6 August 2021
Closing the Gap Implementation Plans Released
First Nations Media Australia welcomes the release yesterday of the Commonwealth and jurisdictional Implementation Plans under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and the associated $1 billion funding announcement to support priority areas in early childhood, health, education and reparations for survivors of the Stolen Generations.

First Nations Media Australia is a member of the Coalition of Peaks, who signed the historic National Agreement on Closing the Gap one year ago committing all levels of governments to partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on Closing the Gap. Under the Agreement, all Parties committed to developing a plan on how they would implement their commitments to reform the way governments worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The plan would also detail the investments and practical actions needed to achieve targets set in the Agreement.

“The Implementation Plan is a positive step forward in helping address some of the inequalities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and identifies actions the Government will be taking to reach the targets in areas including education, employment, justice, health and wellbeing, housing, family violence and suicide, land and waters, languages and digital inclusion. But there is much more to be done.” said Pat Turner, Lead Convener of the Coalition of Peaks.

“Central to accelerating progress in closing the gap are the four Priority Reforms set out in the National Agreement. The Implementation Plan recognises their importance and points to key steps to progress them which we welcome. But much more action is warranted if these structural reforms are to be fully implemented.”

First Nations Media Australia is pleased to note the Commonwealth Implementation Plan include the development of an Indigenous Digital Inclusion Plan in partnership with FNMA to help achieve Outcome 17: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to information and services enabling participation in informed decision-making regarding their own lives.
Further to this work is a significant amount of data development required to measure the accessibility of information through culturally relevant media.

Both the Commonwealth and Coalition of Peaks Implementation Plans recognise the central role for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media required to build ownership, trust, credibility and accountability of the National Agreement among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to ensure communications about the National Agreement are clear, accessible, timely, relevant and work to preserve the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. FNMA looks forward to working with its member media organisations to support the Joint Communications Strategy embedded in the Implementation Plans, ensuring that communications products are developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for localised audiences.

"Under the Commonwealth Implementation Plan on Closing the Gap, Government will be keeping a close eye on the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed in media," said Naomi Moran, Chair of First Nations Media Australia, "We would expect to be seeing those employment figures increasing in the coming years in line with the rollout of regional and remote workforce development actions and an increasing amount of media production work being undertaken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to ensure the success of the new Closing the Gap strategies. Communications is a growth industry and we would expect to see positive employment outcomes through growth in participation in media and associated economic growth in remote communities in particular as a result of the Closing the Gap implementation actions."

"We will be working closely with the Coalition of Peaks to ensure communications products are appropriate and will resonate with First Nations audiences," said Ms Moran, "Too often we see government-led programs miss the mark due to a lack of engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and we're happy to see that start to change through the implementation plans set out by the Coalition of Peaks, the Commonwealth and also some of the State governments this week."

“First Nations Media Australia will be analysing the Implementation Plan closely, to fully understand not only how each Government proposes to meet its commitments and timelines under the National Agreement, but how we can work jointly with Governments and our member media organisations to implement these actions most effectively.”

Governments in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australian, Northern Territory, Tasmania and the ACT have each included a commitment to working with First Nations community-controlled media in their implementation plans, creating an opportunity for Governments to work with First Nations media organisations across the country.

"We're very pleased to see the funding announcement yesterday to support areas that are absolutely priorities for our communities, including support for Indigenous Languages Australia which aligns with the work our members are undertaking to maintain and revitalise First Nations languages." Ms Moran said, "However the First Nations media sector has been chronically underfunded for more than twenty years. We will keep pushing to ensure Governments fully understand the essential role First Nations media organisations have in changing life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and resource the industry effectively to undertake this vital work. The role of First Nations media in achieving health outcomes has been highlighted by the pandemic and now the vaccine rollout and that's just one area of crisis where First Nations media is keeping communities safe. We need investment to expand those services to ensure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to media services that actually meet their needs and to ensure existing services can meet their full capacity to underpin closing the gap. Nothing will change if our communities don't know what's going on and aren't engaged in the processes. First Nations media fulfils that role, but needs appropriate workforce development investment to fully meet the sectors' capacity."

“It is fair to say that all of the Parties are on a learning curve," Pat Turner said, "Progress is being made, but there is still potential to strengthen working relationships between the Government and First Nations Media Australia because it is through genuine partnership and shared decision-making that we will achieve the best outcomes possible for our people.”

“We know that gaps will only be closed when we confront and address the structural barriers that are currently blocking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and sustaining deep inequities with other Australians.”

To read more about the Implementation Plans:
For interviews, photos or further information contact:

Tash Gillespie
First Nations Media Australia
0407 751 102
Image below: Chairperson, Naomi Moran
2/70 Elder St,
PO Box 2731 Alice Springs NT 0871
08 8952 6465 |

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign