AbSec Welcomes Historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap
28 March 2019
AbSec has welcomed the signing of an historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap between the Commonwealth Government, State and Territory Governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies.
The Coalition of Peaks is made up of around forty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisations that have come together to negotiate with governments and be signatories to the Partnership Agreement.
This Agreement means that for the first time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through their peak body representatives, will share decision making with governments on Closing the Gap.
Currently in NSW as well as across Australia, the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal kids continues to widen across the child protection system. In NSW, Aboriginal children are now almost 9 times more likely to be involved in the child protection system, an increase from almost 7 times for the previous year.
Tim Ireland, Chief Executive Officer at AbSec, said the agreement will allow Aboriginal communities to be a part of the solutions to address the inequalities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“The gap is widening. Aboriginal children are now 11 times more likely to be removed from their families than non-Indigenous children, an increase from last year.
This agreement is an important first step to ensure Aboriginal communities are represented in the solutions to stop this trend,” said Mr Ireland.
“AbSec has long said that a genuine partnership between governments and Aboriginal communities that invests in Aboriginal-led solutions, designed by Aboriginal people, and delivered by Aboriginal organisations is essential for our children, families and communities to thrive, strong in culture and identity.”
The Partnership Agreement sets out how governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks bodies will work together to agree a refreshed national agreement on Closing the Gap, including any new Closing the Gap targets and implementation and monitoring arrangements.
The Partnership Agreement also marks the establishment of a new, Joint Council on Closing the Gap that will be co-chaired by a Minister and a representative of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies.
“We look forward to a hardworking and constructive partnership with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to secure better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples,” said Mr Ireland