Our People to Live Stronger & Longer

Media Release: First NSW Implementation Plan for Closing the Gap

The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) is pleased to announce that the Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Don Harwin, has tabled the first New South Wales (NSW) Implementation Plan on Closing the Gap.

The Plan sets out the first-year roadmap for implementing the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap in NSW, which came into effect in July 2020.

The plan outlines five agreed priority reforms:

  1. Formal partnerships and shared decision making;
  2. Building the community-controlled sector;
  3. Transforming government organisations;
  4. Shared access to data and information at a regional level; and
  5. Employment, business growth and economic prosperity.

Also detailed in the Plan are the actions that will be taken to achieve progress against seventeen socio-economic targets in areas including: education, justice, health and wellbeing, employment, land and waters, safety, in addition to housing and languages.

“AH&MRC has worked closely with the Government, through the NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations (NSW CAPO), in the development of this plan. We have ensured that the voices of our Members are reflected and will continue to advocate on their behalf as the reforms progress” – AH&MRC CEO Robert Skeen.

The Plan acknowledges the vital role that the Aboriginal Community-Controlled Sector plays in delivering high-quality services to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country. One set target is to increase Government funding for programs and services delivered by Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations (ACCOs).

Some of the highlights for AH&MRC Members include an $8.7 million grants program to support ACCOs and Aboriginal businesses and a $7.4 million contribution to the national funding pool for ACCO sector development in the final print.

The Plan is a positive step forward for Closing the Gap. It provides a foundation to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and will transform how the Government works with Aboriginal communities.

The Implementation Plan will be submitted to the National Joint Council on Closing the Gap. Following this, the Government, alongside NSW CAPO will consult and gather feedback from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout NSW to inform the implementation of the Plan.

The full Implementation Plan can be found here.

For media enquiries, please contact comms@ahmrc.org.au or call (02) 9212 4777.