Up to $230,000 is available to help multicultural communities respond to their everyday needs and challenges.

Capacity Building and Participation Program


The Capacity Building and Participation (CBP) Program is designed to build the knowledge and skills of multicultural communities across Victoria to fully participate and contribute to everyday life in Victoria.

The program seeks to strengthen the participation, inclusion and contribution of high needs groups including regional multicultural communities; refugees and asylum seekers; youth; women; seniors; and lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex (LGBTI) multicultural community members. The program also seeks to build community capacity to respond to family violence including through initiatives focused on promoting gender equality, family violence prevention, family safety and family violence service access.



The Victorian Government is committed to promoting the social, cultural and economic benefits of cultural diversity to all Victorians. This initiative is administered by the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC). The design of the program, assessment process and grant recommendations are agreed utilising a collaborative approach between OMAC and the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC).

The CBP Program consolidates a number of grant programs previously administered by the VMC including the Community Strengthening grants, Organisational Support grants, Community Language Schools grants, Multicultural Senior Citizens Organisation Support grants, as well as programs administered by OMAC including the Refugee Action Program, the Rights and Responsibilities Program, the Asylum Seeker Support Program and the Peak Multicultural Organisation Support Program. The program design, assessment process and grant recommendations are agreed utilising a collaborative approach between OMAC and the VMC.



The Capacity Building and Participation Program (CBP) aims to achieve the following objectives to:

  • build the capacity of Victoria’s multicultural communities to actively contribute to all aspects of life in Victoria, including multicultural regional communities, refugee and asylum seeker communities, young people, women, senior multicultural Victorians and LGBTI Victorians;
  • strengthen participation, inclusion and service access by multicultural communities across Victoria, including better connecting communities with the mainstream service system;
  • strengthen the capacity of multicultural community organisations, including multicultural seniors organisations and community language schools, so that they can better engage and support the multicultural communities and groups that they represent; and
  • to foster collaborative and partnership approaches between community and organisations, in which communities are empowered to use their strengths, knowledge and resources, to improve social, cultural, educational and economic pathways and outcomes.



The Capacity Building and Participation Program (CBP) is divided into three funding streams:

1. Small Grants

Grants up to $5,000 per year to strengthen the organisational capacity of small multicultural organisations including multicultural seniors and community language schools.

Multi-year funding up to four years will be considered for small grants where applicants can demonstrate a successful track record in undertaking similar funded activities for the last five years or more.

2. Medium Grants

Grants up to $75,000 per year for one or two years for community capacity building projects benefitting multicultural communities including high needs groups such as multicultural regional communities, refugee and asylum seeker communities, young people, women, multicultural senior Victorians and LGBTI Victorians or to address the priority issues of gender equality, women’s leadership and financial literacy, family violence prevention, family safety or family violence service responsiveness.

3. Strategic Partnership Grants

Grants up to $230,000 per year for four years for strategic partnership approaches to either:

  • support refugees and asylum seekers in defined areas across Metropolitan Melbourne (grants up to $200,000 per year for four years); or
  • build the capacity of regional multicultural communities, including refugees and asylum seekers, and strengthen community harmony, social cohesion and economic outcomes in defined regional areas (grants up to $230,000 per year for four years).


Eligible Projects

Small Grants

Funding is targeted at supporting small multicultural organisations, including multicultural seniors organisations/clubs and community languages schools, to strengthen their organisational capacity to better serve the multicultural communities they represent.

Funding can be used to support:

  • day to day organisational running costs including rent, lighting, heating, catering, utilities, telephone, stationery and postage;
  • purchase/hire of minor office equipment, kitchen equipment and other equipment for community capacity building activities;
  • provision of community information sessions/seminars; activities or outings, including for seniors clubs; or
  • community transportation costs.

Medium Grants

Funding is targeted at creating strong engagement, participation and inclusion outcomes for multicultural communities by funding medium projects which either:

  • build the capacity of multicultural communities to design and implement sustainable solutions to strengthen participation in community life, create opportunities for gender equality and social inclusion or strengthen education, employment or volunteering pathways and outcomes;
  • enhance community understanding and access to local or regional services, thereby creating more informed, independent and empowered communities and more responsive services; and/or
  • draw upon community strengths and co-design to respond to challenges or opportunities impacting a local multicultural community or high needs multicultural group, for example through: the positive engagement of LGBTI young people; reducing youth disengagement; a partnership project which engages multicultural communities in family violence prevention and gender equality initiatives or improves women’s leadership, financial literacy or access by women from diverse backgrounds to family violence services; the creation of social and economic opportunities for a group of multicultural mothers; positive engagement between multicultural young people and parents/ elders; or the creation of sustainable social, educational and economic pathways for newly arrived refugees or asylum seekers.

Funding can be used to build the capacity of:

  • a specified multicultural community (for example: the Karen community in Werribee or the South Pacific Islander community in Victoria); or
  • multiple multicultural communities working together on a common priority (for example: partnership project with multicultural youth to develop social media tools which address family violence prevention and gender equality); or
  • a defined priority needs group (for example: multicultural women, ageing migrants, multicultural youth, asylum seekers/refugees or LGBTI community m