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LGBTIQ+ youth safe spaces grant

A grant is available to establish physical safe spaces in Western Victoria where LGBTIQ+ young people can connect and access health and mental wellbeing support.

Not-for-profit groups

Through the LGBTIQ+ youth safe spaces for Western Victoria 2022-25 grant program (Safe Spaces), one grant of $2.85 million (excluding GST) is available for an organisation or consortia to provide safe spaces for LGBTIQ+ youth in Ballarat and Geelong with outreach to the Surf Coast.

Safe Spaces aims to provide LGBTIQ+ youth and their families in Western Victoria a place-based response to foster social connection and address mental health and wellbeing inequalities.

The program will fund physical hubs to ensure increased and safer access to:

  • community connection
  • mental health promotion
  • wellbeing
  • suicide prevention support.

The successful applicant will receive funding in three phases from 2022-2025.

We can only accept one application per organisation. Partnership or consortium applications with an identified lead organisation are encouraged to apply.

Applicants can email the Equality unit for a copy of the frequently asked questions to assist with your application.

Closing date

Applications close at 11.59 pm Friday 2 December 2022.

We will publish the successful applicant in January 2023.

Caretaker conventions

As the Victorian State election will be held on Saturday 26 November 2022, the Victorian Government will assume a caretaker role from 6 pm on 1 November 2022 until such time that either it becomes clear that the incumbent government will be returned, or when a new government is commissioned.

In line with the caretaker conventions, the incoming government will determine whether to proceed with this grant process and award the grant after the caretaker period.

Applicants should be aware that:

  • All information about this grant process represents the position of the current government only and is subject to change.
  • The incoming government may decide not to proceed with this grant process.

Apply for the grant

Online information session

An online information session will be held on Thursday 3 November from 2 to 3 pm.

Register for the info session


  • Safe Spaces will help to reduce psychological distress and suicidality and improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ young people living in Western Victoria.

    The program will fund a place-based approach that ensures increased and safer access to medical and mental health and wellbeing support for LGBTIQ+ young people and their families. It will provide safer places for these communities to turn to and encourage more welcoming and inclusive environments throughout Western Victoria.

    Funding will be used to lease and establish physical Safe Spaces sites located in Ballarat and Geelong, with capacity for outreach services on the Surf Coast.

  • To be eligible for funding, the organisation or group must be either:

    • a community, not-for-profit or peak community body based in Victoria that is an incorporated legal entity under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2001 (Vic), or a similar type of organisation
    • social enterprise with a clearly stated purpose or mission related specifically to supporting LGBTIQ+ communities.

    And the organisation must:

    • be operating for and across the LGBTIQ+ sector or communities; or clearly demonstrate a partnership with an LGBTIQ+ community organisation (see ‘An LGBTIQ+ organisation or group section below)
    • provide culturally safe practices that enables optimal health, wellbeing and safety outcomes for Aboriginal, and multicultural and multi-faith communities
    • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN), or have auspice arrangements with an organisation that has a current ABN
    • have an appropriate level of Public Liability Insurance to cover all aspects of the Program, or an auspice arrangement with this insurance cover
    • not have any overdue deliverables from other grants provided by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.

    The following organisations cannot apply for these grants:

    • state and federal government departments and agencies
    • commercial enterprises
    • trusts
    • local government authorities (LGAs) including LGA-managed, operated, administered and regulated trusts
    • registered primary and secondary schools, preschools, TAFE institutes and universities
    • applicants with overdue or outstanding reports from previous or current DFFH grants.

    Note: Applicants who have overdue or outstanding accountability reports for other grant programs funded through the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing are not eligible to receive funding through this program.

    To check if you are up to date with your contracted reporting requirements, email

  • The Safe Spaces grant program is offering one grant of up to $2.85 million (excl. GST) funding. The successful organisation or consortia will receive funding in three phases scheduled across 2022-2025 - once per year. Milestone acquittal reporting will be required prior to the release of funding in each phase.

