National Close The Gap Day

March 13, 2023

Australians can show their support for closing the gaps between First Nations health outcomes and those Australians not of First Nations descent each year on National Close the Gap Day on the third Thursday in March.

By celebrating and supporting the This National Close the Gap Day it is a chance to raise awareness of the gaps, raise awareness of First Nations peoples and cultures, and to send our governments a clear message that Australians value equality for all.

So what are some of the health gaps? 

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people born in 2015-17 have a life expectancy estimated to be 8.6 years lower than that of non-Indigenous people;
  • First Nations People are 5 times more likely to suffer from diabetes and 4 times more likely for chronic kidney disease compared to non-Indigenous Australians;
  • Two-thirds of First Nations People have one chronic disease, and one-third suffer from 3 or more chronic diseases; and
  • 80 percent of the mortality gap between First Nations and non-Indigenous Australians aged 35-74 years is due to chronic diseases.

But the gaps don’t stop there- disability care, access to healthcare, systems that don’t suit First Nations health care and more. So on Closing the Gap Day we learn about and acknowledge the gaps, show our support of First Nations organisations and groups, and send our local, state and national Governments and politicians the message that you support more action to Close the Gaps.

To read about and gain an understanding of the gaps that exist visit:

To learn more about Close the Gap Day for kids:

The health and life expectancy gaps are not the only ones in the Closing the Gap reports. First Nations Education, Employment and Community Safety are also reflected in the report.

When talking about the challenges that face First Nations communities, often due to invasion, colonisation, massacres, frontier wars and decades of racist policies- we can discuss interegenerational trauma and the impacts… but we can also talk about intergenerational strengths. A focus on First Nations led initiatives, First Nations leaders, First Nations strengths based approaches.

Closing the Gap Day is a chance for us to reflect, learn and support.

On this day you can:

  • Invite First Nations health workers or community workers in as guest speakers at your school or workplace
  • Hold a healthy food morning tea or BBQ for school, organisation or community
  • Acknowledge the day and provide background at your staff meeting or school assembly
  • Do a fundraising activity for a First Nations health or education organisation
 

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