As we start the new year, I want to take this opportunity to make you aware of a range of grant programs that the Australian Government provides through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to recognise and honour the service and sacrifice of Australia’s service men and women.
These grant programs are –
- The Saluting Their Service (STS) commemorations program provides funding to eligible organisations for projects that contribute to Australia’s understanding of its wartime heritage and honour the service and sacrifice of its servicemen and women. Two categories of grants are available under the STS Program:
- Community Commemorative Grants (CCG) – up to $4,000 in funding is available for projects that assist people at a community level and enable small communities to build memorials and preserve wartime memorabilia that are locally significant. This is a rolling grants program. Applications are accepted at any time and are processed 3–4 times a year. Successful grant applicants receive funding shortly after approval.
- Major Commemorative Grants (MCG) – funding in excess of $4,000 is available for significant projects at a national or state/territory level. This program has two funding rounds. The first round opens on 1 July and the second round opens on 4 January. Successful grant applicants receive funding shortly after approval.
- The Veteran and Community Grants (V&CG) Program aims to improve the independence and quality of life for members of the veteran community. This program provides funding for projects that support activities and services to sustain or enhance health and wellbeing. The V&CG is a rolling grants program. Applications are accepted at any time and are processed 3–4 times a year. Successful grant applicants receive funding shortly after approval.
- The Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) Program supports ex-service organisations (ESOs) to provide compensation and welfare assistance to the veteran and Defence communities. It also links closely to the Advocacy Training and Development Program, which provides practitioners with the essential skills for claims, advocacy and welfare work. BEST is an annual grants program, which opens on 1 February and closes on 31 March each year. Successful grant applicants receive funding between July and September in the same year.
- The Grants-In-Aid Program (available to only national ESOs) provides administrative support in recognition of the work national ESOs do to support the veteran community. The program helps to fund representational activities aimed at improving connectedness between the head office of a national organisation and its state and local branches. These activities contribute toward an organisation’s governance and responsiveness to national issues. They play an important role in ensuring the issues faced by local veterans, regardless of when or where they served, are shared and understood by ESOs and the Australian Government. GIA is an annual funding program that is open from 1 February to 31 March each year. Successful grant applicants receive funding between July and September in the same year.
Grants are available for a wide variety of purposes, including for commemorative projects and activities, to assist and enhance the health, vitality and quality of life of veterans, to support ESOs provide compensation and welfare assistance to veterans and their dependents and to strengthen the capacity of ESOs.
I encourage you to explore the grants on offer and think about how they could be of benefit to your community or organisation.
Interested groups and organisations are invited to submit a request for funding by completing the relevant application form and submitting it to DVA along with the requested supporting documentation.
The grants on offer are another example of the Australian Government’s efforts to support our past and present servicemen and women and to commemorate their service and sacrifice.
During the 2016 election, the Coalition committed to providing $4 million over four years to support younger veterans. As a result of this commitment, a new grants program – Supporting Younger Veterans – will be established to target projects that seek to engage and actively involve our younger veterans, particularly with their transition to civilian life.
The Supporting Younger Veterans program will commence in the first quarter of the 2017–18 financial year. More details will be available in the second quarter of 2017.
For further information on this program or any of the others, please see DVA’s website (http://www.dva.gov.au/consultation-and-grants/grants), which contains information on each of DVA’s grant programs and how to apply.