Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support for Multicultural Seniors 2020-21

This grants program provides up to $2000 in funding to multicultural seniors’ groups during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


$0 - $2,000
Not-for-profit groups

About the program

The CSMS 2020-21 grants is providing funding to multicultural seniors’ groups for immediate assistance to support their members and build stronger connections with their communities during coronavirus (COVID-19).

To qualify for this support applicants needed to:

  • be a multicultural seniors’ group with a primary focus to support seniors from culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse backgrounds
  • have at least 20 members with at least 50% of their membership over the age of 60

Funding could be used to cover costs of supporting members, including

  • distributing accurate COVID-19 information
  • establishing digital or remote support networks to keep members connected
  • delivering support to multicultural seniors
  • purchasing equipment
  • running costs

Funding available

Funding available was up to $2000 per seniors’ group to support members until 30 June 2021.

Successful grant recipients have also received Public Liability (PLI) and Group Personal Accident (GPA) insurance in addition to the grant funds.


Online applications are now closed.

Join our mailing list to stay up to date with announcements about all future multicultural funding opportunities.


  • Help your community stay informed about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Find in-language advice and information, how to access an interpreter and self-assessment resources.

    Find coronavirus (COVID-19) in-language information

  • The CSMS 2020-21 grants program will support Victorian multicultural seniors’ groups during COVID-19 to:

    • provide multicultural senior citizens with information, skills, and assistance to support their health and wellbeing
    • communicate accurate coronavirus (COVID-19) information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to their members
    • reduce social isolation, foster social connections among multicultural senior citizens and build stronger connections with community
    • remain operational during coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensure seniors are empowered and included in the solutions to the challenges facing their communities
  • The qualify for support in both funding rounds a group must meet the eligibility criteria.

    To be eligible, a group must:

    • be a Victorian multicultural seniors’ group or provide support to seniors from multicultural backgrounds
    • be a not-for-profit organisation
    • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN) 
    • be an incorporated legal entity, such as an Incorporated Association under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic), a Company Limited by Guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or similar type of organisation
    • have at least 20 members, with at least 50 per cent over 60 years old
    • provide at least two email contacts for communication throughout the duration of the grant period
    • have met the terms and condition of any previous grants and not have any outstanding reports from DFFH.

    Applicants that are not incorporated or do not have an ABN may still apply if they are supported by an eligible auspice organisation that has agreed to manage the grant for them. For more information see the Program Guidelines.

    The following groups are not eligible to apply for CSMS 2020-21 funding:

    • State and Federal government departments and agencies
    • Local Government Authorities (LGAs) are themselves ineligible but can act as an auspice for a seniors’ group with no ABN
    • senior citizens ‘activity groups’ that receive service funding from State or Federal Government (e.g. Planned Activity Groups)
    • individuals and sole traders
    • commercial enterprises, for-profit entities and fixed trusts
    • political parties and organisations

    Outstanding reports

    Applicants who have overdue reports from previous Department of Families, Fairness and Housing( DFFH) grants are not eligible if outstanding reports are not returned prior to applications closing. Grant recipients need to show funds received from DFFH were spent as agreed and in alignment with the program objectives.

    To check if you are up to date with accountability reports, please contact DFFH by email at:

  • CSMS funding can be used for the following purposes:

    • distribution of accurate information regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, health advice and available supports for multicultural seniors, for example:
      • translation of resources outlining current advice
      • printing and postage for hard copy resources
    • purchase of resources or equipment to benefit group and members:
      • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for members (e.g. masks, hand sanitiser, etc)
      • sewing machines to create reusable masks
      • taxi vouchers to attend medical appointments and pharmacies during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for this vulnerable health group
      • minor office equipment (e.g. laptop, printers, mobile phones)
    • organising volunteers to deliver practical support to multicultural seniors (either directly or working with partner organisations to deliver), for example:
      • home deliveries of essential items to members unable to leave home (e.g. care packages, medicines, PPE, etc)
      • social matching initiatives to decrease isolation (e.g. pairing of members to engage regularly via phone or online)
      • culturally appropriate and regular ‘check-ins’ for those who are isolated
    • advancing seniors’ internet accessibility, digital literacy, and access to computers (including partnership with peak bodies to deliver this service)
    • establishment of digital or remote support networks and online communities to keep members connected:
      • software to support group members connect (e.g. video conferencing platform membership to meet ‘face-to-face’ online)
      • necessary IT and digital support, technical skills and training sessions (e.g. how to use video conferencing and engage in online spaces)
      • IT literacy and safety on the internet
    • running costs of the seniors group (e.g. utilities, administration costs, other costs incurred while supporting their members during coronavirus (COVID-19))
  • Direct Funding Offers

    The Minister for Multicultural Affairs approved Direct Funding Offers to multicultural seniors’ groups with recently demonstrated eligibility under DFFH grant programs.

