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Aboriginal Community Initiatives Fund: funding guidelines (2022–2023)

Projects funded through Aboriginal Community Initiatives Fund support and address priorities that are identified by the 11 Dhelk Dja Action Groups to address family violence at a local level.

Not-for-profit groups
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The Victorian Government, through Family Safety Victoria (FSV) is providing $2.2 million for the Aboriginal Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) in 2022–23 to implement community led projects that educate, prevent, reduce and respond to family violence in Aboriginal communities across Victoria.

Projects funded through CIF support and address priorities that are identified by the 11 Dhelk Dja Action Groups (Action Groups) to address family violence at a local level.

It supports projects that:

  • are Aboriginal led, including Aboriginal led partnerships
  • are consistent with the goals and objectives of Action Groups and strengthen the capacity of Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal organisations to address family violence at a local level
  • will provide an ongoing or long-term benefit to the community
  • complement existing local community projects or initiatives and demonstrate partnerships with other government or non-government initiatives
  • align with the Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families 10 Year Agreement (2018–2028).

Key dates

Process Date
Call for applications 26 May 2022
Application closing time and date 5pm on 14 July 2022
CIF Assessment Panels and Applicant interviews convened 27 July to 17 August 2022
All applicants advised of outcome by Late September 2022
Project commencement from 1 October 2022
Project completion by 30 September 2023

FSV reserves the right to vary the key dates as necessary at its absolute discretion.

Guidelines

  • FSV acknowledges the leadership role of the 11 Action Groups which are in place across Victoria, as Aboriginal community led structures to drive local and regional responses to prevent and respond to family violence (see Figure 1: Dhelk Dja Action Group Regions).

    At a state-wide level, the 11 Action Group Chairpersons influence change and support family violence reform in Victoria by representing Aboriginal communities on the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum (Partnership Forum). The Partnership Forum is the strategic leadership group that brings together Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal services and Government to prevent and respond to family violence affecting Aboriginal communities. At a local and regional level, Action Group Chairpersons and members develop Action Plans to respond to local community needs through the establishment of strategies and initiatives.

    Action Groups also play a key role in supporting Aboriginal community led projects to prevent and respond to family violence, by managing, supporting and implementing CIF processes at the local and regional level.

    Figure 1: Dhelk Dja Action Group Regions

    A map of Victoria showing the Dhelk Dja Action Group Regions which include:

    • Mallee
    • Grampians
    • Loddon Campaspe
    • Hume
    • East Gippsland
    • Barwon South West
    • East Gippsland
    • Inner Gippsland
    • North Metro
    • West Metro
    • East Metro
    • South Metro
  • One off funding will be made available for local and/or regional based Aboriginal-led projects that educate, prevent, reduce and respond to family violence in Aboriginal communities across Victoria. Only Aboriginal-led organisations and/or community groups can apply.

    $2.2 million is equally divided across the 11 Action Group regions. A total of $200,000 is allocated per Action Group region to support multiple CIF projects of varying amounts. Projects are to be delivered from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023.

    The CIF commits to:

    • support Aboriginal self-determination
    • support innovative Aboriginal-led prevention and early intervention initiatives
    • deliver positive outcomes which will benefit the Aboriginal community
    • demonstrate inclusiveness of all Aboriginal people. This includes Elders, women, men, children and young people (including those in out of home care), people from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) community, people living with disabilities or mental health issues, people living in rural, remote or regional communities and people exiting prisons
    • complement but not duplicate existing funded community initiatives. CIF is unlikely to support activities that the applicant is currently funded for and considered as ‘core business’ or ‘business as usual’.
  • Who is eligible to apply for CIF funding?

    Funding is available to Victorian Aboriginal not-for-profit organisations or Aboriginal community groups whose work supports Aboriginal families and/or communities in Victoria.

    Only Victorian Aboriginal-led organisations and/or Aboriginal community groups can apply.

    Aboriginal-led organisations may choose to partner with non-Aboriginal organisations where specific content knowledge or other expertise is required. However, the Aboriginal-led organisation and/or community group must be the lead or senior partner throughout the project for partnership-based projects to be considered for CIF funding.

    Applicants that do not have current Service Agreements with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing will be required to enter into an auspice agreement with an organisation that has a current Service Agreement with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to be eligible for funding. To check the status of your agreement please contact the relevant Regional Coordinator in the region you are applying for funding.

