Good health and wellbeing for First Nations peoples are defined and strengthened by enduring connections between self, community and the lands and seas upon which they live, work and play.1 First Nations peoples’ health and wellbeing remains a Queensland Government and national priority given the well-established disparities and inequities that have existed since colonisation.
In 2005, the Social Justice 2005 report was released, calling for Australian governments to commit to achieving equality in health and life expectancy for First Nations peoples within 25 years.2 This led to the launch of the Close the Gap campaign in April 2007 and in December 2007, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) initiated the Close the Gap Strategy, agreeing to be accountable for reaching the Strategy’s goals within specified timeframes.
Progress has been slow and further commitments were made from 2017 onwards recognising the need for genuine partnerships between governments and First Nations peoples and a strengths-based approach with First Nations peoples determining what is important to them.2 In Queensland, this commitment is articulated by the Making Tracks Together: Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equity Framework launched in 2021.1 All 16 Hospital and Health Services across Queensland re-affirmed this commitment through their own Health Equity Strategies.
This section provides health and wellbeing indicators for First Nations peoples. Because the previous National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) was conducted in 2018–19, some indicators, particularly current population prevalence for selected chronic conditions and key risk and protective factors have been reported elsewhere. Please refer to:
Updated information is provided for First Nations peoples’ health and wellbeing in the following sections:
First Nations peoples are advised that information relating to deaths, suicide and self-harm are included in Headline indicators. The emphasis on data is not intended to depersonalise the pain and loss behind the statistics. Queensland Health acknowledges the individuals, families and communities affected by deaths from all causes for First Nations peoples and all Queenslanders.
- Queensland Government, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council. 2021. Making tracks together: Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equity framework. Brisbane: State of Queensland (Queensland Health) and Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council.
- Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet. 2023. History of closing the gap. Perth: Edith Cowan University. Accessed: 6 March 2023.