16 March 2022
National Close the Gap Day 2022: health equality – a fundamental right for all
National Close the Gap Day provides an opportunity to bring people together and take meaningful action in support of achieving health equality for First Nations Peoples. Held on the third Thursday in March each year, National Close the Gap Day unites Australians from across the map, in schools, businesses and community groups, around a universal cause of closing the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have many of the solutions to these problems but need to be heard and provided with resources. As a firm, we support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament. We believe this is an important reform for the right to self-determination and to ensure First Nations peoples are heard on issues that affect them.
Inequality in housing and education contribute to the health crisis affecting First Nations peoples. Inequality in these areas can be compounded by lack of opportunity in employment and business. Our Reconciliation Action Plan includes a strong focus on exploring how we can provide opportunities for employment, and support for First Nations businesses.
First Nations pathway program
This year, we were proud to launch our First Nations pathway program as part of Early Careers at Hall & Wilcox. The national program, available in our eight offices, runs for four weeks over June/July and will provide Australian First Nations university law students with a realistic insight into life and a career at Hall & Wilcox. Students will work with capable and experienced people across all levels, and be directly involved in interesting legal work.
We also participate in the CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program. Our partnership supports us to host interns studying law through paid work experience. Part of building a more inclusive workplace future for all Australians is ensuring our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have opportunities to prosper and grow their careers.
To date, students have been placed in our Brisbane and Newcastle offices and we hope to expand this opportunity to other national locations.
Supply Nation partnership
We partner with Supply Nation to ensure we include Indigenous businesses in our supply chain. Supply Nation’s mission is to facilitate, encourage and promote business between corporate Australia and Government agencies and First Nations owned businesses.