Indigenous Languages Grants

Program guidelines


The Queensland Government Indigenous Languages Grants 2023 will support a range of activities across Queensland which recognise the importance of promotion, preservation, and revival of traditional and contemporary languages in maintaining cultural identity and building the resilience of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Applications for grants of up to $10,000 (exclusive of GST) are now being accepted.


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 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 peoples 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.

Please ensure the development of the language initiative appropriately considers the principle of self-determination and demonstrates best practice protection of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP).

The Department of Education has developed the Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Protocol for the teaching of Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages.

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

Types of activities

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.

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)

Who can apply?

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 is not eligible to 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.

What the grant funding cannot 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.

Key dates

Date What happens on this date?
Monday, 8 May 2023 Grants open 10am (AEST)
Monday, 12 June 2023 Grants close. All applications must be submitted by 10am (AEST)
Monday, 4 September 2023 (week beginning) Applicants advised of outcome
Sunday, 3 June 2024 All activities/projects must be completed and delivered by this date

Assessment criteria

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



  • The initiative is accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culturally safe, and follows cultural protocols, including best practice principles, to protect Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP).
  • Identifies and engages targeted participants along with the broader community in an Indigenous Languages initiative.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrates links and established relationships with language owners and other stakeholders.

Organisational capacity:

  • Demonstrates capacity and suitable experience to undertake the proposed Activity (planning, consultation, promotion, implementation, reporting, and evaluation).
  • Presents a realistic Budget that provides value for money and clearly outlines how the grant funding will be spent.
  • Contributes in-kind or financial support towards the activity.

Supporting material

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.

Submitting an application

You can submit your application online through the SmartyGrants website.

Staff from regional offices can assist applicants to upload an application form on SmartyGrants.

Acquittal process

By submitting an application, all applicants acknowledge that, if successful, they will be required to provide Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships with a brief final report detailing the outcomes of the project, and a financial statement detailing how departmental funds were spent.

Where there is any unspent funding, the department may require you to refund the unspent funding.

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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