    All Direct Funding Offers were subject to the group returning all documents and confirmation that the group is still eligible under the eligibility criteria. Offers of funding have been withdrawn if the group did not respond to accept the funding offer by 10 February 2021 or they no longer meets the eligibility criteria under the under the CSMS 2020-21 grant program.

    Online applications

    DFFH assessed all applicants in the second round of funding and recommended grant recipients to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. The Minister made all final decisions regarding funding under the CSMS 2020-21 grants program.

    All decisions by DFFH or the Minister for Multicultural Affairs are considered final. This includes decisions in relation to any aspect of the funding application and assessment process, any decision to offer or award a grant under this program, or to withdraw the offer or cancel the grant funding agreement.

  • All funded activities must align with current COVID-19 restrictions and health advice provided.

    It is a condition of funding that grant recipients comply with all current Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) advice regarding health directions, restrictions and social distancing at all times while delivering activities under the CSMS 2020-21 grant program.

    It is the responsibility of the multicultural seniors’ group to stay up to date with the most recent health advice and must follow the health directions and social distancing requirements that are in place. If providing support, guidance or advice to members or the general public, you must ensure this aligns with the current restrictions and DHHS health guidance.

    This includes, for example:

    • health information and advice that you promote to your communities
    • compliance with social distancing restrictions in the delivery of your activities
    • providing a safe workplace environment for staff and/or volunteers

    For the most up-to-date information and advice, please regularly check the Victorian Government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) web page.

    The Victorian Government also has information in a range of community languagea.

    You can also contact the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. If you need an interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450.

    This information is outlined in the Funding Agreement for all successful grant recipients.

    Victorian Common Funding Agreement

    Successful grant recipients will be required to enter into a Victorian Common Funding Agreement (VCFA) with DFFH, which outlines the terms and conditions of the grant including the use of funds, term of the agreement and reporting requirements.

    DFFH will send successful grant recipients a letter of offer, VCFA and other documents which must be returned to accept the funding.

    Grant payments and reporting

    Funding will be paid in one instalment upon signing of the VCFA. Please note, all payments are dependent on a group being up to date with reports for existing DFFH grants.

    At the end of the funding period you will be required to submit a final report outlining the use of CSMS funding activities achieved by your group.

    DFFH will provide all progress and final report templates to groups via email.

    See below to download a copy of the Final Report template for your CSMS 2020-21 grant.

    The acknowledgement and publicity guidelines must be followed by grant recipients

    Multicultural grants recipients must acknowledge funding from the Victorian Government. This could include, for example:

    • Victorian Government logos on marketing materials like posters, banners and signs.
    • Acknowledgments of Victorian Government funding in speeches or announcements.
    • Extending invitations to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs to attend or open the event.

    For more information, see the Acknowledgement and Publicity Guidelines. You can also visit Brand Victoria for guidance and downloadable versions of the Victorian Government logo.

  • Additional support and resources for Multicultural seniors 

    Older people and seniors

    The new Older people and seniors COVID-19 webpage compiles a wide collection of resources and information on COVID-19 for older people, their family, friends and carers into a single webpage for easy use.

    This includes the new ‘Information about COVIDSafe meetings for clubs and groups’ resource which provides information about how to be COVIDSafe and limit the spread of COVID-19 when getting together with your club or group.

    We understand online applications may be challenging for some seniors' groups and additional support may be required. We encourage all groups to contact friends, family or local support services such as those below who can help you get ready to apply online.

    Translated versions of the resource are now available in in 15 languages for community members who don’t speak English. Visit the Older people and seniors page to download a copy under ‘Staying connected – Translated resources for staying connected’.

    Be connected

    Be Connected is an Australian Government program created to help older Australians understand and use digital technology. Older Australians can learn the basics of how to connect online, including how to use a digital device, be safe online, set up and use email and more.

    Be Connected resources include:

    Visit for more information.

    Local support

    You can also investigate local support in your area that may run programs or provide assistance for seniors. Local support may include your:

    • Library
    • Neighbourhood House
    • Council
    • Migrant Resource Centre
  • If you have any questions about the CSMS 2020-21 grant program or how to submit the Final report,you can contact the Seniors Grants Team using one of the methods below:

             Ask to speak with the ‘Multicultural Affairs Seniors Grants Team’

    • Fax: (03) 8686 1112

              Please write ‘Attn: Multicultural Affairs Seniors Grants Team (DFFH)' on first page- faxes are tuned into PDF's and emailed to us           directly.

    • Post: Multicultural Affairs (DFFH) - Seniors Grants Team

                      GPO Box 1774, Melbourne VIC 3000


    If you need an interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 then ask for 1300 112 755.

    Hearing impairments

    If you are deaf, hearing-impaired, or speech-impaired please call the Department via the National Relay Service:

    Teletypewriter (TTY) users call 133 677 then ask for 1300 112 755

    Voice Relay - Speak and listen users call 1300 555 727 then ask for 1300 112 755

Reviewed 19 July 2021

Contact us

Seniors Grants Team Multicultural Affairs

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