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

Aboriginal Affairs NSW Community and Place Grants Program

The Aboriginal Affairs NSW Community and Place Grants Program aims to deliver tangible local benefit and impact to Aboriginal communities against the Closing the Gap socio-economic outcome targets, recognising that Aboriginal communities have the solutions to problems or issues in their community.

View the Community and Place Grants program approved applicants here. 

Watch the replay of the Community and Place Grant Program information session to find out more. (Please note the program has been extended and the deadline is now 5pm October 14)

Watch replay here Watch replay here

Important Dates

Program opens at 9am on Monday 5 September 2022

Program closes at 5pm on Friday 14 October 2022

Projects must be delivered by recipients between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023 (this is a condition of grant funding).


9am Monday 5 September 2022 Applications Open 
5pm Friday 14 October 2022
Applications Close 
October to November 2022
Assessment and approval of applications 
By early December 2022
Successful and unsuccessful applicants notified
December 2022 to January 2023
Funds released 
1 January 2023
Projects commence no earlier than
31 December 2023
Projects completed no later than
Prior to the end of February 2023
Project reporting and financial acquittals  

Program Overview

The Community and Place Grants Program aims to support one-off projects which include programs, equipment, vehicles and infrastructure developed by local Aboriginal communities and with local community support to drive change and contribute towards the 17 socio-economic outcome targets under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

The projects must contribute to the Closing the Gap targets specifically, not the broad outcome area. Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with the 17 socio-economic outcome targets under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Detailed information can be found HERE.

A total of $15 million in funding is available in 2022/23 via two streams:   

Stream 1: Grants of up to and including $100,000
Stream 2: Grants between $100,001 and $250,000

Applicants can apply once in each stream of funding.

What can funding be used for?

Funding can be used for projects that meet the outcomes of Community and Place Grants Program, i.e. deliver tangible local benefit and impact to Aboriginal communities against the Closing the Gap socio-economic targets.

The following are examples of the types of projects that may be considered for funding.

See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for further information and examples on what could be funded.

Examples of Projects

Projects may include, but not limited to:
Health, cultural wellbeing, skills development programs for Aboriginal community members
Delivery of programs or services
Events, workshops
Projects may include, but not limited to:
Construction of new infrastructure
Upgrades, repairs, refurbishments, repurposing, or renovations to a building
Fit out of a building
IT upgrades to a building
Purchase of land or property
Installation of fixed structures on land
Equipment and Vehicles
Projects may include, but are not limited to the purchase or lease of free standing equipment such as:
vehicles, buses, trailers
IT equipment
office equipment
equipment needed for service provision
repair to specialised equipment

Funding can be used for projects that meet the outcomes of Closing the Gap Community and Place Grants program. Project could include:

Activities, programs, purchase or lease of equipment and capital works.

A single project or multiple activities that form a larger project.

Local partnership projects where all parties are ACCOs or Aboriginal community groups and a tangible program or infrastructure outcome is being delivered in an Aboriginal community.

To be funded, projects must:

  • Be delivered in a local Aboriginal community in NSW (state-wide programs or activities are not eligible for funding).
  • Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for guidance on what is considered a local community for the purpose of this grant.
  • Show how it will contribute to one or more CTG socio-economic outcome targets.
  • Demonstrate community support and involvement in the development and delivery.
  • For capital works projects, have property/landowner’s consent and all planning approvals.

Funding cannot be used for:

  • State-wide projects.
  • Projects in a community outside NSW.
  • Wages, salaries and on-costs for ongoing staff.
  • Sitting fees, travel allowance or costs associated with membership of boards/councils.
  • International travel costs. Proposals for domestic travel costs need to demonstrate the benefits of travel to the project, organisation, and community.
  • Activities that may create an ongoing dependency on Community and Place Grants Program, i.e. funding over multiple years.
  • Costs that are not directly associated with the delivery of the project that is funded by the grant.
  • Project costs that are supported by another grant, subsidy or financial assistance.
  • Project works or costs that have been or will be covered by insurance claims (for example, repairs following weather events).
  • Project costs incurred prior to the earliest possible project start date of 1 January 2023.
  • Costs to cover existing debts or budget deficits.
  • General operational or business as usual costs.
  • Maintenance or construction of residential infrastructure.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for an Aboriginal Affairs NSW Community and Place Grant, applicants must be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Organisation (ACCO) or an unincorporated Aboriginal community group with an agreement for an ACCO to auspice the funding.

Unincorporated Aboriginal groups - Unincorporated groups must be Aboriginal community groups – that is, they must be led by Aboriginal people.  

An Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Organisation delivers services, including land and resource management, that builds the strength and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people and is:

  • incorporated under relevant legislation and not-for-profit;
  • controlled and operated by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people;
  • connected to the community, or communities, in which they deliver the services; and
  • governed by a majority Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander governing body.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicant organisation must be an eligible legal entity located in NSW and able to enter into a funding agreement with Aboriginal Affairs NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, have an Australian bank account and an Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • Applicant organisations must have public liability of at least $10 million per claim or include the cost of insurance within their application.
  • An unincorporated Aboriginal community group, which would otherwise not be eligible, may apply if it has entered into an agreement with an eligible applicant organisation, which has agreed to auspice the funding. In this situation the eligible organisation must demonstrate compliance with the two eligibility points above.

