Community history and heritage grants

The Community History and Heritage Grants provide financial and in-kind assistance to not-for-profit community based organisations, community groups auspiced by an organisation or individuals to deliver projects that:

  • Identify and interpret the Inner West’s historically significant events, places and people.

Funded projects will build on the Library’s physical and digital Community History and Heritage Collection which provides a rich source to inform and educate current and future generations. 

Applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with Inner West Council’s Community Strategic Plan, Community Profile and associated pages by reviewing the information at the web addresses provided:

All applications should aim to provide community benefits for the residents of the Inner West Council area. This includes the suburbs of Annandale, Ashfield, Balmain (including Balmain East), Birchgrove, Dobroyd Point, Dulwich Hill, Enmore, Haberfield, Leichhardt, Lewisham, Lilyfield, Marrickville, South Marrickville, Petersham, Rozelle, Stanmore, St Peters, Summer Hill, Sydenham, Tempe. Inner West Council also includes parts of Ashbury, Camperdown, Croydon, Croydon Park, Hurlstone Park and Newtown.

Community History and Heritage Grants up to $7,500 are available.

Download the Community History and Heritage Grants guidelines here:

Alternatively you can find details below.


Community History and Heritage Grants Program has now closed and will reopen mid 2019.

It is expected that all current applicants will be notified by early November.

Grant payments will be made once Funding Agreements have been completed and returned to Council, with funding awarded before the end of December 2018 for projects to be undertaken in the following calendar year, between 1 January and 31 December 2019.



The objectives of the grants program are:

  • to build on Inner West Council’s Community History and Heritage Collections (physical and digital) for future and current historians, researchers and generations.
  • to support original research and interpretation of the area’s history.
  • to support original research and interpretation of current issues, place, social, people, political, urban changes etc.

The Community History and Heritage Collection is located in Inner West Council’s Libraries and Archives with a focus on people, events, policies, activism, politics, architecture, parks, recreation, businesses, economy, cultural activities and places of historical significance to the IWC area. 

Projects may include research, archiving, conservation and preservation of significant objects, publications and exhibitions about the Inner West’s social and cultural history (including current activities).

Types of projects supported

Council may publish specific grant program priorities on the website for grant rounds. Applicants should familiarise themselves with these priorities.

Grants to support and enrich Council’s Local History Collection with a focus on organisations or persons to undertake projects about people, events and places of historical significance to the Inner West Council area.

Projects may include research, collections, archiving, conservation, publications and exhibitions about the Inner West’s social and cultural history.


  • Applicants must be an Australian resident or permanent resident and be over 18 years;
  • Applicants must be a resident of Inner West Council, or non-resident offering a project of demonstrable and significant benefit to residents of Inner West Council area.  Residents must be the principal or major beneficiaries of the project.
  • Applicants must be a legally incorporated, not for profit community group or organisation OR a community group auspiced by an incorporated organisation OR an individual with relevant experience.
  • Applications must be for a specific project and are not available as a permanent source of future funding.
  • Projects must be able to demonstrate that the grant would be for a project in the public interest and library collection and in accordance with Council policy and regulations.
  • Applications must address Council’s Community Strategic Plan and address one or more of Council’s strategic directions
  • Applicants must have completed the Evaluation report (and acquitted the project) from previous grants from Inner West Council and/or the former Councils of Leichhardt, Ashfield and Marrickville, where projects have been completed and have no outstanding debts to Council. Should acquittals not be due, a progress report must have been submitted as requested by Council.
  • Organisations who are submitting an application as the auspice for another group will not be precluded from submitting an application on behalf of their own organisation.
  • Only one application for Community History and Heritage Grants Program is to be submitted each year.

Not eligible

  • Projects which duplicate services already provided in the Inner West Area.
  • Projects that have already been completed – funding cannot be applied for and used retrospectively.
  • Where acquittals or progress reports from previous grant funding rounds have not been completed when due.
  • General donations to charities, however specific local projects applied for by charities may be eligible.
  • Ongoing salary costs for staffing, or operational costs.
  • Where acquittals, including the project evaluation, from previous grant funding rounds have not been completed when due.
  • Capital works: e.g., such as renovations to buildings.
  • Grants will not be provided to political parties or groups formally linked to a political party.
  • Activities that could be perceived as divisive within the community.
  • Projects that could be considered as marketing collateral.
  • State or federal government departments (including schools or tertiary institutions), or projects which fall under the responsibility of another tier of government. Parents and Citizens’ Associations can only apply for projects which can demonstrate the project is accessible and beneficial to the broader Inner West community (beyond the school community).
  • Grants seeking financial assistance for overseas travel, or other costs where it could be perceived that the applicant would derive excessive personal benefits.


The proposed budget you include in your grant application must clearly show how you arrived at the total grant amount requested and include all sources of project income and expenditure. Quotes should be included especially for proposed purchase of equipment.

Please note; there is no guarantee that if successful in receiving a grant you will receive the full amount requested. Some applications may only receive partial grant funding. 

