A statement on the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (the Centre) welcomes the National Agreement on Closing the Gap announced today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and negotiated by more than 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled peak organisations.

The Agreement outlines a shared commitment to targets and a new way of working between Commonwealth, state and territory governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The Centre is proud to stand alongside our colleagues at Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) who have led the negotiation of the Agreement.

Centre CEO Deb Tsorbaris said the Agreement demonstrates a joint pledge to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“The signing of today’s Agreement is the first step in closing the gap for Aboriginal children and families.

“It recognises years’ of lobbying by the Aboriginal community to give First Nations people a voice, and establish a shared commitment to improving life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“The Agreement recognises that Aboriginal communities are best placed to identify and lead solutions to challenges faced by their communities. Structural reforms which both empower and build capacity of Aboriginal communities are essential in achieving and upholding children’s best interests,” Ms Tsorbaris said.

Governments have made a commitment to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45 per cent by 2031, with the Agreement also including targets which address education, health, family violence, and social and emotional wellbeing.

“The Centre is committed to supporting our colleagues at ACCOs in the child and family services sector in holding governments accountable to the targets outlined in the Agreement.

“These organisations are already achieving incredible outcomes for Aboriginal children and families but there’s still much work to be done. Today’s announcement is a welcome commitment to the future of Aboriginal children and families, both in Victoria and nationwide,” Ms Tsorbaris said.

To read the full new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, visit the Coalition of Peaks website.

For more information and media enquiries call Christie Long 0403 053 584

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