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Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program

Funding up to $1.6 million is available for Aboriginal organisations to build new community infrastructure or repair, refurbish or expand existing community infrastructure.

$50,000 - $1,600,000
Not-for-profit groups
Closed

The Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program (ACIP) is a grants program which enables Aboriginal organisations to build new fit-for-purpose infrastructure or to repair, refurbish or expand existing infrastructure to support Aboriginal Victorians to thrive, and live self-determined and culturally rich lives.

To meet the needs of Aboriginal Victorians, the program supports organisations to:

  • improve the delivery and responsiveness of services to communities
  • improve cultural connectedness and community safety
  • improve health and well being of communities
  • improve education and economic participation opportunities for communities.

Program administration

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) is engaged to administer ACIP on behalf of the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC). A project control group consisting of representatives from both Departments oversees the Program.

Applicants must contact DJPR on ACIP@ecodev.vic.gov.au to discuss their project proposal prior to submission.

Key dates

  1. Program opened

    9am, Monday 28 March 2022

  2. Program closed

    2pm, Monday 9 May 2022

Guidelines

  • Category 1: Repairs and minor works (up to $300,000 plus GST)

    Funding for maintenance and minor building works that will support Aboriginal organisations to improve existing infrastructure for their communities.

    Grant funding under this category might be used to:

    • repair or replace permanent fixtures and fittings
    • undertake cosmetic works, including repairs, painting, replacing carpets/flooring
    • improve functionality of communal spaces such as kitchens, general amenities, meeting rooms, outdoor spaces
    • improve the environmental performance of the building, for example, the installation of solar panels
    • improve the safety or accessibility of the building.

    Successful projects under Category 1 must commence within 6 months of funding agreements being executed and be completed within 18 months.

    Category 2: Capital works and upgrades ($300,000–$1.6 million plus GST)

    Funding to support Aboriginal organisations to build, redevelop, refurbish or expand infrastructure that responds to the needs of Aboriginal communities in Victoria.

    Grant funding under this category might be used to:

    • expand existing community facilities
    • undertake structural works to improve a facility’s use, layout or accessibility
    • renovate and/or remodel a facility to enhance community use and functionality
    • create culturally appropriate spaces for communities to gather
    • improve existing facilities to support service delivery needs
    • construct new purpose-built facilities that respond to the needs of Aboriginal communities.

    Successful projects under Category 2 must commence within 18 months of funding agreements being executed and be completed within 3 years.

    Category 3: Feasibility studies/Business cases (up to $50,000 plus GST)

    Funding to develop a clearly defined, fully scoped and costed feasibility study/business case for a future infrastructure project, including exploration and testing of different design and building options to ensure the proposal meets the needs of the organisation and the communities served.

    Grant funding under this category might be used to:

    • employ a project manager or consultant to oversee the development of, and write the feasibility study or business case
    • hire a new staff member – or supplement the salary of an existing staff member – to contribute to specific components of the project
    • engage a range of experts such as architects, designers and quantity surveyors to understand compliance requirements and building standards, and to develop critical support material such as concept drawings, architectural plans and project costings.
  • Who can apply

    Aboriginal organisations

    Applicants must be a community-controlled Aboriginal organisation that is either:

    • registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria
    • registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations
    • registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
    • a body corporate constituted under section 8 of the Aboriginal Lands Act 1970 (Vic).

    Applicant organisations must:

    • possess an Australian Business Number (ABN)
    • be registered for the Goods and Services (GST) tax
    • be financially solvent.

    Auspice organisations

    Auspice organisations must be:

    • a Local Council
    • a public institution, such as a university
    • an incorporated organisation that is registered with
      • Consumer Affairs Victoria
      • the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations
      • the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

    Auspice organisations must:

    • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
    • be registered for the Goods and Services (GST) tax
    • be financially solvent
    • be able to demonstrate that the application is made on behalf of an Aboriginal organisation that owns the project site or has the right to use the project site for up to 10 years for Capital Works and Upgrades funding, or 3 years for Repairs and Minor Works funding
    • be able to demonstrate that the community infrastructure project is for the sole benefit of an Aboriginal community
    • be able to demonstrate an ongoing relationship or partnership between the organisation and the auspice (i.e. letters of support from both organisations).

