Aboriginal Community Caring for Country Grants

What is the Aboriginal Community Caring for Country Grants?

The 2021 Aboriginal Caring for Country Grants are part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Biodiversity on-ground action program and aim to support Traditional Owners’ rights on Country and drive Aboriginal self-determination by supporting Aboriginal communities to identify, understand and apply Aboriginal values and traditional ecological knowledge in the management of Country to enable healthy Country and healthy people.

These grants support the Department’s commitment to Aboriginal self-determination. Pupangarli Marnmarnepu ‘Owning Our Future’ is the Department’s roadmap to building a better future with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians, through systemic and structural change that fully supports Aboriginal decision-making, evaluation and talent building to inform its policy and projects.



The 2021 Aboriginal Community Caring for Country Grants aim to:

  • Support Traditional Owners’ rights on Country and drive Aboriginal selfdetermination so that aspirations for land, water and culture are realised
  • Recognise and include Aboriginal values and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the management of Country
  • Provide opportunities for Aboriginal communities to access Country and biodiversity for community, cultural and economic development
  • Build capability and skills to care for Country including understanding how to manage local native plants and animals
  • Support Aboriginal communities achieve healthy Country and people

And through these actions address threats to biodiversity, improve and expand habitat and help native species and ecosystems become more resilient to climate change impacts.



Funding of $350,000 is available for grants in 2021. Grants are available to successful applicants through two separate grant streams with a minimum application of $4,000 and the upper limit described below.

The grants are available for single projects.

  • Stream 1 – Connecting Aboriginal Communities with Knowledge to Care for Country – up to $25,000
  • Stream 2 – Delivering Caring for Country – up to $50,000


Eligible Projects

Projects should support Traditional Owners’ aspirations for Country and drive Aboriginal selfdetermination by providing opportunities for Aboriginal communities to access and connect with Country, undertake training to build capability and skills to deliver caring for Country
activities and deliver outcomes within the following scope:

  • Activities that enable learning and sharing of Aboriginal values and Traditional Ecological Knowledge within Aboriginal communities to better understand and care for Country
  • On-ground activities that aim to care for Country
  • Cultural activities that support Aboriginal communities to connect with Country
  • Activities that support Aboriginal training and employment outcomes related to caring for Country

The program will support the following categories of expenditure noting that this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Advertising, printing/design, postage
  • Assessment and monitoring of wildlife and plants, such as citizen science
  • Capital items & equipment must become a registered asset of the entity and have a lifespan beyond one year. Where possible, hire, borrow or share assets between groups rather than purchased for one-off projects.
  • Contractors must demonstrate that this is work that your group is unable to carry out due to specialised skills, equipment and safety considerations, be appropriately licenced, insured and trained, follow best practice and any label and legal requirements. Any contractor that is engaged must have a COVID-safe plan in place.
  • Educational signage
  • Engagement or training event
  • Expert advice for the protection of cultural heritage
  • Fencing
  • Hire of equipment or vehicles for transport
  • Materials (e.g. fencing, plants, mulch, weed management chemicals etc)
  • Native vegetation protection and restoration using Indigenous tube stock or smaller cell plants and seeds are eligible.
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Pest animal control
  • Project management or coordination
  • Purchase of iPad or laptop for data collection (not for personal use)
  • Rubbish removal/reduction from habitat
  • Terrestrial feature Seek expert advice for the species you are targeting. Record locations of features to ensure that they are not taken over by feral bees and non-target species.
  • Threatened species activities undertaken under expert supervision, and where applicable, must be in line with requirements for the species identified through plans and under permit.
  • Venue hire and accommodation other event costs associated with project activities
  • Waterway and wetland restoration. You may require Works on Waterways approval from the Catchment Management Authority and other relevant approvals before undertaking your activities and recognise that this may take time to process.
  • Weed control work must be carried out by appropriately licenced, insured and trained persons and must follow best practice, label and legal requirements.

There are no caps or limits for eligible items. However, value for money will be considered as part of the assessment process.


Eligible Applicants

Applicants that can demonstrate their fit one of the following categories are eligible to apply:

  • Any Victorian Traditional Owner or Aboriginal community group with an interest in caring for Country to achieve healthy Country and healthy people.
  • Incorporated Victorian Traditional Owner and Aboriginal Victorian organisations.

Applicant groups must either be:

  • a not-for-profit organisation registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission at the time of the application, or
  • an incorporated body either registered through Consumer Affairs Victoria or an incorporated association under the Commonwealth Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.



Applications close 22 April 2021.


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