The rich history of Greater Geelong’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be recognised further, with council establishing a First Nations Heritage Grants fund following an amendment from Cr Anthony Aitken.
The City will collaborate with Traditional Owners on the creation of the program, which will derive 50 per cent of its funding from the $200,000 Central Geelong Heritage Grants budget.
Several other changes to the 2020-21 Grants Program guidelines were endorsed at the 24 March 2020 council meeting, with the aim of enhancing the program, making the application process easier and improving access for grass roots organisations.
It follows a review of the grants process, which considered feedback from a range of stakeholders, including grant applicants, community organisations, councillors and City staff.
Some of the feedback received included a lack of clarity around timelines and the need to improve guidelines to ensure greater success of applications.
As a result, council has agreed to make changes to the guidelines, including to:
- Increase the maximum grant amount from $6,000 to $10,000 for Creative Communities, Healthy and Connected Communities and Environment and Sustainability programs in line with other community project/festival/event funds;
- Introduce a new category in the Central Geelong Heritage program that grants up to $10,000 to investigate the feasibility of future restoration projects; and
- Cap the total cost of Community Infrastructure projects to no more than $3.5 million.
Grants from the 2020-21 round are scheduled to open no later than 27 April 2020 and close on 24 May 2020. Head to the grants page for more information.
Recommendations on where to allocate grant funding will be presented to council in August 2020.
Councillor Stephanie Asher - Mayor
Greater Geelong has a diverse First Nations history and I’m pleased it will be supported and enhanced further, as part of this new fund.
I encourage community groups and organisations to head to the City’s website and consider applying for grants in the 2020-21 round.
Councillor Anthony Aitken
Heritage grants in Greater Geelong have always focused on European settlers. They really should have also included the 50,000-plus years of heritage on the land before the arrival of the white man, and tonight Geelong Council has changed that.
I was pleased to put forward the proposal for a new First Nations Heritage Fund with the full support of the Traditional Owners of our region, and I thank the council for its support in what is a historic decision.