The National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA) is a document that outlines the Australian government`s commitment to improving the lives of Indigenous Australians. The NIRA was first developed in 2008 as part of the Council of Australian Governments` (COAG) Closing the Gap campaign. The agreement is a collaboration between the federal, state and territory governments and Indigenous leaders.
The NIRA sets out six targets that aim to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in terms of health, education, employment and life expectancy. These targets are:
1. To close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 2031.
2. To ensure that all Indigenous four-year-olds have access to early childhood education by 2025.
3. To close the gap in reading, writing and numeracy outcomes for Indigenous children by 2025.
4. To halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 2018.
5. To close the gap in school attendance for Indigenous children by 2018.
6. To halve the gap in Year 12 attainment or equivalent by 2020.
The NIRA also includes a commitment to Indigenous-led decision-making, community-led solutions and greater collaboration between government and Indigenous communities. The agreement recognizes that Indigenous Australians have unique cultural and historical backgrounds and require tailored solutions to their issues.
Since its inception, the NIRA has undergone several reviews and updates. In 2020, the Australian government announced a new Closing the Gap agreement that takes a more collaborative approach to improving the lives of Indigenous Australians. This new agreement includes a greater focus on community-led solutions and the establishment of a new Indigenous-led partnership body to monitor progress.
Overall, the National Indigenous Reform Agreement is an important document that outlines the Australian government`s commitment to improving the lives of Indigenous Australians. While progress has been made in some areas, there is still much to be done to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The new Closing the Gap agreement represents a step forward in achieving these targets and ensuring that Indigenous Australians are empowered to lead their own communities.