Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Your Community Heritage program grants applications now open

Media release
17 November 2011

Applications are open for the Your Community Heritage program, a Gillard Government initiative to support community heritage across Australia.

Federal heritage minister Tony Burke today announced the opening of applications which will be open until December 20.

“The Your Community Heritage program is a new approach to protecting Australia’s heritage,” Mr Burke said.

“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; and
  • 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.

Information for applicants and the grant guidelines are available at www.environment.gov.au/heritage/programs/ych. Applications open today and close Tuesday 20 December 2011.

For more information and grant guidelines go to www.environment.gov.au/heritage/programs/ych.