Implementation Plan—working in partnership
The Coalition of Peaks, the collective voice of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector, proudly announced in early August the public release of their first Implementation Plan under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. All Parties to the Agreement are responsible for publishing implementation plans that are responsive to the differing needs, priorities and circumstances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations across Australia.
The Implementation Plan (the Plan), sets out the actions the Coalition of Peaks are and will be taking to fulfil partnership responsibilities under the National Agreement; driving deep change in how governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people so that Closing the Gap outcomes are dramatically improved.
The Plan prioritises building an understanding of the National Agreement and promoting the advantages and opportunities it offers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities, and organisations, provided participation is significant and governments are held to account for its implementation.
To support the Commonwealth’s first Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, the Australian Government is investing over $300 million in health infrastructure and support to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can access health services, when and where they need them.
As part of the Australian Government’s $1 billion investment in new Closing the Gap measures, they’re investing $254.4 million in infrastructure to better support the critical work of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations (ATSICCHOs), which have been a significant part of the Government’s response to COVID-19.
The Government is also investing $45 million to ensure the best start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, through the Healthy Mums and Healthy Bubs program. This funding is in addition to the $82 million for the Connected Beginnings Program, which includes funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP said the program promotes healthy outcomes and healthy lifestyle choices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their babies.
The Closing the Gap Implementation Plan sets a foundation for the Commonwealth’s efforts over the next decade in achieving the targets in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, signed by all Australian governments in July 2020.
The Coalition of Peaks implementation plan has prioritised the need to build understanding of the National Agreement including its advantages to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities, and organisations, and so that collectively governments are held to account for its implementation.
The Priority Reform Areas highlight the need for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, community, and organisations to be central in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. This is necessary to build buy in and ownership. Without this, the full potential of the National Agreement cannot be realised. It is also necessary to support their knowledge about how the National Agreement can be leveraged to support their own objectives.
Members of the Coalition of Peaks must engage with their members who in turn should engage with their communities to ensure that information about the how the National Agreement is available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations, and communities. This Plan will include provision of resources to support that engagement.
The Coalition of Peaks is committed to talking to the broadest range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, regional governance bodies, representatives and community members in each state and territory and nationally.
This whole-of-government Closing the Gap Implementation Plan was developed by Ministers, departments and agencies across the Commonwealth with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners, in particular the Coalition of Peaks.
To download a copy of the Implementation Plan visit coalitionofpeaks.org.au/new-national-agreement-on-closing-the-gap/implementation/