Three teenagers owning Close the Gap


Can I tell you a secret? I get a massively frustrated when people tell me “youth are the leaders of tomorrow.”

Because when you meet a group of people like Alicia, Sophia, and Peter – it’s pretty clear to see that young people are doing plenty of leading already.

These strong, passionate Aboriginal teens are a big part of inspiring changes occurring in their local communities – Canberra and Jabiru – to make sure that we are the generation that closes the gap in health outcomes and life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

But what is this Gap we’re talking about?  Right now, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are dying 10-17 years earlier than other Australians. It’s beyond unfair. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Want to feel totally inspired/grossly inadequate? Watch this awesome vid to see Alicia, Sophia and Peter’s stories.

But you know what? If you end up feeling either of those things, use it – Channel that energy to do something about it, because there is a loads you can do, right now. Like today. No matter if you’ve got a minute, a week or a month.

National Close the Gap Day is on March 19, 2015 and it’s THE day to show our leaders that this Gap is ridic (and not in the good way).

It’s a day where all Australians unite our voices and visions for a better Australia, to remind politicians that we still care and so should they.

Check out our Close the Gap 3things Action guide here.

Find out about the Close the Gap Instagram Challenge here.

Together, we can Close the Gap.


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Turn insta snaps into free cameras!


Ermahgerd, it’s that time of the year again!  Time to help Close the Gap with a snap – our annual Instagram photo challenge for students.

Joining the challenge is easy, makes a positive difference, AND you can win epic prizes – what more could you want?!

Through taking part in the Close the Gap Student Photo Challenge you’ll be raising awareness about the issue of health equality in Australia, and will help inspire others to join us to Close the Gap by 2030 – our generation.  With young people like you from across the nation posting your pics and adding your creative vision onto a growing image of what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality should look like.

What is Close the Gap? We’re glad you asked – find out here.

The Instagram Photo Challenge is runs from Monday March 16 to Friday March 20 – it’s exactly a month away!  So get on board, get those creative cogs turning and get your vision seen!  Here’s how to do it:

STEP ONE: Get on board Instagram and find and follow @closethegapcampaign and @3thingsoxfam. Your account must be public, or you have to allow both our accounts to follow you, otherwise we won’t be able to see your entries.

STEP TWO: Start snapping! Every day has a theme, relating to Close the Gap and the issue of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality. Your mission is to interpret the theme into a creative photo. There are five themes, one for each day of the competition, and you can post as many different images as you like:

  • Monday 16th March: In our hands
  • Tuesday 17th March: Healthy
  • Wednesday 18th March: Our Generation
  • Thursday 19th March: Together
  • Friday 20th March: 3things: Circles, lines and dots

STEP THREE: Submit your photo and tag your pic with: #ctgstudents, @closethegapcampaign and @3thingsoxfam – that way, your awesome snaps will get seen by the judges.

For the nitty-gritty details, including our very important rules of the competition (like our NO FACES rule explained), check out page 10 and 11 of the Close the Gap How-to-Guide for Students.

STEP FOUR: Get winning!

The four best and most creative photos each day will be crowned the “Daily Deadly Four”, and will be given so much Instagram props and insta-fame that you’ll need bodyguards to escort you to school – no autographs please!

At the end of the week, all the photos from the Daily Deadly Four will be judged, and the best-on-ground will get some sweet prizes, and will be given total Instagram bragging-rights until next year!


  • One lucky winner gets a mega camera prize, including an Instax Mini Camera and film, an Extreme X Action Camera, and a Nikon Coolpix, thanks to the awesome JB Hi-Fi.
  • One runner up will receive a year’s supply of Fair Trade Chocolate (52 blocks), courtesy of our besties at the Oxfam Shop!
  • We also know that many schools get together with their students to create joint images, so we’re also offering one prize for Schools – a deadly DVD pack crammed full of movies and TV series with an Indigenous theme, including The Sapphires, Bran Nue Dae, First Contact and more. Thanks again to JB Hi-Fi for fixing us up with this too.

That’s enough from us!  Go get snap happy! And if you have any questions, drop us a line at

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Close the Gap Action Guide

If your bestie was going to die almost two decades before you, just because of their race, you’d probably give a you-know-what.

So why do we seemingly not give a flying fig that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples live 10-17 years less than non-Indigenous Australians? I dare say you’d agree with us when we say that’s pretty messed up.

If this isn’t the Australia you love, it’s actually pretty easy to do something radical about it. So whether you’ve got 3 minutes, 3 days or 3 weeks, we’ve got a cracking list of red-hot actions you can take.

