New Productivity Commission data, monitoring progress under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, shows that significant work is still needed to improve outcomes for First Nations people. Source: Jesuit Social Services.
Jesuit Social Services said a national and coordinated approach will remain critical in closing the gap and allowing all people to flourish.
CEO Julie Edwards said the Annual Data Compilation Report released last week shows that just four out of the 17 Closing the Gap targets are on track to be met, and the gap is widening in a number of significant areas including adult incarceration rates, deaths by suicide and the rates of children in out-of-home care.
“We agree with Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, that these figures are incredibly disturbing. It is clear that more work needs to be done to improve life outcomes and opportunities for current and future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” she said.
Ms Edwards said that while the report puts into sharp focus the significant challenges that require tailored, targeted and long-term support, it also confirms some positive progress being made including a reduction in the rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in detention.
In 2020-21, the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 10–17 years in detention on an average day was 23.2 per 10,000 young people, a decrease from 31.9 per 10,000 young people in 2018-19.
Ms Edwards said the report highlighted the importance of the empowerment and self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to support improved outcomes.