10 March, 2023
"National Close the Gap Day is March 16th. The data is out - progress against many Close the Gap targets has gotten worse. Disappointingly we continue to see a lack of progress despite the best efforts of the ACCOs. Aboriginal led solutions and organisations remain under resourced and government commitments to self determination don’t result in tangible outcomes as the voice of Aboriginal communities is not being adequately prioritised.
Housing and homelessness is our biggest and most urgent challenge at the moment. We need long term funding solutions and new houses. We need to shine a light on proposed funding cuts. We can’t let Government defund homelessness services when it affects women and children experiencing family violence more than ever. It is madness to think as a society we want women and children sleeping rough, in cars. That’s why VACCA has joined with other ACCOs to demand better and demand a human rights approach. Housing is a human right. Every Aboriginal person deserves a home.
With the lack of progress against Close the Gap, the continued over-representation of Aboriginal children in care and the escalating rates of violence towards Aboriginal women and children is not good enough to VACCA. Aboriginal decision making needs to be transferred to Aboriginal people.
The four reform priority areas of the National Agreement remain our greatest opportunity to collectively challenge the status quo and transform the systems that disadvantage Aboriginal people across Australia, but especially in Victoria. The solutions are complex, multi-faceted and require long term focus and commitment to address. Aboriginal people have the solutions and Aboriginal decision making must be put back into Aboriginal hands."
- VACCA CEO, Muriel Bamblett