Australia Unveils Closing the Gap 2020 Targets for Indigenous Communities

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  • Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt unveiled the details of the new Closing the Gap scheme to tackle the welfare of its Indigenous communities. They were joined by Aboriginal activist Pat Turner.

    Closing the Gap 2020 has 16 new targets, resetting previously made ones in 2008. The new agreement includes targets for out-of-home care, land and sea rights, language and housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for the first time.

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    In This Story: Australia

    Australia, officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area.

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  • In This Story: Indigenous Australians

    The term Indigenous Australians refers to Aboriginal Australians as well as Torres Strait Islanders, and the term should only be used when both groups are included in the topic being addressed, or by self-identification by a person as Indigenous.

    Torres Strait Islanders are ethnically and culturally distinct, despite extensive cultural exchange with some of the Aboriginal groups, and the Torres Strait Islands are mostly part of Queensland but have a separate governmental status.

    In the 2016 Australian Census, Indigenous Australians comprised 3.3% of Australia’s population, with 91% of these identifying as Aboriginal only, 5% Torres Strait Islander, and 4% both.

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  • In This Story: Scott Morrison

    Scott John Morrison is an Australian politician who is the 30th and current prime minister of Australia. He took office in August 2018 upon his election as leader of the Liberal Party, and subsequently led the Coalition to victory at the 2019 federal election.

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  • In This Story: Torres Strait Islander

    Torres Strait Islanders are the Indigenous peoples of the Torres Strait Islands, which are part of the state of Queensland, Australia. Ethnically distinct from the Aboriginal people of the rest of Australia, they are often grouped with them as Indigenous Australians. Today there are many more Torres Strait Islander people living in mainland Australia (nearly 28,000) than on the Islands (about 4,500).

    There are five distinct peoples within broader designation of Torres Strait Islander people, based partly on geographical and cultural divisions. There are two main Indigenous language groups, Kalaw Lagaw Ya and Meriam Mir, and Torres Strait Creole is also widely spoken, as a language of trade and commerce. The core of Island culture is Papuo-Austronesian, and the people traditionally a seafaring nation. There is a strong artistic culture, particularly in sculpture, printmaking and mask-making.

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