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Marram Nganyin Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program 2023–2026

Aboriginal organisations can access grants of up to $335,000 over three years to deliver local mentoring programs designed and delivered in collaboration with Aboriginal young people.

$0 - $335,000
Not-for-profit groups
Open, closing in 23 days

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal organisations and communities to offer opportunities for Aboriginal young people to exercise self-determination in receiving the supports they need to thrive.

The Marram Nganyin Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program has been running in Victoria since 2016–17. Marram Nganyin means ‘we are strong’ in the Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people. The program is strengths-based and community-led. It focuses on primary prevention and early intervention.

The program aims to support Aboriginal young people to:

  • be healthy and well
  • be confident and strong in their identity and culture
  • achieve their goals through study, training and work.

To achieve this, the program funds Aboriginal organisations to deliver local mentoring programs. The mentoring programs are designed and delivered in collaboration with Aboriginal young people. This model recognises that Aboriginal organisations best understand the needs of Aboriginal communities.

Successful applicants will get support from the Koorie Youth Council to design and deliver their programs. This recognises the statewide leadership role of the Koorie Youth Council as the representative body for Aboriginal young people in Victoria.

Information sessions

The department and Koorie Youth CouncilExternal Link will host two information sessions.

Both information sessions will cover the same information, so please attend the date that suits you the most. The information sessions will be held online at the times below:

A follow up information session will be organised, and details will be shared shortly. The aim of the follow up information session will be to answer any questions applicants might have during the application process.


  • To be eligible, you must meet all the following criteria:

    • be an Aboriginal organisation
    • be 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
    • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN) – 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
    • have at least $10 million public liability insurance
    • not have any overdue deliverables from other grants with the department.

    Auspice arrangements

    Auspice arrangements are allowed under the program.

    If your organisation is not incorporated or does not have an ABN, you can still apply if you are supported by an eligible auspice organisation. This organisation must agree to manage the grant for you.

    An auspice arrangement is when one organisation helps another to administer a grant activity or event. Your community group or organisation is called the grant recipient. The organisation auspicing is called the auspice organisation.

    All applications with auspicing arrangements must include a letter of support from the auspice organisation.

    Responsibilities of an auspice organisation

    If your grant application is successful, your auspice organisation will be responsible for:

    • signing the grant funding agreement (called a Victorian Common Funding Agreement)
    • all legal and financial aspect the grant on your organisation’s behalf
    • receiving and distributing grant funds under the grant agreement
    • ensuring all grant activities or events are completed
    • ensuring final reports and financial acquittals are submitted by the due dates.

    Partnership applications

    The department encourages partnership applications. Several Aboriginal organisations can work together to lodge a single partnership application. These applications should achieve wide benefit for all parties.

    For example, if there are several applicants in the same region that would benefit from working together in running mentoring programs, these organisations can submit a partnership application to coordinate and access and share resources as a larger group.

    One organisation will need to submit on behalf of the partnership and nominate the primary contact person coordinating the partnership and application. Partnerships are still subject to a maximum request of $335,000 per application.

  • Activities the program can fund

    Please note that this is a competitive grant round and not all applicants will be successful.

    Funding of up to $335,000 over three years will be provided to each Aboriginal organisation to deliver programs tailored to the needs and interests of Aboriginal young people in their local communities.

    Each organisation must support a minimum of 15 Aboriginal young people per funding year from 15 December 2023 to 15 December 2026. Aboriginal organisations applying for, and receiving less than, the full funding amount ($335,000) can adjust the minimum number of mentees engaged by their mentoring program according to their situation and in consultation with the department.

    Funding can be used as follows:

    • Up to 80 per cent of the total funding amount over three years may be used to hire a youth worker to help deliver the mentoring program. The youth worker role must be an identified role and so be filled by an Aboriginal person.
    • The remaining funding can be used for activities and any out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Aboriginal young people and their mentors as part of taking part in the program, including for:
      • technical skills training and skill development, such as accredited courses in first aid, mental health first aid, hospitality, media and creative arts
      • life-skills training, such as financial literacy, job readiness (writing resumes, applications and interviews), workplace rights and obligations, navigating service systems (including health, employment, housing and superannuation) and other independent living skills
      • cultural activities such as yarns with Elders and making cultural items, including weaving, possum cloak skins, tools and instruments
      • social and wellbeing activities such as cooking, nutrition and fitness, yoga, meditation classes, music and dance events, sport and recreation
      • activity-related travel and accommodation (within Victoria) for cultural camps, excursions to places of cultural significance, tertiary education provider open days and sporting events
      • facilitator costs
      • costs for phones and iPads to lend to mentees so they can stay connected to the program (this equipment must be returned to the organisation at the end of the program)
      • contribution towards the cost of data used by mentees to take part in program activities.

    Funding cannot be used for:

    • activities that are not youth-led or activities that have been designed without consultation and input from young people
    • activities that do not support Aboriginal young people aged 12–25 years
    • buying, maintaining or upgrading facilities or non-related equipment
    • building or building restoration work
    • interstate and international travel
    • funding for programs that have already started or are finished
    • activities taking place outside Victoria
    • activities that are already funded under another government program
    • activities occurring outside of the funding period from 15 December 2023 to 15 December 2026
    • organisations that have not completed projects already funded by the Victorian Government, without a good reason.
  • Aboriginal organisations will have the flexibility to design and deliver mentoring programs that best meet the needs of Aboriginal young people in their communities.

