Students support Close the Gap Day

ABOUT 850 students of Southern Cross School K-12 at East Ballina gathered on the school oval last week to form the words 'Close the Gap'.

It was part of Close the Gap Day, an annual event held around the country to raise awareness of the crisis in indigenous health.

George Johnson, a Year 7 indigenous student at the school, said: "For me, closing the gap at Southern Cross means non-indigenous and indigenous people to become friends and have a better relationship with each other.

"I am closing the gap by doing my best in class every day and trying to be friends with everybody. Please help us close the gap by working hard to achieve your goals and to respect one another."

Courtney Barton, a Year 7 non-indigenous student, said: "For me, closing the gap at Southern Cross means ensuring all students are trying the best they can and helping others when they are stuck or upset.

"I am closing the gap by accepting others' differences and ensuring I treat everyone the same. Please help us close the gap by being proud of our indigenous students and supporting them in their school work and in the playground."

Southern Cross Aboriginal education officer, Shelley Keenan, said the school's students did a fantastic job on the day.

"I am just so proud of the efforts of students and staff in coming together to commemorate Close The Gap Day and in working towards a better future for indigenous Australians," she said.

"A huge thank you to Ballina Coates Hire for donating a cherry picker to take the photos and to Nathan Keenan for his fantastic photography."

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