Up to $400,000 is available from the ILA Program to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to revive and maintain languages, and to develop and present art.


Indigenous Languages and Arts (ILA) Program

The Indigenous Languages and Arts (ILA) Program  is part of a suite of programs under the Australian Government’s commitment to Arts and Cultural Development. The Arts and Cultural Development objective is to support and promote participation in, and access to, Australia’s arts and culture, including by supporting excellence in the arts, supporting indigenous arts, cultures and languages, and protecting Australia’s movable cultural heritage.



The outcome of the Indigenous Languages and Arts (ILA) Program is to support a professional, viable and ethical Indigenous languages and arts network that features strong participation and provides for economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Department will ensure that the Indigenous Languages and Arts (ILA) Program outcome is met by funding a diverse range of Indigenous language and arts projects that contribute towards at least one of the following Program objectives:

  • preserve, revive and maintain Indigenous languages by:
    • facilitating activities that capture and preserve Indigenous language
    • promoting participation in Indigenous language teaching and learning
    • developing Indigenous language resources, including utilising digital technology in an innovative and culturally sensitive manner
  • develop, produce, present, exhibit or perform a diverse range of traditional and contemporary Indigenous arts
  • support new and innovative forms of Indigenous expression through art
  • support the transmission and development of Indigenous cultural heritage and knowledge through languages and arts projects.



The total government funding for this Program comprises of:

  • approximately $20 million annually and ongoing for Indigenous languages and arts projects
  • $10 million over four years from 2016-17 to 2019-20 for projects aligning with the measure to Protect, Preserve and Celebrate Indigenous Languages

Funding under the Indigenous Languages and Arts (ILA) Program is distributed annually through two grant opportunities:

Open Grant Grant Opportunity

Applications for grant funding must comply with one of the following parameters:

  • A project period for up to 12 months and up to a maximum limit of $100,000 per project.
  • A project period for up to 24 months and up to a maximum limit of $200,000 per project.
  • On occasion, funding may be available to meet an identified urgent or specialised need. In these instances, the application will be assessed against the assessment criteria on a value-for-money basis and within the available Program budget.

Direct Offer Grant Opportunity

Participation in the direct offer process is by invitation only and is only available to organisations that meet the eligibility criteria which includes:

  • having previously received funding from the Program
  • demonstrated capability in delivering successful projects of a higher strategic value
  • demonstrated financial management and administrative stability over an extended period

If your organisation receives an invitation to apply for direct offer funding, you will need to fill out and submit a SmartyGrants online application form. A link to the application form will be included in your invitation.

Funding may be available on either a single-year or multi-year basis for up to a maximum of five years with a funding up to a maximum limit of $400,000 per annum. The amount of funding provided will reflect the scope of the Indigenous languages and/or arts activities to be undertaken.


Eligible Projects

The grant monies can only be used to fund activities for Indigenous languages and/or arts projects that align with Program objectives. These activities include:

  • the engagement of consultants, specialists, experts or contractors (for example linguists, artist fees, art workers, curators, Indigenous language experts, Indigenous cultural experts),
  • project administration (a maximum of 30 per cent of total grant monies) for items such as project management, report-writing, book-keeping, audits and financial management
  • consultation on, as well as development, maintenance and storage of, language and/or arts resources and materials, including website(s), apps and hard-copy materials
  • facilitation of access to language and/or arts resources and materials
  • facilitation of language and/or arts workshops and/or community meetings
  • domestic travel to meet with community and key stakeholders for the project


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for the Indigenous Languages and Arts (ILA) Program you must:

  • be one of the following entity types:
    • an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006
    • a company incorporated in Australia
    • a company incorporated by guarantee
    • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
    • an incorporated association
    • a partnership
    • a registered charity or not-for-profit organisation
    • an Australian local government body
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for the purposes of GST if required by the Australian Tax Office
  • have an account with an Australian financial institution
  • have no outstanding reports, acquittals or serious breaches relating to any Australian Government funding – a serious breach is one that has resulted in, or warrants, termination of a grant agreement
  • not be bankrupt or subject to insolvency proceedings (as relevant to the entity type).

In addition to the above requirements, to be eligible to apply for Program funding through the Direct Offer of funding process you must also:

  • have received funding from the Arts portfolio Indigenous languages, arts and culture programs in the last five years
  • have a demonstrated capacity to deliver quality Indigenous language or arts projects
  • have a demonstrated history of good governance, good financial management over an extended period, effective business planning and high-quality performance against funding objectives
  • be a separate legal entity, such as an incorporated association or a company
  • have an Australian Business Number
  • be registered for the Goods and Services Tax, if required by the Australian Tax Office
  • have no overdue acquittals or serious breaches relating to any Australian Government funding. A serious breach is one that has resulted in, or warrants, the termination of a funding agreement.



Applications close 11 February 2019.


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