    Project consortiums

    Project consortiums or groups must nominate a single applicant to lead the application that satisfies the above eligibility criteria.

    Who can't apply

    The following applicants are not eligible to apply for funding under this program:

    • individuals
    • commercial organisations
    • organisations in liquidation.

    If any of the following categories are applicable to your organisation, contact DJPR prior to applying:

    • organisations that are not compliant with the relevant regulatory body (e.g. Consumer Affairs Victoria, the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission).
    • organisations currently in or recently under an investigation, or in administration (with the exception of Body Corporates constituted under section 8 of the Aboriginal Lands Act 1970 (Vic)).
    • organisations with grant projects ‘on hold’ with DPC at the time of application.
  • The following activities will not be funded:

    • land acquisition as an isolated activity
    • landscaping as an isolated activity
    • projects that have already commenced prior to funding agreements being executed
    • projects that relate to multiple project sites, locations, or physical addresses unless a strong rationale such as financial savings or a building efficiency can be demonstrated
    • the purchase of temporary or freestanding items including but not limited to furniture, whitegoods or technical equipment
    • repair of facilities where the damage can or should have been covered by insurance
    • operational costs for utilities and on-going staffing resources
    • civil works such as drainage, waste, roads and footpaths, car parks and public transport infrastructure that a local or state government agency is responsible for constructing and maintaining
    • construction of infrastructure that does not have a direct community benefit or address an identified community need
    • projects that duplicate repairs and maintenance works funded through the First Mortgage and Community Infrastructure Program
    • projects or works outside the state of Victoria
    • projects previously funded by the Program
    • a future stage of a project where the previous stage(s) is not complete.
  • Please note:

    • Organisations may only submit 1 application per funding round
    • Organisations may only apply under 1 category per funding round
    • Each application should relate to 1 project site only, unless a strong rationale, such as a financial savings or building efficiency can be demonstrated.

    Category 1: Repairs and minor works (up to $300,000 plus GST)

    Before submitting your application, please ensure you have prepared the following:

    • Evidence of owning the project site or having the right to use the project site for a minimum of three years (e.g. certificates of title or tenancy agreements)
    • Applications must provide current (no older than 90 days) quotes/estimates for all proposed works
    • Letters of support from partner organisations or key stakeholders
    • Overview of any governance arrangements and strategic plans
    • Project delivery plan (a template can be provided by emailing ACIP@ecodev.vic.gov.au)
    • Budget with detailed breakdown of anticipated income and expenditure (a template can be provided on request)
    • Project timeline or Gantt chart
    • Letter of support from both parties (e.g. the Aboriginal organisation and auspice organisation) if an auspice arrangement is in place
    • Details of how the project might support key Victorian frameworks or policies, including but not limited to the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework or the Victorian Closing the Gap Implementation Plan
    • For guidance on how to obtain a certificate of title, please use the following as a guide:
      • Visit LANDATAExternal Link
      • Register an account by selecting ‘Register’ in the top right-hand corner of the home page
      • Fill in your organisation’s or personal details to complete registration
      • On the home page, select ‘Order a copy of title or plan’
      • To proceed with ordering, you will need to know the property’s:
        • street address
        • folio number
        • lot on plan
        • council property number
        • standard parcel identifier
        • crown allotment
      • Complete these details and confirm the property
      • Select the certificates you seek to order. Fees are listed on the right-side column.
      • Confirm your delivery and billing details and select ‘Purchase’
      • Following payment, Landata will issue a receipt which should be saved for your records.

