Indigenous Languages Grants

Program guidelines


The objective of the Indigenous Languages Grants is to increase the number and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages spoken in Queensland in partnerships with Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Language initiatives can include:

  • producing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language resources, including digital technology in an accessible and culturally safe manner.
  • increasing participation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language teaching and learning.
  • supporting the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, knowledge and cultural heritage through language focused arts initiatives.
  • providing professional development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to learn and teach Indigenous languages.
  • researching, reviving and documenting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages from resources held in State Library or other state or national archives.

Grant applicants should confirm their selected Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander language and language code through Austlang database.

If the initiative produces a language learning resource/tool/service, it should be accessible and made freely available to the public and/or be reusable to allow as many people as possible to benefit from it.

You are encouraged to think about how your activity can be inclusive of people with disability.

Eligible applicants can apply for a share in $400,000 to support Indigenous language preservation and revitalisation across the state.

Applications for grants of up to $20,000 (exclusive of GST) are now being accepted:

  • 10 grants x $20,000 for significant impact initiatives
  • 20 grants x $10,000 for local community impact initiatives.

Grant tiers

The distribution of grant tier funding will be at the discretion of the assessment panel. The assessment panel will determine final grant tier allocations based on how applicants address each eligibility criteria and the benefit to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities.

Grant amount$10,000$20,000
  • Local community impact initiatives
  • The initiative must clearly demonstrate the outcomes and benefits for an individual, or a range of, Indigenous language groups within the local community
  • Regional and significant impact initiatives
  • The initiative must clearly demonstrate the promotional outcomes and benefits for a range of Indigenous language groups across a number of communities

The grant applicant is required to have at least one partnership as part of the initiative.

The grant applicant is required to have more than one partnership as part of the initiative.

Co-contribution The grant applicant is encouraged to contribute either in-kind or financially to the project. The grant applicant is strongly encouraged to contribute either in-kind or financially to the project.

What the funding does not cover

The grant funding does not cover:

  • staffing (including matching of volunteer fees)
  • insurances
  • prizes or gifts
  • administration and overhead costs
  • routine operations of the applicant
  • retrospective activities
  • capital equipment or works
  • activities or goods not directly related to the activity.

The list below provides examples of eligible activities. It is not exhaustive, and you are welcome to submit a proposal for a different type of initiative that meets the objectives of the grant funding.

  • Develop language resources that can be used in schools and libraries, such as digital and paper copy books, picture books or language apps
  • Develop word lists and or sound charts with culturally appropriate protocols for use
  • Develop bilingual signage or communications for place or location
  • Create an Indigenous outdoor mural incorporating the language, history and culture of the local community
  • Create outdoor garden spaces with native plants and bilingual signs for learning
  • Establish mentor programs, connecting young speakers with Language Owners and/or Elders
  • Develop a learning program through Dance and Song, collaborating with Elders to include lyrics in language
  • Record songs by Songmen on audio and/or video recording
  • Record conversations, stories and songs by Elders, Grandparents in language, for younger generations
  • Develop language-focused animation, story board or anime
  • Produce language-focused short film/video or podcast for placement on website or social media
  • Establish language-focused yarning circles to build respectful relationships and pass on cultural knowledge
  • Create a visual recording of Welcome to Country in language with English subtitles
  • Record archival material for easy access and reuse
  • Learn language through cooking traditional foods with a recipe book and video recording demonstration
  • Develop/publish language dictionaries and grammar books
  • Record Elders and community members and provide safe local storage of recorded material to be used in the production of community resources or education programs
  • Conduct “train the trainer” workshops to increase the number of language speakers
  • Establish language teaching study tours and learning activities between different language owner groups
  • Develop a digital library for storage of audio/visual recordings
  • Establish a media library of cultural materials that will encourage production and promotion of language

Who can apply?

An applicant wishing to apply for an Indigenous Languages Grant must:

  • be based in Queensland and the activity must be delivered in Queensland
  • have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN)

Eligible applicants include:

  • a company incorporated in Australia#
  • a company limited by guarantee*
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • an incorporated association
  • a registered charity or not-for-profit organisation
  • a local government body
  • a Queensland Government approved kindergarten program provider
  • a School Parent Association

# Grant applicants that are not incorporated should partner with an incorporated organisation with demonstrated capacity to undertake and oversee community projects. This is an auspice arrangement. The auspice organisation details should be entered in the application form.

* A "company limited by guarantee” is a specialised form of public company designed for non-profit organisations.  In Australia, companies limited by guarantee are subject to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and administered to by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Who cannot apply?

  • a Queensland Government department, agency or statutory authority
  • an Australian Government department, agency or statutory authority
  • a Member of Parliament
  • an individual
  • an unincorporated association without an auspicing body
  • an organisation not delivering services in Queensland
  • applicants without a valid ABN
  • a state or non-state school* (schools are encouraged to work with their school parent association or an eligible local community organisation to apply for school-based initiatives).

*where a school does not have a school parent association, please contact the Culture and Reconciliation team via email at or phone (07) 3003 6394 for guidance.

Date What happens on this date?
Tuesday, 31 August 2021 Grants open
Friday, 15 October 2021 Grants close. All applications must be submitted by 3pm (AEST)
Friday, 10 December 2021 Applicants advised of outcome
Tuesday, 4 January 2022 Activities/projects can commence
Friday, 25 November 2022 All activities/projects must be completed and delivered by this date

Applications will be assessed by an independent assessment panel against the following criteria:

  1. Design(assessment weighting 70%)
    1. Activity is culturally safe, follows cultural protocols and is accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
    2. Identifies and engages targeted participants along with the broader community in an Indigenous Languages initiative.
    3. Activity is relevant to one or more of the objectives of the grants program and will achieve positive outcomes and benefits for the targeted participants.
    4. Demonstrates links and established relationships with language owners and other stakeholders.
  2. Organisational capacity(assessment weighting 30%)
    1. Demonstrates capacity and suitable experience to undertake the proposed Activity (planning, consultation, promotion, implementation, reporting and evaluation).
    2. Presents a realistic budget that provides value for money and clearly outlines how the grant funding will be spent.
    3. Contributes in-kind or financial support towards the activity

Applicants must include a written letter of support for their application from:

  • the relevant language owners
  • the School Principal for School Parent Associations
  • any other activity partners or relevant supporting stakeholders.

All successful grant applicants will be required to:

  • enter into a funding agreement and its terms and conditions and comply with the requirements and conditions of the agreement.
  • acknowledge the Queensland Government funding with a Queensland Government crest on all promotional material associated with the funded event or project.
  • submit an online Program and Financial (Acquittal) Report (if required) by the specified due date. Where there is any unspent funding, the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships may require you to refund the unspent funding.
  • immediately inform the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships via email of any proposed changes to the funded project (e.g. change in activities, dates, and locations).

Contact us

For more information about the grants, including the guidelines, terms and conditions and how to apply please contact your local regional office or the Culture and Reconciliation team on email or phone (07) 3003 6394.

In this guide:

  1. Program guidelines
  2. Terms and conditions
  3. Frequently asked questions
  4. Tips for writing a grant application

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