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Closing the Gap Day 2023: event recap

Closing the Gap Day 2023: event recap

Another successful annual event

South Australia’s biggest event dedicated to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Closing the Gap Day was presented by Sonder and Nunkuwarrin Yunti on Thursday 16 March 2023.

Held at the Adelaide Showground’s Jubilee Pavilion on Kaurna Country, this annual and highly anticipated event encourages connections between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members and local services that can support their needs in health care, employment, aged care, disability and more.

This year, Sonder, a not-for-profit health organisation, and Nunkuwarrin Yunti, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, proudly presented the event together for the first time. With support from dedicated event partners, Adelaide PHN and Northern Adelaide Local Health Network, the event created a welcoming space for conversations about living healthy and socially connected lives.

Up to 3,000 people walked through the front doors, enjoying live performances, activities, and giveaways whilst learning about services that are available for them and their families.

April Mazey, Outreach Worker in Sonder’s Closing the Gap Integrated Team Care program said,

I looked around and was blown away by the amount of organisations that were showcasing at Closing the Gap Day, especially those working to improve Aboriginal health.

While this event brings family and friends together for a fun and social day, it gives our team the opportunity to yarn about our program and network with other services that can help to better support our clients.

 

Event highlights

To kick off the event, emcees, Alannah and Robert, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Peer Practitioners at headspace Marion and headspace Edinburgh North, introduced Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna Elder, Uncle Moogy Sumner and Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna man, Isaac Hannam to the stage.

 

Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna Elder, Uncle Moogy Sumner welcomed attendees to Kaurna Country.

 

Uncle Moogy welcomed attendees to Kaurna Country with Isaac Hannam on digeridoo. The much loved and respected duo appeared again later in the day to lead and teach traditional dances – storytelling that was enjoyed by adults and children alike.

 

Sonder CEO, Sageran Naidoo and Nunkuwarrin Yunti Acting CEO, Aaron Williams congratulated the event organisers.

 

Sonder CEO, Sageran Naidoo and Nunkuwarrin Yunti Acting CEO, Aaron Williams joined together on stage to thank service providers for attending the event to showcase the services they provide that facilitate better health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They spoke about the partnership between the two organisations and how they are working together to support the Aboriginal families and communities that they serve.

 

The Hon Kyam Maher (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs), Sageran Naidoo (Sonder CEO) and Nat Cook (MP).

 

The Hon Kyam Maher, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney General, and Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector at the Government of South Australia eloquently spoke to attendees at the event.

In addition, Nat Cook, MP and Dale Agius, South Australia’s Commissioner for First Nations Voice, were in attendance.

 

 

Exhibitors were positioned within zones in an expo-style arrangement to support attendees in identifying organisations that may assist with specific needs.

The zones included employment, aged care, disability, health care, general interest, youth, homelessness, and sports, as well as a designated First Nations’ Marketplace zone where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists showcased creative services.

 

AFLW and SANFL superstars enjoyed the outdoor Sports Zone, along with staff from Sonder and Nunkuwarrin Yunti.

 

Appearances from Australian Football League Women’s teams, Adelaide Crows and Port Power as well as teams across the SA National Football League were highly appreciated by young people, as were the activities within the Youth Zone, hosted by headspace Adelaide, Edinburgh North, Marion, Onkparinga and Port Adelaide.

 

The Nancy Bates Trio performed a deadly set on the main stage.

 

Performances by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians, Katie Aspel, the Nancy Bates Trio, Nathan May and Eddie Peters created a lively atmosphere while people browsed the First Nations’ Marketplace, watched their toddlers enjoy the soft play area and ordered coffee from the Shine Like Gold Mobile Café.

The event organisers would like to thank Bunnings, Good360 and I Can Jump Puddles for their support in ensuring everyone had a great time at the event.

A special mention is also made to SA’s Department for Infrastructure and Transport for providing free public transport on Adelaide Metro buses, trains and trams for all attendees on the day.

 

Learn more

To find out more about Closing the Gap Day, head to closingthegapday.net

Follow Sonder on Facebook to keep up with the latest announcements about Closing the Gap Day.