Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) acknowledges the traditional owners of the country on which we work and live and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
GCPHN will strive to achieve reconciliation through improving the cultural appropriateness of Primary Health Care services and promoting equal opportunities within the health sector of the Gold Coast region for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. GCPHN values open, respectful and transparent communications with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their respected community organisations and all other stakeholders involved in improving the health, social and emotional wellbeing of the Gold Coast’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
National Close the Gap Day (NCTGD) is an annual awareness event that aims to close the health and life expectancy gap between the indigenous and the non-indigenous communities in Australia.
NCTGD is usually held on the third Thursday in March. It was first observed in 2007 as a joint venture between Australia’s top public and health organisations. Olympic sprinter Cathy Freeman and swimmer Ian Thorpe launched the campaign from the Olympic Stadium in Sydney.
The campaign was a response to the poor health outcomes among indigenous groups in Australia. Studies have shown that the life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is 10-17 years lower than that of non-Indigenous Australians.
The main aim of National Close the Gap Day is to make people from both indigenous and non-indigenous backgrounds aware of this problem and work towards finding ways to solve it.
High life expectancy is not just a health issue, but it is also a human rights issue. Poverty, education, and employment levels all have a long-lasting impact on the health of a community. The Close the Gap campaign recognises this and emphasises that closing the gap in early childhood development, schooling, housing, and employment is the key to also closing the health gap.
National Close the Gap Day is not an official holiday, so businesses, schools, and government offices are open. Community health groups, educators, medical professionals, and policy-makers organise outreach drives, conferences, and workshops to bring attention to the problem of low life expectancy among indigenous groups.