National Close the Gap Day

Today, Thursday 16 March is National Close the Gap Day.

Close the Gap Day is a chance to highlight the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in health outcomes, life expectancy and economic opportunity.

At Monash Health, we’re committed to working together to overcome the inequality experienced by First Nations peoples to achieve life outcomes equal to all Australians.

Here are some of the important initiatives going on across Monash Health to close the gap 

Healthy Koori Kids clinic 

The Healthy Koori Kids clinic provides an integral service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in out-of-home care. 

In Australia, Aboriginal children are ten times more likely to be in out-of-home care than non-Aboriginal children. In Victoria, Aboriginal kids are 17 times more likely to be in out-of-home care. Less than half are living with Aboriginal carers. 

The Healthy Koori Kids team includes two paediatricians, a paediatric fellow, a paediatric psychologist, an oral hygienist, a social worker and Aboriginal Health workers. 

Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers 

Our Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers provide cultural support and assistance to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and their families during their inpatient stay in Monash Health. They can also assist in connecting patients to community services during discharge planning. 

Access and Support Workers 

Access and Support workers offer support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to maintain their health, wellbeing and independence. They can help patients to access community-based services, navigate the My Aged Care and NDIS service system, or organise transportation to appointments.  

Aboriginal Midwife Coordinator 

The Aboriginal Midwife team provide culturally safe maternity care to Aboriginal women, babies and families during the course of pregnancy as well as post-natal care. 

Next steps 

Later this year, we will publish our 2022-2025 Reconciliation Action Plan. Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) are essential for closing the gap by providing tangible and substantive benefits to all people, increasing economic equity and First Nations peoples’ self-determination.

To get a sense of the change our Reconciliation Action Plan will create, read our last RAP.