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‘Closing the Gap’ process will better involve Indigenous Australians: Morrison

Michelle Grattan writes in The Conversation (12.2.20) about the Prime Minister’s response to the twelfth Closing the Gap report, which shows disappointing results on key targets, including child mortality, school attendance, literacy and numeracy, employment and life expectancy.

‘Scott Morrison is expected to warn against adopting a “deficit mindset” towards progress on Indigenous disadvantage, when on Wednesday he presents the twelfth “Closing the Gap” report, which shows disappointing results on key targets.

‘The prime minister will give details of the government’s major overhaul of the assessment process, saying that until recently Closing the Gap was never a partnership with Indigenous people. “We believed we knew better – we don’t”.

‘Among the current seven targets, those not met or not on track are for child mortality, school attendance, literacy and numeracy (where there is improvement), employment (which is stable), and life expectancy.

‘Those “on track” are in the areas of childhood education and year 12 attainment.

‘Morrison will say “we must see the gap from the viewpoint of Indigenous Australians before we can hope to close it”.’

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