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Closing the Gap

We recognise that more needs to be done to achieve the education-related Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) Closing the Gap targets. While responsibility for Indigenous-specific policy and funding programs is centralised in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the department continues to help lead the national effort to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The department is responsible for significant policy levers and funding for child care, education and training, which can impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities. We seek to improve educational outcomes for young children through innovative programs like Connected Beginnings, which supports the integration of early childhood, maternal and child health and family support services with schools in a number of Indigenous communities. Aboriginal and Torres Islander communities will be consulted in developing and implementing school education reforms tied to new school funding arrangements. The department’s national education policy leadership seeks to ensure that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have the desire and capability to participate in tertiary education and training are able to do so and are supported to succeed.

The department operates on the principle that Indigenous business is everyone’s business, which means that all employees consider our Reconciliation Action Plan in their work. It also means we strive to develop and deliver national policies and funding by working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and respecting their cultures and building our cultural capability.