Apply for a Community Stewardship Grant

Community Stewardship Grants are available annually to support community-based projects that serve to protect and restore the local environment, enabling local community groups to undertake stewardship of natural resources in their local area.
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Volunteers removing weedy Gladioli in Moore River Catchment
Volunteers removing weedy Gladioli in Moore River Catchment

Over the past 5 years, $38.5 million worth of Community Stewardship Grants has supported 409 grassroots not-for-profit and volunteer groups that care for the State’s diverse and valuable natural assets, from the Kimberley to the South Coast.

The 2023 Community Stewardship Grants recipients have been announced

Community Stewardship Grants to care for Western Australia’s vast landscape and unique flora and fauna have been allocated to 55 community-driven natural resource management projects across the State, which have received a share of $7 million in funding support from the Cook Government.

Successful projects include dieback control, landcare capacity building, wetlands and catchment rehabilitation, weed management, Cyclone Seroja recovery, and protection of threatened species such as black cockatoos, western ringtail possums and southern right whales. 

A list of the successful 2023 Community Stewardship Grant applications can be downloaded at the link below:

The Community Stewardship Grants program involves both a small grants program and a large grants program:

  • Small grants:
    • are valued between $1,000 - $50,000
    • commence on or after 1 January in the year following the grant round
    • are up to 18 months in duration.
  • Large grants
    • are valued between $50,001 - $450,000
    • are intended for more strategic, complex projects
    • commence on or after 1 January in the year following the grant round
    • are for up to 3 years in duration.

The 2023 Guidelines may be downloaded at the link below.

Community Stewardship Grant Outcomes

The WA Natural Resource Management Framework outlines six priorities for coordinated NRM in WA. These priorities guide the outcomes and investment priorities for the Community Stewardship Grants:
Priority Outcome
Priority 1
Sustainable management of land resources
Agricultural landscapes will be maintained or improved by driving sustainable and/or regenerative agricultural practices, focusing on soil biology and landscape management, to produce healthier food, a healthier environment, and improved bottom line to enable enduring prosperity.
Priority 2
Maintain and enhance water assets
Water assets will be maintained, improved, and protected through activities that support ecosystem health, water availability, biodiversity, and spiritual and cultural values for Aboriginal people.  Water assets include estuaries, floodplains, wetlands, and groundwater systems.
Priority 3
Protect and enhance the marine and coastal environment
Marine and coastal environments, species, and habitats will be maintained, improved, and protected from biological and physical threats including the declining numbers of some species, introduction of pests and diseases, and the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.
Priority 4
Conserve and recover biodiversity
Western Australia’s rich, diverse, and unique biodiversity and its economic, cultural, scientific, educational, and recreational values will be maintained, improved, and protected from biological and physical threats and processes including the declining numbers of some species, introduction of pests and diseases, and the impacts of climate change.
Priority 5
Enhance skills, capacity, and engagement
The capacity, knowledge, skills, engagement, and participation of stakeholders including volunteers, community groups, Aboriginal people, and the broader community will be maintained or improved.  Values, beliefs, and behaviours of stakeholders will be respected.
Priority 6
Deliver high quality planning that leads to effective action
High quality and strategic planning that leads to coordinated and effective actions will be facilitated and delivered to conserve, prevent further deterioration of condition and provide opportunities for remediation of our natural resources.

 

When do applications open and close?

A new round of Community Stewardship Grants is likely to be announced and opened in the first quarter of 2024. 

For updates direct from the State NRM Program, subscribe here.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to apply, applicants must be an incorporated not-for-profit organisation with an ABN.

Applicants from the following groups or organisations are encouraged to apply:

  • Aboriginal community organisations including Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate (RNTBC)
  • charities, not-for-profit companies, or trusts
  • incorporated associations incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 (WA) or Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth), including most community, landcare, and NRM groups, Recognised Biosecurity Groups, and grower groups
  • Land Conservation District Committees
  • local government authorities (LGA)
  • primary and secondary schools.

The following groups are not eligible to apply:

  • for profit organisations, partnerships or companies including sole traders;
  • individuals
  • organisations that do not have a branch or base of operation in Western Australia;
  • tertiary education institutions
  • unincorporated associations*
  • Western Australian or Australian Government agencies.

*Unincorporated associations can seek funding via a project sponsor (an eligible organisation that applies on behalf of the unincorporated association). More information on sponsorship is provided in the 2023 Community Stewardship Grants Guidelines.

Projects must be based within the state of Western Australia. Applications for project activities in Australian territories (for example, Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands) are ineligible.

How are applications assessed?

The Community Stewardship Grants are an investment by the WA Government to support the NRM initiatives of people at the local or regional level in protecting and restoring WA’s natural resources.

The merit of each application is assessed against the following criteria:

  • clear NRM outcomes that align with the Community Stewardship Grant Outcomes (30%)
  • evidence of local community involvement in each phase of the project lifecycle at design, planning and implementation, including engagement with Aboriginal people (30%)
  • a reasonable and well justified funding request that demonstrates value for money (30%)
  • sound planning and ability to manage the project (10%).

The key stages in the assessment process are:

  • initial assessment: each assessment panel member individually reviews each application
  • panel convenes: all projects are assessed and prioritised by the panel as a group, seeking technical advice as required, resulting in a shortlist of recommended applications
  • WA NRM Ministerial approval: it is anticipated that successful applications will be announced in October by the Minister for Agriculture and Food, as lead Minister for NRM
  • notification: all successful grants will be published on the State NRM Program website with applicants notified by email on the outcome of their grant application.

What can I apply for?

What activities can be funded through the community stewardship grants?

Grants can be used to fund a wide range of NRM activities that will achieve on-ground environmental outcomes directly or improve community capacity and capability to achieve positive NRM outcomes. 

Activities must deliver outcomes that align with the Community Stewardship Grant Outcomes.

Some examples of eligible activities include:

  • Fencing for protection of native species or vegetation
  • Invasive species management (pest plants, feral animals, and plant diseases)
  • Sustainable and/or regenerative agriculture
  • Remnant vegetation protection
  • Revegetation (native species only)
  • Threatened species conservation or protection
  • Capturing or implementing Traditional Knowledge of Country
  • Data collection
  • Information sharing
  • Planning
  • Research
  • Resource condition assessment
  • Technical advice
  • Training and skills development. 
  • Infrastructure for direct NRM outcomes.

Apply for a grant

Once a new grant round has been opened, applications must be submitted using the online application form available at https://dpird.smartygrants.com.au/ . Applications will not be accepted in any other format. SmartyGrants is the online grants management tool used by the State NRM Program.

There are 2 grant programs with separate application forms. Please ensure that you choose the right program for your application:

  • Community Stewardship Grants - LARGE
    • For up to 3-year projects valued between $50,001 - $450,000
  • Community Stewardship Grants – SMALL
    • For 6 – 18 month projects valued between $1,000 - $50,000

Contact us

State NRM Program

Level 4, 1 Nash Street, Perth WA 6000
Australia

Phone: (08) 6552 2158
Email: snrmo@dpird.wa.gov.au