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Aboriginal Culture and Healing Bushfire Recovery Grants


$1,000 - $500,000
Individuals, businesses, not-for-profit groups
The Aboriginal Culture and Healing Bushfire Recovery Grants are closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted an application.

About the grant program

The Aboriginal Culture and Healing Bushfire Recovery Grants support Aboriginal heritage priorities, promote culturally safe recovery initiatives, and invest in projects that deliver on Aboriginal culture and healing outcomes.

This will ensure significant and appropriate focus is given to the unique needs and attributes of Aboriginal individuals, families, communities, businesses and Traditional Owner groups.

Funding available

In 2021–22, $4 million was dedicated to supporting the Aboriginal Culture and Healing Bushfire Recovery Grants program.

Two streams of grants were offered to address the recovery needs for Aboriginal communities:

  1. Cultural Heritage Recovery
  2. Aboriginal Community Support

Funding Stream 1: Cultural Heritage Recovery ($1.3 million available)

Grants of up to $500,000 are available to support immediate cultural heritage management needs across bushfire affected Country.

Examples of projects that may be funded in this category are:

  • country mapping
  • protection works for Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • training and capacity building for Traditional Owner organisations
  • archaeological data collection and processing.

Funding Stream 2: Aboriginal Community Support ($2.7 million available)

Grants of up to $500,000 are available for projects that address the needs of Aboriginal communities throughout recovery, including:

  • events to reconnect communities
  • training and capacity building workshops
  • activities to improve community resilience in future disasters
  • community development activities.

Successful recipients

Congratulations to the Aboriginal Culture and Healing Bushfire Recovery grant recipients who share in funding to strengthen Aboriginal communities’ resilience against natural disasters.

  • Black Duck Foods received funding to employ a team of local Aboriginal community members to provide targeted training in traditional fire practices and food and land management.
  • Taungurung Land and Waters Council Aboriginal Corporation received funding for the protection and management of the Mt Buffalo region, with a focus on areas impacted by the 2019–20 bushfires.
  • Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Cooperation received funding for training and skills development.
  • Kinaway Chamber of Commerce Pty Limited received funding to deliver culturally appropriate business support.
  • Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association received funding for health and wellbeing initiatives.
  • Moogji Aboriginal Council East Gippsland Inc received funding for community development training and employment opportunities.
  • Wayapa Wuurrk received funding to deliver community capacity building workshops.
  • Yoowinna Wurnalung Aboriginal Healing Service received funding for activities that support healing and resilience.
  • Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust and Lake Tyers community to deliver the Lake Tyers Emergency Relief Centre project.
  1. Timeline

    23 November 2021 to 31 January 2022


  • To be eligible, an organisation must be either:

    • an Aboriginal organisation that is an incorporated legal entity under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), or the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2001 (Vic) or the Corporation (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth), or
    • a social enterprise with a clearly stated purpose or mission-related specifically to supporting Aboriginal communities in bushfire recovery.

    Applicants must have:

    • had their Country directly impacted by the 2019–20 bushfires, if applying under stream one for cultural heritage projects
    • the capability to report to ERV on the outcomes and activities of the funded project
    • a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
    • no outstanding acquittals for any previous government grant programs.

    To check if you are up to date with current reporting, contact the ERV Grants Administration Team at or on 1800 560 760.

    Auspice Organisations

    Auspice organisations can support unlimited applications from lead applicants.

    If your organisation is not incorporated or does not have an ABN, you may still apply if you are supported by an eligible auspice organisation that has agreed to manage the grant for you.

    An auspice arrangement is when a larger organisation assists a smaller organisation to fund a grant activity or event.

    The larger organisation is known as the auspice organisation. Your community group or organisation is known as the grant recipient.

    Who cannot apply?

    • State and Federal government agencies
    • Individuals and sole traders
    • Unincorporated community organisations
    • Commercial enterprises
    • Fixed trusts
    • Local Government Authorities (LGAs) including LGA managed, operated, administered and regulated trusts (can act as an auspice).
    • Registered primary and secondary schools, preschools, TAFE institutes and universities (can act as an auspice)
    • Commercial enterprises are not eligible to apply for a grant alone (they can partner with an organisation as a sponsor and only provide contributions).
  • Eligible organisations’ (see Applicant Eligibility) applications for a Bushfire Recovery Grant for Aboriginal Communities will be assessed against five key selection criteria (outlined below) and if application requirements are demonstrated with supporting documentation.

