Close The Gap – Aboriginal health campaign

Photo credit: Wayne Quilliam/OxfamAUS

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Close The Gap – Aboriginal health campaign

In 2007 I led Oxfam Australia’s media team to launch one of the agency’s most successful media campaigns, ‘Close The Gap’ – a campaign to narrow the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.

A damning media report launched in partnership with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) found Australia bottom of a table of developed nations working to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples.

‘The Gap Must Be Closed: Solutions to the Indigenous Health Crisis facing Australia,’ became a landmark media campaigning report for Oxfam Australia.  By briefing allies in the media and mobilising Oxfam's supporters the report caught the imagination of the Australian people. 

With remarkable speed the phrase 'Close The Gap' entered the Australian lexicon and became synonymous with improving Aboriginal life expectancy. 

Oxfam's media campaigning savvy and NACCHO's primary health care expertise played a major part in eliciting a $1.6 billion Federal Government pledge to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders.