Today, National Close the Gap Day (NCTGD), wecelebrate the resilience, innovation and success of our Aboriginal communities.
But we also acknowledge that we still have along way to go in combating Aboriginal disadvantage.
NCTGD is a national day of action to pledgesupport for helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders achieve health,social and educational equality by 2030.
Sadly, last months national Closing the GapReport highlighted that, after 11 years, the Territory has reached just one ofthe seven targets set out to achieve this aim.
This is why the Territory Labor Government isinvesting significantly in remote housing, early childhood health and education and local jobs, to achieve generational changefor our communities.
But true generational change can only beachieved when we give Aboriginal people an equal seat at the decision-makingtable, to determine how best their communities should be run.
Last year, after a Special Gathering of severalprominent Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander Australians, the Closing theGap targets were refreshed.
The gathering called for the next phase ofClosing the Gap to be guided by the principles of empowerment andself-determination and to deliver a community-led, strengths-based strategythat enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to move beyondsurviving to thriving.
The Territory Labor Government has heard thisfrom Aboriginal Territorians, which is why we are implementing a local decisionmaking agenda, to give power back to community members.
It is also why we have also appointed the Territorysfirst Treaty Commissioner, Mick Dodson, as we work towards a treaty betweenAboriginal Territorians and the NT Government.
The Territory Labor Government is currentlyrefreshing its Aboriginal Affairs Strategy to more closely align with the Closingthe Gap refresh, and will continue to work closely with the CommonwealthGovernment to deliver better health, education and employment outcomes forAboriginal Territorians.
As noted by Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, SelenaUibo.
Australians enjoy some of the longest lifeexpectancies on earth, but unfortunately, that does not extend to ourAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who have among the poorest healthoutcomes of any group of people in the world.
On average, Aboriginal and Torres StraitIslander Australians die 10 years earlier than other Australians and sufferhigher rates of chronic disease, incarceration and unemployment.
We can be the generation that closes this gap,and the best way to do it in the Northern Territory is bycreating generational change.
“We do this by targeting the early years, investingin housing infrastructure and jobs, and workingwith and for Territorians in the most inclusive way possible – through fullparticipation and involvement in decision making.