    This grant funding will be scheduled as:

    • $950,000 for 2022–23
    • $950,000 for 2023–24
    • $950,000 for 2024–25.

    Applications are limited to one per organisation. Partner or consortium applications that clearly identify a lead organisation are encouraged to apply.

    Payment of grant funds and reporting requirements

    Successful organisations will be paid in three instalments (once per year), based on completion of project milestones at each phase and deliverables, as outlined in the Victorian Common Funding Agreement (VCFA).

    Milestone payments are made via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) once deliverables are met, in line with the VCFA. The final payment will not be approved and processed until all requirements are completed to the department’s satisfaction.

    Acknowledging the Victorian Government’s support including signage

    Successful organisations need to acknowledge the Victorian Government’s funding support provided by the Safe Spaces grants program. Promotional guidelines form part of the VCFA, and include the requirement that all activities must acknowledge Victorian Government support through:

    • logo presentation on any activity-related publications, media releases and promotional material
    • placing a Victorian Government endorsed sign at the site of infrastructure activities.

    Details of the requirements for funded projects will be sent to all successful grant recipients.

  • Grant activities that are eligible for funding include:

    • recruitment and onboarding of staff, including peer networker and mentors, for each site and a Safe Spaces project lead or team with oversight across all sites.
    • promotion of the Safe Spaces program to LGBTIQ+ young people.
    • recruitment of suitable service partners and sub-contractors.
    • LGBTIQ+ inclusion training for staff and sub-contractors where required.
    • leasing arrangements and establishment of accessible physical sites in Ballarat and Geelong with capacity for outreach services to the Surf Coast.
    • works on existing site/s, including:
      • maintenance – painting, tiling or structural repairs, such as roofing, plumbing, or flooring works
      • upgrades – kitchen or bathroom upgrades, and energy efficiency improvements
      • renovations – alterations, extensions, or internal remodeling to improve accessibility or create new rooms, kitchen or bathroom replacement, and heating and cooling systems
      • security elements (using no more than 20% of the grant amount) – this cannot be the primary activity of the project. It may include CCTV, securing doors or windows, security lighting, facade works, fencing and perimeter security
      • outdoor areas – staging, pergolas, playgrounds, fencing and garden beds (note: plants are ineligible)
    • project management costs paid to a professional contractor (using up to 10% of the total grant amount requested) – these require a quote from a professional consultant and cannot be from a staff member
    • any fixed assets to be purchased with the grant funding must be clearly listed in the application form and are subject to approval by the department. It is important to note that:
      • assets must be closely related to the use of the project
      • acceptable assets are fixed, non-transferable and part of the fabric of the project
      • assets cannot total more than 40% of the total grant amount requested.
    • the purchase of assets and equipment for the Safe Space such as sporting equipment, IT devices, fit out of the space, kitchen or gardening equipment (using no more than 20% of the grant amount)
    • staffing and associated costs for the establishment and maintenance of the space, including payments for LGBTIQ+ youth and elders to engage in co-design (using no more than 20% of the grant amount).
    • overheads and costs associated with the functioning of the spaces (typically from 18-20% of total budget), including appropriate insurance to safeguard proposed project activities, sub-contracted services and staff across all three sites.

    If you are not sure whether your project costs or activities are eligible, please email before starting your application.

  • Grant activities that are not eligible for funding include:

