Applications are now closed.

Aboriginal communities’ connection to country is basic to their sense of identity and cultural continuity. Victoria’s waterways are an important part of country that have been damaged by the development of the state’s water resources. There are opportunities to restore this damage and in doing so enhance Aboriginal communities’ wellbeing. Also, improving Aboriginal Victorian’s access to water resources on country offers important opportunities for economic development.

Objectives of the Aboriginal Water Program are to:

  • Recognise Aboriginal values and objectives of water (Water for Victoria Action 6.1)
  • Include Aboriginal values and traditional ecological knowledge in water planning (Water for Victoria Action 6.2)
  • Support Aboriginal access to water for economic development (Water for Victoria, Action 6.3)
  • Build capacity to increase Traditional Owner and Aboriginal Victorians participation in water management (Water for Victoria, Action 6.4).

Grant categories

Category 1: Grants are available up to $200,000 which seek to identify Aboriginal values and uses using Aboriginal Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).

Category 2: Grants up to $120,000 are also available for organisations to recruit an Aboriginal Water Officer (AWO). This grant will be supported with a position description outlining how the AWO will be used to support Water for Victoria objectives and actions in your organisation.

Category 3: A combination of categories 1 and 2 can be included in an application.

How to apply

  1. Download and read the Application Guidelines (PDF, 401.8 KB)
  2. Complete the application form online
  3. Return to your saved application

The Aboriginal Water Grants Program is open to the following organisations and individuals can apply directly to DELWP.

  • Victorian Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians
  • Aboriginal Groups and their partners who are involved in riverway and, waterway health
  • Victorian members of the Murray Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations, (MLDRIN)
  • Traditional Owner members of the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations, (FVTOC)
  • Catchment Management Authorities, (CMAs)
  • Water Corporations, (WC)
  • Grants are open to anyone across Victoria, however strong demonstrable relationships must be evidenced with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians

Applicants must

  • Be not for profit and registered as an incorporated body at the time of application and for the project duration. If an applicant is not a registered as an incorporated body, it must arrange for a legally constituted organisation to manage the grants funding.
  • Possess an Australian Business number (ABN) or provide a completed Australian Tax Office form, (statement by supplier) so that no withholding tax is required from the grant payment.
  • 14 December: applications open
  • 7 February 2018: applications closed (extended - previously 31 January)
  • 26 March 2018: applications will be assessed by the Water for Country Project Control Group
  • Before 30 June 2018: activities commence

You will need to:

  • Read the guidelines carefully (PDF, 401.8 KB)
  • Contact a DELWP officer to review your application proposal
  • Check the cost and availability of materials and services
  • Acquit all previous grants from DELWP
  • Prepare appropriate supporting documents

Make sure you attach the following documents with your application:

  • Traditional Owner consent to conduct activity
  • Copy of Public Liability Insurance Certificate
  • Copy of Personal Accident Insurance
  • Evidence of confirmation of other funding sources
  • Written consent from the relevant public land manager or private landowner to undertake the work
  • Evidence of approval for appropriate works permit/s from councils or authorities where applicable
  • Written consent from the relevant public land manager or private landowner to undertake the activity
  • Evidence of confirmation of other funding sources
  • Evidence of other relevant statutory approvals to carry out the activity
  • Where project involves children and young people, Working with Children Checks will be required