Close the Gap Day will be launched in Campbelltown this year in a first for the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The event will focus on stories of community practices that are positively affecting health and wellbeing, rather than the emphasis on statistics in the Closing the Gap report tabled in parliament last month.
It will be launched by Close the Gap Campaign co-chairs Rod Little and June Oscar at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation medical service in Airds this Thursday, 21 March.
“The importance we place on everyone in our community being able to enjoy a comparable standard of life can’t be understated,” said Mayor George Brticevic.
“Close the Gap Day is a reminder of the inequalities Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still face today, and a call to action for the entire community,” said Cr Brticevic.
“The fact that the report is being launched here in Campbelltown is a great credit to our Aboriginal community leaders and the important work being done by the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation,” he said.
South Western Sydney has the largest growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia, but the health of the community as a whole trails well behind non-Aboriginal Australians.
According to the most recent census, Aboriginal men on average live to 69 compared to non-Aboriginal men who live to 80. Non-Aboriginal women live to 84 compared to Aboriginal women who live to 73.
Tharawal’s CEO Darryl Wright will talk about the programs at the centre, including health and clean housing, partnerships with the local TAFE, and how they are leading projects that are improving life outcomes.
National Close the Gap Day will be launched at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation, Riverside Drive, Airds on 21 March at 9.30am.
For more information on Aboriginal community events being held in Campbelltown go to www.campbelltown.nsw.gov.au