The Victorian Government’s Youth Policy: Building Stronger Youth Engagement in Victoria outlines a clear focus on providing avenues for enhancing youth participation and engaging with young people from all walks of life.

This youth-led grants program is an important way of achieving that and establishing opportunities for participants to connect with other young people and learn new life long skills.

About the program

Young people from African and Pasifika communities will lead the development of initiatives to address the specific issues affecting them, with the opening applications under a $500,000 youth-led grants program.

The grants will allow young people, aged 16 to 25, from African and Pasifika communities to design, develop and lead initiatives that respond to issues that are important to them, such as unemployment, health and wellbeing, inclusion, empowerment and more.

This funding seeks to increase the participation of young people of African and Pasifika heritage in leading and delivering impactful community projects that benefit other young people and their families.

Many young Victorians of African and Pasifika background are actively involved in the community – studying, working, playing sports, volunteering and enjoying the Victorian way of life.

However, some people experience barriers to opportunities and access to services that are meant to be available to all Victorians.

The initiatives will build participants’ sense of inclusion and create an environment that builds strong young leaders who can support each other and give back to their communities in practical ways.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Richard Wynne

“This funding will enable young people from African and Pacific Island communities to take the lead – helping them address important issues in their communities and develop a greater sense of belonging.”

The program aims to:

  • to empower young people of African and Pasifika heritage to lead projects that benefit other young people and their families.
  • to bring about a greater sense of belonging and connection among young people.
  • to show what young people can do to support each other and give back to the community.

Funding amount

The total investment in the youth-led grant round is $500,000.

Organisations or groups can apply to fund a project that lasts no longer than 6 months for:

  • small projects – up to $5,000
  • medium projects – up to $30,000.

As grant rounds are often extremely competitive due to the high number of applications, the amount of funding awarded may be less than the amount requested. If this occurs, unless applicants have other sources of funding, grant recipients will be asked to revise their budget and project in line with the funding offered.

Projects will be funded for a maximum period of six months from the time of executing the Funding Agreement (see Funding Conditions for more information).

What projects will be funded?


To be eligible, Lead-applicants must:

  • be aged between 16 and 25 years old at the time of the application.
  • be living in Victoria at the time of the application (and intending to remain in Victoria for at least the duration of the project
  • be able to attend each of the capacity building workshops to support you during the development and delivery of your project
  • have an idea that aligns with one of the focus areas.

Who is able to apply?

Only eligible organisations or groups can apply. Organisations can be based in any area of Victoria.

An organisation is eligible if they are:

  • led by young people of African or Pasifika heritage
  • focused on and working in genuine partnership with young people of African or Pasifika background
  • a not-for-profit entity
  • registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic)
  • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have current Public Liability Insurance.

Focus of projects

Projects must be led by young people of African or Pasifika heritage. The focus of the projects should be on young people and/or families of African or Pasifika heritage.

Projects must also meet the grant round aims and address at least one of the following:

  • increase a sense of belonging among young people
  • help young people of different backgrounds to connect
  • promote gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • raise the profile of positive role models, particularly young people
  • help young people to build skills and confidence
  • support young women to become leaders
  • use online or social media platforms to educate or empower others
  • promote connection and understanding between one or more communities
  • help families to connect and create experiences that prevent or reduce conflict
  • bring communities together to talk openly about sensitive or important issues
  • use creativity or innovation to promote diversity, social cohesion and cultural awareness
  • fill another gap identified by evidence or strong feedback from young people.

Projects will need to commence within two months of the grant offer or funding may be withdrawn.

Partnerships between eligible organisations or groups that have an eligible auspice are strongly encouraged.