    Eligible organisations are:

    • controlled, led or directed by Aboriginal Victorians
    • not-for-profit organisations
    • established for the purpose of promoting Aboriginal community objectives or outcomes in Victoria
    • legally Incorporated under Victorian or Commonwealth legislation
    • able to demonstrate financial and administrative capacity to manage the funding and the project or activity for which funding is received
    • person representing a volunteer based Aboriginal community group (Authorised Signatory) partnered with an organisation who has a current Service Agreement with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
    • organisations or groups that have previously received funding from the CIF must be compliant with reporting requirements in order to be eligible to apply for further funding.

    In addition, you must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or be willing to provide a Statement by Supplier Form (reason for not quoting an ABN).

    Who is not eligible to apply for CIF funding?

    Organisations that are not eligible to apply for funding include, but are not limited to:

    • sole Traders
    • for-profit organisations
    • professional associations
    • Non-corporate Commonwealth Entity
    • Non-corporate State/Territory Entity
    • Non-corporate Commonwealth Statutory Authority
    • Local Government Entities
    • organisations outside of Victoria
    • individuals who are not office holders or authorised signatories of volunteer-based community groups.

    What types of projects are eligible for CIF funding?

    Table 1: Project examples that align with the Strategic Priorities of Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families 10 Year Agreement.

    Strategic Priority Project examples
    Strategic Priority 1 – Aboriginal Culture and Leadership Cultural activities such as traditional dance, shield making and basket weaving
    Strategic Priority 2 – Aboriginal-led Prevention Family camps supporting and strengthening families in finding solutions to negative behaviours such as family violence
    Strategic Priority 2 – Aboriginal-led Prevention Sporting events and family days that provide community with messages about respectful behaviour and information on support services
    Strategic Priority 3 – Self-determining Aboriginal family violence support and services Support groups or activities to strengthen ability to make positive choices about their lives, building leadership skills and confidence as well as sharing knowledge
    Strategic Priority 3 – Self-determining Aboriginal family violence support and services Workshops and training to improve cultural safety and responsiveness to family violence
    Strategic Priority 4 – System transformation based on self-determination Youth forums to ensure the voices of Aboriginal children & young people are embedded in system transformation work
    Strategic Priority 5 – Aboriginal-led and informed innovation, data and research Feasibility studies or evaluations of existing CIF projects with objective of building on what works

    What will not be funded?

    The Aboriginal Community Initiatives Fund will not fund:

    • wages/salaries for staff
    • infrastructure, major planning or capital projects
    • Court/legal costs
    • emergency relief/brokerage funding
    • commercial or business ventures
    • purchase or large non portable and tangible equipment
    • projects currently receiving funding from another government department.
  • Step 1: Contact the Regional Coordinator who supports the Dhelk Dja Action Group in your region, to express your interest and discuss your project proposal for the Aboriginal Community Initiatives Fund.

    Step 2: The Regional Coordinator will provide you with a copy of the Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families 10 Year Agreement 2018–2028 and advise you on regional processes i.e. information sessions/forums being held.

    Step 3: Complete the CIF 2022-23 Application Form and submit it to the Regional Coordinator, along with all supporting documentation.

    The closing date for applications is 14 July 2022 at 5pm. No late applications will be accepted.

    Step 4: Applications will be reviewed to ensure that the eligibility criteria are met and that all sections are completed. Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not proceed to the Assessment Panel

    Step 5: All eligible applications will be presented to the CIF Assessment Panel which comprises:

    • Two Aboriginal community representatives of the Dhelk Dja Action Group.
    • Independent Aboriginal representative, as identified by the Dhelk Dja Chairperson/s.
    • Aboriginal representative from Family Safety Victoria (FSV) or Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH), as identified by the Dhelk Dja Chairperson/s.

    The Regional Coordinator will provide secretariat support and advice to the panel but does not have any decision-making capacity.

    Step 6: The CIF Assessment Panel will assess applications against set criteria. As part of the assessment process, applicants must attend an Assessment Panel Interview to discuss their application. Interviews will be held between 27 July and 17 August 2022.

    Step 7: At the completion of the process you will be advised of the outcome in writing and given the opportunity to obtain feedback about your submission

    Step 8: Any queries should be directed to the relevant Regional Coordinator.

    How will applications be assessed?

