Disability Representation Organisations (DRO) Grant Opportunity

Up to $750,000 is available from DRO Grant Opportunity to deliver a systematic advocacy for people with disability and disability service providers.

Disability Representation Organisations (DRO) Grant Opportunity

Disability Representation Organisations (DRO) Grant Opportunity

The Australian Government invites applications via an open process to deliver systemic advocacy services under the Disabilities, Mental Health and Carers Program – DRO grant opportunity, nationally from 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2020. There are flexible models of funding. A DRO may apply individually; as part of an Alliance; or as Lead of a Consortium. DRO grants promote diversity of disability representation.



Since 2015, six national disability organisations have been funded under the DRO Program. Five organisations are funded to represent: cross-disability issues, women with disability, children and young people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, and people with disability from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds. A further organisation is funded to represent disability service providers, to support transition and reform during the full implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.These disability peak bodies are currently funded to 31 December 2017, at a total cost of approximately $1.775 million (GST Exclusive) per financial year.



The DRO Grant Opportunity aims to:

  • Support national DROs for people with disability, and/or represent disability service providers who support people with disability: to ensure that disability issues and a diversity of voices are represented in Australian Government decision-making and policy outcomes.
  • Deliver a DRO Grant Opportunity for domestic representation of Australians with disability, consistent with Australia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
  • Support people with disability and/or lived experience of disability, and/or service providers supporting people with disability. These people and service providers are the focus of the systemic advocacy services funded under the DRO Grant Opportunity.

The objectives of the DRO Grant Opportunity will be achieved through systemic advocacy which leads to improvements in the lives of people with disability. Systemic advocacy may achieve influence through the following groups:

  • people with disability and/or lived experience of disability
  • policy makers (government)
  • researchers
  • national organisations (disability and allied sectors)
  • service providers
  • business and community organisations.



Up to $300,000 (GST exclusive) per year is available per successful individual organisation each financial year. This includes organisations working either individually, or for each organisation working under a collaboration agreement with other separately funded organisations (also called an ‘Alliance’), a term explained in Section 3, see also Appendix IV.

A maximum of $750,000 (GST exclusive) is available to each successful organisation (applicant) for the entire grant agreement period (1 January 2018 to 30 June 2020).


Eligible Projects

Grants may be used for a range of domestic systemic disability advocacy activities including:

  • systemic disability community networking, representation and consultation
  • information dissemination, awareness raising and education
  • submissions / papers / representation to Government / Parliament
  • research, surveys, policy and analysis
  • participate in DRO / disability peer / intersectional – activities and forums
  • other general systemic advocacy
  • cost of staff salaries and wages to undertake international representation as part of Australia’s obligations under the UNCRPD and similar fora.

All expenditure items must clearly address the Grant Opportunity objectives in order to be considered eligible for funding:

  • You can only spend grant funds on eligible grant activities as defined in your grant agreement, and as agreed in Annual Activity Work Plans.
  • Any additional activities undertaken by your organisation outside of the agreed priorities and eligible activities must be separately funded and not included in DRO Grant Opportunity Annual Activity Work plans and Progress Reports.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible to apply for a grant you must be one of the following entity types:

  • a company incorporated in Australia
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • an incorporated association
  • a partnership
  • a Consortium with a lead organisation
  • an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006
  • Public Company
  • Private Company
  • Incorporated Cooperative.

In addition, to meet eligibility all organisations making applications must:

  • Be capable of operating services in multiple states and territories so they must have an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) or Australian Company Number (ACN). This applies to all directly applying organisations whether they: an individual organisation; an individual organisation working in an Alliance with other organisations; or a lead organisation of a Consortium.
  • If a Consortium member, (not the Lead of the Consortium), must have either an Australian Business Number (ABN), an Australian Company Number (ACN) or an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN). Please note that if that organisation intends to deliver services across multiple states and territories than it must have an ARBN or ACN.
  • Be registered for the purposes of GST.
  • Have an account with an Australian financial institution.
  • Have main place of business based/located in an Australian State or mainland Territory.
  • Be financially viable (assessed by the Department of Social Services based on financial statements provided by you and information on public record).
  • Comply with all relevant laws, including (but not limited to):
    • the Disability Services Act 1986
    • the Social Security Act 1991
    • the National Health Act 1953
    • the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013
    • the Fair Work Act 2009
    • the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (if relevant).



Applications close 6 October 2017.


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