Wiradjuri Woman Katrina Fanning Providing Pathways and Opportunities for Mob



Proud Wiradjuri woman Katrina Fanning is passionate about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people creating and leading their own solutions. Katrina was named as the ACT Australian of the Year for 2020. This strong women is all about providing pathways and opportunities for mob. Katrina yarns up with Gman on Big Brekkie about the Coalition of Peaks landmark report on community engagements shaping new National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The Coalition of Peaks released a ground-breaking report on the 2019 community engagements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, ‘A Report on Engagements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to inform a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap’.


The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the historic engagements on what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people said should be included in the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Nearly 1700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people responded to an online survey, while more than 2300 individuals attended over 70 face-to-face meetings that were held in cities, regional towns and remote communities in every state and territory. Key findings of the engagements are: • The three priority reforms, designed to change the way governments work with our people, were overwhelmingly supported. • An additional, fourth priority reform emerged on shared access to and use of data to

support decision making by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and governments. • New Closing the Gap targets are needed, such as for the preservation of culture and languages, and existing targets need to be further developed, such as to expand health targets to include mental health and suicide prevention.

This report came about because of the conviction of the Coalition of Peaks that, if Australia is to truly close the gap in life outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians, there needs to be a new way of working established between us and governments. It is incredibly important because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been saying for decades that they want to be listened to by governments; and this report gives voice to the many people that participated in the engagements.


The Joint Ministerial and Coalition of Peaks Council on Closing the Gap will consider the report when it meets on 3 July 2020 to ensure the draft National Agreement reflects what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people said on the Priority Reforms and is needed to close the gap. The new National Agreement is expected to be finalised and made public before the end of July 2020. Engagement processes with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people like this one rarely occur in Australia. I hope that Australian governments will see this as a new benchmark for how they go about engaging with us.

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