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First Nations Heritage Grant Program

First Nations Heritage Grant Program

  • Applications are open until: 24 January 2024
  • Grants:  The minimum allowable grant amount is $25,000, while the maximum stands at $250,000. The grant will cover up to 80% of eligible expenditures for successful applicants. Applicants have the flexibility to apply for and receive a maximum of two grants per listed location within the framework of this grant initiative. It is important that each project can be executed independently.

The First Nations Heritage Grants Program supports initiatives carried out on-Country, where First Nations people take the lead in identifying, assessing, recording, and preserving the cultural heritage of First Nations.

Key Requirements

Round 1 of the program focuses on enhancing Australia’s World and National Heritage listed places by incorporating Indigenous values. Additionally, the program aims to contribute to the identification of culturally significant First Nations sites.

The objectives of this grant opportunity are:

  • identify new Indigenous heritage values at existing World Heritage and National Heritage-listed places
  • prepare submissions for the addition of Indigenous heritage values to existing World Heritage and National Heritage listings, as applicable
  • increase protection for World Heritage and National Heritage-listed places with Indigenous heritage values, whether or not these values are recognised in the heritage listing for the respective place
  • enhance the management of World Heritage and National Heritage-listed places with Indigenous heritage values, irrespective of recognition in the heritage listing for the place.

The anticipated outcomes of the grant opportunity are:

  • incorporate Indigenous values into Australia’s World Heritage and National Heritage-listed sites
  • increase public engagement and awareness regarding First Nations heritage locations.

The project duration is capped at 24 months, with a mandatory completion deadline set for 30 April 2026.

You may seek a grant ranging from $25,000 to $250,000, covering up to 80% of eligible project expenses. You bear the remaining 20% of eligible costs and any ineligible project expenses. If your project secures funding from another Commonwealth government grant for the same activities, we cannot provide funding.

While you can submit a grant application for your project through multiple Commonwealth programs, a successful application requires a choice between the First Nations Heritage Grant Program – Round 1 grant and any other Commonwealth grant.

What is eligible for funding?

Your project must assist First Nations people in identifying, recording, and protecting previously unrecognised Indigenous heritage values at listed places.

Relevant activities directly tied to the project include:

  • conducting research to identify Indigenous heritage values at listed places, engaging consultants, and preparing heritage nominations
  • preparing and updating management plans to include or safeguard existing Indigenous heritage values not covered in the current plan
  • granting access for Traditional Owners and Elders to engage in cultural practices, aiding in the identification of new Indigenous heritage values or improving heritage management
  • empowering authorised First Nations representatives to advocate for the Indigenous heritage values of a specific site
  • organising workshops to equip First Nations individuals with technical skills for identifying and recording new Indigenous heritage values, involving tools like remote sensing equipment and mapping
  • funding on-ground works to protect or enhance the condition of Indigenous heritage values at World Heritage and/or National Heritage sites.

Utilise the grant funding for eligible expenses:

  • salaries and on-costs (up to 30%) for project staff, with pro-rata adjustments for existing staff based on time spent on project activities
  • contractor costs or expert advice
  • research expenses
  • on-ground works directly safeguarding newly identified or previously unprotected Indigenous heritage values
  • communication and promotional expenses
  • costs incurred to secure planning, environmental, or other regulatory approvals from non-Commonwealth government agencies
  • materials and equipment hire/purchase
  • domestic travel, including meals, accommodation, and transportation, aligned with the project’s size and location
  • catering for project activities, such as workshops at the heritage site, proportionate to the project’s size and location
  • project contingency costs, capped at a maximum of 10% of eligible project costs (payments based on actual costs incurred)
  • administrative costs related to the project, not exceeding 15% of the requested grant funding.

What companies are eligible for funding?

To be eligible for application, you must have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Eligible entities include:

  • First Nations individuals, groups, or organisations –
    • owners or managers of a listed place
    • non-owners or managers of the listed place, with evidence of support from the listed place owner/manager
  • non-First Nations owners/managers of listed places – must provide evidence of First Nations involvement and support for the proposed project
  • third parties –
    • requires evidence of both First Nations involvement and support for the project
    • additionally, evidence of support from the listed place owner/manager is necessary.

Applicants can fall into one of the following categories:

  • Australian State/Territory Government agency or body
  • Australian local government agency or body
  • Commonwealth corporate entity
  • entity incorporated in Australia (including Indigenous land management organizations registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations)
  • registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land council
  • partnership
  • publicly funded research organization (PFRO)
  • individual.

Applicants have the flexibility to collaborate with one or more organisations to form a group for project delivery. However, it is imperative to designate a lead organisation within the group. If the grant is awarded to the group, the lead organisation assumes the responsibility for eligibility, application submission, and the signing of the application form.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.