Support is available for those affected by the NSW floods. Resources and information can be found at the NSW Flood Assistance and Resources page.

NAIDOC Grants Frequently Asked Questions

These Frequently Asked Questions are designed to help organisations and groups that wish to apply for an Aboriginal Affairs NSW NAIDOC Grant 2024. Please read these in combination with the Program Guidelines and online application form in SmartyGrants.

About NAIDOC Week

What is NAIDOC?

NAIDOC stands for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. The committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself.

What is the purpose of NAIDOC and NAIDOC Week?

The purpose of NAIDOC is to celebrate the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is celebrated not only in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities but by many Australians. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities as well as support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


When is NAIDOC Week in 2024?

This year NAIDOC Week will be held between 7 to 14 July 2024.

However, NAIDOC celebration activities do not need to be restricted only to this week. To be eligible for funding under the Aboriginal Affairs NSW 2024 NAIDOC Grants, events and activities must be held between 7 July and 30 November 2024.


What is the theme for NAIDOC Week 2024?

The theme of NAIDOC Week 2024 is  ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud’.

How do I find out more about NAIDOC?

More information is available at

Program Information

What is the purpose of the Aboriginal Affairs (AANSW) NAIDOC Program?

NAIDOC Grant funding is provided by Aboriginal Affairs NSW to support the holding of events and activities in NSW that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements, and align with the theme of NAIDOC week in 2024.

What are the assessment criteria for the Aboriginal Affairs NSW NAIDOC Grants program?

Assessment will be based on the following criteria:

  • Activity or event celebrates Aboriginal history, culture and achievements and meets the broader objectives of NAIDOC in line with the national theme of NAIDOC. The theme for NAIDOC Week in 2024 is ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud’.
  • Tip: Your application should describe how the event or activity is aligned with the theme of NAIDOC Week. Cultural activities or events that do not reflect the NAIDOC theme will not be funded.


  • Activity or event promotes a greater awareness and understanding of Aboriginal history and culture within the community.
  • Tip: This could be through open community events, cultural workshops that align with the NAIDOC Week theme or the development of resources or films to document the activity or event. Be specific in describing the event or activities that you are seeking funding for.


  • Aboriginal people are involved in the development and delivery of the activity or event.
  • Tip: This might be through an organising committee or group. It could also be demonstrated through partnerships. Your application should specifically name any project partners, including community leaders or groups.


  • Applicant has demonstrated capacity to undertake and complete the activity or event. This will include consideration of any previous funding provided to the applicant by Aboriginal Affairs NSW.
  • Tip: Include information on past funding you’ve received from Aboriginal Affairs NSW and outcomes you’ve achieved from this funding. Information such as project length, budget, skills and experiences of organisers or community partners will be considered under this criteria.


  • The activity or event represents value for money.
  • Tip: Include a detailed budget and estimate of how many people will be participating. Events or activities with more people won’t necessarily be assessed higher than small events. However, factors such as if the event or activity is receiving funding from a range of sources and what are the outcomes for participants and community will be considered. The higher costs in remote communities will be taken into consideration.


What are the opening and closing dates to apply for funding?

Applications open:  4th March 2024.

Applications close:  12th April 2024.


Why does the application ask for project location information?

Project location information helps Aboriginal Affairs NSW understand what activities and events are being held across New South Wales as part of the assessment process.

Location information will help us map and promote events as well as report to community and Government on activities.


What is the grant acquittal process?

It is a condition of funding that all recipients must complete a Project Completion and Acquittal Report online in SmartyGrants within 30 days of the completion of the event or activity. Aboriginal Affairs NSW will send all recipients an email reminder before this report is due.

Aboriginal Affairs NSW may ask the applicants to provide proof of expenditure of grant funds, such as copies of invoices and receipts for purchases, as a minimum.. Recipients may also provide photos, media coverage, links to video clips, etc, where relevant to demonstrate project outcomes.

If Aboriginal Affairs NSW is not satisfied with the information provided, we may ask for additional information to demonstrate that the NAIDOC Grant funds have been spent in accordance with the terms of the funding.

If the recipient does not acquit properly this may affect the eligibility for future Aboriginal Affairs NSW grant funding.



Will all applicants receive funding?

