Carved wooden objects arranged on red sand
Image courtesy of Maruku Arts (2020 Community Heritage Grant recipient)

 Applications are now open for the 2022 Community Heritage Grants (CHG) program. 

The CHG program offers cash grants of up to $15,000 to community organisations including historical societies, regional museums, archives, galleries and libraries. The grants support organisations to preserve and manage collections that have Australian cultural and historical significance. 

A streamlined application process is being launched in 2022 and a wide variety of community organisations are encouraged to apply, including Indigenous and multicultural organisations. 

Funding is available for significance assessments, preservation and conservation activities, digitisation, collection management and training workshops. Previous CHG program recipients can also apply for funds to support second and third stages of continuing projects. 

Since 1994, the CHG program has provided over $8 million in funding to more than 1,550 projects nationally.  

Last year, $389,467 was shared between 52 regional and community projects, from the Bondi Surf Bathers Lifesaving Club in Sydney to the Eromanga Natural History Museum in far West Queensland.  

General applications close midnight (AEST) on Tuesday, 10 May. Previous CHG program recipients have an extended deadline, with applications closing on Tuesday, 2 June.  

To find out more and apply visit  

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

Examples of funded projects  

Maruku Arts (Anangu Uwankaraku Punu Aboriginal Corporation of Mutitjulu, NT)  

Anangu Uwankaraku Punu Aboriginal Corporation received $5,400 to conduct a Significance Assessment of the Maruku Arts Collection.  

Maruku (meaning ‘belonging to black’) Arts is a not-for-profit arts and craft corporation owned and operated by the Anangu people from the NPY Lands of the Western and Central Deserts.   

The Maruku Arts Collection is highly significant, containing some of the Australia’s most diverse and high-quality carving objects. 

Professor John Carty and Alice Beale from the South Australia Museum undertook a Significance Assessment that recommended upgrading storage facilities to help protect the collection and conducting an urgent Preservation Needs Assessment.   

The project resulted in an increased commitment from staff and volunteers, developed in-house skills and improved knowledge of the collection and the standard protocols and procedures relating to its management. It also highlighted the areas of strength for the collection, some gaps, and provided a clearer view of its international significance. 

The ACT Fire Brigade Historical Society (the Canberra Fire Museum)   

In 2021, the volunteers of the Fire Brigade Historical Society of the ACT were thrilled to receive a Community Heritage Grant to undertake a Significance Assessment of the Canberra Fire Museum collection. Since 1978, the volunteers, most of whom are retired firefighters, have built the collection of more than 15,000 objects relating to ACT firefighting. 

Society President Wayne Berry was excited at this chance to ‘enlist a museum expert to help us better understand the true value of the collection and work to secure its future’.   

Over the year, social history curator Dr Kimberley Webber worked closely with volunteers to unravel the ‘considerable historical, social and technological significance’ of this complex collection.   

Long-time volunteer Ron Hourigan reflected: ‘We know about restoring trucks and we personally know many of the histories but, thanks to this grant, Kimberley’s report allows us to set priorities for caring for the whole collection in the context of the nationally important stories it can tell.’ 

Miss Porter’s House (National Trust of Australia NSW)  

The National Trust of Australia (NSW) applied for funding to conduct a Significance Assessment of Miss Porter’s House in Newcastle during 2020.  

The volunteers were very excited about the opportunity the grant provided for the house and its contents to be assessed by an external expert. 

Many aspects of the collection are seen as very significant and as recommended in the report, the collection will be nominated to the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register of documentary heritage of national significance.   

The organisation noted that support from the staff from the Community Heritage Grants program was wonderful, making the project not only productive but enjoyable and very interesting. 

CHG contact  

Media contact  

Cheney Brew, National Library of Australia  

M: 0401 226 697