic commitment, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

We will achieve much greater progress together in the years ahead and we will do so working together in collaboration, in long-lasting relationships, built on a common goal of a fair go, as Jackie said, a fair go for all – long-lasting relationships and trust and in the reconciliation that is our commitment.

Thank you very much.

Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, discusses the Redfern Statement

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Good morning everybody.

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, I pay my

respects to elders past and present.

On a day like today, we remember that those words are not just an acknowledgement – they are a promise.

A promise to remember that this is, was and always will be Aboriginal land.

I’d like to acknowledge all the distinguished guest; the Prime Minister, Senator Di Natale, Leader of the Greens, parliamentary colleagues but in particular, I hope no one minds me acknowledging former Prime Minister Rudd and Jenny Macklin for all the work they did for the 2008 Apology.

And I want to acknowledge all of the Aboriginal-controlled organisations here, the peak-groups and others.

Thank you for coming to parliament today – I won’t make a long speech.

This morning, parliamentarians should be listening to our first people – not talking at our first people.

That’s something a bit different for this building – a bit of a change.

But it’s clear from this very important statement that a change is exactly what is required.

For the first peoples of our nation: control-as-usual, cynicism-as-usual, business-as usual, politics-as-usual, government-as-usual – is simply no longer a satisfactory option.

It is the hour for Canberra to start listening to communities.

It is the hour for Parliament to listen to the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

It is the hour to renew relationships.

And it is well past the hour that first Australians have first say in the decisions which affect their daily lives.

Today, I want to briefly say what I think real change looks like – not, as the Prime Minister says, a cataloguing of the good and the bad as important as that is, but when I think about real change which we all aspire to, I think about:

  • Healthier people
  •  Happier people
  • Confident and proud people

No more fear, no more sense of subjugation.

No encumbrance of bureaucracy, no imperative of authority or domination.

First peoples standing proud of culture – with the place and space to be themselves.

Not caught in a self-fulfilling prophecy were the worst is expected – and subsequently inflicted.

Instead, as Jackie said, a place at the table.

We must achieve this change – not just on this day, but every day.

Until we achieve this real change, we are all diminished.

Our first Australians are diminished, white Australians are diminished.

Not just as Australians – but we are diminished as human beings.

Your insights, your wisdom, your statement shows us the way forward.

I look forward to working with you, to make it happen.

Thank you and good morning.

 

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