No. The application process is competitive for the limited funding available. Successful applications will be those that meet the eligibility criteria and best address the assessment criteria.

Is there a limit on the amount of funding that can be applied for?

There is limited funding available. Small grants from $500 (excl. GST) to $3,000 (excl. GST) are available. 

Will a successful application receive all the funding it requested?

Not necessarily. Partial funding may be offered to applicants so there is a wider and more equitable distribution of funds across communities. Partial funding may also be offered if part of an applicant’s activities is ineligible for funding. For example, purchase of gift cards for workshop participants.


If partial funding is offered, applicants will need to assess whether the activity is viable or needs to be modified due to the reduced funding. Alternatively, the balance of funds could be obtained from other sources.

What will not be funded?

Funding cannot be used for:

  • retrospective funding for activities and events that have already been held
  • activities that are the responsibility of government agencies
  • activities that are exclusively for the benefit of the applicant organisation and its staff such as cultural capability activities
  • activities and events held outside of NSW
  • capital purchases – any type of building, construction or capital works including renovations to a building, housing related costs or the purchase of land
  • purchase of equipment such as office equipment, tents, IT equipment
  • gifts, including gift cards and merchandise to distribute as gifts
  • purchase of alcohol
  • private events such as those open only to members of a specific organization
  • sitting fees, travel allowance or costs associated with membership of boards/councils
  • operating and administrative costs such as rent or
  • costs that are not directly associated with the activity or event.

Can we purchase merchandise such as clothing, bags, flags and hats with NAIDOC Grant funds?

NAIDOC Grants funding can only be used to purchase merchandise in limited circumstances. Funding can only be used to purchase merchandise where it is:

  • NAIDOC themed; and
  • part of a uniform or outfit to be worn by performers, volunteers or organisers of a NAIDOC event or activity; or
  • created as part of an art activity, for example an artist works with a group of children to develop a local NAIDOC themed artwork that is printed on bags for the children and/or community.

However, the total cost of the merchandise cannot be more than 50% of the total funding requested from Aboriginal Affairs NSW.

Examples of where funding cannot be used to purchase merchandise include:

  • items to hand out to people attending an event or participating in activities, such as flags or branded shirts; or
  • where it is branded with an organisation’s name or logo.

Merchandise must be purchased from recognised Aboriginal businesses. To start your search for Aboriginal businesses, applicant may visit Supply Nation at Or can search for local Aboriginal Businesses in their area.


Can the budget include an organisation’s operating costs (such as staffing, consultants, rent, phone and electricity bills)?

No. Funding through the NAIDOC Grants program is for the support and delivery of one-off NAIDOC Week events or activities, not for an organisation’s ongoing operating costs.


What are GST implications for my grant?

If your application is successful and your organisation is registered for GST, you will be paid GST in addition to the approved grant funding. If your organisation is not registered for GST, you will not be paid the GST.

It is the recipient’s responsibility to comply with any taxation liability that may arise in the delivery of the project. For more information, visit the Australian Tax Office website.


Who can apply?

Applicants will be eligible for funding if they are:

  • incorporated not-for-profit organisations registered with NSW Fair Trading under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW)
  • Aboriginal Corporations registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth)
  • Not-for-profit companies incorporated in Australia under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Local Aboriginal Land Councils established under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW)
  • NSW Local Council operating under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW)
  • Incorporated Cooperatives (incorporated under state/territory legislation, and commonly have ’Cooperative' in their legal name)
  • incorporated trustees on behalf of a trust, including Catholic School trusts
  • unincorporated groups who have entered into an agreement with an eligible organisation to auspice the funding.

NSW Public Schools

While NSW Public schools are not an eligible applicant to the Program, projects may be held on NSW Public School grounds and/or for the benefit of a school community where the applicant is an eligible organisation (e.g. an incorporated not-for-profit Parents & Citizens organisation, incorporated Aboriginal Education Consultative Group etc).

Unincorporated groups

If an unincorporated Aboriginal group wishes to apply for a 2024 NAIDOC Grant, it will need to partner with an eligible organisation to receive and administer the funding. The eligible organisation must apply on behalf of the unincorporated group.

Other eligibility requirements

  • Be an eligible entity located in NSW, and able to enter into a funding agreement with Aboriginal Affairs NSW Premier’s Department, have an Australian bank account, and an Australian Business Number (ABN):
    • Projects must be delivered within NSW;
    • Applicants must have public liability insurance of at least $10 million per claim.

