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New grants available for Aboriginal organisations in NSW

Dechlan Brennan -

The New South Wales government has announced expressions of interest for the next round of community and place grants for Aboriginal organisations are now open.

The grants are part of a $10 million commitment by the NSW government to deliver tangible and immediate on-ground activities to help support Closing the Gap.

NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, David Harris, said Aboriginal controlled organisations could apply for up to $250,000 in funding, which can be used for new programs, equipment and vehicles.

"Aboriginal organisations know what their communities need to thrive and that is why this grants program is so important," Mr Harris said.

"It gives Aboriginal communities a direct say and direct access to funding to make tangible differences on the ground."

Applications will be assessed in a two-step process:

Stage 1: Expression of interest from Monday 2 October to 30 October 2023. Expression of interest applications will be assessed for eligibility and program alignment, with applications being approved to provide a full application by the Aboriginal Affairs NSW Deputy Secretary.

Stage 2: Full applications from 4 December 2023 to 29 January 2024.

Projects must be delivered between 1 July 2024 and 30 June 2025.

"We know that to close the gap, Aboriginal people must determine, drive and own the desired outcomes in partnership with government and that is exactly what this program is all about," Mr Harris said.

"We know that when Aboriginal people have a direct say on issues that affect them, we get better outcomes, and that is what we intend to do in government."

Labor says the second NSW Closing the Gap implementation plan 2022-2024 outlines the government's focus on "all 17 socio-economic outcome targets outlined in the Closing the Gap agreement, with a partnership developed between Aboriginal stakeholders, including the NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peaks Organisations, and the state government.

The plan also commits to implement actual change against all five-priority reform areas: formal partnerships and shared decision-making, building the community-controlled sector, transforming government organisations, shared access to data and information at a regional level, economic prosperity and business growth and employment.

The government stated: "Community and Place grants support communities to deliver locally led solutions".

The plan says 142 initiatives; 48 initiatives associated with the 5 priority reforms, and 94 initiatives linked to the 17 socio-economic targets outlined in the implementation have been identified.

It recognised that NSW is not on track to deliver the socio-economic outcome targets it has a responsibility to in the Closing the Gap agreement.

Less than a quarter of the targets in the state have been outlined as tracking in a positive direction.

In a statement, the government said the first budget under the new Labor government delivered "$1.5 billion in targeted programs across the whole of government to Close the Gap and empower Aboriginal communities across NSW."

"Closing the Gap is a top priority for the Minns Labor government."

Applications for the grant program can be made via the Aboriginal Affairs NSW: grants website.


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