On March 17, Rustica held barbecues simultaneously in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie to raise awareness for the Close The Gap campaign. The CTG campaign aims to achieve indigenous health equality by 2030. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live 10-17 years less than other Australians, and babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at more than twice the rate of other Australian Babies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.
In Burnie, Elvie Jean, the School and Community Manager gave a speech about her own experience with Aboriginal health inequality and what it means to be an Aboriginal in Australia in 2016. Students, lecturers, clinicians and clinical school staff were encouraged to sign the petition to Close The Gap, and were treated to a BBQ. It was a very successful event with more than 60 people signing the petition, including; students, management and teaching staff from the RCS and doctors from the North West Regional Hospital.
At the Launceston Clinical School a lunch was put together to commemorate the day. Just prior to the lunch a short video screening was held showing the health problems faced as well as the differences in health outcomes in the indigenous community. During the event more students were able to support the cause by signing the petition.