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 2023/2024 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.

Watch the replay of the Community and Place Grant Program information session to find out more.


Key Changes to the program for 2023/2024

Before submitting your application, please review the below key changes to the Community and Place Grants program this year:

Key Change
2022/2023 Program
2023/2024 Program
EOI Application Process
Generic application process from initial submission
The ability to submit an EOI as an overview for the overall project to be assessed based on merit followed by an invitation to submit a full application
Funding Allocation

$15 million allocated to the overall program
$10 million allocated to the overall program
Auspice Eligibility

Unincorporated groups to be Auspiced by an eligible Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO)
Auspice providers do not have to be ACCO’s, however must be an eligible legal entity with the ability to enter into a Funding Agreement
Streams/Funding Allocation Stream 1 – Grants up to $100,000
Stream 2 – Grants between $101,000 and $250,000
No Streams, however funding will be allocated across three Program Categories:
Programs ($4m)
Infrastructure ($4m)
Equipment and vehicles ($2m)
Regional Review prior to assessment
All eligible applications went straight to an Assessment Panel

All eligible applications will be reviewed by AANSW Regional teams to provide further information to the panel where it is known

Program Timeline

EOI Application Opening
02 October 2023
EOI Application closing
10am, 30 October 2023
Invitation to submit Full Grant Application
December 2023
Full Grant Application Opening
04 December 2023
Full Grant Application Closing
10am, 29 January 2024
Application Outcomes Sent
Early May 2024
Project delivery timeframe
01 July 2024
Evaluation timeframe
30 June 2025

Online Information Sessions

Wednesday, 4 October 2023
9:30am – 10:30am
Wednesday, 4 October 2023
1:30pm – 2:30pm
Wednesday, 11 October 2023
9:30am – 10:30am

To Register to attend an info session head over to Aboriginal Affairs NSW 2023-24 Community and Place Grants Program Information Sessions.

Applicant Toolkit

Aboriginal Affairs NSW has a number of resources to support you with your application. It is highly recommended you review all resources and use the Applicant Checklist before submitting your application.

Program Guidelines

Step by Step Guide for applicants

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Applicant Checklist

Project Planning template

Budget Guide

Landowners consent template

Auspice Services Agreement

For enquiries, please email Aboriginal Affairs NSW Community Investments team at

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 $10 million in funding is available in 2023/24

One application can be submitted per organisation, to a maximum of $250,000.

Projects must be delivered by recipients between 1 July 2024 and 30 June 2025

Who can apply?

To be eligible for an Aboriginal Affairs NSW Community and Place Grant you must:

Be an Aboriginal and or/Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO);


Be an unincorporated Aboriginal community group with an eligible auspice organisation. 

Applicants or their auspice organisation must:

Be an eligible legal 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);

Have public liability insurance of at least $10 million per claim or include the cost of insurance within their application.

For further information on eligibility please review the Program Guidelines.

What can funding be used for?

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

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 the project will contribute to one or more CtG socio-economic outcome targets.

Demonstrate local Aboriginal community support and involvement in the development and delivery of the project.

Infrastructure (Category 2) projects must have:

Proof of property/landowner’s consent

Proof of lodgement of DA (where required the works require a DA) prior to the Stage 2 application close date.

Projects could include:

Activities, programs, the 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 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), or Aboriginal community groups, and a tangible program or infrastructure outcome is being delivered in an Aboriginal community.

For further information on eligible costs please review the Program Guidelines.

How to apply

All Expression of Inters (EOI) and applications are to be completed online via Smarty Grants, the Aboriginal Affairs NSW online grants platform. Applicants will not be able to apply for a grant without submitting an Expression of Interest.

Stage One – Expression of Interest Application

Your Expression of Interest will require you to provide a project overview, and must include the following information:

Project idea, how it will be delivered and who will be involved.

Details about your organisation or group and your experience managing projects or funding.

Which local Aboriginal community will benefit from your project.

How much funding you are applying for.

Expected Closing the Gap Socio-Economic Target(s) the project aims to meet.

Applicants can also choose to submit a video response to Expression of Interest questions. Aboriginal Affairs NSW staff are available to support applicants with recording and preparing a file for upload, if required.

Expression of interest applications must be submitted by 10am, Monday 30 October 2023.

Stage Two – Full Grant Application

Full grant applications will open on 4 December 2023 and close on 29 January 2024.

Full grant applications will require more detail on your project including the following:

Alignment with identified Closing the Gap Socio Economic Target(s).

Project Plan – including key milestones and activities.

Project Risk Plan – Key risks and processes for managing these.

Project Budget – Detailed budget breakdown.

Supporting Documentation

Supporting Documents

(Required at Stage One)
Evidence of the applicant organisations ACCO Status
This can include any of the following:
Certificate of ORIC registration
Constitution or Rule book indicating governance structure
(Required at Stage Two)
Evidence of local Aboriginal Community Support
Letters from local Aboriginal community members and organisations
Evidence of local Aboriginal community involvement in project development (e.g., Community Working Party arrangements, community feedback sessions, etc).
(Required at Stage Two)
Public liability insurance
Certificate of currency
Budget includes the purchase of Public liability insurance
(Required at Stage Two)
Project Plans
A detailed plan showing the life of your project from planning through to completion.
Planning templates are available on our website
(Required at Stage Two)
Quotes from external suppliers for budget items over $5,000.
(Required at Stage Two)
Evidence of Development Application (DA) Lodgement (for projects including capital works)
Includes email confirmation of application being lodged with your local Council.
(Required at Stage Two)
Landowner consent (for projects including capital works)

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. 

Assessment of the program will be a two phased process, as follows:

Stage One – EOI Application

Expression of interest (EOI) applications will be initially reviewed by Aboriginal Affairs NSW staff for applicant eligibility and community need.

A panel comprised of Senior Officers from Aboriginal Affairs NSW and across NSW government will review all EOIs and complete a merit assessment on program alignment.

Recommendations from the EOI stage will be approved by the Deputy Secretary for Aboriginal Affairs NSW.

Stage Two – Full Application

Full grant applications will be assessed by AANSW Regional Teams and an assessment officer from Aboriginal Affairs NSW, based on the following assessment criteria:

•     Alignment with Community and Place Objectives

•     Demonstrated local Aboriginal community support

•     Organisational capacity

•     Value for Money

Ineligible and unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing.

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

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

Support and Contacts

For any questions regarding the Aboriginal Affairs NSW Community and Place Grants Program please contact Community Investments Team via email


Go Back