Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Building the evidence to Close the Gap

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today launched the first Closing the Gap Clearinghouse report which helps to build the evidence base for the Government’s efforts to overcome Indigenous disadvantage.

The Clearinghouse was set up by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to examine research into overcoming disadvantage for Indigenous Australians and to identify success factors.

The report What works to overcome Indigenous disadvantage: key learnings and gaps in the evidence focuses on the strength of evidence across five of the building blocks identified by COAG to address specific areas of Indigenous disadvantage.

Closing the gap is a national goal, which requires the Australian Government to work in partnership with the state and territory governments, businesses, not for profit organisations, Indigenous people and the wider community.

Our unprecedented investment of $5.75 billion over three years is beginning to change the lives of Indigenous people by delivering improved services, better houses and healthier communities, but a sustained effort is required.

The Clearinghouse report brings together existing key findings for policymakers on what works to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.

The ‘Early childhood and education services for Indigenous children prior to starting school’ Resource Sheet also released today is an example of how these findings can help governments develop more effective programs.

This resource highlights the importance of early intervention and education for vulnerable families, as well as education for parents, to help children get the best start in life.

The Clearinghouse report highlights the need for Governments to work with Indigenous people to achieve lasting change.

The Australian Government recognises that Closing the Gap requires a genuine partnership with Indigenous Australians at all levels. The Government is committed to a relationship based on trust and mutual respect.

The Government has also committed $46.4 million over four years to fund improvements to data collection and help us continue to build a better evidence base for Closing the Gap.

The Clearinghouse report was produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Commonwealth, State and Territory Government, Non-Government Organisation and Academic research studies were examined.