The first of two face-to-face meetings with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Canberra will be held today to discuss the development of a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The meetings provide an opportunity for the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks and Australian Capital Territory Government to hear the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about what changes are needed to improve their lives.
Australian Capital Territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Chair, Katrina Fanning said we must ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the ACT have their voices truly heard and understood.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people know what works best for us. Closing the gap in life outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians can only be achieved if our experiences and views are recognised and reflected in policy,” Fanning said.
“We now have a seat at the table with governments to make shared decisions on closing the gap policies and programs, and it is important that Coalition of Peaks represent the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in these discussions, so it is critical that we hear the views and experiences from different communities across Australia.
“The Coalition of Peaks will be leading face-to-face meetings across every state and territory, including two here in the Australian Capital Territory. We’re looking forward to having the first of these two important discussions with communities in Canberra today”
Following today’s engagement, the Coalition of Peaks will hold a second meeting in Canberra on October 28. The face-to-face discussions are part of a comprehensive set of community engagements, which also include Peak consultations with its own membership and an online survey, open until October 25.
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