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.

The Editor 

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West End Committed to Closing the Gap.

West End Committed to Closing the Gap.

To show its commitment to Closing The Gap in indigenous health and wellbeing, a broad coalition of local not for profit associations and community groups is taking to the streets next Thursday, 19th March, to commemorate national Close The Gap Day. Local organisation Micah Projects has teamed up with global charity Oxfam to put on a special event in the …Read more.

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IA

Stellar Lineup for Politics in the Pub

The second community forum organized by the Westender newspaper and the West End Community Association will focus on independent publishing and citizen journalism, and features a panel of independent publishers from across the ideological spectrum who will share their experiences and offer their guidance on how we all get our news. According to Kerrod Trott, editor and publisher of the …Read more.

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Fund research and legal production of MDMA & psychedelics

Fund research and legal production of MDMA & psychedelics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDm-CEB35gs Pål-Ørjan Johansen treated his alcoholism with psilocybin and then treated his traumatic memories with MDMA. Today he is a psychologist, researcher and a family man — educating the world about how MDMA and psychedelics can improve mental health. EmmaSofia is a non-profit organisation founded by Teri Krebs and Pål-Ørjan Johansen. An organisation based in Oslo, Norway working to increase …Read more.

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Helen A

The plastic plague polluting our waterways

Not-for-profit organisation, Healthy Waterways, has exposed an alarming trend in the amount of plastic litter, particularly plastic bottles, littering South East Queensland’s waterways. The latest report from the Healthy Waterways Clean Up Program reveals plastic bottles have been the most common item removed from local waterways for 8 years, representing over 20% of the 250,000 items of waterway litter collected …Read more.

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Australia – the dumbing down continues

Australia – the dumbing down continues

Shutting down research a dumb thing for a clever country to do – Group of Eight The Vice Chancellors of Australia’s eight leading Universities have, for the first time ever, co-signed paid advertising as a plea to the Senate. Appearing in News Ltd and Fairfax publications today, Wednesday 11 March, the advertising describes as “dumb” the potential decision to cut …Read more.

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YBR

QCA students take art to the street

The Queensland College of Art has partnered with Queensland Rail to transfer student artwork from the classroom to the street as part of a new fine art elective. Led by Simon Degroot, the first cohort of the elective – known as ‘The Street’ – has recently transformed 34 metres of wall in Brunswick Street into contemporary street art in conjunction …Read more.

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Impact of a forgotten economy

Impact of the forgotten economy

The Australian Senate has referred the role, importance, and overall performance of co-operative, mutual and member-owned firms in the Australian economy for inquiry and report by 14 May 2015. Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals chief executive, Melina Morrison, said that ‘Budget time’ was the right time to be talking about the contribution of the sector said to be worth …Read more.

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TWC

Women experience sexual assault "every day’

Researchers at QUT's School of Justice are encouraging people of all genders to share their experiences in a nationwide anonymous online survey on young people's attitudes to sexual assault. The survey is part of a larger QUT research project on violence against women - an issue which researcher and Associate Professor Sharon Hayes says is becoming more and more noticeable …Read more.

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Cuts to Aboriginal Legal Aid to cause chaos

Cuts to Aboriginal Legal Aid to cause chaos

Felicity Nelson of Lawyers Weekly reports on the top legal bodies advocating for the reversal of cuts to Aboriginal legal aid.  The government has been urged to rethink $13.3 million in cuts to indigenous legal services proposed for July. “The likely consequences of these cuts will be chaos in the courts and an increase in indigenous imprisonment, already at unprecedented …Read more.

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F45

Brewsvegas a showcase of craft beer

Brewsvegas 2015 is nearly upon us, and to celebrate and commemorate the occasion the team behind Brewsvegas have decided to throw a party. One thing learned from inaugural Brewsvegas in 2014 is that such a busy week enjoying the events and general shenanigans left few occasions to stop and share a beer as a larger beer community. The launch party to …Read more.

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