Indigenous Australians may as well be living in the different country from the rest of the population.
Every year on January 26, Australia Day, huge numbers of people gather to celebrate living in one of the world’s safest and most affluent countries.
But on basic standards of living – from health, to education, to employment – Australia’s Indigenous population is being left far behind.
“As a wealthy country this continues to be our shame,” said Romlie Mokak, chief executive of Australia’s Lowitja Institute, which conducts research into the health and well-being of indigenous groups.
In Australia, the Indigenous population is composed of mainland Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, who live in northern Queensland on the islands between Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has acknowledged that more work needs to be done to address the inequality between the general population and indigenous people. “We have not come far enough,” he said when launching the most recent Closing the Gap report last year.
Mokak said while the Australian government pays a great deal of lip service to closing the gap between the Indigenous population and the rest of the country, targets simply aren’t being met.
Here are just some of the ways in which Australia is failing its Indigenous population: