This 2016 Closing the Gap report shows, as in previous years, that there have been mixed levels of success in meeting the targets set by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2008. It underscores the need for all Australian governments to intensify their efforts and partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and all Australians to effect change.
The results outlined in this report reiterate that while these targets may be ambitious, striving to meet them is essential in building a robust and healthy Australia. The targets focus on the areas of health, education and employment, which are recognised as the key drivers for success in addressing the significant disparity in the health, wellbeing and prosperity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
The targets and their impacts cannot be considered independently – they are intrinsically interlinked. Improvements in one area can positively impact another. For example, providing children with a healthy start to life will give them the best chance of academic success which will, in turn, have positive flow-on effects for employment opportunities.
The report shows that, while progress against a number of the targets has been limited, the actions taken over recent years are making a difference. The data summarised in this report provides valuable insight into where the need is greater and what strategies are most effective.