The Foundation is committed to the Close the Gap campaign and is taking action to achieve health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by 2030.
The focus for National Close the Gap Day, Thursday 21 March, is on the critical need for continued investment and commitment, as outlined in the 2013 Close the Gap Shadow Report
. The report is an update on the Australian Government’s progress towards closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
One of Fred Hollows’ core beliefs was ‘equity between people’. Fred was shocked by the poor standard of health of Indigenous Australians compared to everyone else in Australia and spent his life working to close the gap.
Although there has been some improvement in Indigenous health since Fred first visited the Northern Territory of Australia in 1968, there is still much to do according to Brian Doolan, CEO of The Fred Hollows Foundation.
"There are no excuses for Australia to be the only developed country in the world where people still suffer from trachoma, where Indigenous men in areas such as the east Katherine region have an average life expectancy of 46 years, where babies are dying at a rate three times higher than babies born to non-Indigenous parents," says Mr Doolan.
Today, The Foundation’s extensive Indigenous program goes beyond primary eye health care, and works towards resolving the underlying issues that contribute to poor eye health and health in general amongst Indigenous Australians. Our local partners include traditional owners' associations, Indigenous-managed health services, women's centres and community centres. We collaborate on innovative projects that improve health outcomes, strengthen culture and empower communities through self-determination.
As well as building skills and capacity at the local level The Foundation advocates and lobbies governments to pursue specific measures to achieve genuinely accessible health and eye health services for all Indigenous Australians.
Close the Gap is a coalition of more than 40 of Australia’s leading health, human rights and Aboriginal organisations. The Close the Gap campaign was launched in April 2007.
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