Who cannot apply?

Applicants will not be eligible for funding if they are:

  • an individuals
  • Federal and State Government agencies and bodies, including public schools and hospitals
  • NSW Public Schools (see note above)
  • for-profit organisations, including Aboriginal businesses
  • unincorporated organisations or groups without an eligible auspicing organisation
  • applicant or auspice is banned to apply due to non-compliance in previous AANSW Grants
  • organisations with redress sanction as described in the National Redress Scheme.

Can organisations make a joint application or a ‘partnership’ application?

Yes. If you are applying as part of a partnership arrangement, one of the organisations in the partnership will need to take the lead role in the project and apply for the grant. If the project is successful, the Funding Agreement will be with the applicant organisation.

If your organisation or group is unincorporated but wishes to apply for a grant, your organisation will need to enter an auspicing agreement with an eligible organisation. This auspicing organisation will need to apply for the grant and the Funding Agreement will be established with this auspicing organisation. The unincorporated organisation will be listed as a project partner in the application.

We suggest that in these circumstances you develop an auspicing agreement between the unincorporated and auspicing organisations which clearly describes each organisation’s role and responsibilities.


Our organisation or group is not incorporated, is there any way we can apply for funding?

Unincorporated organisations must apply through an eligible organisation. The auspice organisation’s details must be included in the application form as the applicant.


Are NSW Government entities such as public schools eligible for funding?

While NSW Public schools are not an eligible applicant to the Program, projects may be held on NSW Public School grounds and/or for the benefit of a school community where the applicant is an eligible organisation (e.g. an incorporated not-for-profit Parents & Citizens organisation, incorporated Aboriginal Education Consultative Group etc).


What events and activities can be funded?

The following are examples of the types of events and activities that have previously been successful in obtaining a NAIDOC Grant:

  • Community festivals and fun days
  • Public exhibitions
  • Community gatherings
  • Cultural workshops
  • NAIDOC themed sporting activities or competitions
  • School community-based activities
  • Women’s, men’s, and Elders only activities.

There are examples of projects previously funded through NAIDOC Grants on the Aboriginal Affairs NSW website.


Are there any insurance requirements?

Yes. The applicant organisation must be covered by Public Liability insurance of up to

$10 million. The insurance cover must be valid for the entire duration of the NAIDOC event being held. If your organisation is not covered, you will need to approach another organisation to sponsor your application so that your event will be covered under their Public Liability Insurance.


Application process

Can I submit more than one application for funding?

No.  due to the limited amount of total funding available, each organisation will only receive funding for one event or activity.

Will late applications be considered?

No, applications will close at 5pm, Friday 12 April 2024. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances. We encourage all prospective applicants to lodge their application well in advance of the closing date. Do not leave your application to the last minute.


What is SmartyGrants?

SmartyGrants is a user-friendly web based grant management system. It enables Aboriginal Affairs NSW to oversee the whole NAIDOC Grants program online including the applications, grant maintenance and communications.


Why is the application process online?

Applying online means we will be able to reduce the program’s reliance on paper, reducing the need for applicants to print documents. It utilises available technology and makes the application process simpler and quicker.


How do I apply online?

You will need to register in the SmartyGrants system. Click on the links and follow the instructions on the page. The registration process is simple and straightforward. Once registered, you will be able to start your application. If you have previously registered on SmartyGrants, you do not have to reregister.


Will you accept late applications after the program closing date?

Applications must be submitted by 5pm Friday 12 April 2024. Late applications will not be accepted or considered unless Aboriginal Affairs NSW, in its sole discretion, determines that it is in the interests of the fairness of the program to accept the late application.


This may include an applicant experiencing exceptional circumstances that prevented the submission of the application that were:

  • reasonably unforeseeable
  • beyond the applicant’s control
  • unable to be managed or resolved within the application period.

Exceptional circumstances will be considered on their merits and in accordance with probity principles. If your organisation is affected by exceptional circumstances, it is in your interest to contact Aboriginal Affairs NSW to advise them of the circumstances as soon as possible and be able to provide detail and evidence of the exceptional circumstance.


What type of device and internet browser do I need to apply online?

