Aboriginal Culture and Healing Bushfire Recovery Grants

What is the Aboriginal Culture and Healing Bushfire Recovery Grants?

The Aboriginal Culture and Healing Bushfire Recovery Grants is a program to support Aboriginal heritage priorities, promote culturally safe recovery initiatives, and invest in projects that deliver on Aboriginal culture and healing outcomes. 



The 2019-2020 bushfire season was unprecedented in intensity and devastation. These fires directly affected Aboriginal communities across Victoria. Aboriginal people are disproportionately affected by the impact of fires due to structural and financial inequalities, and a backdrop of historical and intergenerational trauma. A range of skills and expertise are required to implement recovery efforts supporting Aboriginal communities.

For 2021-22, the Victorian Government has committed $104.4 million to support the current and emerging needs of bushfire-affected communities.

Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) is responsible for coordinating and supporting the state’s rebuilding and recovery activities. BRV ensures the delivery of locally led recovery efforts that support councils and has community at the centre of their recovery. Grants delivered by BRV focus on supporting initiatives across the five lines of recovery.

  • People and wellbeing
    • Aboriginal culture and healing
    • Environment and biodiversity
    • Business and economy
    • Building and infrastructure



BRV has expanded on previous recovery models by establishing a dedicated line of recovery for Aboriginal Culture and Healing. The objectives under this line of recovery are: 

  • Aboriginal people’s unique experiences of trauma are addressed, and healing is supported
  • recovery and resilience are strengthened through Aboriginal culture, knowledge, and the connection between Country and healing
  • Aboriginal communities have increased capability to lead recovery and healing.



In 2021-22, $4 million was dedicated to supporting the Aboriginal Culture and Healing Bushfire Recovery Grants program.  

Grants will be available in two streams to address the recovery needs for Aboriginal communities:

  • Funding Stream 1: Cultural Heritage Recovery ($1.3 million available) 
    • Grants of up to $500,000 are available to support immediate cultural heritage management needs across bushfire affected Country. 
  • Funding Stream 2: Aboriginal Community Support ($2.7 million available)
    • Grants of up to $500,000 are available for projects that address the needs of Aboriginal communities throughout recovery.


Eligible Projects

Funding Stream 1: Cultural Heritage Recovery

Examples of projects that may be funded in this category are:  

  • country mapping 
  • protection works for Aboriginal cultural heritage  
  • training and capacity building for Traditional Owner organisations 
  • archaeological data collection and processing. 

Funding Stream 2: Aboriginal Community Support

Eligible projects include:

  • events to reconnect communities 
  • training and capacity building workshops 
  • activities to improve community resilience in future disasters 
  • community development activities. 


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible, an organisation must be either: 

  • an Aboriginal organisation that is an incorporated legal entity under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), or the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2001 (Vic) or the Corporation (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth), or
  • a social enterprise with a clearly stated purpose or mission-related specifically to supporting Aboriginal communities in bushfire recovery. 

And applicants must have: 

  • had their Country directly impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires, if applying under stream one for cultural heritage projects 
  • the capability to report to BRV on the outcomes and activities of the funded project 
  • a current Australian Business Number (ABN) 
  • no outstanding acquittals for any previous government grant programs. 



Applications close 05 January 2022.


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