Close the Gap is Australia’s biggest health equality movement aiming to close the gap in life expectancy and health outcomes in Australia. It’s Indigenous-led, but it’s only together that we can improve the state of health quality in this beautiful sunburnt country of ours.

1. Small Action – Spread the Pledge

Close The Gap - Small Things

A couple of clicks really can make a difference. Putting pressure on the major players in Canberra is a lot easier when you have over 200,000 mates behind you.

Sign the petition right here, right now. Go a step further and share it on Facebook, so your friends can learn more about the indigenous health crisis and add their voice, and so your grandma can comment on it accidently with something unrelated.
You can also take ’30 for 2030 Challenge’ and collect 30 signatures yourself using this form. Chase everyone! Friends, family, workmates, teachers, neighbours, the cute barista at that coffee shop that you’ve wanted an excuse to chat to for a while.
Every pledge gives the cause more power, and shows Australian governments that this is an issue we, their bosses (well kinda), still really care about.

2. Medium Action – Get ‘Gramming.
Do you have a knack for Instagram? Know that Valencia adds the right amount vintage glow? Or use VSCO Cam because the in-app filters are too naff? Then this is the action for you.

Instagram Close The Gap

Join in the Close the Gap Student Photo Challenge. It’s simple. Just follow us – @3thingsoxfam – and @closethegapcampaign on Instagram, and wait for the daily photo prompts during NCTGD week. We’ll post with more deets again soon, so watch this space.

Instagram Close The Gap Competition Entry

You can also check out what others are posting by visiting the hashtag #ctgstudents.
Taking part in the Instagram challenge will have the double edged effect of helping bring attention to the fight for health equality and breaking up pictures of whatever people are having for breakfast. A win for everybody.

3. Big Action – Do the Day
National Close the Gap Day is on March 19th this year. It’s a day where schools, universities, organisations and everyday Aussies around the country get together to put pressure on our pollies to act.

Close The Gap Event Image

While all political parties, the federal government and most state and territory governments have signed on and committed to the cause, talk is cheap – they need an annual reminder that we expect action.
So get here now. Register to hold an event, no matter how big or small. An awesome event raises awareness on a huge scale. There’s plenty of time to grab your mates and get planning, put up posters, start an Eventbrite and advertise on Facebook, so tell your school/university/other institutional overlord that this is something they should get on board with.

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3 Very Cool Sustainable Events in Melbourne this Feb

There’s more fun stuff happening in Melbourne this Feb in the sustainability space than you can poke a biodegradable ice cream stick at. Here are a few of our faves:

True Earth ‘Big Weekend’ Market 21-22 February @ CERES Community Development Park, Cnr Lee and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East
The ultimate weekend of market stalls showcasing fair trade and ethical products and not-for-profit organisations and government agencies working towards a more sustainable future. It also includes music performances, talks and organic, fair trade food. Plus Oxfam will also have a stall so come and say hello!

Small herb garden

Gardening for Small Spaces 7 February @ Boyd Community Hub, Southbank
A hands-on workshop that teaches you how to grow flowers, vegetables and herbs in courtyards and window sills so you have no excuse to not grow your own food.


Melbourne Op Shop Tour 7 February @ South Yarra
Get an expert guide to show you around Melbourne’s best op shops to grab a bargain and some styling tips at the same time as recycling clothes.

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Not a proud little Vegemite

They say that when you travel overseas you always feel more Australian. You have to explain how Vegemite tastes, assure people that we don’t all have kangaroos in our backyards and admit that we don’t all really use “g’day mate” as a greeting.

Australian riding kangaroo

As I travel I enjoy telling people about Australia and I feel safe and welcomed having an Australian passport. But aside from the Ugg boots, koala bears and Tim Tams there a two things that Australia is known for that I can’t be too proud of and find hard to explain: our mistreatment of refugees and our inaction on climate change.

Iraqi refugeesI’ve found myself sitting on a bus in Tanzania talking to other tourists and gone from being asked, “do you really eat kangaroos?” to “why is Australia so cruel towards refugees?” **Awkward silence**

It’s a tough question to answer. So is, “is it true that the reason Australia is so hot is because you’ve put so many holes in your ozone layer?”. I feel like I’m a politician being hounded at question time.

Australia has always had a good reputation to be proud of but I’ve discovered that it might be beginning to change. How do you feel when you travel overseas as an Australian? Are you embarrassed that we’re not doing our part as a good international citizen?

Oxfam believes we should be doing more. So if you do too, why not take action and pressure the government for policy change, because I’d personally prefer to be answering questions about kangaroos than our inhumane treatment of refugees or inability to act on climate change… Just sayin’ mate.

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