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National Close the Gap Day at ACU

Students and staff at Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Brisbane and Melbourne campuses were among thousands of people who marked National Close the Gap Day last week.

The event is part of an awareness campaign to urge the federal and state governments to develop a long-term plan of action to end the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health crisis.

“National Close the Gap Day is important to help facilitate and support a practical step towards reconciliation, and engage the entire University community with the cause,” said Rachel Parun, who organised the Brisbane event.

“The Federal Government has made some promising moves to close the life expectancy gap over the past couple of years. This includes signing the Statement of Intent together with the Opposition, Indigenous and non-Indigenous health experts and reconciliation leaders.”

Close the GapBrisbane event organiser Rachael Parun with McAuley Student Association President Eliza Kerklaan.

The Council of Australian Governments has also committed $1.6 billion in new health funding - the biggest ever injection of new funding for Indigenous health.

Ms Parun went on to say that the Rudd Government now needs to develop a comprehensive National Action Plan in partnership with Indigenous Australians.

“In a country as affluent as Australia, it is unacceptable to have such a wide gap in health services – a fundamental human right – between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” she said.

At the Canberra Campus, a morning tea was held in the Indigenous support centre, followed by a screening of the Close the Gap video.