16 March, is National Closing the Gap Day. Ever since the Apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008 governments have pledged to Close the Gap on a set of agreed socio-economic indices concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage. For ten years progress was slow, which was to be expected given the gap to be bridged, the slow movement of change over each year, and also that First Nations peoples were not fully consulted on the programs. In 2019 Indigenous peoples were finally placed at the centre of both targets and delivery with a Closing the Gap Partnership Agreement, which stressed mutually agreed targets and an enhanced community-controlled response.  To the twelve social-economic targets were added five concerning wellbeing, land and waters, culture, language and connectivity.  The Productivity Commission was placed in charge of reporting and data sharing. Tomorrow, we think of how this national shame can be better rectified and hope for improved outcomes at the next reporting stage in late 2023.

Richard Broome AM President RHSV