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Aboriginal Affairs NSW Cultural Grants Program 2022/2023

The Aboriginal Affairs NSW Cultural Grants Program supports Aboriginal community organisations across NSW to celebrate Aboriginal culture and hold key cultural events and activities.

Apply now
Apply now

View the 2022/2023 Cultural Grant recipients as at 22 March 2023 here

Important Dates

Program opens at 1pm, Wednesday 12 October 2022

Program closes at 5pm, Friday 14 April 2023 (or before this date if funds are expended)


Applications will be accepted at any time during the open period and the assessment panel will meet monthly to assess applications.

Applicants will generally be notified of the outcome of their applications within 8 weeks of applying.

Due to the assessment process, your project start date should be 8 weeks after the date you submit your application.

Please contact AANSW regional staff if your planned project start date is less than 8 weeks from when you will submit your application. (Contact numbers below) 

Your project must be completed by 30 September 2023. Where an application does not confirm that a project will be completed by this date, Aboriginal Affairs NSW reserves the right to set the application aside for further consideration.

How much can I apply for?

Applicants can apply for grants from $500 to $20,000.


Aboriginal Affairs NSW has allocated $1 million for the Aboriginal Affairs NSW Cultural Grants Program in 2022-2023.

AANSW Cultural Grants Program funding, where possible, is distributed to small, community-based Aboriginal-owned and controlled organisations. Cultural Grants funding will be allocated into 2 separate streams:

Stream 1

Out of total $1 million, funding of $700,000 has allocated under stream 1 for small, community-based Aboriginal-owned and controlled organisations, unincorporated groups and businesses. These organisations represent or service a specific Aboriginal community or language group, or a group of communities connected geographically.

Stream 2

Out of total $1 million, funding of $300,000 has allocated for larger regional and statewide organisations. These are organisations with a statewide or national presence, and regional organisations with significant numbers of paid staff.

AANSW reserves the right to roll funding into one stream if 60% of the allocated funding pool in either stream has not been awarded by 31 January 2023.

The AANSW Cultural Grants Program objective are to:

  • support Aboriginal communities to strengthen, protect, and maintain traditional and contemporary expressions of Aboriginal culture 
  • support key contemporary Aboriginal cultural events and activities 
  • contribute to Aboriginal community wellbeing and healing, through the use of Aboriginal culture and community connection
  • facilitate sharing of Aboriginal cultural knowledge and skills between generations.

What can I apply for?

Funding can be used for projects that meet the objectives of the Cultural Grants Program. The following are the types of activities that may be funded, where they are aligned with the program objectives:

  • women’s or men’s gathering on Country
  • delivery of a culture and wellbeing camp for Aboriginal youth
  • creation of a digital installation showing Aboriginal history of the local community
  • statewide music or cultural festival
  • hosting a series of online workshops
  • community celebration event
  • cultural activities at a regional sporting event. 

Applicants are encouraged to contact their nearest Aboriginal Affairs NSW regional office to discuss their project. Regional staff are available to provide advice regarding program objectives and eligibility requirements, however, they cannot assist with the development of an application.

Funding can be used for:

  • purchasing consumables – such as catering, equipment items and materials (excluding alcohol) – for the purposes of the project or event
  • hire of equipment to be used for the period of the project or event
  • engagement of contractors, such as facilitators, trainers and teachers
  • eligible costs associated with holding key state-wide and/or regional Aboriginal sporting or cultural events
  • purchase minor equipment for event activities, up to the value of $5,000 (please refer to the FAQs for guidance on minor equipment)
  • administering the project. Up to 10% of the requested AANSW funding amount can be used for this or as auspice fees where there is an auspicing arrangement.

Eligible sole trader applicants may include up to 10% of the requested AANSW funding amount to cover remuneration costs. Refer to FAQs for more information.

Funding cannot be used for:

  • costs for individual sporting teams or cultural groups to attend competitions or events
  • capital costs – any type of building, construction, major equipment or capital works including renovations to a building, housing-related costs or the purchase of land
  • purchase of vehicles
  • wages and salaries and on-costs for ongoing staff
  • sitting fees, travel allowance or costs associated with membership of boards/councils
  • activities that may create an ongoing dependency on cultural grant funding, such as funding that is required over multiple years
  • costs that are not directly associated with the delivery of the project
  • activities related to the NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout, which has a separate funding program
  • activities related to NAIDOC week events, which has a separate funding program
  • international travel costs (proposals for domestic travel costs need to demonstrate the benefits of travel to the project, organisation and community)
  • operational and business-as-usual costs.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for funding, your organisation must be a legal entity located in NSW, or working with Aboriginal communities in NSW, and able to enter into a funding agreement with AANSW.

Unincorporated groups

If an unincorporated Aboriginal group wishes to apply for a cultural grant, it will need to partner with an eligible Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation to receive and administer the funding.

Eligible applicants

Eligible organisations must be:

  • Aboriginal-owned and controlled; and
  • Not-for-profit (with the exception of sole traders outlined below).