    • activities that do not align with the objectives of the Safe Spaces grant program
    • the purchase of land, property and/or buildings
    • contractors that are not based in Victoria
    • retrospective completed or partly completed projects, works or activities
    • contingency costs for the project
    • planning permit and building permit application fees or tribunal costs
    • projects for infrastructure, facilities or land that is privately owned and not accessible by community members (community infrastructure facilities must have public access)
    • funding for infrastructure or property owned by another state or the Commonwealth Government
    • projects advancing political party or religious activities (for example, enhancement of infrastructure exclusively used for worship – to be funded, it must be open for wider community use)
    • recurrent or ongoing costs of an existing organisation (such as rent and utilities)
    • ongoing building project management costs, including staffing and associated costs
    • building project management costs that are greater than 10 per cent of the total grant amount requested. Any project management fees must be for an external, professional project manager, not a staff member of your organisation
    • recurrent and/or ongoing site maintenance (such as cleaning and gardening)
    • administration or operational costs of the organisation in relation to the program
    • funding that could have a negative impact on existing businesses and services, or compete with other local commercial interests, as per the National Competition Policy
    • activities that are dependent on recurrent annual funding
    • buying and fit-out of vehicles
    • any illegal or regulated product or activity, such as (but not limited to) alcohol, tobacco products, gaming services and weapons
    • donations to other organisations.
  • If your organisation is not eligible, you may nominate an auspice organisation to apply for a grant on your behalf. An auspice arrangement is when an organisation assists another to fund a grant activity or event. Your community group or organisation is known as the grant recipient. The organisation auspicing is known as the auspice organisation.

    Any organisation that meets the eligibility criteria may act as an auspice organisation. An MOU outlining roles and responsibilities from the auspice organisation, including lead and support functions if submitting a consortia proposal, is mandatory for all applications with auspicing arrangements.

    If the application is successful, the auspice organisation will receive the funds and will be responsible for:

    • signing the grant funding agreement, referred to as a Victorian Common Funding Agreement
    • all legal and financial responsibility for the grant on your organisation’s behalf
    • receiving and distributing grant funds under the grant agreement
    • ensuring all grant milestones and deliverables are completed
    • submitting final reports and financial acquittals on your organisation’s behalf by the required due dates.

    Make sure you understand your obligations to your auspicing organisation. If you plan to have your grant managed by an auspice organisation, make sure that auspice organisation submits the application on your behalf. If your application is auspiced by an organisation, you can include any associated auspice fees in your funding request. Included auspice fees must not exceed 10 per cent of your total funding request.

    The following can act as an auspice organisation for unincorporated community groups:

    • LGAs
    • registered primary and secondary schools
    • registered preschools
    • registered TAFE institutes and universities.
  • Partnership applications, sometimes also known as consortium applications, are encouraged.

    Two or more organisations or groups may collaborate to submit a single partnership application.

    These applications should demonstrate strong value for money, achieve wide benefit and meet an identified needs gap for all beneficiaries.

    One organisation will need to submit on behalf of the partnership and nominate the primary contact person coordinating the partnership and application.

  • To ensure a fair and equitable process, no applications will be accepted after the closing date.

    1. Read the guidelines to ensure your organisation and proposed activities are eligible.
    2. Consider the assessment criteria in terms of your project and develop a list of any questions.
    3. Attend the online information session on Thursday 3 November and ask questions. Register for the information sessionExternal Link .
    4. Submit your application by 11.59 pm, Friday 2 December 2022.

    Additional questions or arrangements to submit your application in an alternative format can be directed to

    Responses will be published on the application form website.

    Apply for the grant

  • Selection criteria 1

    Project scope, need, and alignment with the objective of the Safe Spaces grant program

    Weighting: 30%

    The application should clearly describe the project, and demonstrate the community need for the project by explaining how it will fill an existing service gap for LGBTIQ+ young people in Western Victoria. The scope and reach of activities proposed will also be considered.

    The application must demonstrate strong alignment to the objective of the Safe Spaces program, and the extent to which the project will:

    • provide culturally safe programs and services to LGBTIQ+ young people and their families (of choice and birth), ensuring cultural visibility through local consultation
    • build support networks using a cultural safety lens, to ensure support for Aboriginal Victorians, multicultural and multi-faith communities
    • provide accessible and tailored services to LGBTIQ+ young people with disabilities, their families and support networks
    • draw on and build the capacity of local service organisations and communities to deliver inclusive services, activities and events for LGBTIQ+ young people and their families.

    Selection criteria 2

    Value for public money and sustainability

    Weighting: 20%

    Value for money is assessed against the project budget and long-term benefit to the community and project sustainability.

