The National Agreement on Closing the Gap came into effect on 27 July 2020.
Significantly, this is the first National Agreement to be developed in genuine equal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through their representatives on the national Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (Coalition of Peaks).
All signatories to the agreement have committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people towards a future where policy making and programs that impact on their lives are carried out in genuine partnership.
The National Agreement contains four key Priority Reform Areas for changing how governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and a suite of socio-economic targets to focus efforts to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander outcomes. Please refer to this useful summary: What is in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap?.
Under the National Agreement, each of the States and Territories agreed to develop a jurisdictional implementation plan to guide the reform process.
WA’s Implementation Plan
The WA Government has developed its first Closing the Gap Jurisdictional Implementation Plan. The Implementation Plan was developed through collaboration across Government departments and agencies, with crucial input from the Aboriginal Advisory Council of WA and the Aboriginal Health Council of WA, which is the only WA based member of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations.
The Implementation Plan is closely aligned with the Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy, which sets the WA Government’s high-level strategic approach for working with Aboriginal people towards empowerment and better outcomes.
This Implementation Plan is the beginning of a process aimed at whole-of-government reform and action to Close the Gap and empower Aboriginal people in WA.
The WA Government will pursue a phased approach to implementation.
The first phase of the Implementation Plan details the actions that the WA Government is currently undertaking or developing. This first step provides a baseline to build from, and enables Aboriginal people and the broader public to clearly see what the WA Government has said it will do to deliver on its commitments.
The Plan will be updated in 2022 to reflect the progress, developments, achievements and learnings from the first 12 months of the implementation process and reform.
The Implementation Plan has two parts:
- PART A – provides an overview of the system-level actions the WA Government intends to progress to address the Priority Reforms, and summaries of actions underway or to be undertaken, to address the socioeconomic targets.
- PART B – provides information on specific activities, programs and services relevant to each of the Priority Reforms and socioeconomic targets. The format for Part B reflects the format agreed upon by the Partnership Working Group.
Implementation Plans for other jurisdictions and partners can be found here.