    Category 2: Capital works and upgrades ($300,000 - $1.6 million plus GST)

    Before submitting your application, please ensure you have prepared the following:

    • Evidence of owning the project site or having the right to use the project site for a minimum of ten years (e.g. certificates of title or tenancy agreements)
    • Applications must provide a feasibility study/business case containing a detailed description of the proposed infrastructure, evidence of addressing community and organisational needs, building options considered, expected project benefits and outcomes, planning and building considerations such as land zoning, planning schemes, compliance and standards, financial forecasts and assumptions, cost benefit and risk analysis, and details of research and community consultation/engagement undertaken to develop and support the proposal
    • Concept designs, architectural drawings and schematic plans for the project
    • Relevant quantity surveyor reports, where appropriate or detailed quotes/cost estimates
    • Budget with breakdown of anticipated income and expenditure (a template can be provided on request).
    • Confirmation of, or information about unconfirmed funding sources, if applicable
    • Evidence of deliverability, such as organisational and project governance arrangements (e.g. terms of reference for the board or steering committee) and reporting provisions
    • Letters of support from partner organisations or key stakeholders
    • Strategic plans and annual reports.
    • Applicable permits, if available
    • Letter of support from both parties (e.g. the Aboriginal organisation and auspice organisation) if an auspice arrangement is in place.
    • Details of how the project might support key Victorian frameworks or policies, including but not limited to the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework or the Victorian Closing the Gap Implementation Plan.

    Category 3: Feasibility studies/Business cases (up to $50,000 plus GST)

    Before submitting your application, please ensure you have prepared the following:

    • Evidence to demonstrate organisational readiness to commence the feasibility study/business case, including:
      • Quotes or cost estimates from consultants and experts, including but not limited to architects, designers, engineers, quantity surveyors, town planners or community engagement specialists
      • An overview of the proposed community engagement strategy.
    • Budget breakdown of anticipated income and expenditure (a template can be provided upon request)
    • Evidence of any confirmed cash funding or in-kind contributions, or information about unconfirmed funding sources, if applicable
    • Letter of support from both parties (e.g. the Aboriginal organisation and auspice organization) if an auspice arrangement is in place.
  • Applications will be assessed against the criteria set out below. Percentage weightings are provided as a guide to the relative importance of different criteria in the assessment process. Applicants will not receive a score by the assessment panel. The level of detail provided in the application should be correspond to the value of the project.

    Repairs and minor works

    Why = 30%

    Applications must clearly demonstrate why the repairs and minor works are needed. Applications should include a clear rationale for the proposed project and how the repairs and minor works have been identified as important to the organisation.

    What = 30%

    Applications must clearly articulate what works will be undertaken and how these improvements will deliver outcomes, such as safer access to or improved services for the Aboriginal community.

    Projects with multiple sites must demonstrate a clear rationale, such as a duplication of works which produces financial savings or a building efficiency.

    If applicable, details of additional cash funding or in-kind contributions from stakeholders should be provided.

    Who = 30%

    Applications must clearly articulate who will benefit from the repairs and minor works and be supported by relevant data or information.

    How = 10%

    Applications must describe how the project will be delivered including key steps, an overview of the project timeline, and details of who will oversee and manage the repairs and minor works.

    Capital works and upgrades

    Why = 30%

    Applications must clearly demonstrate why the infrastructure project is needed. Applications should include a clear rationale as to why the proposed infrastructure has been identified as an important priority for the organisation, its community members and stakeholders.

    What = 30%

    Applications must clearly describe the works, and the purpose and function of the proposed infrastructure.

    Projects with multiple sites must demonstrate a clear rationale, such as a duplication of works which produces financial savings or a building efficiency.

    If applicable, details of additional cash funding or in-kind contributions from stakeholders should be provided.

    Who = 30%

    Applications must articulate who will benefit from the proposed project, how the infrastructure will support the target community. Provide relevant data about the population served, how this project will benefit them, and include a summary of anticipated outcomes. These may be qualitative and quantitative.

    How = 10%

    Applications must articulate how the project will be successfully delivered including details of governance arrangements, who will oversee the project, such as a steering group or committee, and who will project manage each key component.