    Organisations are encouraged to use the WayipungaExternal Link (supporting young people) resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. This framework provides strategies to support young people’s participation in decision-making processes.

    The department and the Koorie Youth Council will work with funded organisations to support them to deliver their mentoring program. Successful organisations will get more information about this support before starting their program.

    As well as meeting the funding agreement terms and conditions, all funded projects must comply with the Victorian Child Safe StandardsExternal Link .

    • The successful recipient must sign a funding agreement with the department. This agreement has the conditions, reporting requirements and contractual targets of the funding.
    • The funded activity must begin by 15 December 2023 and finish by 15 December 2026.
    • Funds must be spent on the project as described in the funding agreement. Any unspent funds must be returned to the department.
    • Any variation to the approved project must be submitted to the department for approval before starting.
    • Any events delivered through the program must be drug, alcohol and smoke-free, and fully supervised.
    • A youth worker (or other qualified person) must be available to support young people to take part in the program.
    • All staff and people aged 18 or older who have unsupervised contact with young people in the program must have a Working with Children Check.
    • The grant recipient must have policies and processes in place to meet the Victorian Child Safe StandardsExternal Link . This includes changes that came into effect from 1 July 2022.
    • The grant recipient has at least $10 million public liability insurance to cover all aspects of the program.
    • All activities funded under the program must follow the latest Victorian Government health advice.
    • If an organisation in the grant application has been named or receives a Notice of Redress Liability, it must join or intend to join the National Redress Scheme (NRS). For more information, please visit the NRS websiteExternal Link .
    • The grant recipient must sign a memorandum of understanding with the Koorie Youth Council by 29 March 2024. This document will outline expectations of support and collaboration during the project.
    • Step 1: Read these guidelines to find out if your organisation and program are eligible.
    • Step 2: Consider how your program meets the assessment criteria.
    • Step 3: If you have questions, please email the Office for Youth to ask for a call back and tell us about your preferred language or other communication needs.
    • Step 4: Complete and submit your application by 11:59 pm on Thursday, 26 October 2023, using the grant application portalExternal Link .

    No applications will be accepted after the closing date.

  • All applications will be assessed against the criteria in the guidelines and application form.

    A panel will assess eligible applications. The panel will include:

    • Aboriginal young people from the Victorian Aboriginal community,
    • Koorie Youth Council staff
    • Victorian Government representatives.

    All applicants will hear about the outcome of their application by email. We will give you feedback about your application if you ask for it.

    Assessment criteria

    Applications are assessed against the criteria below. The criteria are weighted.

    Applicants must respond to each criterion.

    Your response should show how your program will meet the aims of the program.

    Other considerations during assessment will include:

    • At least 30 per cent of successful applications will be based in rural and regional Victoria.
    • Applications from new and emerging Aboriginal organisations are strongly encouraged and will be prioritised.
    • Partnership applications that show strong collaboration between Aboriginal organisations are strongly encouraged and will be prioritised.

    1. Program overview (30 per cent)

    1. Give an overview of your proposed mentoring program and the benefits of your program for young people.
      • Outline the aims and objectives of your program.
      • Outline the cohorts of young people your program will engage with.
      • Address how many Aboriginal young people aged 12–25 years will your program support through the mentoring program over three years.
      • Describe how you will reward and recognise young people for their contribution to the program.
      • Describe how you will apply the Victorian Child Safe StandardsExternal Link to ensure young people can take part safely in your program

        Note: Where applicable, please use statistics, data and consultations conducted with Aboriginal young people.
    2. Describe the local needs for the program in your community.

    2. Program delivery (50 per cent)

    1. Describe your mentoring model, including who the program mentors will be and their roles. This may include program staff, Aboriginal Elders and community members.
    2. Describe how local young people have been included and consulted in developing this application and on the proposed mentoring model.
    3. Describe how your program will support young people’s social and emotional wellbeing.
    4. Describe how your program will support young people’s connection to identity, culture and spirituality.
    5. Describe how your program will offer pathways for young people into education, training and employment.
    6. Describe how your program will address any of the optional program areas of:
      • individual talents and leadership
      • youth justice and crime prevention
      • out-of-home care.
    7. Describe how you will support and involve young people in designing, delivering and evaluating your program.

    3. Stakeholders and governance (15 per cent)

    1. Who are the key partners in your community that will support the delivery of your program?
    2. Describe the role that each of these partners will play.
    3. What governance or management processes will your organisation set up to ensure your program is delivered to a high standard, meeting all key accountabilities and reporting requirements?
    4. Describe how you will evaluate the impact and outcomes of your program including:
      • the data you will collect and how often you will collect it
      • the evaluation process you will undertake, including timelines.
    5. Detail the items to be funded.
    6. Supply a budget for program expenditure.

    4. Partnerships (5 per cent)

    Please note this section will only have to be completed if you are working with other Aboriginal organisations on this application and the proposed delivery of the program.

    1. Outline who will be involved.
    2. Describe the role they will play.
    3. Describe the benefits of your proposed partnership approach.
  • Please email the Office for Youth at to:

    • ask for more information or help with your application; or
    • request a call back, from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (except public holidays).

    To receive documents in another format:

    If you require an interpreter:

    • Please email the Office for Youth at to request a call back and advise us of your preferred language.

    If you are deaf, hearing impaired or speech impaired:

    • Please email the Office for Youth at to request a call back and tell us the National Relay Service you would like us to use to contact you.

Reviewed 21 September 2023

Contact us

Office for Youth Department of Families, Fairness and Housing