Posted on February 16, 2023

Australia Adds $300 Million in Funding for Indigenous Pledge

Rod McGuirk, Associated Press, February 13, 2023

Fifteen years after the Australian Parliament’s historic apology to its Indigenous people for past wrongs, the government on Monday announced 424 million Australian dollars ($293 million) in new funding to improve the lives of Australia’s original inhabitants.

In 2008, a newly elected center-left Labor Party government apologized to the Indigenous population for “laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.”

The focus of the apology was the so-called Stolen Generations — 100,000 children who were taken from Indigenous mothers under assimilation policies throughout most of the 20th century.

The apology was accompanied by the ambitious pledge to close the gap in life expectancies between Indigenous Australians and the wider population within a generation.

Key measures of disparities between the Indigenous population and others have been tracked annually in Closing the Gap Reports to identify and reduce a range of disadvantages. {snip}

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, whose Labor government was elected in May after nine years in opposition, told Parliament the new funding reaffirms “Closing the Gap as a top priority for my government.”