The Social justice and native title report 2014 was launched this week by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda. The report examines the enjoyment and exercise of human rights by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, providing an overview of the year with respect to social justice and native title issues.
The report pays attention to health inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, noting that a decline in smoking rates and improvements in maternal and child health are 'green shoots' that indicate efforts to close the health gap are working.
The report states changes made by the Federal Government this year to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, occurred without meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their leaders, or their respective organisations.
The report also calls for action on the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. 'I am heartened by the Prime Minister's strong commitment to closing the gap and by his leadership on constitutional recognition,' Commissioner Gooda said. 'Now is the time to commit to a solid timetable for the referendum.'