Inside the Walls (detail)

National Close the Gap Day 2024

The 21 March marks National Close the Gap Day.

While there has arguably been progress, the latest Close the Gap data shows only five out 19 targets for Indigenous Australians are ‘on track’.

Some uncomfortable statistics are that:

  • An Indigenous male is more likely to go to jail than to university.
  • There’s also been an increase in the number of Indigenous adults going to prison.
  • Indigenous Australians make up less than 3% of the Australian adult population but represent over 30% of the national adult prison population.
  • Indigenous men are 15 times more likely to go to prison than non-Indigenous men and First Nations women are 21 times more likely to go to prison than non-Indigenous women.

The Torch artist J.Rozynski (Gunaikurnai people) illustrates his feelings in his moving artwork and story ‘Inside the Walls’.

Inside the walls – this painting represents me and my dreams inside. When you look down into these buildings, you’ll see a man’s dreams, trapped beside these walls. They wait for the day to be released.

While The Torch consistently sees a recidivism rate of below 20% as opposed to the national average of 55 to 60% for First Nations Australians, there is still plenty that must be done. Join the fight to reduce First Nations incarceration rates and support The Torch this National Close the Gap Day.

Artwork credit: J.Rozynski, Gunaikurnai people, ‘Inside the Walls’, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 67 cm (detail)