National Close The Gap Day

National Close the Gap Day is an awareness event that’s observed annually on the third Thursday of March and advocates for health equity among Australia’s Indigenous peoples. This holiday was first observed in 2007 and was originally organized by Australia’s health organizations, then launched through an event headlined by Olympians Ian Thorpe and Cathy Freeman.

This awareness event is designed to improve health outcomes for Torres Strait Islander people and Aboriginals—groups of people who have a life expectancy that’s approximately 17 years lower than that of non-Indigenous Australians. This lowered life expectancy is due to a lack of access to healthcare, poverty, and a lack of employment. This is why this holiday attempts to raise awareness about each of these issues and to close the gap.

The History of National Close the Gap Day

In 2007, top public healthcare agencies and other organizations collaborated to create this holiday. The first Close the Gap Day was launched by a special event headlined by Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe. It’s an awareness day that has been observed ever since.

Observing National Close the Gap Day

Life expectancy isn’t just a health issue; it’s also a human rights issue. When people aren’t living as long a life as they would have if they had basic access to healthcare, employment, and education, then it’s an issue that must be remedied by society. And that’s the purpose of National Close the Gap Day.

It’s a day to close the gap between the haves and the have-nots and to ensure that every Australian lives a happy, healthy, and full life. People can spread the word about this awareness day by telling their friends and family or by using the hashtag #NationalCloseTheGapDay on their social media accounts. If every Australian works together, then everyone can have the basic human right to a long, healthy, and happy life.

Where is it celebrated?
Australia (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
March 21 Thursday
Next year (2025)
March 20 Thursday
Last year (2023)
March 16 Thursday