Community Heritage Grants

Up to $15,000 is available to assist in the preservation of community heritage.
Community Heritage Grants


The Community Heritage Grants (CHG) program provides grants to community organisations such as libraries, archives, museums, genealogical and historical societies, multicultural and Indigenous groups. The grants are provided to assist with the preservation of locally owned, but nationally significant collections of materials that are publicly accessible including artefacts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and audio visual material.

The program is funded by the Australian Government and managed by the National Library of Australia, with support provided by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport through the Office for the Arts; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; and the National Museum of Australia.

Since 1994, $4.5 million has been awarded to community organisations throughout Australia.

The types of projects supported include Significance Assessments of collections; Preservation Needs Assessments of collections; conservation activities and collection management; and training workshops.


Eligible Projects

There are two categories of projects funded: Collection Preservation Projects and Training Projects.



If your organisation has not had a Significance Assessment carried out for your collection you should apply for funding for this first.
A Significance Assessment helps explain the meaning and value of a collection and provides further information for its management and interpretation. This appraisal is useful in assisting your organisation to prioritise collection items, interpret your collection and should form a sound basis for future collection management activities.

Depending on the type of collection you have, the appropriate consultant may be an historian, an archivist, a museum curator, a heritage librarian or similar expert with experience in preparing Significance Assessments. They will produce a written report that provides a statement of significance and a prioritised list of recommendations for future collection management.


A Preservation Needs Assessment looks at the physical condition of a collection and the suitability of current housing and storage facilities and makes recommendations for the development of a prioritised conservation program.

A Preservation Needs Assessment should be conducted by a conservator who qualifies as a professional member of the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials (AICCM) or who has equivalent practical qualifications in their field.



Based on the recommendations of the Preservation Needs Assessment, applicants must list the most at risk and most highly significant items in order of priority. If the applicant has already undertaken some steps in the process, this should be clearly stated in the application.

Eligible conservation and collection management projects such as treatments and housing, digitisation and software purchases, are listed below.

Treatments and housing

These may include:

    • Collection rehousing and management – the purchase of storage materials such as archival-quality boxes, folders, envelopes, packing materials and sleeves appropriate to the material to be rehoused. Rehousing may also include the purchase of specialist shelving or storage equipment such as object cases, and map or plan cabinets. Conservation treatment – physical treatments such as cleaning and collection maintenance, archival quality binding, matting, boxing, framing and other protective measures for storage or display, conservation treatment or rebinding of highly significant items by qualified conservators.
    • Environmental control and/or monitoring equipment – the purchase,installation or improvement of systems to control or monitor temperature, humidity, light and air quality, such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers and data loggers.
    • Reformatting of original material for preservation and access purposes and ongoing planning for the collection’s maintenance – copying audio tapes and audiovisual material or producing microfilm, digital or photographic print copies for preservation and access. Reformatting may also include audiovisual projects.

Audiovisual projects

If you are applying for a project proposing the copying of audiovisual materials you should clearly indicate what outcomes are to be achieved, including:

    • how the project will enable easier access to the collection
    • what is proposed for the original tapes after digitisation
    • what technical standards will be used to copy and encode the video or audio material into a file, and
    • how the new digital content will be accessed (website, loan DVDs etc) and preserved.

Digitisation projects

Applications for digitisation of original materials for preservation and access purposes and for the ongoing planning of the collection’s maintenance should take note of the following requirements.

    • Preservation of original materials must occur prior to digitisation.
    • Applicants must include their budgeted plan for the digitisation process (including arrangements for scanning, back-up procedures, access to the digitised records) with supporting quotes.
    • Applicants must include their plan for the ongoing management of the digital copies.
    • The project must comply with relevant Australian copyright law.
    • Consideration must be given to the outsourcing of digitisation, which can be a more cost-effective and sustainable option.


Organisations may apply for the purchase of cataloguing or collection management software irrespective of whether Significance or Preservation Needs Assessments have been conducted.

Applicants should provide details of software that has been researched/trialled, including shareware and demonstrate how the preferred software option provides usability and value for money. Consideration should be given to the organisation’s ability to meet ongoing expenses, such as software upgrades and technical assistance.



Organisations may apply for funding for training projects at any stage in the process.

Training topics might include, but are not limited to:

    • collection care and handling
    • cataloguing
    • disaster preparedness
    • collection management
    • assessing significance.

Organisations are encouraged to work in partnership with other groups in their area to apply for joint training projects.

Professional organisations are eligible to apply for training projects. It is not necessary for these organisations to have a collection to apply for funding for training. However, information about the people and the collections that will benefit from the training is important. Organisations that do have a collection may apply for funding for training projects irrespective of whether Significance or Preservation Needs Assessments have been conducted.


Eligible Applicants

A not-for-profit, incorporated organisation that:

    • owns or manages a collection of nationally significant material;
    • is accessible to the general public (‘access’ can be for research, via the Internet, or on temporary or permanent exhibition).

Examples of not-for-profit, incorporated organisations which are encouraged to apply are:

    • Archives
    • Art galleries
    • Community groups
    • Genealogical societies
    • Historical societies
    • Indigenous groups
    • Migrant community groups
    • Museums
    • Professional associations
    • Religious groups

Other organisations, such as public libraries and independent museums located within universities, may also be eligible to apply.

An organisation that wishes to apply for funding but which manages, rather than owns, the collection, must provide written permission from the legal owner of the collection with their application.




Organisations may apply for more than one project provided the combined value is no more than $15,000 and can be completed within one year.




All applications must be received by 5pm (AEST) on Wednesday 1 May 2013.


Expert Assistance

Writing a good quality grant application is a critical element in the application process. An application needs to be well thought through, written concisely, have clear objectives and purpose, and show clear links to the objectives of the grant guidelines.

The grant application must answer all questions, provide all required information and respond to the merit criteria. It should also reflect your organisation’s business strategy.

Writing a good application takes time and effort, and requires particular writing skills.

Bulletpoint are expert grant consultants and can assist with all aspects of grant preparation.

Call us on (03) 9005 6789 or email to discuss further.

We have significant experience in applying for grants. Typical areas where we can be of assistance include:

    • Demonstrating the identified need;
    • Highlighting the relevance to current government policies and priorities;
    • Complete the Project Plan and Budget Projections;
    • Identify Outcomes that are measurable;
    • Detail the applicant organisation’s experience or expertise in undertaking the project/s;
    • Calculating the value for money; and
    • Demonstrating capacity to deliver quality outcomes


Additional Information

2018-12-01T21:34:19+00:00March 28th, 2013|