Closing the Gap

In December 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a partnership between all levels of government to work with Indigenous communities to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

In recognition that outcomes for Indigenous Australians remain well below those of non-Indigenous Australians, COAG agreed to six targets:

  1. To close the life expectancy gap within a generation.
  2. To halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade
  3. To ensure access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities within five years.
  4. To halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for children within a decade.
  5. To halve the gap for Indigenous students in Year 12 attainment or equivalent by 2020.
  6. To halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

Mirndiyan Gununa has adopted a “whole of community” approach to the achievement of our goals. This includes the establishment of key working partnerships with community, service providers and government organisations on Mornington Island.

Consequently, when the Remote Service Delivery initiative came to Mornington Island, Mirndiyan Gununa saw that working together with government would be a great opportunity for their community.

Most importantly, though, the Corporation believed that the government message had to be interpreted locally to give community ownership of the process and its outcomes. The Mirndiyan Gununa staff have researched and worked with key people in the community and found appropriate symbols that would bring a local resonance to the seven building blocks identified by COAG.

These meanings were found in cultural stories and traditions of Mornington Island. In addition, each of the symbols were adapted with Lardil and Kaiadilt words and/or phrases which provided additional meanings in the traditional culture of the island.

They were then interpreted by the design company Coast Design to relate to the new branding of Mirndiyan Gununa, below. The colours used in the symbols are all reflective of the colours of life on Mornington Island.




Found in the cultural stories and traditions of Mornington Island,  each symbol also has with Lardil and Kaiadilt words and/or phrases to provide additional cultural meaning.

At the historic signing of the Local Implementation Plan on 26 July 2010, these symbols were unveiled to the community for the first time.
Each symbol represented one of the “building blocks” for this initiative, including early childhood, education, health, healthy homes, safe communities, economic participation, governance and leadership.
The community will become familiar with all these symbols over the next few years.


This is the overall symbol for Closing the Gap on Mornington Island – represented by the Rainbow Serpent – a central part of our culture.


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