Members of the Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club in training with a surf reel, 1939. Image courtesy of the BSBLSC.

From ancient titanosaur fossils at the Eromanga Natural History Museum in far West Queensland to the Cowra Japanese Garden in central New South Wales; from the Her Place Women’s Museum in Melbourne to the Western Australia Cricket Association, community organisations across the country have received Community Heritage Grants to help them care for nationally significant heritage collections. 

The Bondi Surf Bathers Lifesaving Club has received its first grant through the program, allowing the world’s oldest surf lifesaving club to investigate how they can document and preserve their archival collection, including the original surf reel and the Grand Old Flag, carried by Bondi’s Lieutenant Colonel Les ‘Sambo’ Sampson during World War II. 

Chair of the Museum Committee for the club, Tanya Jackson, said the organisation was thrilled to be a CHG recipient in 2021. 

“This grant will enable the Club to establish our heritage collection as nationally significant, helping us to improve care of the collection, identify items for conservation activities, help bring the collection closer to being digitally accessible, and assist in putting the collection on display for the Australian public,” she said. 

The club joins an ever-growing community of grant recipients who are caring for nationally significant heritage, including organisations that have received multiple grants as part of a staged process. 

This year, the Lutheran Archives in Adelaide have reached the third funding stage through the program and will use their grant to digitise magnetic media including fragile reel-to-reel film. Elsewhere, the Outback Gondwana Foundation will use its second grant to bring a trained conservator to the Eromanga Natural History Museum, where staff and volunteers work to uncover and preserve mega and micro fauna from one of Australia’s richest palaeontological sites. 

Aileen Weir, Chair of the Expert Panel making final recommendations on applications, noted the vital support that the CHG program provides to community groups across Australia. 

‘We are delighted to support such a wide range of organisations, particularly small, volunteer managed community groups, who otherwise would have no access to qualified heritage practitioners and very limited funding to appropriately care for much-loved collections,’ Ms Weir said. 

Since the Community Heritage Grants program began in 1994, more than 1500 projects have received grants totalling over $8 million, helping preserve significant Australian community history and heritage for future generations. Find out more about previous recipients here.   

CHG is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (Office for the Arts)National Library of AustraliaNational Archives of AustraliaNational Film and Sound Archive and National Museum of Australia.  

CHG contact


Images and quotes for media can be accessed here.  

Media contact

Max Grieve
Media Liaison, National Library of Australia

T: 02 6262 1527
M: 0401 226 697

Community Heritage Grant recipients

Australian Capital Territory

Organisation Project Amount
Canberra and District Historical Society Inc Conservation of the Patience Australie Warle Collection at the Canberra and District Historical Society $14,333

New South Wales

Organisation Project Amount
Albury City Council (Albury Library Museum) Collection Management Activities - Indigenous Collections $13,565
Australian Railways Historical Society (ARHS) NSW Divison Significance Assessment of the ARHS Archive $ 6,619
Blacktown City Council Garage Graphix Collection Preservation Needs Assessment $ 5,400
Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club (BSBLSC) National Significance Assessment of the BSBLSC Archival Collection $ 4,500
Care Leavers Australasia Network Conservation activities and collection management of Australia's Orphanage Museum storage material $13,000
City of Parramatta Council Significance Assessment of the Local Studies Research Library $ 4,500
Clarence River Historical Society Inc Preservation Needs Assessment for the Shaeffer House Collection $ 5,995
Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre Ltd Preservation Needs Assessment of the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre's Movable Cultural Heritage $ 5,597
Deniliquin and District Historical Society Inc Deniliquin Historical Society Collection Management and Display $14,058
Fairfield City Libraries Fairfield City Open Libraries Heritage Services Disaster Preparedness Plan $ 8,000
Liverpool City Council Liverpool City Council Library and Museum Historical Digitisation Project $13,636
Moree Cultural Art Foundation Collection Conservation Treatment of Bank Art Museum Moree Collection $13,636
Royal Far West Archival materials for Royal Far West Collection $ 2,890
Royal Far West Collections Care and Preventative Conservation Training $ 3,100
Society of Australian Genealogists Society of Australian Genealogists Archive Significance Assessment $ 4,500
The Embroiderers' Guild New South Wales Incorporated Preservations Needs Assessment for the NSW Embroiderers' Guild $ 4,500
Tranby National Indigenous Education and Training Significance Assessment - valuing Tranby's iconic Indigenous social and political history collections $ 4,500
Wellington Historical Society Inc Significance Assessment of Wellington Historical Society Collection $ 5,927

