13 October, 2019

Coalition of Peaks to hold six Closing the Gap engagement in Western Australia this month

Broome will today host the first of six
face-to-face meetings in Western Australia on the development of a new National
Agreement on Closing the Gap. The
meetings provide an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
to tell the Coalition of Peaks and governments what changes are needed to
improve their lives.

Aboriginal Health Council Western Australia
Chair, Vicki O’Donnell said it was critical to engage with communities across
Western Australia as part of the policy development process.

“We’re kicking off a series of community
engagements today in Broome and will be holding five more face-to-face meetings
across the state throughout October,” O’Donnell said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
communities must be at the centre of decision-making on policies that will
affect our lives. We know better than anyone what will work for us so listening
to communities makes for better policy. We want to make sure governments hear
directly from our communities.

“The historic partnership between the Coalition
of Peaks and governments represents the best chance we’ve got to ensure the
expertise and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is
embedded in government policies to help make improvements in our lives.    

“This is the first time Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people, through the Coalition of Peaks, have had a formal
partnership with governments on such significant policy reform. As part of that
process, the Coalition of Peaks is determined to give communities across
Australia the opportunity to have a say about what is needed to help close the

Following today’s engagement in Broome, the Coalition of
Peaks will hold meetings in, October 21 in Kalgoorlie, October 23 on Port
Headland, October 28 in Perth and dates yet to be finalised in October and
November for Geraldton and Katanning. 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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