Striving for Health Equality for Aboriginal People
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have some of the poorest health outcomes of any group of people in the world. On average, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people die more than 10 years younger than other Australians.
The Aboriginal-led Close the Gap campaign aims to achieve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality by 2030.
What is National Close the Gap Day?
For over a decade, communities from all around Australia have shown their support for the Close the Gap campaign by marking National Close the Gap Day on the third Thursday in March, each year.
The Close the Gap Campaign has made sure that Aboriginal health policy remains a prominent part of the policy landscape, and one that won’t go away.
National Close the Gap Day today provides us with an opportunity to come together in our workplaces, homes and communities right across the country to share information — and most importantly — to take meaningful action in support of achieving Aboriginal health equality by 2030.
On National Close the Gap Day we celebrate the resilience, innovation and success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and we demand further meaningful action from our Governments.
Whilst Close the Gap is a social justice campaign, Closing the Gap is a Government strategy that aims to improve the life outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with respect to health and wellbeing, education, employment, justice, safety, housing, land and waters, and languages. It is a formal commitment made by all Australian governments to achieve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality.
Sonder and the Close the Gap campaign
Sonder is funded by Country SA and Adelaide Primary Health Networks to deliver the Closing the Gap – Integrated Team Care program to Aboriginal people across metropolitan Adelaide, Gawler – Barossa, Yorke Peninsula and Mid North South Australia.
The program provides support to Aboriginal people living with chronic disease.
Deborah Douma, Care Coordinator and Northern Team Leader for Sonder’s Closing the Gap program explains, “As Care Coordinators, we work with clients to help them to understand their health condition and advocate for them during appointments. We provide clients with the support and skills they need to be able to self-manage their condition.”
“Working alongside Care Coordinators, Aboriginal Outreach Workers provide practical assistance to clients and help them to make better use of available health services by providing support to attend appointments.”
Throughout the last financial year alone, the program provided support to 1,243 Aboriginal people.
The program plays a key role in supporting many of the Closing the Gap targets including increasing access to culturally safe and responsive primary health care services. The program does this by working closely with primary health care services to improve their cultural competency and delivering cultural awareness training for practice staff.
Closing the Gap Day 2021
Sonder has proudly supported National Close the Gap Day for the past 6 years, hosting large ‘Closing the Gap Day’ community events, annually.
The events are successful in providing Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people with the opportunity to connect with a range of local health and support service providers and hear about the achievements of clients within the Closing the Gap – Integrated Team Care program whilst enjoying some live entertainment and good food with friends and family.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Closing the Gap Day event was cancelled.
We are delighted to announce that the 2021 Closing the Gap Day event will go ahead towards the end of the year.
To ensure you do not miss announcements about the event, visit sonder.net.au and subscribe to our mailing list.