When the Prime Minister and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Tony Abbott MP stood up in Parliament recently to deliver a situation report on the Close the Gap campaign, it made for sorry listening.
Despite the best efforts of people of good will right across Australia, there have been only modest improvements in some of the key measurements on indigenous health, well-being and life expectancy, while in other areas things seem to be going backwards.
Recently announced cuts to Aboriginal Legal Aid services, and the proposed closure of remote indigenous communities in WA, would suggest that Closing the Gap is, in fact, going to become an even bigger ask in years ahead.
What's going on? Why, in the name of "economic rationalism", are we abandoning our good intentions and sincere commitment to the First People of Australia?
We're fortunate in West End to have a strong and vibrant Aboriginal community that has maintained its culture and commitment to country despite two hundred years of colonisation and usurpation.
That's a fact worth celebrating, and why we as a community should be getting behind the Close the Gap campaign.
The Westender urges all local residents, visitors and workers to visit the Close The Gap Day event in Boundary Street next Thursday, sign a petition and send a clear message to Canberra that West End stands behind Closing the Gap.