Northern Territory

Organisation Project Amount
Anangu Uwankaraku Punu Aboriginal Corporation (trading as Maruku Arts) Preservation Needs Assessment for the Maruku Arts Collection $ 7,095
Charles Darwin University Art Gallery Significance Assessment of the Charles Darwin University Art Collection $ 7,552


Organisation Project Amount
Mount Isa City Library Significance Assessment of the Mount Isa City Library Historical Collection $ 5,945
Museum and Gallery Services Queensland Ltd Collection Skills Development Workshop Series - Queensland Outback Region $13,630
Outback Gondwana Foundation Limited Preservation Needs Assessment of the Eromanga Natural History Museum Geoscience Collection $ 5,300
Queensland Maritime Museum Association Preservation of Queensland Maritime Museum's Collection $ 8,435
The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Ltd Conservation and Collection Management Activities $ 9,492
University of Southern Queensland Preservation Needs Assessment for The Chronicle Archives Collection $ 4,500

South Australia

Organisation Project Amount
Australian Lutheran College Conservation Treatment and Collection Storage for the Rare Books Collection $ 1,747
Lutheran Archives Digitisation of magnetic media, including reel-to-reels, audio cassettes and videos $13,636
National Railway Museum Inc Significance Assessment of the National Railway Museum Collection $ 4,500


Organisation Project Amount
Kentish Council Whitworth Pounder Gun Preservation Project $ 6,170


Organisation Project Amount
Australian Queer Archives Inc Bill West Community Radio Collection Digitisation Project $15,000
Benalla Art Gallery Significance Assessment of the Benalla Art Gallery Collection $ 5,458
Carmelite Memorial Library of Spirituality and Mariology Significance Assessment of the Carmelite Library Rare Books Collection $ 4,500
Castlemaine Art Museum Ltd Significance Assessment of the Castlemaine Art Museum Social History Collection $ 4,500
City of Boroondara Preservation of Public Art in the Town Hall Gallery Collection $ 7,190
Greater Dandenong City Council Significance Assessment and Caring For Collections Training Sessions $ 1,800
Her Place Women's Museum Australia Significance Assessment of the Emily’s List Australia (ELA) archives held at Her Place Women's Museum Australia $ 4,500
Jewish Holocaust Centre Keeping Holocaust survivor voices alive through the digitisation of audio-visual collections $ 7,315
Museum of Chinese Australian History CatalogIt Training for Museums Staff $ 1,000
Nhill and District Historical Society Inc Significance assessment of the Nhill and District Historical Society collection $ 6,096
Shrine of Remembrance Crypt Casket Time Capsule Conservation $ 7,578
The Dax Centre Ltd The Dax Centre Collection Management System (CMS) Software Upgrade $13,500
Trafalgar Holden Museum Incorporated Preservation Needs Assessment of Trafalgar Holden Museum $ 4,500
William Angliss Institute Significance Assessment of the Rare Australian Menu Collection $ 4,500

Western Australia

Organisation Project Amount
City of South Perth Preservation Needs Assessment of the City of South Perth Art Collection $ 4,500
Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre Building Cultural Archives with the next generation $13,630
Mount Lawley Society Significance Assessment for the Mount Lawley Collection $ 4,950
Perth Observatory Volunteer Group Improvements to archival storage microclimate, storage medium and knowledge of documents at risk $10,280
Town of Claremont - Claremont Museum Oral History Digitisation $ 6,574
The Perth Diocesan Trustees Preservation, Digitisation and Disaster Recovery for the Anglican Diocese of Perth Archive $13,636
The Royal Western Australian Historical Society Inc Preservation Needs Assessment of artefacts and artworks $ 4,500
Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) Digitisation of WACA archives  $ 8,811