Applications are now open for the Your Community Heritage program, which is Government initiative to support community heritage across Australia.

This is an Australia-wide offer aimed at organisations preserving Australia’s heritage.

Federal heritage minister Tony Burke said: “The Your Community Heritage program is a new approach to protecting Australia’s heritage. This program recognises that our heritage is not just about ‘big’ heritage such as places on the World and National Heritage Lists. It’s about the heritage of individual communities – in regional Australia, small towns or in multicultural communities.”

“It is also about broadening our understanding and support of heritage and the organisations, individuals, volunteers and communities, who protect and manage so many of our unique heritage places and stories. Under this new grants program, communities can now apply for grants to protect and conserve Australia’s nationally significant sites, repair local historic places impacted by natural disasters and to identify, research, preserve and share their local heritage stories.”

Funding available for heritage projects will range from between $2,500 up to $500,000. The $8.4 million Your Community Heritage program involves different initiatives to ensure as many aspects as possible of a community’s heritage is preserved. These initiatives are:

Sharing Community Heritage Stories aims to explore and communicate stories that connect communities with their past. It aims to educate and promote an interest in Australia’s heritage by identifying, recording and sharing stories that have an important historic, cultural or relevant to local communities.

Celebrating Community Heritage enables communities to embrace, celebrate and publicise their local Indigenous and historic heritage. Grants will be made available for community heritage activities that promote a sense of pride and connection to local heritage places, including heritage forums or community fairs, open days and tours, celebrations or commemoration of a historic event or the teaching of traditional knowledge and understanding of Indigenous customs.

Protecting National Historic Sites provides funding to assist the owners and managers of nationally significant historic sites to maintain and conserve their heritage values.

Recovering from Natural Disasters provides funding to assist communities repair local historic places impacted by natural disasters such as floods, bushfires, storms and cyclones and improve their resilience to extreme weather events in the future.

Commemorating Eminent Australians provides support for communities to conserve existing graves and memorials of eminent Australians in their community.

In addition, funding will be made available for the development of a national heritage community focussed website for communities to preserve and make their heritage stories accessible online.

The Bringing Heritage Online initiative will enable historical and heritage organisations to link together via the web and share their heritage stories.

“This program is open to all community groups, not just those who have traditionally been involved with heritage projects and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to become part of this exciting new and exciting program,” Mr Burke said.

As the obvious question everyone wants to know is who is and isn’t eligible, I thought I’d copy that bit of info from their guidelines, so it’s here, rather than you having to look for it:

Who can apply? You are eligible to apply if you are:
– an Australian legal entity able to enter into a funding agreement with the Department (for example, a company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or an incorporated association under State or Territory law); and / or
– a state or territory government department, agency or authority or local Council.
– and you must also hold a current ABN.
Who cannot apply? You are not eligible to apply if you:
– have an overdue final report and/or acquittal for a previous Commonwealth government grant, including Jobs Fund (Heritage Projects), National Historic Sites, Commemorating Eminent Australians, National Heritage Investment Initiative, Indigenous Heritage Program, Community Action Grant and/or ad hoc Australian Government heritage related grant
– have previously received grant funding for the same activities
– or are an Australian Government department, agency or authority

Further information for applicants and the grant guidelines are available at

If you still have any questions, please contact the Department.
Phone: (freecall) 1800 653 004

Applications have just opened and close 5.00pm, Tuesday 20 December 2011.