ACT grants for First Nations’ culture, learning, leadership

Applications are now open for the ACT Government’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural, Leadership and Scholarship Grants program and the Reconciliation Day Grants program.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Grants program supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT to undertake cultural learning, study, and leadership training. $220,000 is available to those providing services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the following categories:

• Cultural Grants: supports cultural integrity. This will help contribute to the building of respectful, fair, and sustainable communities. Individuals can apply for up to $5,000, and organizations can apply for up to $10,000.

• Leadership Grants: supports community leadership, so Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can have a strong voice and make decisions on issues that impact them. Individuals can apply for up to $5,000, and organizations can apply for up to $10,000.

• Scholarship Grants: supports lifelong learning. This will ensure respect is given to preserving the world’s oldest living cultures. Individuals can apply for up to $5,000

Hockey ACT received one of last year’s Cultural Grants, and believes it can create opportunities for communities in the ACT.

“Through the generosity of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Grant, Hockey ACT was able to initiate the inaugural Reconciliation Round in 2022,” a spokesperson for the sporting organization said. “To ensure the round reflected the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, we engaged local Aboriginal elders to perform a welcome to country, smoking ceremony, and didgeridoo performance.

An Aboriginal artist created an artwork for the organization and for club uniforms to use for years to come.

“The grant has allowed us to not only start our journey towards helping build reconciliation, but has equipped Hockey ACT with the tools and resources to ensure the legacy is reflective of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

Applications for the Cultural, Leadership and Scholarship grants program are now open and will be assessed until all funds are allocated or this round closes at 5 pm on Thursday 23 February 2023.

In addition, $50,000 of grant funding is available for initiatives to be held in the lead-up to, during, or in support to the Reconciliation Day Public Holiday on Monday 29 May 2023.

The Reconciliation Day Grants Program supports community-organized events that promote understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in the wider community; celebrate and raise the significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in the wider community; promote understanding of past policies and historical events and their impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; deliver opportunities for children, young people, and elders to be involved and participate in community events that promote Reconciliation; and develop seminars or panel discussions on the importance of Reconciliation for all Australians.

Applications for Reconciliation Day grants close at 5 pm on 13 February 2023.

“These grant programs offer exciting opportunities to recognize and support the strength of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the ACT,” said Rachel Stephen-Smith, ACT Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

“The cultural, leadership, and scholarship grants allow First Nations people to pursue their aspirations through lifelong learning, cultural practices, and fostering leadership within the community.

“Reconciliation Day grants support community organizations to plan and run their own events and activities to help raise awareness and understanding of Reconciliation.

“I encourage individuals and organizations to make the most of the funding opportunities available in these two grant rounds to strengthen and support the leadership opportunities for First Nations Canberrans and important conversations across the community.”

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