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Closing the Gap

Yesterday, the 11th Closing the Gap report was handed down to Government. It found that we have not hit the vast majority of our goals for improving education, employment and life expectancy outcomes for indigenous communities.

The report found that education targets are generally not on track. Attendance rates for Indigenous students have not improved since 2014 and is as low as 63% in very remote areas. Literacy and numeracy among indigenous students has improved, though not as much as was hoped for. There has been good progress made on the number of Indigenous young people attaining Year 12 or equivalent.

As the report was released, the Prime Minister took a focus on education, saying he wants to work with indigenous leaders to reshape some of the targets and to focus on education as a key way of making change for future generations.

“Education is the key to skills, to better health, to jobs,” said the Prime Minister.

He announced three initiatives to address the challenge of education for indigenous Australians.

Firstly, 3,100 scholarships will be given to teachers who commit to working in the most remote schools for 4 years. Teachers who do that will have their HECS debt wiped.

Secondly a support programme will be created to help Indigenous students receive support and mentoring through their secondary years.

Thirdly, $5 million will be spent in remote and very remote areas to address the lack of school attendance.

Commitments were also made to support Indigenous businesses.

Click here to read the Closing the Gap Report

Click here to read the Prime Minister’s Media Release


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