The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to establish the Joint Council on Closing the Gap in December 2018 as a key part of its commitment to a formal partnership on Closing the Gap with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This commitment recognises that shared decision making with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, through their representative organisations, in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Closing the Gap framework is essential to improving life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Joint Council includes ministers from each jurisdiction, twelve members of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations, and one representative of the Australian Local Government Association. It is co-chaired by the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, and the Convenor of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations, Ms Pat Turner AM.
It is the first time Australian governments have included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives as joint decision makers. The Joint Council supports national leadership, coordination and cooperation on Closing the Gap and provides advice to Australian governments as appropriate.
During 2019, the Joint Council finalised the refreshed Closing the Gap framework and targets, and reviewed the 2008 National Indigenous Reform Agreement.
On 3 July 2020, the Joint Council agreed to a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap to be presented to First Ministers, the President of the Australian Local Government Association and the Convenor of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks Organisations for endorsement.
The Joint Council will have an ongoing role in monitoring performance against and implementation of the jointly agreed National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
On 3 July 2020, Joint Council agreed to consider a forward work plan based on the new National Agreement at its next meeting. This section will be updated once a work plan is agreed.
- Communique: 3 July 2020, Various - PDF 132 KB | DOCX 28 KB
- Communique: 23 August 2019, Adelaide - PDF 90 KB | DOCX 32 KB
- Communique: 27 March 2019, Brisbane - PDF 103 KB | DOCX 27 KB
Terms of Reference
Given the cessation of COAG and the introduction of the new National Cabinet and National Federation Reform Council, on 3 July 2020 Joint Council agreed to consider revised Terms of Reference at its next meeting.