Community groups encouraged to apply for Veterans' grants
The Nationals’ Member for Riverina and Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack is encouraging local community groups to apply for Australian Government grants to support projects honouring Australia’s military history and personnel.
“As a community we continue to honour the service and sacrifice of the men and women who serve in defence of our country and that is why the Australian Government has grant money available to support local projects,” Mr McCormack said.
“The grants on offer are a fine example of the Government’s efforts to support our past and present servicemen and women.
“As I travel around the electorate and indeed the country, I am amazed by the special and unique ways different community groups have and continue to recognise the service and sacrifice of our current and former servicemen and women. It is touching and so important that we never forget.
“Any group can apply for grant funding towards activities that assist the health and quality of life of our veterans or commemorative projects that honour our military history.
“Further funding is available for ex-service organisations (ESOs) to improve their capacity and to assist in supporting compensation and welfare assistance to veterans and their dependants.
“During the 2016 election, the Coalition committed to providing $4 million over four years to support younger veterans. As a result of this commitment, a new grants program – Supporting Younger Veterans – will be established to assist projects that seek to engage and actively involve our younger veterans, particularly with their transition to civilian life.
“I encourage groups in the Riverina and Central West to explore the grants on offer and apply if they could benefit our community or a particular organisation.”
In 2017, DVA will run funding rounds in the grant programs described below:
- The Saluting Their Service (STS) commemorations program provides funding to eligible organisations for projects that contribute to Australia’s understanding of its wartime heritage and honour the service and sacrifice of its servicemen and women. Two categories of grants are available under the STS Program:
- Community Commemorative Grants (CCG) – up to $4,000 in funding is available for projects that assist people at a community level and enable small communities to build memorials and preserve wartime memorabilia that are locally significant. This is a rolling grants program. Applications are accepted at any time and are processed 3–4 times a year. Successful grant applicants receive funding shortly after approval.
- Major Commemorative Grants (MCG) – funding in excess of $4,000 is available for significant projects at a national or state/territory level. This program has two funding rounds. The first round opens on 1 July and the second round opens on 4 January. Successful grant applicants receive funding shortly after approval.
- The Veteran and Community Grants (V&CG) Program aims to improve the independence and quality of life for members of the veteran community. This program provides funding for projects that support activities and services to sustain or enhance health and wellbeing. The V&CG is a rolling grants program. Applications are accepted at any time and are processed 3–4 times a year. Successful grant applicants receive funding shortly after approval.
- The Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) Program supports ESOs to provide compensation and welfare assistance to the veteran and Defence communities. It also links closely to the Advocacy Training and Development Program, which provides practitioners with the essential skills for claims, advocacy and welfare work. BEST is an annual grants program, which opens on 1 February and closes on 31 March each year. Successful grant applicants receive funding between July and September in the same year.
- The Grants-In-Aid Program (available to only national ESOs) provides administrative support in recognition of the work national ESOs do to support the veteran community. The program helps to fund representational activities aimed at improving connectedness between the head office of a national organisation and its state and local branches. These activities contribute toward an organisation’s governance and responsiveness to national issues. They play an important role in ensuring the issues faced by local veterans, regardless of when or where they served, are shared and understood by ESOs and the Australian Government. GIA is an annual funding program that is open from 1 February to 31 March each year. Successful grant applicants receive funding between July and September in the same year.
The Supporting Younger Veterans program will start in the first quarter of the 2017–18 financial year. More details will be available in the second quarter of 2017.
For further information on each of these grant programs and how to apply please visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website (www.dva.gov.au/consultation-and-grants/grants) or contact the Wagga Wagga electorate office.