    Feasibility studies/Business cases

    Why = 30%

    Applications must provide a clear rationale for why the feasibility study/business case is needed and why the future infrastructure project has been identified as important to the organisation. Include details about how the infrastructure project is anticipated to support the future of the organisation.

    What = 20%

    Applications must clearly articulate the scope of the feasibility study/business case. Include details about the site, if confirmed, and the purpose of the future infrastructure project to be explored, designed and costed.

    Who = 25%

    Applications must clearly articulate who will benefit from the proposed future infrastructure project and provide relevant data about the population served and how this project will benefit them.

    How = 25%

    Applications must describe the key steps the organisation will take to deliver the feasibility study/business case. Include details of who will oversee and manage the day-to-day processes, details of third parties to be appointed to contribute to the project, such as architects, designers, engineers or quantity surveyors, and how the organisation plans to engage with community members and stakeholders.

  • Funding is discretionary

    Notwithstanding any other policy, guidance or statement found on the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program, the assessment of any application for grant funding and any decision to approve funding is a decision for the Victorian Government in its absolute discretion.

    All decisions of the Victorian Government in relation to the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program application and assessment process are final. In particular:

    • the Victorian Government may treat an application as invalid and not consider it if it is received late, is incomplete, is not reasonably able to be understood, or does not comply with these Guidelines or other information available on the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program
    • the Victorian Government may request that an applicant confirm the details in their application
    • the submission of an application does not guarantee funding and a successful applicant may not be granted the full amount of funding they requested
    • the Victorian Government may extend, cancel, or amend the process for applying for funding at any time without an applicant’s consent
    • the Victorian Government will not negotiate its decision in relation to funding applications or the conditions of any funding that is granted.

    The Victorian Government is not liable for claims arising from an application

    The Victorian Government will not be liable for:

    • any action or claim that an applicant might bring in relation to an Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program application for funding or its assessment
    • any loss or damage, including indirect and economic loss, which an applicant might suffer in the course of applying for or accepting the provision of funding through the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program
    • any personal injury suffered in the course of applying for or accepting the provision of Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program funding.

    The above does not apply to any liability that the law does not allow the Victorian Government to exclude.

    No binding agreement

    No binding agreement, legal relationship or other understanding for the supply of funding will exist between the Victorian Government and any applicant unless and until they have signed a formal written funding agreement.

    Guidelines subject to change

    The Victorian Government may update these Guidelines at any time at its discretion. Applicants and users should check the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program platform regularly for updates to the Guidelines. If any part of these Guidelines is determined to be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable, that part is deemed severable from the Guidelines and does not affect the validity and enforceability of the remaining parts.

    Funding from other sources

    Applicants should clearly identify any additional funding that the organisation has secured to support the proposed project or any additional funding that the organisation is seeking to support the proposed project. Additional funding secured or sought by the organisation includes, but is not limited to, funding from other DPC programs; other State Government agencies; and the Commonwealth Government. Where additional funding has been secured or is sought, the applicant should provide information about key dates and contingency plans in the event of the funding being denied.

    Cash and in-kind contributions

    Applicants should clearly describe any cash or in-kind contributions to the project and explain the nature of the in-kind contribution, including who is making the contribution (if not the applicant) and how the value has been calculated based on what it would cost if the applicant had to pay cash.

    Announcements and events

    Successful applications may be the subject of funding announcements, media releases, and other disclosures. Successful applicants should liaise with Aboriginal Victoria to facilitate funding announcements and should be prepared to hold an event at which the Minister for Treaty and First Peoples or delegate can announce the successful application and funding amount. Successful organisations are required to develop a communications plan to detail any Ministerial opportunities, such as a celebratory event to launch a finished project, at which the Minister for Treaty and First Peoples or delegate can attend. The Minister for Treaty and First Peoples should be given the opportunity to officially open or launch the completed project.

