Protecting our Places grants

The Protecting Our Places grants program is now closed for applications and is expected to reopen in 2019.


The Protecting Our Places Program is a contestable grants program for Aboriginal community groups and organisations, seeking to achieve long-term beneficial outcomes for the NSW environment.

Funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, the program encourages and empowers Aboriginal communities to protect, conserve and restore cultural landscapes and waterways that are of importance to local Aboriginal communities.

Aim of the program

The aim of the Protecting Our Places Program is to empower and provide opportunities for Aboriginal organisations to undertake projects that contribute to both ongoing sustainable management of significant Aboriginal cultural landscapes in NSW, and to healthier environments and communities. Through these projects, we aim to develop the project management capabilities of Aboriginal groups and encourage new collaborations and positive relationships with other organisations, government and stakeholders.


The objectives of the Protecting Our Places Program are:

  • To facilitate the sharing and protection of Cultural knowledge with and between Aboriginal groups, government and public stakeholders, to contribute to the improvement and the management of environmental and cultural resources on Country.
  • To increase the amount of culturally significant Aboriginal Land protected, restored, enhanced and managed by local Aboriginal groups, land managers and stakeholders and support connection to Country.
  • The Protecting Our Places Program is an appropriate, effective and sustainable mechanism to deliver Government policy, priorities and outcomes.

Eligible applicants

The following NSW Aboriginal community organisations/groups can apply:

  • NSW Local Aboriginal Land Councils
  • NSW Aboriginal Corporations registered under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act
  • NSW Registered Native Title groups
  • Unincorporated Aboriginal organisations and groups can still apply but will need to be supported by a supporting organisation (see 2018 Program Guidelines (PDF 1.3MB) for more details).

Funding Available

A total of $600,000 is available for the 2018 round of the Protecting Our Places grants program. This includes:

  • Grants of up to $60,000 available over 2 stages:
    • Stage 1: Planning – up to $10,000
    • Stage 2: Implementation program – up to $50,000

Note: An additional $5000 will be allocated per grantee for organisational capacity building training and mentoring during Stage 1. This allocation will be administrated by the Trust.

Other important features of the program

  • Fully implemented projects will be delivered over 3 years.
  • Each project must be implemented over two stages i.e. Stage 1 – Planning, followed by Stage 2 – Implementation (where the plans prepared during Stage 1 will be implemented).
  • Specific timeframes are set for both stages of the project:
    • Stage 1: Planning – 6 to 12 months in duration
    • Stage 2: Implementation – 18 to 24 months in duration
  • Frequently Asked Questions relating to the Protecting Our Places Grants Program.

Grantee support and capacity building

The program seeks to provide opportunities for grantees to build the capacity of their organisation, staff and members, and to improve their ability to manage their project. Support mechanisms (e.g. capacity building and mentoring) will occur during the Stage 1 – Planning phase.

These may include:

  • Assessment of organisational capacity, training and/or support requirements.
  • Development of a project capacity building training plan.
  • Provision of specifically developed Project Management training and support, valued at $5000 per grantee.
  • Face to face support at relevant regional locations to assist in developing your Project Implementation Plan.
  • Access to online tools, resources and support for continued assistance over 12 months.
  • Assistance to prepare project plans (including monitoring and evaluation items).
  • Periodic project management support and advice over the life of the project.

Guidelines and application forms

Opening dateClosing dateForms
(one-stage process)
8 August 2018 8 October 2018 2018 Program Guidelines (PDF 559KB)
      2018 Application Form (PDF 1.3MB)
      2018 How to Complete your Application Form (PDF 1.3MB)

Grants awarded

The 2017 round of the program received a total of 28 application requesting $1,638,691 with the Environmental Trust awarding grants to 12 projects totalling $707,871.

Additional resources and information

In addition to the Program Guidelines PDF 559KB) and Application Guideline (PDF 1.3MB) documents provided above, further information that may be helpful in preparing a Protecting Our Places project application is available on the Protecting our Places resource page and under the Additional Resources section within the Trust’s website.

For information on all previous grants awarded please see our Grants programs page.

Environmental Trust
PO Box 644, Parramatta 2124
Phone: 02 8837 6093


The planning and reporting templates for Protecting Our Places Program grantees are provided below. Go to Grantee planning and reporting for further guidance and information.

Monitoring and Evaluation Plan   Maps out how you will carry out your project.
Project Measures Captures projected and achieved quantitative output data for your Education project.
Progress and Final Report form Communicates your project’s progress (usually annually), and final achievements on project completion.
Financial reporting A financial report is required with each progress and final report, and for budget variation requests.
Page last updated: 23 October 2018