It’s clear since the first Closing the Gap report was published 13 years ago in, there has been a mixture of results produced. With many of the national socio-economic targets set in the 17 areas not on track to be met in the latest figures. For EMPHN marking Closing the Gap day this year, acknowledges that, although our work is aims to close gaps in health care, we must continue to work closely in partnership with services to build better outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
This year EMPHN marked Closing the Gap by coming together as an organisation for the first time since the pandemic began. For many, including CEO Janine Wilson, it was their first opportunity to gather with the whole organisation face-to-face and, for others, it was the first time in years to each other away from the laptop screens and catch up. We began with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony with Julie Coombes in the beautiful and idyllic surrounds of Blackburn Lake Sanctuary on Wurundjeri land. After the cleansing of the smoke, we gathered to listen to Alana Marsh share her thoughts on Closing the Gap and lead us in the Indigenous movement practice, Wayapa. The whole of person approach to wellbeing resonated with so many of us as we embraced the sound of the birds, the breeze passing through the trees and the ground under our feet. In 2022, we look to build relationships and opportunities in our community and reconnect after two challenging years and, of course, find innovative ways to close the gap.