    The application must include:

    • a realistic project budget that reflects project activities and deliverables
    • quotes and accurate cost estimates for all project activities
    • a funded plan for the lifespan of the grant including milestone delivery against funding instalments as specified in the ‘Funding available’ section of these guidelines and operations beyond establishment.

    This is a competitive program, and the funding request should be proportionate to the scale of the project, in relation to benefits and outcomes for the community.

    Selection criteria 3

    Project feasibility

    Weighting: 30%

    The application demonstrates that the project is well planned and funded activities can successfully be delivered by 30 June 2025.

    The application includes a detailed project plan that includes information about:

    • key activities and milestones
    • contractors identified to undertake work
    • an itemised breakdown of how the grant funding will be spent
    • a list of any assets to be purchased with the funding.

    The application also includes a detailed risk plan that includes information about:

    • potential project risks
    • risk mitigation strategies.

    Selection criteria 4

    Organisational capability

    Weighting: 20%

    The application clearly demonstrates the capability of the organisation to deliver the project by outlining:

    • relevant experience working with young LGBTIQ+ people and diverse communities
    • relevant clinical expertise of the delivery organisation or the partner organisation and how these may be applied to the program
    • relevant program management experience or evidence of the organisation's plans to source expertise to deliver the program
    • roles, responsibilities and governance and partnership arrangements, including with LGBTIQ+ people. Applications should articulate how each partner will contribute to the delivery of Safe Spaces and the mechanisms in place to support the partnership
    • proposed delivery model including details of a program delivery framework, staffing levels and hours of service
    • peer mentoring and network models including onboarding and support processes for the peer workforce
    • any relevant experience and evidence of managing grant funding from the Victorian Government.

  • Eligibility assessment

    The department reviews all applications to decide on eligibility.

    Merit assessment

    All eligible applications will be assessed against the assessment criteria, based on responses provided in the application form and the mandatory documentation.

    Assessment panel

    All applications are reviewed by a panel of representatives from the Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities’ office and experts from across the Victorian Government and Western Victoria.

    Ministerial approval

    The Minister for Equality makes the final decision based on the recommendations from the assessment panel.

    Application outcome

    The department will notify all organisations in writing whether their grant application is successful or not.

    All decisions in relation to any aspect of the funding application, eligibility, and assessment process, including any decision to offer or award a grant under the Safe Spaces grant program or to withdraw the offer or cancel the grant funding agreement, are final.

  • For applications to be eligible, the following documents are required in the name of the organisation applying for the grant:

    • evidence of financial viability by providing your organisation’s last two annual statements (2020-21 and 2021-22) as provided to Consumer Affairs Victoria (through CAV), or to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
    • a project plan
    • a detailed budget - costs must be clear, accurate, reasonable and demonstrate strong value for money.
    • quotes or accurate cost estimates for all project activities listed on the budget.
    • a detailed risk plan
    • evidence of current Public Liability Insurance by providing a Certificate of Currency for Public Liability insurance with an appropriate level to cover all aspects of the program, or an auspice arrangement with this insurance cover.
    • a MOU from an auspice organisation or partner organisation, where auspicing or partnering arrangements are in place.
  • LGBTIQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer. It is an inclusive umbrella abbreviation to encompass a range of diverse sexualities, genders and sex characteristics. People may identify with more than one of these terms.

    While LGBTIQ+ communities often work together, they are different communities with distinct experiences, needs and priorities.

    When preparing an application, you may find it helpful to review the LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Language Guide to ensure the activities, services and spaces you provide are safe, affirming and welcoming for LGBTIQ+ Victorians.

    What is an LGBTIQ+ community organisation or group?

    An LGBTIQ+ organisation or group:

    • provides services to LGBTIQ+ communities which may be paid or unpaid and may include health, wellbeing, entertainment, arts and culture services
    • services one or multiple LGBTIQ+ communities
    • has a clear and evidenced purpose to provide a service for LGBTIQ+ people.

Reviewed 16 November 2022

Contact us

Equality Unit Department of Families, Fairness and Housing