USQ is working to ‘Close the Gap’ in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by raising awareness of the need to improve the health of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and encouraging the community to contribute to the cause.

This was the message shared at a community event in Toowoomba on Wednesday, 8 March, where USQ Student Services and Social Justice Director Christie White emphasised the importance of raising awareness about the ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative.

“The life expectancy of an Indigenous Australian is 10 to 17 years less than a non-Indigenous Australian. That’s unacceptable,” she said.

“Here at USQ, we want our Indigenous student and staffing community to be aware of our health services, and encourage them to seek out medical help to prevent any potential future health issues.”

Traditional bush tucker, a free BBQ, local Indigenous artwork, Aboriginal dancers and live entertainment were all featured at the community event.

Representatives of the NRL were present, and festivities also included displays from health organisations such as Carbal Medical Centre and Headspace Toowoomba

Bachelor of Human Services (Counselling) student and USQ Student Services staff member Nyssa Blades said it was great to see the University get involved with initiatives like ‘Close the Gap’.

“It shows me that USQ is supportive of closing that gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians’ health by taking action to help Indigenous people live longer and healthier lives.”