Closing The Gap Comes From Both Sides Of Politics

Closing The Gap Comes From Both Sides Of Politics

Victoria Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jeanette Powell

Striving To Close The Gap

Victor P Taffa

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jeanette Powell has reaffirmed the Victorian Government’s commitment to Closing the Gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians.

“Almost a year ago the Premier, Deputy Premier, myself and our Opposition counterparts re-committed the Victorian Government to the Closing the Gap agenda by collectively signing the Closing the Gap Statement of Intent.” Mrs. Powell said.

“Since coming to office the Victorian Coalition Government has driven a whole of government and bi-partisan approach to Closing the Gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians.”

“The Coalition Government has initiated the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry, launched Wayaperri, a leadership and training initiative for young Indigenous Victorians, invested an additional $2.2 Million for governance training, reinstated funding to Reconciliation Victoria and established Australia’s first Indigenous Honour Roll.

“Importantly we have also taken time to listen and to learn from the Aboriginal community in Victoria.”

“Yesterday I hosted a roundtable lunch with Indigenous women in Melbourne to seek their understanding of the complex issues that have led to the very high over representation of Aboriginal children in the child protection system.”

“Today I met with Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at the La Trobe University campus in Shepparton to discuss their collective response to Closing the Gap.” Mrs. Powell said.

Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge today addressed the Aboriginal Youth Forum, which oversees a partnership between the government and the Aboriginal community to improve justice outcomes for Victorian Aboriginal people.

Also today the Minister for Health David Davis launched the Health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Victorians: Victorian Population Health Survey 2008 Supplementary Report.

“The information in this report reinforces the Victorian Government’s determination to adopt a whole-of-government approach with a focus on services that work, value for money and engagement with Aboriginal people and communities.” Mrs. Powell said.

“The Victorian Government understands that generations of Indigenous disadvantage have created the gap in our society and closing it will require a sustained, informed and rigorous policy commitment from the whole of government.”

The Victorian Government will release a strengthened Victorian Indigenous Affairs Framework, an Indigenous health strategy and an Indigenous Economic Development and Participation Strategy later this year.