6 November, 2019

Coalition of Peaks to start community engagements on Closing the Gap in Queensland

This Monday, Thursday Island will host the first of six face-to-face engagement meetings in Queensland on the development of a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

The meetings provide an
opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland to
tell the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community
Controlled Peaks (Coalition of Peaks) and governments what changes are needed
to improve their lives.

The Lead Convenor of the Coalition of Peaks and
CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Pat
Turner said that the engagements, which started in September, will provide an
opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their
organisations to be at the centre of decision making on those issues that
affect them.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
know what works best for their communities so our voice should be at the centre
of policy development,” Pat Turner said.

Unlike the original Closing
the Gap agreement reached by governments in 2008, this time Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples have a seat at the negotiating table through the
Coalition of Peaks. The Coalition of Peaks are committed to making sure that
communities and their organisations across the country can contribute their
perspectives and have their voice heard.

“The Coalition of Peaks represent community controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations across Australia, including in Queensland and in key service areas such as health.   We have already led community engagements in the other States, from the Northern Territory to Tasmania, and we are very pleased to commence the Queensland engagements on Thursday Island. “It is vital that the Torres Strait Islander people of Australia engage with this process”.

Following the engagement on Thursday Island on 11 November, the Coalition of Peaks will lead meetings in Townsville on 19 November, Cairns on 20 November, Mount Isa on 26 November, Ipswich on 28 November with a date to be confirmed in Rockhampton. 

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