The budget should:

  • be GST exclusive
  • include a breakdown of expected expenditure
  • include in-kind contributions/donations.

The table below provides an example of a budget (note not full amount that can be applied for).

Income Description

Expenditure Description

Community History and Heritage Grant


Consultant Fees


Volunteer in kind contribution


Design work


Printing costs









Assessment criteria

The following criteria will be considered in the process of assessing applications:

  • Impact and quality of the project that contributes to Council’s Community Strategic Plan and Grants Program Objectives (outlined earlier in this document).
  • Cultural and social benefits to the Inner West communities.
  • Capacity to deliver a well-planned project including concept, plan and experience.
  • Relevance the project or activity will bring to the Community, History and Heritage Collection.
  • How the project or outcome fills an identified gap in the collection.
  • Realistic budget including all sources of project income with inclusion of quotes for proposed purchase of equipment, confirmation of venue hire, in-kind and financial support provided by the applicant towards the project.
  • Merit of the application in comparison to the other applications.
  • Benefits to communities within the Inner West Council area adversely affected by WestConnex.

Grants Management

Council uses the Smarty Grants online application management system to administer grants programs. Smarty Grants provides a range of forms for applicants to use at various stages of the grants process.

Application process 

Applications must be provided using the Smarty Grants online application management system. The application form acts like a checklist for applicants. Applications must meet the eligibility requirements and no late applications will be accepted. Hard copy applications cannot be accepted.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the grants information session which will assist applicants with their proposals. 

Applicants with any questions regarding the application process or needing assistance to complete the online application form may contact Council’s Community, History and Heritage team. 


Submissions will be assessed against eligibility and selection criteria by an expert panel with recommendations made to Inner West Council for approval. Successful applicants will be advised in writing and will be required to enter into a formal funding agreement with Inner West Council. 

Funding agreements must be finalised before the grants are awarded. Grants cannot be used for anything other than the specified purposes outlined in the funding agreement. Any variation to the project must be sought from IWC and agreed to in writing.

Conditions for approval

  • Council reserves the right to assess an application under an alternative category.
  • The awarding of a grant does not imply the provision of any additional resources or funding for that project or associated activities from Council.
  • Applications for the purchase of significant items (over $1,000) must include copies of two quotes.
  • Applicants who have received funds in previous years will only be eligible to apply for assistance in the current year if all accountability and evaluation procedures have been satisfied.
  • Applicants may not vary the purpose of the grant for which they have been funded without receiving written approval from Council.
  • Applications must contain written confirmation from all partnership bodies named in the proposal as confirmed funding sources or key participating organisations.

Applicants should not submit an application about the same project to other Grant Programs (such as a Community History and Heritage and an Arts and Culture Grant) but can apply to other Grant Programs if the projects differ. The field is highly competitive and applicants should contact Council staff to discuss the appropriate Grant Program, where they are unsure.

Funding agreements and conditions

Funding agreements require applicants to agree to certain conditions before the money can be issued. These conditions are set out in the Smarty Grants agreement and condition form and can be summarised as requiring:

  • Sign a funding agreement accepting the conditions of the grant;
  • Forward Council an invoice for the awarded sum;
  • Variations to the project and project's contact person and/or contact details (ie; phone/address etc) must be formally requested and approved.
  • Acknowledgment of Council's support of the project must occur on promotional material and be in accordance with Council's Corporate Design Standards. Gaining approval of the use of Council's logo must be received before proceeding to final artwork etc.
  • Projects must be accessible to all members of the Inner West community. Residents must not be denied participation based on their ethnicity, culture, religion, gender and identity, age, disability or sexual preference.
  • Where funds are approved for the purchase of equipment, the organisation or individual will be required to provide receipts for equipment, the equipment is to be identified as an asset of the organisation. Should the organisation cease to exist or the individual no longer uses the equipment, the equipment must be returned to Council.
  • A copy of the deliverable project from the Community History and Heritage grant stream must be submitted for inclusion in the Library’s history collection prior to grant acquittal and evaluation and reporting. This includes any publications, digitised photographs, copies of conserved paintings, audio visual materials, oral histories with transcripts, copies of digitised archive materials made available for public access to the community, researchers and future generations seeking information on the history of the Inner West. There is an expectation that the grant recipient would give a presentation, history talk or exhibition showcasing the outcomes of the grant.
  • Once contracts are finalised, payments are processed with a standard 30 day turnaround time.

Evaluation and reporting

Grants recipients are required by Council to acquit their project within two months of their project completion timeframe. Any unexpended grant funds must be returned to Council.

Acquittals require a final project evaluation report, identifying the project's achievements in relation to the objectives and outcomes as detailed in the application, along with project constraints and an income and expenditure statement.

The Smarty Grants form detailing the timeframe for completion of this acquittal will be uploaded for completion and an email sent to the contact person in the application. Extensions can be granted with permission given extenuating circumstances.


Please contact Amie Zar, Council's Community History and Heritage Coordinator on 9392 5817 or


    Community History and Heritage Grants Program will reopen mid 2019.

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    Page last updated: 23 May 2019