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The 2023 National Closing the Gap Indigenous Health Conference is scheduled to be held at Hilton Hotel in Cairns, Queensland on September 20-22, 2023. It is the only conference that has been continuously running since the establishment of the Closing the Gap concept and is the largest gathering of delegates from all sectors outside of Indigenous national associations. The conference is held annually and over the past ten years has attracted thousands of attendees bringing together representatives from all states and territories governments, First Nations medical services and mainstream health sectors, First Nations communities, allied health professionals, ACCHOs, NGOs, researchers and interested individuals.


The conference is hosted by Indigenous Conference Services with a great line up of First Nations speakers from all throughout Australia. The event is based upon the principal belief that Indigenous health must be approached from a​ holistic view, which encompasses body, mind and spirit; thus, leading to the fundamental rights of self-determination. The conference recognises that treating our health must be done by treating the whole person, through mind, body, soul and culture. No matter what your culture is, if you're a First Nations person, statistics show that health, education and the justice system is monstrously weighted against First Nations People. 

The 2022 Closing the Gap Report further highlights how wide the gap still is. In today’s society, Indigenous people have a varied lifestyle, ranging from inner-city living to isolated communities. Therefore, there is no set approach to dealing with health issues, as you have to look at the environment that you live in and, more importantly, the agencies that are available to assist. The conference is designed to bring together both government and non-government agencies who are working in the Indigenous health sector, therefore focusing on Closing the Gap and strengthening the life expectancy of First Nations people to equal that of non-Indigenous people. In Australia, the most successful initiatives in First Nations Health are the Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) and now the partnerships between government and communities. The first Aboriginal community-controlled health service was established in New South Wales and has been operational for the past forty (40) years.  Today, there are over 120 AMS and countless numbers of Primary Health Care Posts in First Nations communities in Australia. 

The Closing the Gap on Indigenous Health Conference is a platform uniting First Nations communities, policymakers and healthcare providers to drive health equality and establish an environment in which Australia’s Indigenous population can thrive.   Ten years have passed and over $100 billion has been spent since the federal government released its initial Closing the Gap report in 2006, committed to specific targets for reducing inequalities across Australia’s indigenous populations. To date, only two of the original seven targets to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander livelihood have been met and neither of these reflects key health indicators. Today the reality is that the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations has increased and reverse progress has been made towards improving health and life expectation equality for Australia's Indigenous peoples. 

The 2023 National Closing the Gap Indigenous Health Conference will also provide a forum for showcasing innovative approaches to Indigenous healthcare. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about new technologies, programs, and initiatives that are being developed to address the health needs of Indigenous communities. This will include discussions on the use of telehealth, culturally appropriate care, and community-led initiatives. The conference will also provide an opportunity for networking, allowing attendees to connect with other professionals and stakeholders who are passionate about improving Indigenous health outcomes. Overall, the 2023 National Closing the Gap Indigenous Health Conference promises to be an important event for advancing the health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities across Australia and a conference not to be missed!


The conference themes include:

  • Primary health and the whole of body wellness

  • First Nations women’s health

  • First Nations men’s health

  • Successful community partnerships between First Nations peoples, governments and NGO`s

  • Innovative projects which promote leadership and self-determination

  • Community/ grassroots-based initiatives towards health

  • Culture and its importance to creating better mental health for First Nations people

  • Protecting mob against COVID-19 in remote Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander communities

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