    Eligible applications will be assessed against the following assessment criteria:

    Assessment criterion 1: Eligibility to apply for funding

    • Confirmation of eligible organisations.
    • Applicant details (sections 1 and 2 of the application completed and signed).
    • All supporting documents are provided:
      • Copy of the organisation’s Certificate of Incorporation and Statement of Purpose (or where applicable, a copy of the auspice organisation).
      • Copy of the organisation’s (or where applicable, the auspice organisation) previous years audited financial statements.
      • Letters of support and any agreements/Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with partnering organisations.

    Assessment criterion 2: Level of need for the project in your community

    • Describe the target group for the project.
    • How will the project be inclusive of different groups in your local Aboriginal communities?
    • How will participants be referred, selected and engaged?
    • Provide details of the areas where the project will be delivered within your region.
    • Describe how the project addresses local needs in your community (as identified by the Dhelk Dja Action Group).

    Assessment criterion 3: Project alignment to Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families 10 Year Agreement (the Agreement)

    • List the project objectives and how they align with the Strategic Priorities of the Agreement.

    Assessment criterion 4: Capacity of project manager to deliver the project

    • Provide details of the Project Plan.
    • Demonstrate what measures will be used to evaluate success of the project.
    • Provide any previous performance on CIF projects.

    Assessment criterion 5: Financial details

    • List the Income and Expenditure for the project.
    • Provide details of financial or in-kind contributions from the applicant organisation or any other partners.

    Assessment criterion 6: Determining understanding of the funding expectations and declaring any conflict of interest

    • Provide details on how you will address the CIF funding expectations.
    • Declaration of Interest.

    More information

    The Aboriginal Community Initiatives Fund Guidelines and Application Form can be downloaded below.

    Regional Coordinator contact information

    For further information contact the Regional Coordinator or regional representative at the relevant office listed below:

    Metropolitan

    Regional

    Eastern Metropolitan Region

    Trudy Rigney

    Regional Coordinator

    Mob: 0447 235 130

    Email: trudy.rigney@dffh.vic.gov.au

    Barwon South West Region

    Tania Dalton

    Regional Coordinator

    Mob: 0417 396 946

    Email: tania.dalton@dffh.vic.gov.au

    Northern Metropolitan Region

    Lynda Whitaker

    Regional Coordinator

    Mob: 0418 900 718

    Email: lynda.whitaker@dffh.vic.gov.au

    Grampians Region

    Simone Dalton

    Manager Community Partnerships

    Mob: 0408 349 532

    Email: simone.dalton@dffh.vic.gov.au

    Southern Metropolitan Region

    Eliza Mango

    Regional Coordinator

    Mob: 0447 670 135

    Email: eliza.mango@dffh.vic.gov.au

    Hume Region

    Kellie Marsters

    Regional Coordinator

    Mob: 0448 946 101

    Email: kellie.marsters@dffh.vic.gov.au

    Western Metropolitan Region

    Jacqueline Watkins

    Regional Coordinator

    Mob: 0418 923 986

    Email: jacqueline.watkins@dffh.vic.gov.au

    Inner Gippsland Region

    Shannon Nicholson

    Regional Coordinator

    Mob: 0429 423 152

    Email: shannon.nicholson@dffh.vic.gov.au

    Loddon Campaspe Region

    Teresa Remedio

    Acting Manager Aboriginal Engagement Unit

    Mob: 0408 473 523

    Email: teresa.remedio@dffh.vic.gov.au

    Mallee Region

    Pauline Ugle

    Regional Coordinator

    Mob: 0428 760 396

    Email: pauline.ugle@dffh.vic.gov.au

    East Gippsland Region

    Glenys Watts

    Regional Coordinator

    Mob: 0417 798 380

    Email: glenys.watts@dffh.vic.gov.au

    What happens if my application is successful?

    Applicants with a current Service Agreement with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing

    The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) will vary their Service Agreement with the successful applicants. This agreement specifies the services to be delivered and sets out funding conditions and reporting requirements.

    Any proposed changes or variation to the project and project budget must be submitted to the Regional Coordinator and approved.

    Projects are to be compliant with the reporting requirements. A standard template will be provided for reporting purposes. The reporting requirements include:

    • verbal reports updating the Regional Coordinator and by attending the Dhelk Dja Action Group meetings in your region, throughout the duration of the project
    • a written progress report half way throughout the project timeline, providing a summary of the activities against milestones provided in the project plan
    • a final written report within six weeks of completion of the project, including photographs, films or mixed media, where appropriate
    • a financial acquittal
    • reports are to be submitted to the Regional Coordinator.