    Funding agreements

    Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the Victorian Government using the Victorian Common Funding Agreement. The Funding Agreement establishes the parties and outlines their commitments and obligations to each other, as well as setting out the general funding terms and conditions.

    The Local Jobs First Policy (LJF) applies to all grants awarded under this program valued at over $1 million in regional Victoria, or over $3 million in metropolitan Melbourne and statewide activities. For further information, go to the LJFExternal Link website.

    Successful applicants are expected to acknowledge the Victorian Government’s support. Acknowledgement and Publicity Guidelines will form part of the funding agreement.

    Reporting requirements

    Successful applicants are required to comply with the reporting requirements outlined in the Funding Agreement with the Victorian Government. This includes participating in any program evaluation and data collection activities implemented by the Victorian Government.

    Administrative costs to complete reporting requirements, or incurred prior to a funding agreement being executed, may not be claimed as part of the grant.

    Project delivery

    Funding recipients are responsible for project delivery against agreed deliverables or milestones and payment amounts. If project delivery is unreasonably delayed, substantial changes to the project scope are made, or a project is not delivered as agreed, DJPR reserves the right to cancel the funding agreement and recover any unspent funds.

    Signage

    Recipients of funding over $250,000 are required to acknowledge the investment from the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program by placing temporary signage at the project site during construction. The Victorian Government capital works signage guidelinesExternal Link must be followed. Templates are available.

    No guarantee of future funding support

    Securing funding under this Program does not guarantee future funding support from the Victorian Government under this Program or any other program administered by the Victorian Government.

  • Building the Aboriginal community-controlled sector is a key priority area of the Victorian Closing the Gap Implementation Plan which was tabled in the Victorian parliament in June 2021.

    Investment in Aboriginal community infrastructure is fundamental to strengthening the community-controlled sector and, as recognised in the recently updated 30-year Victorian Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2051, infrastructure is a critical foundation from which Aboriginal organisations can pursue self- determination, as well as social and economic development, cultural safety, resilience, and service provision for Aboriginal Victorians to thrive and live culturally rich lives.

    The Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-2023 also sets a clear direction for how the Victorian Government will plan, act, measure and evaluate change, address inequity and deliver stronger outcomes for and with Aboriginal Victorians.

    The framework acknowledges the right to self-determination and recognises that only when Aboriginal people are central to the decision-making processes that affect their lives, will sustained and long-term changes in health and wellbeing and economic prosperity be achieved.

    Investment in Aboriginal community infrastructure is fundamental to the pursuit of self-determination, social and economic development, cultural safety and resilience, and helping Aboriginal Victorians to thrive and live culturally rich lives.

    Self-determination requires a transformation of the relationship between government and Aboriginal communities. This means supporting Aboriginal organisations to determine how, when and why to develop community infrastructure.

    Renewed and strategic investment in Aboriginal community infrastructure will enable Aboriginal communities to pursue self-determination by:

    • Empowering Victorian Aboriginal organisations to develop and sustain a strong economic base and assets from which to pursue socio-economic development.
    • Capitalising on the capacity and expertise of Aboriginal organisations to deliver innovative and best practice programs and services for Aboriginal people.
    • Providing an economic and physical platform to maintain, develop and celebrate connection to culture and Country.
  • Information provided to DJPR and DPC in Program applications will be used to assist DJPR and DPC to assess eligibility and suitability for the Program and to prepare funding agreements. Any personal information that is provided will be handled in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and other applicable laws.

    DJPR or DPC, its officers, employees, agents and sub-contractors may use and disclose any of the information provided with the application to Victorian Government departments or agencies, Victorian Government bodies, non-government organisations and/or the Commonwealth, states or territories for any purpose in onnection with the administration of the Program.

    Successful applications may also be the subject of media releases and disclosure as otherwise provided in the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of the Funding Agreement.

    You may access a copy of DPC’s Privacy Policy in relation to the management of personal information collected by contacting 1300 366 356.

    Authorised and published by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.

Reviewed 24 August 2022

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