Thursday 15 March 2018 marked ten years since the commencement of the ‘Close the Gap’ initiative that began as part of the Reconciliation process between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The initiative is all about equality – all people born in Australia should be able to live happy, healthy and safe lives. No matter their background.
In ten years we have begun to close some of the gaps: to halve the gap in Year 12 attainment by 2020, to halve the gap in Indigenous child mortality rates and to improve early childhood education attendance.
Sadly, four out of the seven gaps are still out of reach: to close the gap in life expectancy, to halve the gap in employment, to halve the gap in literacy and numeracy in Indigenous children and to close the gap in school attendance. Our failure as a nation to close those gaps is exactly why we must continue to promote and support this initiative. We must continue to work towards equality and justice for all Australians.
As a school, Loreto Normanhurst actively participates to help raise awareness of this issue. This week, students wore the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags as ribbons in their hair, participated in the Close the Gap coin trail with all proceeds going to Project Compassion and participated in cultural face painting .
Loreto Normanhurst students are also taking part in the Close the Gap Instagram photo competition by creating some powerful images. You can follow them on Instagram here: @abstudies_ln
Additionally, 743 members of our community volunteered to sign the Close the Gap Petition which will be sent to our government. We care. We want a better Australia. It doesn’t matter what side of politics we hail from, what matters is equality and this should unite us. We will continue to work towards that every year.
“Close the Gap Day to me, is a day where all Australians are able to come together and recognise the extreme gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in regards to health, education and employment. This is an important day to me because ‘the gap’ is nationally acknowledged, and although there is a long way to go, I know each year we are one step closer to closing the gap.”
Leana Scott, Year 12
Ms Rosanne Timmins
Social Justice Coordinator