Bushfire recovery grants for Aboriginal communities

Grants for Aboriginal communities affected by the 2019-20 Victorian Bushfires to support the recovery of cultural heritage across Country and fund projects that can build community connection and resilience.

Bushfire recovery grants for Aboriginal communities

$0 - $500,000
Not-for-profit groups

The Bushfire Recovery Grants for Aboriginal Communities will support Aboriginal community or Traditional Owner led projects that value and respect Aboriginal culture, address trauma, support healing and promote cultural safety, ownership, resilience and participation.

Projects funded under the grants also must demonstrate how Aboriginal employment and future wellbeing and economic development will be supported.

Under the initiative, grants of up to $500,000 will be available to support cultural heritage management projects across bushfire-affected Country, such as country mapping, protection works for ancestral remains and training for Traditional Owner organisations.

Grants of up to $500,000 are also available for projects that address the needs of Aboriginal communities throughout the long-term recovery journey, such as events to reconnect communities, training workshops, and activities to improve community resilience in future disasters.

Apply online
  1. Timeline

    14 July to 22 August 2020


  • To be eligible, an organisation must be either:

    • an Aboriginal organisation that is an incorporated legal entity
    • a social enterprise with a clearly stated purpose or mission related specifically to supporting Aboriginal communities in bushfire recovery
    • capability to report to BRV on the outcomes and activities of the funded project
    • applicants for grants under Stream 1 must have had their Country directly impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires

    And you must have:

    • a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
    • no outstanding final reports or final reports required for any previous government grant programs

    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 project.

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

    The following are examples of organisations that can auspice a smaller group or partner in an application but cannot apply as the lead applicant:

    • local councils
    • preschools, TAFE institutes and universities

    Who cannot apply?

    • state and federal government departments and agencies
    • individuals and sole traders
    • unincorporated community organisations
    • commercial enterprises
    • fixed trusts
    • local councils, including council 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)
  • Provided your organisation is eligible to apply (see Applicant Eligibility) your application for a Bushfire Recovery Grant for Aboriginal Communities will be assessed against the following: 

    • how well it meets the five key selection criteria set out below, and
    • whether you demonstrate all application requirements and provide all the required documentation

    1. Purpose

    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: 

    • valuing and respecting Aboriginal culture
    • addressing Aboriginal trauma and supporting healing
    • promoting Aboriginal cultural safety, and
    • promoting Aboriginal ownership, resilience and participation

    2. Aboriginal community participation

    Applicants must demonstrate how the project will:

    • be Aboriginal community or Traditional Owner led, and
    • promote Aboriginal employment and the potential for future wellbeing and economic development initiatives

    3. Location

    Applicants must demonstrate that their project will occur in bushfire affected area 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 and Wodonga 

    Alpine Resorts: 

    Falls Creek, Mount Buller, Mount Hotham and Mount Stirling

    4. Planning and delivery

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

    5. Budget

    Applicants must provide evidence to show that:

    • costs are accurate and reasonable
    • include 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 comply with any other legal requirements (e.g. Aboriginal Heritage Act 2008 (Vic), an agreement or equivalent made under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) or Native Title Act 1983 (Cth); local planning laws) 

  • Organisations approved for funding will enter into a Victorian Common Funding Agreement (VCFA) with Bushfire Recovery Victoria. 

    The VCFA will outline: 

    • the grant’s terms and conditions, including use of funds
    • agreement terms
    • key deliverables and due dates, and
    • reporting requirements

    Organisations that are successful in receiving funding will have 30 days to enter into a VCFA. If a grant offer is not accepted during this period, the grant may be withdrawn. 


    Organisations will be required to report on the funded activity and can submit their final reports online and must submit their final report on time. 

    Acknowledgement Guidelines 

    A common condition of BRV grants is that grant recipients must agree to follow BRV guidelines for acknowledging the government’s funding. A breach of these guidelines is considered a breach of your funding agreement with BRV. The BRV Acknowledgement Guidelines can be found on this page.

Reviewed 25 February 2021

Contact us

Bushfire Recovery Victoria