Eligible organisations are:

  • an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth)
  • a company incorporated in Australia under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • a Local Aboriginal Land Council under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW)
  • an Incorporated Association (they are incorporated under state legislation and commonly have ‘Association’, ‘Incorporated’ or ‘Inc’ in their legal name)
  • an Incorporated Cooperative (they are incorporated under state legislation and commonly have ’Cooperative’ in their legal name)
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • an unincorporated Aboriginal community group with an eligible auspice
  • an Aboriginal sole trader whose primary business activity relates to cultural expression or revitalisation (noting projects must not be profit-making in nature).

Applicants must deliver a service to Aboriginal communities within NSW and have public liability insurance of at least $10 million per claim or be willing to purchase it as part of the project budget.

Applicants not eligible for funding are:

  • individuals
  • non-Aboriginal groups or organisations
  • federal and state government agencies and bodies, including NSW public schools and hospitals
  • for-profit organisations, including Aboriginal businesses (exception for certain Aboriginal sole trader businesses – refer to the FAQs)
  • unincorporated organisations or groups without an eligible auspicing organisation
  • organisations that have not met project requirements, including acquittal and reporting, for any grant funding received from AANSW in the previous two years
  • organisations with redress sanctions as described in the National Redress Scheme.

Assessment Criteria

This is a non-competitive program, where applications are assessed against the criteria, not competitively against other applications.

All applications will be screened for eligibility. Eligible applications will then be assessed against the criteria by a panel including Aboriginal Affairs NSW staff. and independent members, within four weeks of submission.

The Special Minister of State, Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and the Arts is the final decision maker based on the recommendations of the assessment panel.

Some applicants may be offered partial funding.

Assessment will be based on the following criteria:

What are we looking for?
Project Quality
Evidence that the project meets the program aims and objectives
Project Detail
Explanation of what the funding will do and how it will be spent
Project Impact
Evidence of who the project will benefit and how this will be achieved
Evidence of applicants experience managing previous projects or relevant training and experience of key staff involved
Value for money
Explanation of how budget items contribute to the project outcomes. A reasonable and realistic budget

How to Apply

Applications can be completed online at the Aboriginal Affairs NSW online grants platform. Applicants are encouraged to contact their nearest Aboriginal Affairs NSW regional office to discuss their project.

Apply now
Apply now

Applicants can choose to submit a video response to application questions on project objectives and outcomes. Aboriginal Affairs NSW regional staff are available to support applicants with recording and preparing a file for upload if required.

An organisation can only receive one grant from the 2022-2023 Cultural Grants Program.

Auspicing organisations may auspice grants for more than one organisation.

Unsuccessful applicants will be offered a feedback session if requested and may reapply for funding during the program opening period.


Program Guidelines 

Frequently Asked Questions

Budget Fact Sheet

Support and Contacts

For any questions regarding the AANSW Cultural Grants Program, please contact your nearest AANSW regional office on the phone numbers below or email

Batemans Bay
02 8575 1037
02 8575 1172
Coffs Harbour

02 9566 8318

Broken Hill
02 9228 5224
02 9228 5224
02 8575 1073
02 9273 3968
Greater Sydney
02 8575 1105

Other information

Aboriginal Cultural and Intellectual Property (ACIP)

Aboriginal Affairs NSW has developed an Aboriginal Cultural and Intellectual Property (ACIP) Protocol that aims to build awareness and respect for Aboriginal culture. The Protocol sets a standard for how Aboriginal Affairs NSW engages with Aboriginal people and communities regarding their cultural and intellectual property and what it expects from the organisations it funds.

Any Aboriginal Cultural or Intellectual Property submitted in a grant application to Aboriginal Affairs NSW remains the property of the relevant community organisation or Aboriginal person. Aboriginal Affairs NSW will not distribute or communicate any ACIP contained in SmartyGrants and agrees to respect the cultural protocols of Aboriginal people to whom it may apply.

More information on ACIP, including the Protocol is available on the AANSW website.

Funding arrangements and reporting

Successful applicants will be required to:

  • enter into a Funding Agreement with AANSW within two weeks of the offer being made
  • start and complete funded activities and events by the dates specified in the Funding Agreement
  • notify AANSW of any proposed changes to your funded activity and complete a project variation request
  • acknowledge the support of AANSW in accordance with the Funding Acknowledgement Guidelines
  • report on outcomes from the activity and acquit the grant within 21 days of project completion. Evidence to support this can be uploaded in SmartyGrants and must include evidence of expenditure (copies of invoices and receipts) as well as photos, media coverage and links to video clips where relevant. If the acquittal is not completed within the required timeframe, you will not be eligible to apply for AANSW grants for the next two years.

Details of successful applications including recipient name, funding amount and project location are required to be published on the NSW Government’s Grant and Funding Finder at Details of successful applicants may also be included in:

  • public media releases
  • an announcement on the Aboriginal Affairs NSW website
  • AANSW social media.

Applicants should be aware that information provided to AANSW may be made publicly available under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW).

Information may also be made publicly available as a result of an order for papers made by the NSW Legislative Council under Standing Order 52. Before information is released in response to an application under the Act, there will be an assessment of the public interest considerations in favour of and against disclosure of that information and there may be consultation requirements that apply.

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