MP happy to put up hand for campaign


Put it there: Kwinana MLA Roger Cook adds his handprint to the National Close the Gap Day poster with the help of Oxfam volunteer Jenny Gillett.
Put it there: Kwinana MLA Roger Cook adds his handprint to the National Close the Gap Day poster with the help of Oxfam volunteer Jenny Gillett.

His handprint will join handprints with politicians from all political parties to show support for closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.

Last year, more than 150,000 people took part, with schools, community groups, health services, businesses, government offices and other organisations hosting a record 1596 events around the country.

Oxfam Australia’s campaign co-ordinator in WA, Paddy Cullen said indigenous Australians needed to be consulted, empowered, resourced and supported to address the health issues facing their communities.

“To achieve indigenous health equality, we need every politician to get involved in genuine long-term partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples,” he said.

“This symbolic act is a step in encouraging practical outcomes. Showing support on National Close the Gap Day sends a powerful message to governments that Australians will not accept the fact that indigenous Australians suffer illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes at far greater rates than other Australians.

“Key to achieving health equality is putting Aboriginal people at the centre of their own development and in control of the services in their communities.”

Mr Cook echoed his sentiments.

“As a past national president of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation, an original partner with Oxfam in the Closing the Gap campaign, National Close the Gap Day is a campaign that I am happy to put my hand up in support of,” he said.

“It’s important that we continue the long fight for health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.”