Australia fails to eliminate majority of disadvantages faced by indigenous people

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It comes a decade after then prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised to indigenous Australians, once administered under flora and fauna laws, for the atrocities committed against them.

This year it is expected that two more targets will be marked as on track - the goal to halve the gap in Indigenous child mortality rates and to improve early childhood education attendance.

A yearly report has shown Australia to have achieved some advancement in developing indigenous people's lifestyle, even though it failed to improve four of seven major areas.

Which targets are on track?

"The continuing weight and meaning of the apology comes from what we do now, from our actions, from the change we drive, the gaps we close and the unfinished business we resolve".

Indigenous health minister Ken Wyatt thinks there is still a long way to go, particularly in terms of life expectancy, but says this is the most promising report card since 2011. "One is our failure previous year, and the other is the work being done on the ground by organisations".

Mr Wyatt has defended the targets, and knocked back suggestions they were too ambitious.

A decade ago, Australia embarked on an ambitious roadmap to uplift its indigenous people, who have trailed the rest of the population in nearly every social and economic indicator. "But in all of them what you see is either some improvement, significant improvement, or a lot of improvement if not full realisation of the targets", he said.

"So I say today, let's not bash the targets, let's enhance the targets".

The Closing the Gap strategy was established a decade ago under the Rudd Government, but is now undergoing a "refresh" from the Turnbull Government.

Mr Wyatt said some factors that contribute to child mortality, including homicide and road accidents, will always be out of the control of Governments and this target should be re-worked.

However, the remaining four targets are lagging, including a key goal to close the 10-year gap in life expectancy between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians by 2031.

On Tuesday Mr Rudd will speak at a breakfast in Parliament House to mark 10 years since the day he delivered the landmark apology and to address the Closing the Gap targets he launched in 2008.

Turnbull announced earlier in February that the policy would be refreshed in 2018, on Monday saying the new policy would focus more on communities than targets.

"Compensation is about resolving some of the unfinished business of the apology". Other states and territories, bar Victoria, have similar compensation schemes.

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