    Applicants that do not have a Service Agreement with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing

    Applicants that do not have a current Service Agreement with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing will be required to enter into an auspice agreement with an organisation that has a current Service Agreement with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to be eligible for funding.

    The auspice organisation will be required to vary their Service Agreement with DFFH. The auspice organisation must ensure that all obligations in the Service Agreement are met, including service delivery, financial accountability and client confidentiality requirements.

    To avoid any misunderstanding in relation to the responsibilities and accountability, both parties must undertake the following steps prior to applying for CIF funding:

    • clarify the obligations and responsibilities of both parties in the form of a written MOU. A copy of the MOU must be provided to the Regional Coordinator.
    • agree on the budget and project plan, including the auspice fee (no more than 10%)
    • ensure that correct and adequate insurance policies are held.

    Once the project has commenced, the auspice organisation will arrange for payment of invoices submitted in relation to the budget lines specified in the project plan. A standard template will be provided for reporting purposes. The reporting requirements include:

    • verbal reports updating the Regional Coordinator and by attending the Dhelk Dja Action Group meetings in your region, throughout the duration of the project
    • a written progress report half way throughout the project timeline, providing a summary of the activities against milestones provided in the project plan
    • a final written report within six weeks of completion of the project, including photographs, films or mixed media, where appropriate
    • a financial acquittal
    • reports are to be submitted to the Regional Coordinator.

    Where a community group is partnering with an incorporated organisation who auspices the grant (or it’s funds):

    • the community group delivering the project will provide the verbal and written reports
    • the organisation who auspices the funding will submit the financial acquittal.

    The Regional Coordinator, Dhelk Dja Action Group Chairperson and DFFH will make reasonable efforts to work with the community group and auspice organisation to resolve any disputes or grievances that may arise during the project.

    Funding expectations

    The following funding expectations will apply to all projects that receive CIF funding:

    • support an alcohol, drug and smoke free environment
    • provide a culturally safe environment free from violence
    • adhere to any health directives issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer
    • volunteers and staff to hold a current Working with Children’s Check
    • be covered be all appropriate insurance, including public liability insurance for not less than $5 million
    • have a positive working relationship with the Dhelk Dja Action Group.

    In addition, all publicity, promotional materials and signage relating to the project must prominently display the Dhelk Dja Action Group logo from your region (available from the Regional Coordinator).
    All media/promotional material generated by the funded organisation relating to the project must include the line:

    ‘This event is supported by (region) Dhelk Dja Action Group, with funds provided by the Victorian Government Aboriginal Community Initiatives Fund’

  • A conflict of interest is deemed to occur where an individual has any of the following.

    Financial interest

    Any individual having a direct or indirect financial interest in any of the applications for funding constitutes a conflict of interest. This includes an individual being an employee, board member or a member of a committee of management of an organisation that is seeking funding.

    Immediate family

    Any individual having an immediate family member who is likely to receive a financial benefit from an application for funding, or who would be involved in the delivery of the proposed project constitutes a conflict of interest.

    An ‘immediate family member’ is considered as a sibling, parent, child, partner or any other person whom the individual considers as immediate family.

    Personal obligation

    Any personal obligation, allegiance or loyalty (either actual or perceived) which affects the member’s ability to make an unbiased decision (in relation to the funding application) constitutes a conflict of interest.

    Perceived conflict of interest

    If it could be perceived that an individual has private interests’ that could conflict with their public or official duties. If a third party could form the view that an individual interests or obligations could influence their decision making or performance.

    Management of conflict of interest

    The Department of Health and Human Services will effectively manage any conflict of interest (actual, potential or perceived) that any person involved in the selection process has with any application or any applicant organisation, to produce results that are in the best interests of the Victorian Aboriginal community. The meeting of any conflict of interest will be recoding by the department.

    Dhelk Dja Action Groups

    Each Action Group is responsible for ensuring adherence to its own conflict of interest procedures as stated in the guidelines, taking into account that:

    • any person, who has an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest, must declare their interest and note this in the template that accompanies the completed CIF application.

    CIF Assessment Panel

    The CIF Assessment Panel is formed by identifying members who would have no or limited conflict of interest with regards to incoming applications. All members must declare any conflict of interest with any application. Assessment Panel members will not assess any application where they have a conflict of interest but may still participate in discussions about that project. In addition, Regional Coordinators only have an administrative role in the panel process and do not assess any application.

Reviewed 30 May 2022