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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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Close the Gap Day

National Close the Gap Day is a national day to focus on, and pledge support for achieving equality in health and life expectancy outcomes for First Nations people in Australia.  

In 2008, the Federal Labour Government and the Liberal National Party signed the Close the Gap Statement of Intent, which committed the Government to a pathway to achieving health equality. 

Since then, annual reports have detailed progress made and set out recommendations for improvements. The 2021 report by the Lowitja Institute suggests that whilst advancements are occurring, there is still much work to be done. The report points out that Australia is the only western nation not to have eliminated trachoma (preventable blindness) and that the youth suicide rate for young indigenous Australian’s is four times that of non-indigenous youth. There is still a life expectancy gap of around 10-11 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.  However, there is also good news, improvements are being made in certain areas, for example rates of smoking were down 11% in 2020 and antenatal, infant and early childhood health have been generally improving. 

It is encouraging to see that in recent years, the Federal Government has begun to include First Nations people in the process. In July 2020, the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap was signed. It is an understanding between all Australian governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations which introduces a new way of working, including the development of an implementation plan which will inform policies and programs. It reshapes the way in which government policies and programs are developed, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the decision-making table for the first time.

Close the Gap Day is supported by ANTaR, a national advocacy organisation dedicated to the rights, and overcoming the disadvantage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, primarily through lobbying, public campaigns and advocacy. You can show your support by signing the pledge on the ANTaR website, hosting an activity in your workplace, or simply by making it known to your local MP that you want them to focus on Closing the Gap.   

Article by: Kylie Thomas, Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Committee Secretary

Kylie Thomas

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ACC Australia is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive in-house profession and has created the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Special Interest Group. If you are interested in participating in the special interest group or contributing ideas, please contact


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