Applicants not eligible for funding are:

  • Individuals.
  • Incorporated not-for-profit organisations not controlled or operated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Unincorporated groups which are not led by Aboriginal people.
  • Federal and State Government agencies and bodies.
  • NSW Public Schools.
  • For-profit organisations, including Aboriginal businesses.
  • Unincorporated organisations or groups without an eligible auspicing organisation.
  • Organisations that have not met project requirements, including acquittal, and reporting for funding received from Aboriginal Affairs NSW in the previous two years.
  • Organisations with redress sanctions, as described in the National Redress Scheme.

See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) for further information on eligibility.


Auspice Organisations:

An auspicing organisation means that another organisation, which is an eligible organisation under this grant program, agrees to apply for and be responsible for the grant funding, on behalf of your unincorporated association or group.

Aboriginal Affairs NSW has template Auspice Agreements available for funded organisations to use and adapt.

How to apply

Applications are to be completed online at the Aboriginal Affairs NSW online grants platform.

Please note, applications will not be accepted by other channels. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to allow sufficient time to submit applications using the online system, including allowing for unexpected delays.

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

An applicant can apply once per stream for a distinct project in each stream.

Applications must be submitted by 5pm Friday 14 October 2022.
Late applications will not be considered or accepted unless Aboriginal Affairs NSW determines, as its sole discretion, that it is in the interests of the fairness of the program to accept the late application.

This may include that an applicant experienced 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, contact Aboriginal Affairs NSW to advise of the circumstances as soon as possible and be able to provide detail and evidence of the exceptional circumstance.

Assessment criteria and process

This is an open and competitive grants program. Applications will be assessed against the criteria and ranked competitively against each other. 

Applications with the highest scores are more likely to be funded. 

Once the funding round closes, applications will be screened for eligibility. Ineligible applicants will be notified in writing. Eligible applications will then be assessed by a panel comprising of senior officers from Aboriginal Affairs NSW and across NSW government, based on the assessment criteria, within four weeks of submission.

The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs is the final decision-maker and will consider the recommendations of the assessment panel in making a decision. 

Aboriginal Affairs NSW staff may request further advice and/or clarification from applicants at any time during the assessment process.

Where the application includes ineligible activities or budget items, applicants may be offered part of the funding sought in their application. 

Independent probity advisers will provide guidance on issues concerning integrity, fairness and accountability that may arise throughout the application, assessment and decision process. This will help ensure decisions are made with integrity, fairness and accountability, while delivering value for money for NSW.

Applications will be assessed by a panel based on the following criteria:

What are we looking for? 
 Alignment with the Community and Place Grants Program objective: deliver tangible benefit and impact against the Closing the Gap socio-economic outcome targets in a local Aboriginal community
 Project clearly demonstrates how it will contribute to one or more of the Closing the Gap socio-economic outcome targets for a local Aboriginal community in NSW. The projects must contribute to the Closing the Gap targets specifically, not just the broad outcome area.
Demonstrated local Aboriginal community support
Clear evidence of broad support from the local Aboriginal community and community involvement in the project design and implementation. 
Value for money
Project budget is realistic and cost effective. There is a clear link between the budget items and the project activities and outcomes
Capacity to deliver
Applicant has demonstrated relevant experience and capacity to deliver the project.
For infrastructure applications, landowner consent and planning approvals have been provided


See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more information on the criteria



Program Guidelines

Step by Step Guide for applicants

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (updated as at 5 October 2022)

Eligibility Checklist

Budget Guide

Landowners consent template

Basic project planning template 

Other important information

COVID-19 impacts

Due to the changing impacts of COVID-19 across NSW, projects must be in-line with NSW Government public health orders and advice, for example with regard to social distancing and public gatherings. Up-to-date information is available here.

If COVID-19 rules in NSW change during the grants period, Aboriginal Affairs NSW may request further information from you on how you propose to manage COVID-19 risks for your project.

Funding arrangements and reporting

Successful applicants will be required to:

Enter into a Funding Agreement with Aboriginal Affairs NSW within two weeks of the grant offer being made.

Start and complete funded activities and events by the dates specified in the Funding Agreement.

Notify Aboriginal Affairs NSW of any proposed changes to your funded activity.

Acknowledge the support of the NSW Government in accordance with the Funding Acknowledgement Guidelines

Report on outcomes from the activity and acquit the grant within 21 days of project completion. 

If the acquittal is not completed within the required timeframe, you will not be eligible to apply for Aboriginal Affairs NSW grants for the following two years.


Disclosure of information

Information relating to the successful applications will be included in:

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


This information may include the name of the applicant and their business, a description of the funded project and the funding amount.

Applicants should be aware that information provided to Aboriginal Affairs NSW 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 GIPA 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. 

Any Aboriginal Cultural or Intellectual Property submitted in an application remains the property of the relevant community organisation or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person and will be dealt with in accordance with the Aboriginal Cultural and Intellectual Property Protocol


Every effort has been made to ensure that this publication is free from error and/or omission at the date of publication. The authors, publisher and any person involved in the preparation of this publication take no responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of information contained herein.


Support and Contacts

For any questions regarding the Aboriginal Affairs NSW Community and Place Grants Program please contact your nearest AANSW Regional Office on the phone numbers below or email

Please note that while AANSW Regional staff will be pleased to answer questions about the application process, they cannot provide advice or comments on the content or merits of your application.

AANSW Regional Office                                              Contact number 

Batemans Bay
02 8575 1199
02 8575 1172
Coffs Harbour
02 8575 1068
Broken Hill
02 9228 5224
02 9228 5224
02 9273 3968
02 8575 1073
Greater Sydney
02 8575 1105

The regional offices of National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and Regional NSW may also be able to provide assistance in submitting your application. 

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