To complete an application form, you will need access to the internet on a PC or Mac desktop or laptop computer, or a tablet or smartphone (although some tablet and phone devices may not display or interact correctly or clearly as the site is not optimised for smartphones).


There is no need to install software. To access SmartyGrants, you only need an internet browser and an internet connection.

SmartyGrants is compatible with the latest versions of the following browsers (while SmartyGrants does try to ensure backwards compatibility with older versions, there may be some limitations):

  • Google Chrome
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Internet Explorer / Microsoft Edge.

I don’t have reliable access to the internet, how can I apply online?

Applications can be completed at any time before the closing date. Applications can be completed across multiple sessions. You can access the application form and system using any computer that has an internet connection. You can use the computer at your local library, seek assistance from your Local Council or your local Aboriginal Affairs NSW office.

As a last resort hard copy application forms can be requested from Aboriginal Affairs NSW and completed. They need to be provided back to Aboriginal Affairs NSW prior to the closing date.


Is my application and information secure? Is it safe to apply online?

Yes, it is safe to apply online. Your application and information are submitted to a secure database which is only able to be accessed by authorised program staff and assessors. Your information does not go ‘offshore’, it is securely held in a data warehouse in Sydney and is backed up regularly.


Can I download a copy of the application form in advance?

Yes. Once you register you will be able to download a copy of the application form.


Do I need to complete my application in one session?

No, you can complete your application in multiple sessions. Remember to save your application regularly. For your application to be considered you will need to submit your application.

When your application is ready to lodge click on the Submit button.


Can I review what I have written online?

Yes, before submitting your application you can review what you have written. You will not be able to change any part of the application once submitted, so please ensure you review it before.


Will I receive a confirmation email that my application has been received?

Yes, when you submit your application online you will be sent a confirmation email which confirms that your application has been received. The confirmation email will be sent to your nominated email address so please keep Aboriginal Affairs NSW updated if your contact details change.

This confirmation email will contain your application’s unique ID or reference number, as well as a copy of your application. Please keep this in a safe place as part of your records, as you may need to refer to it later. If you have any questions regarding your application, you will need to quote your application’s unique ID number.


Will I get a copy of my application once I have submitted it online?

Yes, it will be attached to the confirmation email you will receive. It will be sent to your nominated email address. Please keep it in a safe place as part of your records, as you may need to refer to it later. You can also access a copy of your application through the ‘My Submissions’ area once you have logged into the online system.


How do I get help if I am having trouble completing my application?

You can get help by looking at the information posted on the SmartyGrants website, it contains a document with instructions on how to complete your application online. You can also get help by contacting the Aboriginal Affairs NSW regional offices listed at the end of this document.


Are there instructions on how to complete my application online?

Yes, they are in a downloadable document on the Aboriginal Affairs NSW website.

These instructions include an easy step by step process which will help you complete your application online.


Why do I need to provide my bank account as part of my application?

Bank account details are required at application stage to reduce delay in payments. If your application is successful and you have completed the funding agreement the funds will be paid automatically to your nominated bank account.


What questions will I be asked in the application; can I print them out first?

Refer to the Help Guide for Applicants on the SmartyGrants website. A copy of the application form can also be downloaded once you have registered in the online system. A copy of the application form can also be ‘previewed’ before you register or log into the SmartyGrants system.


What happens after my application has been submitted?

Your application will be assessed for eligibility and if it is considered eligible it will then move to the next stage which is the assessment of applications against the program’s assessment criteria.


When will I know the outcome?

Mid-June 2024 onwards


How will I find out the outcome?

Aboriginal Affairs NSW will advise all applicants by email. This email will be sent to the applicant contact email addresses as provided in grant application.

Please let Aboriginal Affairs NSW know if your contact details change throughout the grants process so we can update our records.


More information

Who do I contact for further information?

For any questions regarding the Aboriginal Affairs NSW 2024 NAIDOC Grants, please contact your nearest Aboriginal Affairs NSW regional office on the phone numbers below:

Batemans Bay     02 8575 1013

Tamworth           02 8575 1172

Coffs Harbour      02 8575 1068

Broken Hill          02 9228 4877

Bourke               02 9228 4877

Dubbo                 02 8575 1680

Newcastle            02 9273 3968

Sydney                02 9228 4796



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