    In preparing an application, you are encouraged to engage with your local Community Recovery Committee (where it exists) to assist you in meeting the selection criteria.


    Applicants must provide an explanation of how their project will deliver direct benefit to a bushfire affected community and supports one or more of the objectives of this funding:

    • Aboriginal people’s unique experiences of trauma are addressed, and healing is supported
    • recovery and resilience are strengthened through Aboriginal culture, knowledge, and the connection between country and healing
    • Aboriginal communities have increased capability to lead recovery and healing.

    Aboriginal community participation

    Applicants must demonstrate how the project will:

    • be Aboriginal community or Traditional Owner led
    • promote Aboriginal employment
    • outline the potential for economic development initiatives.


    Applicants must demonstrate that their project will occur in bushfire-affected areas and describe how the bushfires directly impacted on their community.

    As of June 2020, the following Local Government Areas and Alpine Resorts are in scope:

    Local Government Areas

    • Ararat
    • Alpine
    • Ballarat
    • East Gippsland
    • Glenelg
    • Golden Plains
    • Greater Bendigo
    • Indigo
    • Mansfield
    • Moyne
    • Northern Grampians
    • Pyrenees
    • Southern Grampians
    • Strathbogie
    • Towong
    • Wangaratta
    • Wellington
    • Wodonga.

    Alpine Resorts

    • Falls Creek
    • Mount Buller
    • Mount Hotham
    • Mount Stirling

    Planning and delivery

    Applicants must provide a clear explanation on how the project will be undertaken and the anticipate completion date.

    If the application includes conducting Aboriginal cultural heritage works, applicants must demonstrate their projects can meet statutory obligations, including completing site registrations and place edits on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register.


    Applicants must provide:

    • evidence that the project costs are accurate and reasonable
    • details of any in-kind or co-contribution funding support.

    Further mandatory requirements

    Applications must outline how the proposed project(s) will comply with the Victorian COVID-19 restrictions and requirements.

    Applications must include information on how the proposed project(s) will comply with legal requirements including the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2008 (Vic), any agreement or equivalent made under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) or Native Title Act 1983 (Cth) and local planning laws.

    Applications for projects on public land must be accompanied by written confirmation of support from the relevant land manager (e.g. Local Council or the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning).

    Applications requiring support, input or other types of contributions from other organisations or individuals must be accompanied by written support from the organisation or individual on which the project relies.

  • Assessment Criteria


    The application demonstrates the project meets the program objectives and the extent to which those objectives are met.

    The program objectives are:

    • Aboriginal people’s unique experiences of trauma are addressed, and healing is supported
    • recovery and resilience are strengthened through Aboriginal culture, knowledge, and the connection between country and healing
    • Aboriginal communities have increased capability to lead recovery and healing.

    The application demonstrates the extent to which the project:

    • is delivery ready, supported by a clear approach and realistic timeframes;
    • is financially viable, based on sound cost estimates and represents value for money
    • sources materials and resources to deliver the project which strengthens Aboriginal communities.

    The application demonstrates the extent of Aboriginal community participation by:

    • proposing a collaborative approach with a range of partners and indicates how they will contribute to the project, specifically the endorsement from land managers
    • proposing an effective project management approach that ensures Aboriginal community participation
    • identifying how Aboriginal community have been engaged in the development of the application, specifically other groups and/or individuals with cultural interest in the area.
    The application demonstrates the extent to which the project addresses the direct impacts of the 2019-20 Victorian Bushfires on the local Aboriginal community. 20%
    • This grant is closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted an application.

      If you have any questions regarding your application, you can contact the ERV Grant Administration Team at

    • A common condition of ERV grants is that grant recipients must agree to follow ERV guidelines for acknowledging the government’s funding. A breach of these guidelines is considered a breach of your funding agreement with ERV. Visit the Recovery Grants page to read a copy of the ERV Acknowledgement Guidelines.

    Reviewed 16 October 2022