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The Gap is wide open

11-2-2015 Newly published reports show that the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians regarding health and education have not narrowed. The report estimates that total spending per person was $43,449 for Indigenous Australians and $20,900 for other Australians – a ratio of 2.08 to 1. [SMH]
Comments on this fact always refer to ‘more needed efforts’ by governments and the community at large. Mick Gooda and Kirstie Parker, co-chairs of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, state in the SMH that “the federal government must stay the course – it must continue to lead on closing the gap in Indigenous health, make no more cuts to Indigenous health funding, retain and increase funding to the successful Tackling Indigenous Smoking program, and connect the Closing the Gap health strategy to other Indigenous priorities, given the issues are interconnected.”
WA Council of Social Service CEO Irina Cattalini told Fairfax Media: “We need to invest in families and communities and support them with the programs and services they know make a difference.” The Prime Minister told that more needs to be done, and the opposition leader Bill Shorten pleaded for more funding.
Comment from Wake Up Time: Building more and better health facilities, expanding schools and whatever other measures are proposed will not, or hardly be effective if the local people do not engage. The Early Learning Centre in Willowra, and the Art Centre in Ali Curung are examples. Many communities do have the finances, directly and indirectly from mining. Money is not the biggest hurdle, real committment from all those involved, is.

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