About the grants

The Our Catchments, Our Communities Leadership Development Grants support the development of future leaders in integrated catchment management in Victoria, across three categories:

  • Innovation: new approaches and knowledge to address contemporary issues in integrated catchment management.
  • Aboriginal Leadership: recognising and supporting Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians as leaders
  • Women in Leadership: improving diversity and inclusion and the opportunity for women to lead

The grants provide funding of up to $10,000 per category to early and mid-career individuals working in the natural resource management sector to support travel, study, research, training and other forms of professional development for integrated catchment management. Recipients are required to share the knowledge and experience gained, to strengthen the catchment management sector. The 2022 round is now closed. Applications are currently being reviewed.

The 2022 grants build on the four previous rounds and are aligned to the strategic directions statement Our Catchments, Our Communities, Building on the Legacy for Better Stewardship, in particular Priority 4 Build the capacity of NRM communities – stewardship, adaptation to climate change impact, recovery from extreme events.

The grants are funded from the $21.75 million 2021-2024 Our Catchments, Our Communities program, part of the Victorian Government’s $248 million investment in waterway and catchment health.

Key dates

Applications open: 28 March 2022

Applications closed: 29 April 2022

Applicants notified: by 14 June 2022

*Please note these dates are subject to change – updates will be posted here. 


Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply for the 2022 Our Catchments, Our Communities Leadership Grants, you must meet all the following criteria, at the time of application:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • live in Victoria
  • be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • be applying for a grant for yourself (you cannot apply for someone else or on behalf of an organisation, group, agency, or institution)
  • be an early or mid-career individual in the natural resource management sector working for one of the following:
  • a government agency or body
  • local government authority
  • private sector business or agency
  • educational institution
  • not for profit organisation
  • community network or group
  • non-governmental organisation
  • only for the Aboriginal Leadership Category: identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

Who cannot apply?

Applications will not be accepted from:

  • Individuals not working in the natural resource management sector for either a group, organisation, institution, agency or government body
  • Individuals applying for a grant on behalf of another individual or group
  • Groups, organisations, institutions, agencies or government bodies
  • Individuals under 18 years of age
  • Anyone residing outside of Victoria at the time of application
  • Non-citizens/permanent residents of Australia
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning staff

Refer to the 2022 Grant Guidelines (DOCX, 4.3 MB) Accessible version (DOCX, 180.1 KB) for more details.

Application process

The 2022 round is now closed. Applications are currently being reviewed. All applicants are expected to be notified by 14 June 2022.

Your questions, answered/Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the grants program?

The Our Catchments, Our Communities Leadership Development Grants are given to support the development of future leaders in integrated catchment management in Victoria, by providing individuals with personal funding to support leadership and professional development opportunities. The grants program provides funding for activities that support early and mid-career individuals to improve their skills and capabilities.

Integrated catchment management is the coordinated management of land, water and biodiversity resources based on catchment areas. This approach incorporates environmental, economic, social and cultural considerations and seeks to ensure the long-term viability of natural resource systems and human needs across current and future generations. Refer to the 2022 Grant Guidelines [add document (include accessible version)] for more information.

How many grant categories are there?

There are three grant categories:

  • Innovation,
  • Aboriginal Leadership and
  • Women in Leadership.

Please note: Only people who identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander are eligible to apply for the Aboriginal Leadership category.

How much funding is available for each grant?

There is a total of $10,000 available under each grant category. Applicants may request any amount up to $10,000. Applicants applying for amounts less than the $10,000 available will not be penalised.

What types of activities will be considered for funding?

The grants are to be used for activities that will support your development as a leader in integrated catchment management. Eligible activities include:

  • Registration costs for training, course/s, or leadership program/s
  • Travel costs (transport, accommodation, meals) – all flights must be economy class
  • Costs associated with research, excluding purchase of equipment
  • Administrative costs associated with your professional development activity (e.g. communication materials, photocopying and printing).

Also refer to the 2022 Grant Guidelines (DOCX, 4.3 MB) and Previous Recipients for further examples.

How will applications be assessed?

Your application will be reviewed to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and that your proposed leadership activities align with the grant category. Your application will also be assessed against the following general criteria:

  • your aspiration to be a leader in integrated catchment management
  • your background/experience in natural resource management and/or integrated catchment management
  • details about your proposed leadership development activities:
    • purpose of activities (i.e. travel, study, research, mentoring and/or training)
    • how these will contribute to your leadership in integrated catchment management in Victoria
    • how these will further your professional development and improve your leadership capabilities
    • how others will benefit from the knowledge and experience gained, and how this will be shared with the catchment and natural resource management sector
    • timelines and itinerary
    • budget details
    • demonstration that the proposed activities are achievable within the timeframe and budget

A shortlist of applicants will then be provided to a selection panel who will assess the proposals and recommend the recipients of the grants. The Minister for Water will approve the grant recipients.

Can I apply for more than one grant?

Yes, but you can only be awarded one grant. You must fill out a new online form for each different category application.

Can I submit an application on behalf of someone else?

No. Applications submitted on behalf of another individual will not be considered.

How long do successful applicants have to complete their project?

Applicants will have 12 months from the receipt of payment (expected by end of June 2022) to spend allocated funds.

When will I hear if I have been successful or not? 

Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email after the assessment process is completed. Notification is expected by the 14 June 2022.

I would like to apply for a course/program, but I won’t know if I’m accepted until after the application deadline. Can I still apply for a grant? 

Yes. In this situation you should make it clear in your application that the success of your enrolment is not yet known. You must let us know prior to the 16 May 2022 the status of your enrolment by emailing ourcatchments.ourcommunitites@delwp.vic.gov.au. Recommendations are expected to be made to the Minister for Water on this date.

Can I apply for a grant to study at university?

You can apply for funding to complete a stand-alone course of module facilitated by a university institution, but you cannot apply for a grant to complete modules or courses which contribute to your academic/tertiary degree at University.

Are applicants required to match funding? 

No, applicants are not required to match funding.

Is it possible to change what I want to do after I have received my grant? 

Yes, it is possible to vary your activities/project after you have received funding. However, any changes must be discussed with, and approved by the appropriate DELWP officer before they can be included as part of the grants program. Please contact ourcatchments.ourcommunities@delwp.vic.gov.au to discuss.