Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap aims to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) set targets aimed at eliminating the gap in outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The 2018 Closing the Gap report finds that for the first time since 2011, three out of the seven Closing the Gap targets are on track to be met.

Current Closing the Gap targets:

  • Close the gap in life expectancy within a generation (by 2031)
  • Halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade (by 2018)
  • 95 percent of all Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education (by 2025) – renewed target
  • Close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous school attendance within five years (by 2018)
  • Halve the gap for Indigenous children in reading, writing and numeracy achievements within a decade (by 2018)
  • Halve the gap for Indigenous Australians aged 20-24 in Year 12 attainment or equivalent attainment rates (by 2020)
  • Halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade (by 2018).

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has announced a refreshed Closing the Gap framework, with draft targets and commitments that were made to meet the expectations and aspirations of Indigenous Australians, and the nation as a whole.

Since late 2017, there has been extensive consultations with Indigenous stakeholders around Australia. Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments all held their own forums to consult with Indigenous stakeholders about the Closing the Gap Refresh. The Commonwealth consultations reached over 1,200 people from around 370 organisations and over 170 public submissions from organisation and individuals were received.

The revised framework consists of proposed targets and implementation principles. The refreshed targets consist of new and existing targets and are in the priority areas of: health, education, employment, families, children and youth, health, economic development, housing, justice and land and waters.

Critically important issues such as racism, discrimination and social inclusion, healing and trauma, and the promotion of culture and language for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that impact across all target areas will be addressed as cross system priorities.

During 2019, through a co-design approach, jurisdictional action plans will be developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, setting out the progress that needs to be made nationally and in each jurisdiction for the targets to be met. Real change will come through community-led, place-based solutions that engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to pursue their own visions of what makes for a good life, to be healthy, prosperous, and secure.

Any enquires about the process to refresh the framework can be sent to

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Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6271 5111

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