Closing the Gap 2018

Closing the Gap 2018

Indigenous Affairs Closing the Gap Closing the Gap 2018
Friday, 16 February 2018

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull watches on as a speech is performed, male and female guests behind him.

On 12 February 2018, the Prime Minister delivered the tenth annual Closing the Gap Report to Parliament. For the first time since 2011, three out of the seven targets are on track to be met. The transcript of the Prime Minister handing down the report in Parliament is available on the Prime Minister’s website. Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion also delivered a Statement to the Senate.

With four of the seven targets due to expire this year, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to refresh the Closing the Gap agenda ahead of the tenth anniversary. The Closing the Gap Refresh marks the next stage of Closing the Gap. Consultations are being held around the country and the digital consultation invites all Australians to share their views on the future of Closing the Gap.

As part of the Refresh, a Special Gathering of approximately 80 prominent Indigenous Australians met in Canberra on Wednesday 6 February to discuss priorities for the next decade of Closing the Gap. On Thursday 7 February, the Special Gathering were joined by the Prime Minister and First Ministers.

The meeting concluded with a statement from the Special Gathering. Ten representatives from the Special Gathering presented the statement to the COAG meeting on Friday 8 February.

From this, COAG agreed all governments will undertake community consultations on the refresh, prior to agreeing on the new Closing the Gap framework, targets and performance indicators by 31 October 2018. To read the full COAG communique, visit the COAG website.

A number of events took place on Monday 12 February in parallel with the release of the Closing the Gap report. The Indigenous Marathon Foundation hosted the Closing the Gap Fun Run and Walk around Lake Burley Griffin to support the successful impact sport and recreation programs have in Indigenous communities.

The Economic Development Showcase was held at Parliament House on Monday morning. At this event the Prime Minister announced the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy (IBSS). The IBSS will help more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people build sustainable businesses that will support themselves, their families and their communities. More information on IBSS is available on the PM&C website.

Later in the day, the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council held a round table with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to discuss Indigenous policy issues. The young people shared their views on Closing the Gap. As round table participant Matthew West mentioned, “feeding into the process of Closing the Gap as a young person, a health professional and Aboriginal person was a really important experience.”

A number of events were held around Australia on Tuesday 13 February to mark ten years since the tenth anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations. In Canberra, a breakfast was held in the Great Hall of Parliament House. The Healing Foundation hosted the #Apology10 – Heal Our Past, Build Our Future concert at Federation Mall, Parliament House.  A decade since the Apology, we acknowledge the significance of this day, and look toward to continuing the reconciliation of Australia as a nation.  Visit to read more about #Apology10.

Watch the video below to see highlights from the week. To read the Closing the Gap 2018 report visit