The following projects will not be funded through these grants:

  • projects that are not led or delivered by young people of African or Pasifika background (refer to Annex 1 for definition)
  • projects where only an individual has applied
  • projects, including sporting and arts projects, which do not meet one of the grant aims
  • activities that are the primary focus of other local, Victorian or Commonwealth Government programs
  • projects led by organisations that have failed to complete or comply with the terms and conditions of projects previously funded by the Victorian Government
  • funding primarily for administrative salaries (although this may form a component of the overall project cost)
  • projects that are already fully funded
  • commercial or fundraising activities
  • purchase of a building or land
  • initiatives, activities or travel outside Victoria or funding for overseas people or organisations to visit Victoria
  • initiatives or activities that promote or are held for political purposes
  • activity undertaken prior to the notification of the application outcome

Funding conditions

Applicants who have overdue accountability reports for previous grants funded through the Victorian Multicultural Commission and DPC are not eligible to receive funding. Applicant must be living in Victoria at the time of the application (and intending to remain in Victoria for at least the duration of the project.

To check if you are up to date with accountability reports, please email community.participation@dpc.vic.gov.au.

If your group is not an incorporated organisation (for example, you are a group of school friends, or from a youth group or a homework club) you must nominate an eligible organisation to act as your auspice in order to apply for the grant.
An eligible auspice organisation must meet the above criteria for example, this could include a registered community organisation, church or a school.

To ‘auspice’ means to provide support, sponsorship or guidance.

When using an auspice arrangement, the relationship is often described as one where the auspicee (the organisation requiring support) will be carrying out the project ‘under the auspices of’ the incorporated organisation – the auspicor (the organisation providing support). The auspicor receives funding or enters into relevant agreements on behalf of the auspicee.

An auspicor would usually require the auspicee to sign an auspice agreement to set out the legal obligations of both parties toward each other in relation to any specific funding or other agreements.

When is an auspice agreement used? Auspice agreements are often used to help certain community organisations or groups that are not incorporated or registered to access funding for their activities.

Common auspicing examples:

  • supporting one-off events such as art exhibitions, concerts, fairs or festivals by arts organisations
  • supporting pilot projects, program trials or start-up groups
  • supporting local playgroups and study groups
  • supporting youth projects
  • supporting sporting programs or competitions.

Sometimes groups that have already incorporated may also seek to be auspiced if they believe they do not have sufficient capacity to manage the funds or an established reputation to receive the funds.

In general, before agreeing to auspice another organisation, the auspicor, should:

  • ensure they are is satisfied that the funding is for the project or activities for which the funding is sought for the auspicee
  • ensure that entering into the auspicing agreement is consistent with the objects and powers of the organisation.

In general, following the identification of an appropriate auspicor the auspicee, should:

  • consider the terms of their arrangement and relationship
  • ensure they have a right to access and use the funds which are granted to the auspicor by the funding body for the purposes of the project
  • consider the level of control it requires over the project and make sure this is clearly documented in the agreement.
  • ensure that it is able to comply with all of the obligations which are proposed in the auspicing agreement
  • should negotiate changes to obligations it considers will negatively impact the successful completion of the project.

The auspicee may need to seek legal advice before entering into an auspicing agreement to ensure that it understands the full meaning of the agreement and the impact of its terms.

The merit list developed by the panel will be submitted to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs will make the final decision on which applications are funded. The outcomes will be posted on engage.vic.gov.au website

Grant Information Session

Multicultural and Social Cohesion Division will be holding an information session for any interested applicant. Please register below:

The Ground Round has now closed

How Applications Will Be Assessed

A panel that includes young people from both communities and a small number of department officers will assess each of the short-listed applications.

A panel that includes young people from both communities and a small number of department officers will assess each of the short-listed applications.

Privacy collection notice

DPC is committed to protecting your privacy.

The information you share with us will be confidential, and it will not be published, ensuring that your anonymity is preserved. Such information will be held by DPC and only used for the purpose of this grant.

Any information you do provide will be held by DPC in accordance with DPC's Privacy Policy as well as Engage Victoria's Privacy Policy.

For more information on the department’s privacy collection, please refer to the department’s privacy policy or visit our website on https://www.vic.gov.au/privacy-vicgovau