Bendigo will host three face-to-face consultation meetings in Victoria this week on the development of a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The meetings provide an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to tell the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks (Coalition of Peaks) and governments what changes are needed to improve their lives.
Aboriginal Executive Council Chair, Esme Bamblett said it was important that both metropolitan and regional communities are engaged in the development of a new agreement on Closing the Gap.
“The Coalition of Peaks will be leading consultations on Closing the Gap in every state and territory during October, including three meetings here in Victoria,” Bamblett said.
Victorian meetings were kicked off in Bendigo but will also be held in Melbourne and Morwell during the week.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people understand what works for us so it is critical that our voice is at the centre of decision-making. The Coalition of Peaks are negotiating with governments on the development of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap. It is critical that we bring to the table the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from around the country,” Bamblett said.
The Melbourne meet will be held on 15 October and Morwell on 16 October. The face-to-face discussions are part of a series of community engagements, which also include Peak organisations engaging with their own membership and an online survey, open until 25 October.