Closing the Gap

The Indigenous Reform Agenda

Closing the Gap is a commitment by all Australian governments to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, and in particular provide a better future for Indigenous children.

A national integrated Closing the Gap strategy has been agreed through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia. COAG brings together the Prime Minister, State Premiers, Territory Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association.

Closing the Gap is linked to a wider reform of Commonwealth-State financial relations. COAG’s national agreements and partnerships, in areas such as education, housing and health, have a clear focus on overcoming Indigenous disadvantage.

In addition, COAG has committed an additional $4.6 billion investment in Indigenous-specific National Partnerships to be rolled out over coming years.

COAG has agreed to specific timeframes for achieving six Closing the Gap targets, relating to Indigenous life expectancy, infant mortality, early childhood development, education and employment.

Underpinning Closing the Gap is a new way of working across government and of engaging with Indigenous communities. Governments are cooperating to better coordinate their services and funding. Clear responsibilities, specific targets and rigorous reporting will help to keep governments on track.

Engagement and partnership with Indigenous people and communities, building on their ideas, strengths and leadership, will help to find sustainable solutions to long-standing problems.

Closing the Gap is a cross-community effort. The corporate, NGO and philanthropic sectors are also important to assisting Indigenous people and communities and contributing to Closing the Gap. 

A Closing the Gap brand framework has been developed by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and endorsed by the Hon Jenny Macklin MP for Australian Government use. This should be used to brand any program or policy that contributes to the objectives of Closing the Gap. For more information about the brand or to request a copy of the style guide, contact ctgbrand (ctgbrand@dss.gov.au).

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