“Closing the Gap” is a commitment by all Australian governments in order to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.
A national integrated Closing the Gap strategy has been agreed through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia. COAG brings together the Prime Minister, State Premiers, Territory Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association.In addition, COAG has committed an additional $4.6 billion investment in Indigenous-specific National Partnerships to be rolled out over coming years. COAG has agreed to specific timeframes for achieving six Closing the Gap targets, relating to Indigenous life expectancy, infant mortality, early childhood development, education and employment.
For many people it has been deemed as a positive and long awaited acknowledgement and change and for others. Australia is a multi-cultural nation and we’re proud of that label. One of the initiatives set up by our Governments has been more assistance in employing Indigenous Australians in jobs to assist with the feeling of inclusion, self-esteem and better financial conditions.
It is now strongly recognised that Employers and their employees do some kind of Cross Cultural Training, in order to make the workplace a comfortable and understanding environment for the retention of Indigenous Employees. Jenny Joyce, A training and development officer at Signature Staff acknowledges the importance of this policy in stating “mentoring is also available for Indigenous men and women, to help when things get tough or when confusion sets in due to misunderstandings that happen in workplaces all the time”.