Southern Cross University will host Close the Gap Day events across the Coffs Harbour, Lismore and Gold Coast campuses on Thursday March 16 to support action to achieve Indigenous health equality by 2030.
Close The Gap Day raises awareness of disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in relation to early childhood, schooling, health, economic participation, safe communities, governance and leadership.
Southern Cross University has registered the events as official National Close the Gap day activities, with community invited to attend.
Rod Williams of the Gnibi College of Australian Indigenous Peoples at Southern Cross University said the aim of Close The Gap Day was to bring people together, to share information and most importantly, to take meaningful action to achieve equality in Indigenous health and education.
“What has happened over the years is the Productivity Commission measures progress in areas such as Indigenous health, education and incarceration and it is very important to be able to discuss these issues,” Mr Williams said.
“At Southern Cross University we will hear from guest speakers, including the talented Julie Perkins, the first Indigenous graduate from the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University.
“This gives students and the community the opportunity to meet Indigenous leaders who are out there in the workforce who are graduates from various universities. It is very important for us to engage with industry and community in this way, so students can see where these leaders have come from and where they’re going.
“This event is open to everyone from university students and staff to the wider community.”
Julie Perkins is now the NSW North Regional Manager for the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) and will be joined on the day by guest speaker Barry Williams who is the Senior Land Services Officer for Aboriginal Communities, North Coast Local Land Services, and Southern Cross University Coffs Harbour campus AIME program manager Daniel Carraige.
Mr Williams said attendees will have the opportunity to sign the Close the Gap pledge, which has received more than 200,000 signatures demanding Indigenous health equality within a generation.
Close the Gap Day events will be held at Southern Cross University Coffs Harbour campus at the D Block Lecture Theatre from 9.50am. Free lunch will be provided.
Professor Norm Sheehan, Director of Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples will facilitate the event at the Lismore campus, from 11am on Thursday.
The Close the Gap event will be held in H Block in the H1.01 lecture theatre from 11am followed by free lunch at 12pm in the Bundjalung Square outside H Block at the Lismore campus.
Gold Coast campus
Vivienne Roberts, the student management officer Indigenous Australian Student Services will facilitate the event at the Gold Coast campus, located on Southern Cross Dr, next to the Gold Coast Airport from 10am on Thursday.
The Close the Gap events at Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus will be held in Building A, Room A1.29, with a free barbecue lunch outdoors on the Green from 12pm.
Media contact: Jessica Huxley, media officer, Southern Cross University Gold Coast, 07 5589 3024 or 0417 288 794.