Coalition of Peaks to hold six Closing Gap engagement in Western Australia this month

Broome will today host the first of sixface-to-face meetings in Western Australia on the development of a new NationalAgreement on Closing the Gap. Themeetings provide an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peopleto tell the Coalition of Peaks and governments what changes are needed toimprove their lives.

Aboriginal Health Council Western AustraliaChair, Vicki O’Donnell said it was critical to engage with communities acrossWestern Australia as part of the policy development process.

“We’re kicking off a series of communityengagements today in Broome and will be holding five more face-to-face meetingsacross the state throughout October,” O’Donnell said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islandercommunities must be at the centre of decision-making on policies that willaffect our lives. We know better than anyone what will work for us so listeningto communities makes for better policy. We want to make sure governments heardirectly from our communities.

“The historic partnership between the Coalitionof Peaks and governments represents the best chance we’ve got to ensure theexpertise and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people isembedded in government policies to help make improvements in our lives.

“This is the first time Aboriginal and TorresStrait Islander people, through the Coalition of Peaks, have had a formalpartnership with governments on such significant policy reform. As part of thatprocess, the Coalition of Peaks is determined to give communities acrossAustralia the opportunity to have a say about what is needed to help close thegap.

Following today’s engagement in Broome, the Coalition ofPeaks will hold meetings in, October 21 in Kalgoorlie, October 23 on PortHeadland, October 28 in Perth and dates yet to be finalised in October andNovember for Geraldton and Katanning. The face-to-face discussions are part of acomprehensive set of community engagements, which also include Peakconsultations with its own membership and an online survey, open until October 25.

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/Public Release.